“Down From His Glory”
For years I have said that I believe the holiest of all nights is Christmas Eve and as such we are here to HONOR and WORSHIP JESUS the Christ of Christmas. Perhaps one of the most profound passages of scripture which summarizes the life of Christ is found in Philippians 2:5-11 where we read, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Here the Apostle Paul presents to us the CRADLE, the CROSS, and the CROWN.
A Son BORN in verses 7-8.
A Saviour CRUCIFIED in verse 8.
A Sovereign CROWNED King of Kings and Lord of Lords in verses 9-11.
From Heaven’s GLORY to a CRADLE
From a CRADLE to the CROSS
From a CROSS to the CROWN in Glory
Would you notice again verse 11 "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.” Years ago I had the privilege of hearing a Christmas Cantata entitled "Down from His Glory." When Jesus came to this earth it was not His DEITY that He laid aside but rather His GLORY. When Jesus rose again and ascended back to Heaven, God gave Him back His GLORY, as we read in I Peter 1:21, "Who by Him do believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him GLORY…" When Jesus came DOWN from Glory:
He came down from the ADORATION of Heaven to the ABOMINATIONS of earth.
He came down from the BLESSEDNESS of Heaven to the BRUISES of crucifixion tortures.
He came down from the CORONATIONS of Heaven to the CONDEMNATION of earth.
He came down from the DELIGHTS of Heaven to the DEFAMATIONS of earth.
He came down from the EXCELLENCE of Heaven to the EXECUTION of earth.
He came down from the FAVOR of His Father's face in Heaven to the FURY of Man's face on earth.
He came down from the GLORY place to the GORY place.
He came down from the HALLELUJAHS of Heaven to the HISSES of earth.
He came down from the INTERCESSIONS of Heaven to the INJUSTICES of earth.
He came down from the JOYS of Heaven to the JEERS of the mobs of earth.
He came down from the KINDNESS of Heaven to the KILLING of earth.
He came down from the LOVE of Heaven to the LYING accusations of earth.
He came down from the MAJESTIES of Heaven to the MISERIES of earth.
He came down from the NOTORIETY of Heaven to the NOTHINGNESS of earth.
He came down from the PRAISE of Heaven to the PERSECUTIONS of earth.
He came down from the RICHES of Heaven to the RIDICULES of earth.
He came down from the SONGS of Heaven to the SNEERS of earth.
He came down from the THRONE of Heaven to the TREE of earth.
He came down from the WORSHIP OF ANGELIC HOSTS to the WRATH and WRANGLING of unprincipled men.
The incarnation of Christ, DEITY BEING CONFINED WITHIN THE BODY OF A LITTLE BABY, is the greatest of all mysteries. In I Timothy 3:16 we read, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh…" That is what took place in the womb of the Virgin Mary when Christ was born. Please follow me in your Bibles:
In Isaiah 7:14 we have the prophecy of the Virgin Birth, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
In Isaiah 9:6-7 we read, “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever…” We read that a Child is born, that speaks of His Humanity. We read that a Son is given, that speaks of His Deity.
In Luke 1:30-35 we have the announcement of the Angel to Mary that she would conceive in her womb Jesus not by man but by God, “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
How mysterious, how wonderful, how beautiful is the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament man was made in the image of God.
In the New Testament God was made in the image of man.
The incarnation involves two major MIRACLES. When you try to take those MIRACLES out of the Christmas story, you lose it totally.
The FIRST MIRACLE involved God taking upon Himself the full nature of man, yet retaining the fullness of God. The Bible declares that He was as much God as He was Man, and as much man as He was God. Jesus is the God Man.
The SECOND MIRACLE involved a human body being conceived within a mother’s womb without an earthly father. That is exactly how the Birth of Christ occurred. The miracle of the Virgin Birth was not the actual physical birth, but the conception of Christ's earthly body.
There are those who say that the Virgin Birth of Christ is not very important. However, listen carefully to this statement: "If you do not believe in the VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST, He died in vain. Because if He were not God, whose Father was in fact God, He did not have the ability or the right to claim to die for a lost race. So you cannot deny the VIRGIN BIRTH and call yourself a Christian."
All of historic Christianity revolves around the Virgin Birth of Jesus, God the Son.
If He were not Virgin Born, He would not be sinless.
If He were not sinless, He could not have died for our sins on Calvary's cross.
If He had died as a mere human, there would be no resurrection,
If no resurrection, I have no hope of salvation or eternal life.
The virgin Birth of Jesus is vital to our FAITH.
A Christian genealogist said: "I believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ. After 30 years of medical practice, I find the normal birth of an average child a mystery so profound that my human mind can give no adequate explanation for it. Long ago, I came to accept the greater wonder of the incarnation of Jesus Christ purely on the grounds of FAITH."
Another said, To reject the Virgin Birth of Christ is to reject His deity, since they are synonymous. Many admit the DIVINITY of Christ but do not acknowledge His deity. To contend that Christ was not born of a Virgin by the agency of the Holy Spirit is to reject Him as our Mediator at the right hand of God.
Again I read from Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man…” Here I want us to focus upon two very vital truths about the Christ of Christmas.
