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"God in the Manger"
 
By Pastor Don Robinson

Grace Baptist Church, Bloomington, IN

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Text: John 1:1

Introduction:  This world is happy to let Jesus Christ be a baby in a manger, but not willing to let Him be the sovereign King and Lord that He is. Yet that is the central truth of the Christmas story: the Child of Christmas is God!

Lots of people who would otherwise gladly embrace Jesus as Messiah donut want Him to be God.

The enemy must love the world's Christmas celebration. He must revel in the blatant sin and blasphemy and rejection Christ - all by people who suppose they are celebrating His birth! He must glory in the way people commemorate His birth with lip service while ignoring the point of it all - that Jesus is almighty God. Who is this baby in the manger? He is the Incarnation of God.

I. Christmas is not about the Savior's infancy; it is about His deity.

    A. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to
        conceal the reality that God was being born into the world.

    B. But the modern world's version of Christmas does just that.

    C. And consequently for the greater part of humanity, Christmas
        has no legitimate meaning at all.

II. None of us could ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger.

    A. How do we explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny
        infant?

    B. It was, of course, the greatest condescension the world has
        ever known or will ever know.

    C. Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in
        God's becoming a man.

    D. We will never comprehend why He who was infinitely rich
        would become poor.

    E. Why He would assume a human nature, and enter into a
        world He knew would reject Him and kill Him.

    F. Nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby.

            1. Yet He did.

            2. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity in any
                sense, He was born into our world as a tiny infant.

            3. People often ask He cried, or if He needed the normal care and
                feeding one would give any other baby.

            4. Of course He did ... He was fully human, with all the needs and
                emotions that are common to every human.
 
            5. Yet He was also fully God - all wise and all powerful.

            6. How can both things be true? I donut know.

            7. But the Bible clearly teaches that it is so.

III. In some sense, Jesus voluntarily Suspended the full application of His divine attributes.

    A. He didn't give up being God, but He willingly gave up the
        independent use of the privileges and powers that were His as
        God.

Philippians 2:5-8, " Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

    B. He chose to subject His will to His Father's will.

John 5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

John 6:38, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."

    C. Through all that He remained fully God.

    D. For nearly 2,000 years, debate has been raging about who
        Jesus really is.

            1. Cults and skeptics have offered various explanations.

            2. They'll say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a
                good teacher, a prophet, and so on.

            3. The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less
                than God.

    E. But let the Bible speak for itself.

            1. John's gospel begins with a clear statement that Jesus is God:

"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 any thing made that was made". (John 1:1-3)

            2. Who is "the Lord" spoken of in these verses?

            3. Verse 14 removes any doubt:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

IV. The biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was the incarnation of God.

    A. For one thing, He was omniscient.

"But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." Cf Jn. 2:24-25

            1. Nathaniel was shocked to discover that Jesus knew all about him
                before they ever met.

            2. It was enough to persuade him that Jesus was the Messiah.

            Cf Jn. 1:40-50

            3. Also at Jesusí meeting with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, He
                knew everything about her . Cf Jn. 4:17-19, 29

    B. He also did the works of God.

"Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14:11)

            1. Jesusí works are convincing proof that He is God.

            2. He began His miraculous ministry with a simple act, He created wine
                at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11).

            3. Only God can create.

            4. He also healed people who were hopelessly ill.

            5. He gave blind man eyes.

            6. He opened ears that had never heard.

            7. He restored withered limbs.

            8. He created enough fish and bread to feed thousands.

            9. He raised the dead by simply commanding them to come forth from
                the grave.

Who was this child? He was God. We can see that clearly now. The Scriptures are clear even though the world seems content to keep Him as a seasonal decoration, the baby in the manger was God Almighty! He was the Savior of the world. This Christmas...can you see Him for who He really is? Do you know Him as your personal Savior? He came into this darkened world that we might literally see the light of His love and accept the greatest gift ever offered...eternal life!
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