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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Reception Of The King (Ralph W. Hovey)

The Reception Of The King
Mat 2:1-18

  1. Introduction
    1. The time is 6, or 5 BC...in the closing years of the reign of Herod the Great (who died in 4 BC)
      1. Bethlehem was the ancestral home of David
      2. Being of the lineage of David...Joseph and Mary went there to enroll for taxation
    2. Wise men were from east of Israel...Babylon, or Persia somewhere
      1. “Three Wise Men” – is legend...
      2. Probably astrologers
    3. Even in His birth hours...Jesus confronted men and nature with His claims upon them!
      1. God is Sovereign in that he does that which He wills and that which is in accord with His nature
      2. But man is endowed with free will...
        1. And because of this...he is responsible for his choices...
      3. To accept God's Sovereign will is to rise to heights of greatness
      4. To reject His will is to go down to the depths of ruin...
        1. In both Time...and Eternity
        2. This two-fold truth is clearly demonstrated in Matthew ch 2

  1. The Response of Inanimate Nature... “...His star in the east...”
    1. Various efforts have been exerted to explain this phenomenon
      1. Kepler (17th century German mathematician, astronomer & astrologer) ...says it was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 747 (Roman time)
      2. Chinese records refer to a comet in the spring of 749
    2. But the word use means...a star...
      1. Not a group of stars...
        1. Or a comet flashing across the sky...
      2. And this star “came and stood over where the young child was”
        1. It was “His star”...not just “a star”!
        2. It was a miracle
      3. God said...”Let His star be...”
        1. And it was so...just as all creation came into being at the creation
        2. Let there be...”
        3. And inanimate nature responded to God's sovereign will...
    3. It was always true...
      1. Water...wind...vegetation...rocks...and physical disease
        1. All things and conditions...respond to His Word
        2. Psa 19:1
      2. The universe came into being at His Word
        1. Seasons, seed-time and harvest respond to His Will
        2. In the realm of Nature...Christ is King
        3. His law is Absolute!
        4. His Word is Absolute!

  1. The Response of Science... “...there came wise men...”
    1. Being astrologers suggests the advanced knowledge of the day
      1. They could have been Jewish proselytes who held Messianic view and hopes
      2. They could have been Jews who had stayed in Babylon after the Babylonian captivity and subsequent return
      3. No one knows...
    2. Whatever the source of their knowledge...
      1. In faith they followed the vision to worship and lay their treasures at the feet of the Christ-child
      2. They followed God's guidance
      3. They refused to make their knowledge the instrument of a tyrant bent on defeating the purpose of God.
      4. Thus they became the symbol of Science and Knowledge which recognizes the Source of all wisdom...
        1. And dedicates it to the salvation...and NOT the destruction of man!
    3. Unhappily, this has not always been true
      1. The Greek philosophers achieved unprecedented heights of greatness in mental powers
      2. It formed the basis of modern Scientific investigation and achievement
      3. Yet it set itself up against the “wisdom of God”
        1. And in refusing to recognize God, God gave it over to a reprobate mind...
        2. One void of judgment
      4. The wisdom of modern man has produced many products which largely either corrupt man or threaten him altogether...
        1. But the greatest need of today is a worship of...and dedication to...God in Christ, within the realm of modern man's intellect and its fruits.

  1. The Response of Government... “When Herod the king heard these things he was troubled...and all Jerusalem with him.”
    1. As a non-Jew, he had no right to the throne of Judea
      1. He was the son of Antiper, an Edomite...and an Arabian mother
      2. He had been appointed king by the Roman Senate
        1. Remember Jesus' story about the the nobleman who went to a far country to receive a kingdom? (Luk 19:12-14, 27)
        2. This is the true story from which Jesus formed his parable of Talents
      3. This knowledge, plus his jealous nature...
        1. Led him to destroy anything that he considered a threat to his position
        2. He murdered his three sons...his wife...his brother-in-law...and his wife's uncle...
        3. Caesar Agustus once said that it was “better to be Herod's sow...than his son...for the sow had a better chance to live”
    2. Thus, the suspicious and jealous king was troubled and terrified when he heard of one “BORN, King of the Jews”
      1. Herod had been merely appointed king
      2. He occupied the place rightly belonging to Christ
      3. Wherever government usurps the place of God...
        1. It has a right to be terrified...
        2. ...and all Jerusalem with him...”
      4. When those in power defy God...
        1. Those over whom they rule will be terrified also!
    3. But Christ had no kingly aspirations in a political sense
      1. Had Herod joined the magi in worship and placed his crown at His feet...
        1. He would have received it back enhanced and glorified
      2. Government is ordained of God for His purpose...
        1. But Herod sought to intervene between man and God's redemptive ministry
        2. No government has that right
        3. Soul-liberty, is Man's right...not something bestowed or withheld by rulers
    4. Herod's slaughter of the innocents...
      1. Probably about 20 in number
      2. Was so insignificant in comparison with his other murders...
      3. That history ignores it
        1. But to those mothers and fathers it wasn't insignificant...
        2. Nor was it insignificant to God...because His Word records it
      4. Though secular history ignores the hypocritical lip-service paid God...
        1. And tends to minimize the destructive work of ungodly rulers...
        2. The records of God indelibly record them in Time and in Eternity!
      5. Herod died a horrible, loathsome death less than two years later
        1. All Herod's die
        2. But Christ lives on in Triumph over them all!

