Message of the Month

It's a Boy!


An unmarried girl who worked in a busy office arrived early one morning and began to pass out cigars and candy, both tied with blue ribbons. When asked what the occasion was, she proudly displayed a diamond solitaire on her ring finger and announced: "It's a boy -- six feet tall and 187 pounds!"

Many a proud father has stuck his head out of the delivery room and proudly announced, "It's a boy!"  Almost 2,000 years ago the Father God in Heaven broke 400 years of silence as He declared on that first Christmas morning, "It's a Boy! This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!"He then personalized the birth announcement through the agency of the angel of the Lord. The royal pronouncement, heralded by an Angel, was made to a group of lowly shepherds on a dark night in a pasture in Bethlehem: "I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord."

When we hear the announcement of a birth, we immediately make several inquiries: Who are the parents? What is the baby's name? How much did it weigh? What are the visiting hours? What is expected of us once we receive an official birth announcement?  Let's apply these questions to the birth of Jesus.

The Parents of the Baby

Jesus was unique in every sense of the word. He was the earthly child of a Heavenly Father and the Heavenly child of an earthly mother. He had Mary for a Mother and God for His Father.

The Boy, Jesus, must be Divine in order to fully represent God to man and He must be human in order to fairly represent man to God.                                                     

Although He became what He was not previously, man, He never ceased to be all that He was before, God. He was just as much God if He were not man and just as much man as if He were not God. As a Son of Mary, He rested on her bosom without a human father. As the Son of God, He rested on the bosom of the Eternal Father without an earthly Mother.

He had to be man that He might be made sin for us. He had to be God that He might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). Man, to undertake our redemption, God in order to perform it. Man, that He might have a sacrifice to offer. God, that the offering might be of infinite value. Man, that He might have a life to lay down. God, that He might have the power to take it up again. Man, that the chastisement for our peace might be upon Him. God, that by His stripes we might be healed. Man, that He might die. God, that He by death should destroy him that had the power of death. Man, that He might be a merciful High Priest, touched with all the feelings of our infirmities. God, that we might come boldly to a throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. God, that He might govern and influence a people so scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, and raise them up at the last day. Man, that our nature might be exalted at the right hand of Majesty, and placed so near God, far above the angels.

The Names the Baby Boy Was Given

One of the exciting, and often surprising things about the birth of a baby is the choosing of it's name.  Some years ago the Associated Press carried a story from England about a couple who gave their newborn daughter 139 names. They told the reporter that they would call her Tracy, but officially she will be Tracy Mariclaire Lisa Tammy Samantha Christine Alexandra ... (you get the idea). When the father was asked why he did this, he said, "We just wanted to give her something for when she grows up." The article, carried by a local newspaper, was captioned, "What's in a Name? Don't Ask This Girl"

In biblical times a person's name did more than just provide a handle to identify them -- they had significant meaning. The baby's name said something about the parent's perceived character of the baby, or marked some special event or circumstances in which the child was conceived or born. The name and titles that God gave to His Son are most important.

JESUS -- Matthew 1:21, "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

Luke wrote his two books of the New Testament to a man named Theophilus. Someone said the mother looked at the baby and said, "This is the-aw-fullest looking baby I've ever seen!" Shakespeare asked through Juliet the question, "What's in a name?"  The full, final, perfect revelation of God is compacted into one name -? but what a name -? the name of JESUS.

Jesus means Jehovah Saves. And to those who have come to know salvation from their sins through the only Savior -- Jesus -- they can never stop speaking it, singing about it, and writing about it.

IMMANUEL -- Matthew 1:23, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

God with us! Ever since that ill-fated day in the Garden of Eden, God has been misrepresented. Satanic insinuation implied God was a bully, withholding good from men. Human speculation surmised He was greedy, vengeful, and lustful, just like His creation; that He was disinterested and aloof from the plight and problems of men. However, Divine revelation made visible the invisible; made clear the distorted; and erased the Satanic lie that God was not interested and could not become intimate with mankind.  Out of God's infinity and invisibility, through the womb of the Virgin Mary, came the full, factual, final unveiling of the true character of God in the person of the God-man Jesus.

In the fullness of time, when all of the ages had funneled themselves into God's appointed moment, the Eternal God wrapped around Himself the clothing of our human flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ to dramatize on earth what He is forever like.  Thus, the Most High God becomes the most nigh God.  The Infinite becomes an infant!  The Infinite becomes intimate - with us!  The Infinite becomes definite - in a baby!

The message of Christmas is that God has come forth to meet man ?? AS A MAN!  In Jesus, God came to us as a man comes to a man.  Herb Hodges said, "Suddenly, I find myself kin to God, and God is kin to me!  He took flesh and bone that is twin to my flesh and bone; He took a body that is a brother body to my body.  Hebrews 2:11 tells us that He is not ashamed to call me His own brother.  He is kin to me!  I am God's relative through Christ. I am by nature a human being, and He volunteered to become what I am, becoming bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.  Now, God is not just behind us as our Source, and above us as our Sovereign; He is also with us as our Sympathizer."

CHRIST -- Luke 2:11, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

The word "Christ" is the Greek word for the "Messiah."  Wow, talk about incredible. The angel of Heaven announced that the baby laid in straw in a stable in Bethlehem was none other than the long-promised, long-prophesied, long-predicted, long-expected, long-awaited Messiah of Israel.  He was the One appointed and anointed in Heaven, and anticipated and announced on earth. Micah 5:2 had foretold that He would be born in Bethlehem, seven hundred years before it actually happened. Isaiah wrote in Isa.7:14 that He would be born of a virgin. In Isaiah 53 we are told that He would die a violent death for sinners, and in Isaiah 9:6 that His Name would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace; and that in time the government of the world would be upon His shoulders.  All this was condensed into the body of a tiny baby in Bethlehem!

