"THE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING III"
Intro. Christmas brings to our minds the scene of a newborn baby lying in a bed of hay. We see His loving young mother watching over her infant Son as her husband stands guard behind her, and wondering shepherds stare in awe.
I. WE RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS NO ORDINARY BABY.
A. He is unique and different from any other child that has ever been born.
1. For years the prophets have foretold of His coming, the prophet Isaiah said:
a. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Immanuel, which interpreted means God with us.
b. Again he said: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. He will sit upon the throne of David to order it and to establish it in righteousness and justice forever."
2. Seven hundred years had passed by since these promises were given, when in the little village of Nazareth the angel Gabriel announced to a young virgin named Mary, "You are highly favored, the Lord is with you, you are blessed above all women." She wondered, "What in the world is he talking about?" The angel went on to say, "Fear not Mary, for you have found favor with God, and you are going to conceive and bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord shall give to Him the throne of His father David, and of His kingdom there shall be no end." Mary questioned how this could possibly happen since she was a virgin and the angel explained, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you, so that holy child that shall be born will be called the Son of God."
II. SOME THIRTY YEARS HAVE NOW LAPSED SINCE THE BIRTH OF THIS CHILD, HE IS NOW AN ADULT MAN. HIS PRESENCE HAS CREATED A GENERAL BUZZ AMONG THE PEOPLE. MANY COME TO HIM TO BE HEALED OF ALL SORTS OF AILMENTS. HE HAS CAUSED THE BLIND TO SEE, HE HAS MADE THE LAME TO WALK AND THE DEAF TO HEAR. HE HAS EVEN CALLED PEOPLE BACK FROM THE DEAD. PEOPLE CROWD AROUND HIM TO HEAR HIS TEACHING ABOUT HIS FATHER AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
A. One day He said to a crowd of people who had come to listen to Him, "I am the door to the sheepfold, others who have come before me making this claim are thieves and robbers. The thieves only come to rob, kill and destroy, but I am come that you might have life, and that more abundantly."
1. Here He announced to them the purpose of His coming. I am come that you might have life, and that more abundantly.
B. What is meant by life? Are we not all breathing?
1. I have seen people on artificial life support systems, needles stuck in their bodies attached to tubes bringing fluids into their bodies, other tubes taking fluids out of their bodies, their eyes are closed, they do not respond to your voice. They are still breathing, with help of the respirator, but is that life?
2. Some people because of their crimes are destined to spend the rest of their lives in a small cell behind iron bars. Their body functions are all working, they eat, sleep and breathe but is that real living?
3. Two cemetery workers were watching a lady being buried in an extra large grave because of her request to be buried sitting at the wheel of her pink Cadillac. As the Cadillac was being lowered in the grave, one was heard to say, "Now that's real living."
4. It is interesting what people consider to be real living. To some staying at Hugh Hefner's play boy mansion is real living.
a. The Bible says that a person who lives just for pleasure, is dead while they are still alive.
b. You may be eating, drinking, sleeping and breathing, but as God looks at you, He sees you as dead.
c. John the Baptist said of Jesus:
He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.
d. One day Jesus said to the Jews:
You search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: but they testify of Me, and you will not come to Me, that you might have life.
C. What did Jesus mean by life?
1. First of all He meant that you would live forever in the glory of His kingdom in the presence of God.
2. He said: "I am the resurrection and the life, He that lives and believes in Me shall never die."
a. We will be changed, for you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven in a body of flesh and blood.
b. To the believer in Jesus Christ, what people call death is that change, the Bible likens it unto moving out of a tent into a house.
c. Jesus said:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
d. Again Jesus said:
And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.
3. It is more than just quantity, as we have before indicated real living is more than just breathing. You may live to be 100 years old in the prison cell. You might be kept alive in a coma for 10 years on artificial life support systems.
a. A rich young ruler came to Jesus one day and asked, "Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
b. Many people looking at him may have envied him, he had wealth, youth, and authority, he is a ruler. He had all that many think is the formula for real living, yet he was conscious of a lack in his life that the money and power did not bring.
c. He was not looking just for a quantity of life, but a quality of life that he recognized in Jesus.
d. With his wealth, youth and power he recognized that there was still something missing, he asked: "What lack I yet?"
e. This rich young ruler recognized that Jesus had something that he lacked, something that all of his money could not buy him. There was a peace, a joy.
III. THE PURPOSE OF THE COMING OF JESUS INTO THE WORLD WAS TO GIVE TO US THIS LIFE, THIS TRUE LIFE, THIS AGE ABIDING LIFE, AND THAT MORE ABUNDANTLY.
A. It is a life of joy.
1. At His birth the angels announced, "Joy to the world."
a. Note they did not say, "Happiness to the world."
b. There is a great difference between happiness and joy.
c. The world can give you happiness, it cannot give you joy.
d. Happiness is a emotional feeling.
e. Joy is a spiritual feeling.
d. Happiness is then a variable.
e. Joy is a constant.
f. Happiness is dependant on pleasant outward circumstances.
g. Joy is independent from outward circumstances and is dependant on your relationship with God.
h. Thus you can have joy in the midst of sorrow.
2. He came to give us joy more abundantly.
a. Jesus spoke of the fullness of joy that comes through abiding in Him.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.
b. He relates this joy to our prayer life.
Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
c. John relates this fullness of joy to our fellowship with God.
That One who has existed from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen, which we have looked upon, who we touched, the Word of life; (For His life was manifested, and we have seen Him, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
3. Peter speaks of this joy as indescribable.
Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though you do not see Him now, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
B. It is a life of peace, tranquility.
1. Again at the birth of Jesus the angel announced, "Peace on earth."
2. The peace that He gives is not like the calm after the storm, but calm in the storm.
3. One day Jesus said to His troubled disciples, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
4. The peace that He gives is twofold.
a. First it is peace with God.
1. The natural man is at war with God, He is in rebellion against the laws of God. Paul describes him in Rom. 3
His throat is as an open sepulchre; his tongue is full of deceit; the poison of a rattlesnake is under his lips: his mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: His feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in His ways: And the way of peace has he not known: There is no fear of God before his eyes.
2. Again Paul wrote of the sinner.
For the mind of the flesh is death; but mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind of the flesh [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
3. Isaiah describes the wicked.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.
4. In contrast to this Paul wrote:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
He has made possible peace with God through the blood of his cross.
b. Through Jesus Christ we not only peace with God but we have the peace of God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. A joy that is indescribable, and full of glory, and a peace that passes human understanding, that is life more abundantly. This is what that little babe in the manger had come to bring, this was the purpose for His coming, that you might have this more abundant life. For he that has the Son has life, and he that has not the Son has not this life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Only two type of people, those who have the Son, and those who do not. Those who have life, and those who do not.