  1. The Response of the Soul... “We...are come to worship Him...” “Bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also”
    1. The outward attitude is the same...
      1. But the inward purpose is different
      2. The difference rested in their wills
        1. One was humble, sincere and benevolent...
        2. The other was hypocritical, cynical and destructive
      3. Joh 4:23
    2. True spiritual worship must be a willing response within the souls of men
      1. Note the contrast
      2. The babe in the manger vs the wisdom and political power of men
        1. But in the babe was the wisdom of God and the power of God!
      3. As a babe, He had no power to compel either magi or king
        1. As a man, He didn't compel obeisance by force
        2. It must be willingly and personally given
        3. And when this is done, me and angels rejoice
        4. When it's not done...men are troubled in heart...and the whole world with them
      4. Men who withhold themselves from Him in their hearts, do so to their own hurt and loss
        1. But the day will come when He will be...”King of Kings and Lord of Lords”

  1. Invitation

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Biography Of The King

The Biography Of The King
Isaiah 53: 1-12

I.  The Supernatural Birth of the King  (Isa 53:1-2)
A.  Declared from the beginning of time...in the Garden
    1.  Foreordained...a sure thing
        a.  The moment that sin entered in...God had a plan
    2.  Just as surely as God had spoken all things into existence
        a.  So also the Word that He spoke in Gen 3:15 concerning the Seed of the woman would come to pass...
        b.  Gen 3:15
        c.  One day, that Seed would be born that would bruise the serpent's head

B.  The birth of the Seed would be miraculous!
        1.  Isa 7:14
        2.  Isa 9:6
        3.  Miraculous in the fact that the Seed would be born of a virgin!

C.  Matter-of-fact, if Jesus hadn't been born of a virgin...he would not have been sinless
    1.  He was 100% man, cuz born of the woman
        a.  Yet, he was 100% God, cuz He was born of the Spirit!
        b.  Had the seed of man entered the picture anywhere, He would have been born into sin...just as we all were!
    2.  When Zechariah was told...doubted...struck dumb  (Luk 1:20)
            1)  Being a priest...he     should have known his history  (Abraham & Sarah, the Shunammite woman)
        b.  When Mary questioned...given an answer
            1)  She knew the facts of life…   
                a)  Having lived in a small village, she had seen the reproductive facts of life with her own and the village animals
            2)  Never before in history of the world had a virgin given birth
            3) God wanted to give Mary a choice...He wanted her to "count the cost"
                a)  What it would mean to have a child out of wedlock in her day
                b)  He would not force anything on anyone
   
D.  Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the the only-begotten Son of the Father  (Joh 3:16; Mat 17:5)
        a.  Because He was born of the flesh…and of the Spirit…He therefore could be tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15)

II.  The Simple Life of the King  (Isa 53:2-3)
A.  Born in a humble way, in a humble     place (Luk 2:4-7)
    1.  Not in Jerusalem, but a small village called Bethlehem…declared to be "little" among all the villages & town of Judah  (Mic 5:2)
    2.  The King of Kings, wasn’t born in a palace, but a stable
    3.  Lord of Lords, visited by shepherds and wise men while surrounded by livestock and daily life of a small village

B.  His appearance was nondescript (Mat 26:48; Isa 53:2b)
    1.  He was ordinary...not necessarily beautiful in the flesh…
    2.  He looked like the typical Jew of the day…
    3.  He may have been ordinary and typical in His outward appearance…but He was/is magnificent and wonderful in the Spirit

C.  The simple life that He lead on earth…would lead Him to the fulfillment of God’s purpose…God’s predetermined plan…for Him…and for all mankind…

