More than four thousand years of history had rolled by. The biblical account of those years recorded births and deaths, joys and sorrows, victories and defeats.
God created man, breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul. He placed Adam and Eve in the beautiful garden of Eden. We, no doubt, are unable to fully envision the splendor and peace of that paradise on earth — a garden planted by God himself.
But in spite of the fact that this first family lived in the best of circumstances and had everything immediately available to them that they could possibly need, something went terribly wrong. Under Satan’s influence Eve was deceived and Adam joined her in disobeying God’s command. What a dark day! Man rebelled against his maker and sin with all its hurt and destruction entered the human family.
You read of Abel’s murder, and of wickedness reaching such a level that God sent a flood which destroyed the whole human race except for the eight souls in Noah’s ark. Later you read even of God’s chosen people being enslaved and suffering under the whip of cruel taskmasters in Egypt. Then you see when God delivered them that they were ungrateful. Their sinful actions at the foot of Sinai, their constant complaints and murmurings on their wilderness journey — all are glaring evidences of man’s fallen nature. Yet by the mercy of God they were brought to the land of promise — but even there so many failures are seen. The people’s refusal to heed the message brought by the prophets of God; the failure of so many of the kings to guide them in a godly path.
Look at the heartache which followed: lives ruined, families torn apart. Thirty thousand of Israel’s soldiers slain in one battle because they failed to repent of their sin and trust God alone for their help. The people uprooted from their homeland and carried into captivity. A long record of failure, trouble, and war — and finally a 400 year period during which no prophet was sent and no message from God was heard.
Although Adam and Eve tried to hide from the Lord because they were ashamed, God clothed them with coats of skin, which speaks of the imputed righteousness which we were provided by the Savior when he came. Before his death Able offered a lamb on the altar which pointed to coming of the Lamb of God who would put away sin. In the darkest of times Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and, following the flood, offered a sacrifice which was a sweet savor to the Lord. When God was ready to bring his people out of bondage he instructed them to kill a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the door posts and promised “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
The prophets were sent with a message of hope. Isaiah said, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel — God with us. God is coming to the earth, he will be with us. And the prophet tells us more.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The men of earth have often been in much confusion and many a wrong choice has been made but the great Counselor is coming. There has been much conflict but the Prince of Peace is coming. Many a king has failed to rule honorably but the King is coming who will rule righteously on his throne forever. And then the greatest news of all, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The types and shadows have pictured it, every lamb offered on a Jewish altar foreshadowed it. Now the prophet proclaims it — the Savior of sinners is coming.
An angel spoke to Joseph and said,
“Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost…Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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 1:20b, 22-23).
God the Creator coming to live on the earth he created. The God-man, Jesus Christ, here on the earth to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and to set at liberty those that are bruised.
And the message of the angel to Joseph included these wonderful words, “And she shall bring forth a son, and hou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Man was in desperate need of a Savior. Sin had separated him from God. Sin had brought trouble and sorrow. Sin had brought destruction and death. Sin would ultimately bring eternal damnation.
He willingly laid down his life at Calvary. That’s why he came. He came to do the Father’s will and it was the Father’s will that of all who were given him he should lose none of them.
He went to the cross not to make salvation a possibility but a reality. The sins of his people were laid upon him. He became sin for them that they might be made the righteousness of God in him. He was made a curse for them. He paid the price and he got what he paid for. Isaiah said, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” He saw the suffering and anguish he must endure, but he knew victory was ahead. He was not defeated, he was not disappointed but satisfied.
What a triumph that atonement was made for sin! There is hope for fallen sinners. No sinner has sunk to such depths but what he can be rescued by this great Savior. No convicted soul need go down in despair. Hear the words of the Apostle Paul, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). And Jesus himself said, “Him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Not only is there joy in sinner’s heart, there is joy in heaven over one sinners that repents. You may say, “I wish I had that joy, I wish my sins were washed away and that I was at peace with God.” Here’s the promise, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Remember it is not your merit but his grace. It is not your works but his work. What a Savior we have!
His reign continues, his sovereign rule is undisturbed. Some day he’s coming back and all that was accomplished at the cross and confirmed by his resurrection will be fully enjoyed by all the redeemed. For them there will be no more sin, no more conflict, no more sorrow; but eternal joy in the presence of the one who redeemed them. Triumphant songs of praise will resound throughout the heavenly land as they sing aloud, “Thou art worthy for thou hast redeemed us with thy own precious blood.”
The Bible declares, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” (Psalm 92:1). The Scriptures abound with exhortations to give thanks and we find many accounts, from the Old Testament to the New, of thanks being offered up to God.
As we come to the last Sunday of our Anniversary Month, we emphasize once again the theme of giving glory to God. The importance of giving glory to God is, of course, a very basic truth; but we sometimes are so concerned about our problems that we forget our first concern should be to give glory to God no matter what our circumstances may be. We hope you will write us and request our 67th Anniversary packet, or you can make a donation here on the website and request the packet.All Sermons by Lasserre Bradley, Jr.