Where the Bible reads, "Let this mind be in you. 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 and a death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things of heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
Now this is really an amazing scripture, and it really talks about the most amazing story that there is, which is the birth of Christ. The reason why the birth of Christ is such an amazing event is that God became flesh and dwelled among us. That's a mind-boggling thought. Here it says that he was in the form of God, and he thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Jesus Christ was equal with God. The Bible says in the beginning was the word. The word was with God. The word was God. Then the Bible says, "The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glories of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth." The Bible says here that he who thought it not robbery to be equal with God made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. How could God, Almighty God the creator of the universe, become a human being? Become flesh? Become a mortal man? It's truly an amazing thing.
Go to first Timothy chapter number three. First Timothy chapter number three. Remember that Jesus Christ was born as a little baby. In the familiar story that people often read at Christmas time, Luke chapter two, it talks about how the shepherds are keeping watch over their flocks by night, and the angel comes, and tells them, "Unto to you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord." They go to see this great sight, and when they show up the bible says they found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laying in a manger.
Now keep in mind when Jesus Christ was born he was a baby in every sense of the word. Now in the Koran, which is written by an illiterate pedophile buffoon ... It's one of the most ridiculous books ever written, let alone being a false religion. It's just bad literature. It's just a piece of junk in every sense of the word. In the Koran it tells this crazy story about how when Jesus was a baby he was just talking and stuff. Like an adult would talk. Just ... He comes out of the womb, and he just starts talking, and everything like that. Obviously that's ridiculous because we know that Jesus Christ took upon himself the form of a man, and he basically went through the phases of life that a normal, ordinary person would go through.
Now look down at your Bible there in first Timothy chapter number three, and the Bible reads in verse 16, "And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness." Without controversy means nobody can really argue with this. The fact that this is a great mystery that God was manifest in the flesh. Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, and then there's a comma, and it says justified in the spirit. Now we haven't changed subjects here. There's one subject in this sentence, God. This is a list of things that apply to God here. It says, "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." There's no new subject there.
It's saying God was believed on in the world, God was received up into glory, God was manifest in the flesh, and of course these are all things that Jesus did. Jesus was the one who was preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory, so this is a great scripture to prove that Jesus Christ is God. You better have a King James Bible in your hand, because all the modern versions will twist this verse, and take out God, and just say, "He ... He appeared in a body," or something along those lines.
The Bible says, "God was manifest in the flesh." That's one of the most powerful statements in the whole Bible. God was manifest in the flesh. That's amazing, that's mind-boggling, how could God become a human being? It's unbelievable. Not only that, but I truly believe in the humanity of Jesus Christ. Now not only was Jesus Christ divine, but he was also a human being. This is amazing. Now a lot people, they shy away from preaching on the humanity of Jesus Christ, because they have the misguided, mistaken belief that it somehow takes away from his deity. They're so zealous of the fact that Jesus is God, which he is God in the flesh I just showed you, and so many other scriptures make it crystal clear that he was God in the form of man. That he was in the beginning with God, he was God, he's the word made flesh. It doesn't take away from his deity though to realize that not only was he 100% God, he was also a human being. He was also man. He's called the son of God, and the son of man both.
Now look down ... Did I have you turn to Luke two? Go to Luke chapter two. This is the famous chapter that people often turn to around Christmas time, but I want to point out a different part of this chapter. At the very end of chapter two this is when he gets a little bit older, this is when Jesus is actually 12 years old. If you look down at your Bible there in verse number 49, "He said unto them, how is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" He's saying, "Didn't you know that I would be about my Father's business?"
He's not talking about carpentry, he's talking about preaching the word of God. It says this, "They understood not the saying which he spake unto them," this is referring to Joseph and his mother, his parents, "And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them, and he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them. But his mother kept all these sayings in her heart," watch this, "And Jesus increased in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and man."
Not only did Jesus increase in stature, meaning that he physically grew ... he got taller is what that means, he increased in stature, but it says that he also increased in wisdom. Now that's interesting, because you say, "Jesus already had maximum wisdom." No, he increased in wisdom. Go back to Mark 13. Just a couple of pages to the left in your Bible. You only have to turn a few pages to the left to find this.
In Mark chapter 13, this is the famous passage about Christ second coming in the clouds, and what we commonly refer to as the Rapture where those who are saved would be caught up together with him in the clouds. When he talks about this he says in verse 32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man. No. Not the angels which are in Heaven. Neither the Son, but the Father." Here Jesus is saying that not only does no man on the earth know the day, or the hour of his second coming, he's saying that he doesn't even know the day or the hour of the second coming. Do you see that? He says, "Man doesn't know, the angels don't know, the Son of God doesn't even know. Only the Father knows".
That's because when Jesus was on this Earth, He did not know everything the moment he was born. He was a baby. He didn't just come out of the womb, just born, just talking in complete sentences, he already knows everything, because he's God in the flesh. No, in reality he took upon himself the form of a man. He took upon the weakness and limitations that come with being man. In the sense that Jesus was hungry, Jesus was thirsty, Jesus was tired. Jesus Christ went through the whole human experience. The Bible says that he was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He went through an actual human life, and he felt human emotions, and actually he had to learn things growing up. In the sense that he's a baby he had to learn how to walk, he had to learn how to talk, he had to learn things, and that's why it says he increased in wisdom. That's why while he was on this earth robed in flesh before he was glorified he did not know the date of the second coming. It's crystal clear right there.
It's funny how other people think that they know. People are making these predictions, and as if anyone would know when Jesus said, I don't even know. Only the Father knows. Now I'm sure that Jesus knows it now, but I'm talking about while he's human, on this earth, before he was a glorified human being when he's just in his mortal condition. He said, "The Son does not know."
