Emmanuel - God With Us

Dear Brethren,

In these last days many in God's Church are letting-down and forgetting the Truth of God they once possessed. In this issue of the "Countdown to the Return of Jesus Christ," we continue in a series of the first principles of the oracles of God – milk of the Word articles – that can help us return to the basic foundational truths and doctrines of our faith.  In order to walk with God, it is necessary that we be constantly mindful of the things of God, "that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us." (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Emmanuel means, "God With Us."  "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, .and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."  (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14)

What an incredible concept – God with us!  Who is this Emmanuel?  It is none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.  He came to teach us of God's way.  What can we know about Him? John tells us that the works and teachings of Jesus were boundless. "There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." (John 21:25)

Let's take a look at some important aspects of Emmanuel – Jesus Christ."  This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)

Few people know Jesus and what He taught, and even fewer are willing to submit to His way of living.  The people of this world do not know God, and they do not know His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Son of God, and He is God, just as the Father is God.

Jesus Christ came to the earth in the flesh – exactly like the sinful flesh of other men (Romans 8:3).  "[Jesus], being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men."  (Philippians 2:6-7)

In the very beginning, there was only God the Father and the Word, Jesus Christ. They were the only two beings that existed.  Jesus is the Word who exists eternally with the Father.  Jesus was God in the beginning and He is, and will forever be a member of the glorious God Family.  The relationship and bond between God the Father and Jesus Christ represents perfect love and harmony.  The first act of God, of which we are aware, is this… in their brilliant Godly love, they came up with a magnificent plan, a perfect plan – the Plan of God.

God the Father and Jesus Christ decided that they would invest themselves in the greatest venture imaginable.  Before launching into their Plan, they made absolutely certain that it was perfect and infallible.  Their Plan was to open their close knit God-Family to others.  But they did not see it as an intrusion, but as an expansion of their love.  For them, opening the God-Family to others was an act of sharing and giving of their Spiritual substance. They wished to share their Eternal God Life with an extended Family.

It was the most splendid design conceivable!  They even had an alternative course of action in place to allow for interruptions, such as Satan's rebellion and the sin of Adam and Eve.  They determined that their Godly relationship with others must always be perfect and unspoiled in every way, always directed by flawless, righteous character.

God started by creating the vast angelic realm that would serve mankind, (Hebrews 1:14) and then they created the immeasurable, physical universe – this earth, the sun, the moon and the billions of stars.  It is so enormous that it is impossible to comprehend its size.  God the Father created all things by and through Jesus Christ  (Ephesians 3:9).

"For by Him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."   (Colossians 1:16-17).

Why did God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential?  It was certainly created for a purpose.  God does nothing without purpose – no more than we would go out and build a barn for which we have no use!  So, for what purpose was the universe created?

The vastness of the heavens, not only points to God's unlimited power to create, but it is also an indication of God's earnest intent to extend His Family.  "Of the increase of His empire and peace there shall be no end."  (Isaiah 9:7)

Then God created mankind to be just like Him – in His image. But man sinned against God, bringing upon himself the penalty of exclusion from the Plan of God.  In mercy, forgiveness, and great love, God provided a way for man to eventually be brought back into God's Family.  God the Father and Jesus Christ compensated for man's sin.  How?  God the Father by the loss of His Son, and Jesus Christ by the loss of His life.  God the Father and Jesus Christ, each, put everything on the line for our redemption and our salvation.  A great price has been paid.

"For God [the Father] so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son."  (John 3:16)  In whom, [Jesus], we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."  (Ephesians 1:7)

Jesus Christ came in the flesh, demonstrating that we, like Jesus was begotten, are to be begotten of the Father – becoming Children of God (1 John 3:2).  "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… And the angel answered and said unto Mary, Holy Spirit 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."  (Luke 1:32, 35)

Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I am."  (John 14:28)  "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the Children of God." (Romans 8:16)  God called us so that we would become like Jesus Christ who is the Firstborn from among the dead.  That calling has resulted in our being placed within the body of true believers – the Body of Christ.  "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He [Jesus Christ] might be the firstborn among many brethren."  (Romans 8:29)

Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the Divine Son of God the Father, begotten of Holy Spirit, born in the human flesh of the virgin Mary, and He became fully human, capable of dying.

Jesus was God "in the beginning" – from eternity in the past.  Jesus was, and is, a member of the Godhead.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."  (John 1:1-3)

Without Jesus Christ nothing was made – and He is the God of the Old Testament and the God of ancient Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4).  It was Jesus Christ who gave the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Though capable of sinning, Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life.  He was crucified to pay for the sins of mankind. Jesus atoned for us and reconciled us to God the Father.  "We were redeemed… with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1:19) "The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world."  (John 1:29, 36)

Jesus is Savior:  As our loving and merciful Savior, He was crucified to atone for the sins of all mankind; making reconciliation with God the Father possible for us.

Jesus was cut off from God for our sake, by taking upon Himself mankind's sins.  He has made the reconciliation of mankind to God the Father possible.  "For [God the Father] has made [Jesus] to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled [a reconnected, restored relationship] to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [repaired relationship with God]." (Romans 5:10-11)

The Father resurrected Jesus to life after a full three days and three nights in the grave, the sign of proof that He is the Messiah and Savior of all mankind.  "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40)

God the Father with exceeding great power resurrected Jesus Christ to life eternal.  "What is the exceeding greatness of [God the Father's] power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places."  (Ephesians 1:17-20)

Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven as our High Priest, intervening for us before God the Father.  "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous… such an High Priest [Jesus Christ], who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens [God the Father]." (1 John 2:1, Hebrews 8:1)  "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession [entreats] for us."  (Romans 8:34)

Jesus Christ established the Church of God, and He is the head of the Church, which is His Body.  "He [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church."  (Colossians 1:18)  The brethren who are truly saints are one body and one Spirit with Jesus Christ:  "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body."  (1 Corinthians 12:13)

"There is one body, and one Spirit."  (Ephesians 4:4)  "We, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another."  (Romans 12:4-5)  "The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body."  (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)  "For the perfecting of the saints…for the edifying of the Body of Christ."  (Ephesians 4:12)

Jesus is going to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth  (Mark 9:1). "[Jesus] showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."  (Acts 1:3)  Jesus Christ is the anointed Messiah with whom we will reign and rule for one thousand years  (Revelation 5:10).


Sermon:  "Emmanuel - God With Us"