I. His Humanity: Notice again in verse 7, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” In His perfect humanity, this VIRGIN-BORN Babe in Bethlehem's manger was as much man as He was God. In Galatians 4:4 we read, "but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a women…" Jesus had a human body, soul and spirit.
In Matthew 26:12 speaking of Jesus we read, "For in that she hath poured this ointment on my BODY, she did it for my burial."
In Matthew 26:38 Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane, "My SOUL is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death."
In Luke 23:46 at Calvary, as Jesus was dying He said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my SPIRIT."
Just like you in the flesh Jesus is BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT.
He Prayed as we pray: In Mark 1:35, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
He was tempted as we are, but He did not yield to sin. In Matthew 4:1 we read, "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil."
He learned obedience, just as we and our children learn obedience, as we read in Hebrews 5:8, "Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered."
He grew hungry as we read in Matthew 4:2, "When he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, he was afterward an hungered."
He knew thirst as He spoke on the cross when He said in John 19:28, "I thirst."
He did become weary and tired after exertion, as we read in John 4:6, "Jesus therefore being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well."
He wept. Jesus literally shed tears. He showed emotion outside of Lazarus’ tomb. In Luke 19:41 we read, "And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it."
He suffered as we read in I Peter 4:1, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourself likewise with the same mind."
He died. This fact adds to His humanity. One day on the cross of Calvary, the scriptures say He actually died physically as we read in I Corinthians 15:3, "I deliver unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures."
My friends, we worship and serve a Saviour who was like we are.
He felt what we feel.
He knew what we know.
He walked where we walk.
Therefore He can be our faithful high priest. WE SERVE AND WORSHIP PERFECT GOD, PERFECT MAN, WRAPPED UP IN ONE PERSON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
There is none like Him.
There has never been one like Him.
There shall never be one like Him.
II. HIS DEITY: Again in Philippians 2:6 we read, "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," This speaks of Christ's deity. He is God, the second person of the Godhead. Christ is as much man as He was God. The opposite is also true. He was as much God as He was man.
We read in Matthew 2:11 where the Wiseman having found Jesus fell down and WORSHIPED him. They worshipped undiminished deity.
Being DEITY Christ is omnipresent for He said in Matthew 28:20, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Jesus is everywhere at the same time.
Being DEITY Christ is omnipotent for He has all power, as we read in Matthew 28:18, "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth."
Being DEITY Christ is omniscient for He knows everything. He has all wisdom. When Nathaniel was surprised in John 1:48 at how the Lord knew his name, Jesus said, "Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee."
Being DEITY Christ forgives sin for this is something only God can do, and Jesus is God. Mark 2:5 tells us, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick… Son, they sins be forgiven thee."
Being DEITY Christ saves for who can save a lost sinner but God? Matthew 18:11, "For the son of man is come to save that which was lost."
Being DEITY Christ is without sin for Christ did not sin, period, not one time, II Corinthians 5:21, "He knew no sin."
Being DEITY Christ looked at the multitudes with compassion upon them. He saw the sick and His heart was broken. He looked at the hungry and He fed them.
Being DEITY Christ is meek and gentle, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Being DEITY Christ was the Only Begotten Son of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” From the moment He arrived in the Bethlehem manger:
He set His face like a flint toward the Cross.
He came to this earth to die. Nobody killed Jesus.
He laid His life down willingly that you and I might not go to hell, but that we might ,through Him, have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
As we think upon the incarnation of Christ, listen to this as a fitting conclusion:
"The God who brought forth a motherless woman (EVE) from the body of a man (Adam), brought forth a fatherless Man (Jesus Christ), from the body of a woman (Mary). There are those who say that it makes no difference whether or not Jesus Christ was Virgin born. But it makes a profound difference whose Son He is. Only a divine birth could provide divine sonship, and only divine sonship could provide a divine Saviour, and only a divine Saviour could achieve and provide salvation for sinful man."
In the past 6,000 years of human history, there have been literally billions of people born into the human family on this planet:
They have spoken hundreds of different languages and dialects.
They have practiced multitudes of religions.
They have developed numerous cultures.
And yet, with the diversity of these literally billions of people who have inhabited this planet, every single human being shares one vital thing in common with all the other billions of human beings. That one thing is THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY IS DETERMINED BY WHAT THEY DO WITH THAT ONE PERSON, who is the perfect man, the perfect God, born 2,000 years ago in a lowly manger in the city of David.
Consciously or unconsciously, the world celebrates His birth at this season of the year. As you celebrate, I would like to ask you the most important questions ever asked. They are found in Matthew 22:42 "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?" The poet said:
To the ARTIST He is the One, altogether lovely.
To the ARCHITECT He is the Chief Cornerstone.
To the ASTRONOMER He is the Sun of Righteousness.
To the BAKER He is the Bread of Life.
To the BANKER He is the Sure Foundation.
To the CARPENTER He is the Door.
To the DOCTOR He is the Great Physician.
To the EDUCATOR He is the New and Living Way.
To the FARMER He is the Sower and the Lord of the Harvest.
To all who come to Him, He is all you need for an eternity. So as you prepare to leave to engage in all the festivities and all the activities the rest of the evening and all day tomorrow the eternal questions for you are "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?"
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “Down From His Glory” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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