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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Dec. 21, 2008

  • 2008 Dec 21
  • COMMENTS
 
 

The Fourth Glory of Christmas – His Name

Christmas is the time of year we most hear the sound of the incredible river flowing down from Heaven of the mighty names of God to man. God revealed Himself to man as a man. He used human terms so we could understand Him. He further gave incredible access to His power and love by way of a series of addresses of His Majesty.

"The Incomparable Christ," another vivid essay:

"More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood.

"He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous, and had neither training nor formal education. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.

"He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined.

"He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students.

"He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired.

"He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wend their way to worshipping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him.

"The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him.

"He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Saviour."

What's in a name? Oh so much. Think of how a name has shaped history:

  • Alexander Who? The Great, as he stood before Gaza's gates, declared let me in or I'll destroy you! They didn't heed the name.
  • Albert who? That eccentric Swiss postal clerk with all his pages of calculations was overlooked by all, until he made it to Princeton and scribbled E = mc2 -- five little characters that have impacted the course of history more than any other scientific thought. Albert? Einstein, of course.
  • Some names mean power , as in Napoleon and Stalin and Mao.
  • Some names carry wealth as in Rothschild, Getty and Rockefeller.
  • Some names inspire bravery as in Washington, Churchill, Patton.
  • Some names portray beauty as in Leonardo, Titian, Van Gogh.

The greatest revelation of our Infinite God comes through His Name. The name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There around 420 names of our God in three persons. In the Old Testament there are 223 and in the New Testament there are 195.

To the Old Testament saints the name Jehovah was an ointment poured forth shedding its fragrance over all. New Testament saints think of Him as JESUS. If ever there was a name that, as “ointment poured forth," shed a fragrance over all of human life it is the name of Jesus!

  • The Name of Jesus is the saving name: "Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
  • The Name of Jesus is the sanctifying name. We are to do all things, in word and deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus (c.f. Colossians 3:17).
  • The Name of Jesus is the sovereign name. "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Philippians 2:10). It is the name that charms our fears and bids our sorrows cease." It is the name that, as "music in the sinner's ears, brings life and health and peace."

But there is a name that has no bounds. It cannot be mortally defined. It is above all names . And no where do we find more names of our promised God the Son coming to save His lost creatures, than in Isaiah. Lets turn there this morning.

For a world sitting in the darkness of death, lost and hopeless, to our world that name came - Is. 9:6-7.
It was a dark hour in Israel about 730 years before Bethlehem's babe. And in that moment five things were revealed:

A.     A birth that would change the world: a child denoting perfect humanity was to be born who was a son denoting absolute deity.

B.      A universal kingdom that would rest on the shoulders of the King of kings: This coming one: "The government will rest on His shoulders" will rule both Israel and the world.

C.     A character that reveals the heart of God: He has four magnificent descriptions of majesty:

  • Wonderful counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of peace

Isaiah predicted a coming messianic age marked by world peace.

  • He foresaw a world government in the last days that would turn the eyes of the international community on Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:1-4)
  • He also described the coming of a Servant-Ruler who would bring a mysterious blend of power and suffering. (Isa. 53; 61:1-3)
  • But the character of this coming Servant is most clearly stated in Isaiah 9:6, where the prophet declared:

Here is the glorious announcement of God become man. Isaiah 9:6

"Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Wonderful Counselor:

"Wonderful". The Hebrew word pala indicates "something uncommon or out of the ordinary." It reflects "a phenomenon lying outside the realm of human explanation; that which is separated from the normal course of events; something that cannot be explained." And that is our Almighty and inexplicable Jesus!

"Counselor." The second part of this compound description of the coming Messiah is Counselor. In its historical Hebrew usage, the word is used to picture a king giving counsel to his people. To that end, Micah declared the dilemma of the captives in Babylon this way, "Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished?" (4:9)

Some have separated these two but the Old Testament Hebrew Bible puts them together. Isaiah defines this graphic title:

  • Isaiah 11:2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
  • Isaiah 28:29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.

True wisdom from the wonderful counselor knows that: In weakness is strength; surrender is victory and death is life.

 

 

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