III.  The Substitutionary Death of the King  (Isa 53:4-6)
A.  He came to take the penalty of our sins upon Himself  (Isa 53:5)
    1.  What is sin?  Many definitions…
        a.  As a child we think it’s doing something bad…
        b.  Some say it’s anything that comes between us and God
    2.  But the Bible makes it clear… (1 Joh 3:4)
        a.  Sin is the breaking of the law of God
        b.  Jesus paid our penalty for breaking God’s law…
        c.  That when we stand before the Judge...we will be JUSTIFIED!   Because our debt has been paid!
    3.  He was born for this reason…this is why He’s the Lamb of God!
        a. From the foundation of the world…blood sacrifice required to appease an offended God
            1)  Heb 9:22
        b. These sacrifices were never intended to be used in a similar fashion as many “repent” today…
        c. They were to point out the horribleness of our sin…that something had to die for it
        d.  They aren’t like reciting “50 Hail Mary’s”…then going on as if everything is now ok and we can live our lives as usual.
        e.  If this is how we “repent”, then we just turned “GRACE” into “cheap grace”.
    3.  But since the blood of animals can never make us clean… (Heb 10:4)
        a.  God sent His Son, so that we can become “whiter than snow”  (Psa 51:7)
        b.  Jesus bore the brunt of God’s judgment for us
            1)  So that we can live with Him
            2)  Because He’s the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for His sheep  (Joh 10:11)

B.  He took our shame  (Isa 53:7)
    1.  The shame of our guilt!
        a.  When a person is guilty…and they know they’re guilty…there’s no excuse!
            1)  The shame of that guilt causes “normal” people to shut up…
            2)  Bow their heads in shame…
            3)  Take what’s coming to them.
    2.  But, Jesus wasn’t guilty of anything, except our guilt!
        a.  He carried our guilt on His shoulders
        b.  Therefore, He was quiet when bearing our shame
            1)  Before those who would accuse Him
            2) “As a lamb led to the slaughter…”
        c.  He was quiet because He bore our shame, because of our guilt!

C.  He took our separation  (Isa 53:8; Hab 1:13)
    1.  Sin separates from God--the Holy cannot abide the Unholy…the Righteous cannot continue with the Unrighteous
        a.  Sin is the complete opposite of God!
            1)  Because breaking the Law is in direct opposition of the Lawgiver
        b.  Jesus, by taking our sins upon Himself, became separated from God so that we could become united with God!
            1)  While hanging on the Cross…The veil tore…darkness over the land…the earth quaked
            2)  Jesus, quoting Psalm 22, cried out, “My God…My God…why have You forsaken Me?”  (Psa 22:1)
    2.  God turn His back on Jesus  (Mat 27:46; Psa 22:1)
        a.  He was taken away because of oppression & judgment… (Isa 53:8a)
        b.  He was cut off…He was struck…because of our rebellion!  (Isa 53:8b)

D.  He took our suffering  (Isa 53:9-10)
    1.  The suffering we would have suffered for all eternity
        A.  Jesus took it upon Himself when He took our sins upon Himself
    2. Jesus, being infinite, paid in a finite amount of time what we, being finite, would pay for an infinite amount of time.

IV.  The Saving Resurrection of the King  (Isa 53:9-10)
A.  All that had gone before
    1.  All the history of men and angels are bound up in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
    2.  All things that have gone on before were done according to the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of the Father to be culminated in this single event
    3.  Jesus came…so that He might die for us…
        a.  And one might think that that would be enough.
        b.  But though His death on the cross purchased our salvation…   
        c.  It’s His resurrection from the dead, that proves to all that everything Jesus taught and did had its foundations in…and the full backing of God
        d.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the “keystone” of the Christian faith…for without it…we have nothing   
        e.  1 Cor 15:14-18

B.  Man and nature made Jesus’ death as sure as they could…
    1.  The Romans were skilled at killing people
        a.  So skilled, it was like an art form to them…
        b.  Pilate wondered…until he got the confirmation for the Centurion
            1)   Mar 15:44-45a
        c.  And the Jews requested that a seal be put on the tomb and a guard standing by
            2)   Mat 27:64

C.  Jesus was completely and totally dead…but on the 3rd day…He rose from the dead! 
    1.  As the angel said, “He is not dead--He’s alive!
    2.  And because He is alive…just as He said would happen…
    3.  He will also return again one day…just as He said would happen!
    4.  Joh 14:3 KJV  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Mar 13:31 KJV  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

V.  The Sovereign Reign of the King  (Isa 53:11-12)
A.  Just as surely as Jesus was born of a virgin…
    1.  died for our sins…
    2.  resurrected from the dead on the 3rd day…
    3.  and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father

B.  So He will also one day, return to establish His kingdom…just as He said
    2.  Rev 22:12
       
VI.  Invitation