LORD -- Luke 2:11b, ..."a Savior which is Christ the Lord."   -- The word "Lord" is the translation of the Hebrew word "Jehovah," which means that the tiny baby is God.  Jesus is Lord -- Lord of everything and everybody!  Herb Hodges said, "With regard to human beings, this means that every man and woman who has ever drawn a breath will be appraised, evaluated, measured and judged solely in terms of his or her personal relationship with a Carpenter from Nazareth Who was born as a Baby in Bethlehem!  You see, Jesus is as much Lord of a non-Christian as He is of a Christian!  Your agreement or disagreement with it does not change the Fact of His Lordship; it only determines whether you have joy or judgment, pardon or perdition, Heaven or Hell. 

What does this Lordship mean practically in the life of a person who gladly accepts it? First, it means that Jesus has the right to control you. Second, it means that Jesus has the responsibility to correct you. Third, it means that Jesus has the resources to compensate you.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away our sins, but He does not leave us forever a blank.  Having taken away our sins, He then gives us the Life of His Person, the Liberty of His Power, the Luxury of His Possessions, and the Legacy of His Purpose. Hallelujah, Jesus is Lord!"

SAVIOR -- Luke 2:11a. ..."unto you is born this day a Savior."  -- Man's greatest need and God's adequate provision meet in the word "Savior."  The moment the word "Savior" is used, we are made aware of a problem.  Because man is a sinner he has two gigantic, humanly unresolvable problems with God. One, he has a criminal record in Heaven because of his sins. Two, he has a corrupt heart in his chest because of sin's presence.

To be a Savior Jesus had to function in a threefold manner. As the only Mediator between God and man, Jesus must function in the office of Prophet; He must perform all the functions of the office of Priest; He must function in the office of Potentate or King. As Prophet He revealed the basis for salvation, as Priest He redeems us from the bondage of sin, and as Potentate He restores us from the blindness of sin and Satan.

In respect to our ignorance, we stand in need of Christ's Prophetical office to illumine us as to the way and will of God. In respect to our great alienation from God, we need His Priestly office to reconcile us. In respect to our averseness and utter inability to return to God, we need His Kingly office, to convince, subdue, draw, uphold and preserve us for His heavenly kingdom. 

The Weight of the Baby

Upon hearing of the birth of baby, the relatives or friends of the proud parents want to know "How much did he weigh?"  When asked how much did baby Jesus weigh at birth, no one knows. But spiritually speaking no other baby ever weighed so much or had so much weight upon him at birth. 

John the Baptist said concerning Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God which takes or bears away the sin of the world." Isaiah, the prophet wrote in Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows."  Jesus was born with the crushing weight of the world's sin upon His shoulders.  All other babies were born to live, but Jesus was born to die. 

The word "borne" in Isaiah 53:4 means to carry away or to lift and carry up to. This expression is taken from the Old Testament sacrificial system. Its use introduces us immediately to the concept of vicarious suffering, or the doctrine of substitution.  It portrays Jesus, the Son of God as getting underneath the load of His covenant people's sin and carrying it for 33-1/2 years until finally legally disposing of them upon the Cross.

Peter probably had this verse in mind when he penned that tremendous statement concerning what happened on the Cross. In I Peter 2:24, he says: "Who His own self bear our sins, in His own body, on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed; for you were as sheep going astray but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls."  "On" and "unto" are the same words in the Greek. Thus he declares that Christ bore in His body our sins unto the tree. That is, He bore our sins even up to the point of the tree (the Cross) where the final consummation of the sacrifice was accomplished.

On Him almighty vengeance fell which must have sunk a world to Hell; He bore it for a sinful race and thus became their hiding place!

The Visiting Hours

Matthew18:20, "Where two are three are gathered together in my name, there am I in there midst." 

Revelation 3:20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man here my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me."

You can enjoy His company anywhere on earth for He promised, "Lo I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth." You can enter his presence forever when you die. But in order to do so you must be born again. Jesus said "Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven."

"Holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend on us, we pray, cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today."

The Responsibility of Receiving the Birth Announcement

The first thing the shepherds did upon hearing the "good news" of the Savior's birth was to heed its message. Luke 2:15, "So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  Secondly, they hurried to the manger. Luke 2:16, "And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger."  Thirdly, they heralded the Messiah. Luke 2:17, "Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. {18} And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds."  Fourthly, they honored their Master.  Luke 2:19,  "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. {20} Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them."

Many of you have heard the message, but you have never heeded it.  Listen, the Child of Isaiah 9:6 has not been born unto you if you have not been born again unto Him. If you have heard and heeded, are you heralding the "greatest news" ever to fall on mortal ears -- "There is a Savior, Christ the Lord!  Tell the good news -- "It's a boy!” Without the birth of this BOY, life would be hopeless. In Him was light and life. Without him there is only darkness and death. With the eyes of faith, gaze upon God’s Miracle, His Marvelous, and Astonishing Son! Receive the gift that will go on giving for time and eternity.

Invite Him to become all this and more to you by turning your life over to Him. Bow your head and pray something like this:

Father God, for the first time in my life I have received with a degree of understanding the birth announcement concerning your Son, Jesus. In gratitude for the grace that has brought me to see Him as the only Savior of sinners, I turn from my sins and turn to Him in faith, trusting Him to be all that He promised to be for me – my Lord, my Life, the Lover of my soul, my all in all! 

For help in your new life in Christ, request the free materials we make available by writing us at:
Training for Reigning Institute of Disciple-making
174 Mill Run
North Augusta, SC   29860

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