Go to Luke chapter number 22. This is one of my favorite scriptures on the humanity of Christ. Luke chapter ... number 22. Once you actually understand the Bible you'll realize that Jesus Christ's humanity does not take away from his glory, or take away from his divinity, it actually adds to his glory, I believe. Because he did something that is so mind-boggling that he actually had the power to become man. Not to just go through the motions. I think that's what sometimes people think when they think about Jesus living a sinless life, and they think about him being a human being. I think sometimes we just say, "Oh, yeah. Jesus came to this earth. He lived a perfect life, because he's God." He's God, of course he could live a perfect life, but what we don't understand though is that actually there was a challenge there. He had to work at it. What do I mean by that?
Look at Luke chapter 22. This is obviously the hardest thing that Jesus had to go through when he's going to be crucified. The Bible says in verse number 39, "He came out, and went as he was wont to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples also followed Him, and when he was at the place He said unto them, 'Pray that ye enter not into temptation', and He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed saying, 'Father, if thou be willing remove this cup from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done', And there appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven strengthening Him," encouraging him.
Look what the Bible says next, "And being in agony he prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground, and when he arose from prayer, and was come to his disciples He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, 'Why sleep ye? Rise and pray lest ye enter into temptation.'" Look, we can see Jesus is in an agony, and he's saying to the Father, "If it be possible let this cup pass from me." He didn't want to go through all the pain and torture of being beaten and whipped. The Bible says that he endured the cross despising the shame.
Jesus Christ did not want to be mocked, made fun of, spat upon, beaten, physically harmed, tortured with the whip, and nailed to a cross. This is something that if you knew you were about to go through this the next day you'd be going ... you'd be in an agony too wouldn't you? Yet Jesus Christ endured the cross the Bible says. He became obedient unto death. Obedient under the will of the Father. Even the death of the cross. The reason why this is so amazing that Jesus Christ had such humanity is that we as human beings, we can't comprehend the greatness of God. This is where people get into false doctrine when they think that they're smart enough to basically comprehend God's greatness.
For example, one of the biggest false doctrines out there is called Calvinism, and it's this idea that everything been foreordained, and we don't actually have any free will over our lives. We don't have free will whether we get saved or not. It's just God who controls everything, which basically reduces man to being a robot. When you say that people just say, "Oh, Pastor Anderson. You just don't understand the deep theology of Calvinism." No, no. There's nothing deep about it. It's the most shallow doctrine ever, because it reduces God to like a computer programmer.
Man can make a machine that just carries out his will. Man can create something that would just do his will, and that's what Calvinism teaches. That the ungodly are just doing his will. Just wheep, wheep, wheep, wheep, and that the godly are doing his will. Wheep, wheep, wheep. It's just like God's up in heaven, and he's got two sets of action figures, and he's just playing by himself basically. Just controlling people that ... See they've reduced God to a level that they can understand.
They bring God down to man's level where they can understand, because they understand, "Oh, I can make robots that'll do my will." That's what we are basically according to Calvinist paradigm. We are glorified robots that just do God's will. Think about all the wicked, perverted things that go on in this world. You think God's behind it? You think God's controlling that? You think that's God's will? Of course not. What about this? God's not willing that any should perish. Do many perish?
Speaker 2: Yep.
P. Anderson: Then apparently God's will is not always taking place, is it? If God will have all men to be saved, and to come into knowledge of the truth, that's not happening. God's will is our sanctification that we should abstain from fornication. What about Christians who indulge in fornication? That's not God's will, but that's the free will of man, and he can choose to do right or wrong, and he often chooses to do wrong. This Calvinist doctrine is a simply dragging God down to the level of man, but God can do something that no man can do.
God has created a being with free will. See man can create computers and, "Oh, I created this computer, and it's so many gigabytes, and it's so intelligent of a computer." Here's the thing about it though, it's just a machine that will just do what you tell it to do. It can't really think on it's own, and make decisions on it's own. It doesn't have free will. Only God can create a being with free will. It's amazing, but then what I think is even more amazing than that is how God can actually become flesh, and dwell among us, and not just go through the ... not just pretend. See, God didn't just pretend like he's going to come down, and he's going to take on a flesh body and say, "Here I am living life and showing you a sinless life, and I'm going through everything," and in reality he's just sitting back, and it's easy because he's just ... he's God, and he doesn't really have the limitations of man.
No, no, no, he actually was in a flesh body where he experienced pain, where he actually was born as a baby, and grew up, and learned things, and increased in wisdom. Where he actually suffered hunger, thirst, emotions of anger, and sadness, and sorrow. It's really an amazing story. I think it's the greatest miracle of all time. It's just that God could be born as a baby.
Where you could look at a baby in a manger. The baby is not even able to speak. It's a human, fragile little baby that relies on his mother to feed him, and to wrap him in swaddling clothes, and lay him in the manger. That is amazing when you stop to think about what a ... just what a miracle that is. How God could put himself in that position. It's really just mind-boggling. I think it's just a great story in the Bible, and it's a true story, it's history. That's one of the greatest things about celebrating Christmas I think is just understanding the greatest story ever told. The most amazing miracle that has ever taken place in the history of mankind.
Not to mention the virgin birth. That's often emphasized that, hey, he's born of a virgin. That ... obviously that's a major miracle, but to me the God who parts the Red Sea ... It reminds me of where the apostle Paul said, "Does it really seem marvelous to you that God should raise the dead?" He's God. He created the whole universe in six days, He parted the Red Sea, He obviously ... The fact that he can be born of a virgin ... he's God. To me the bigger miracle is that God was even manifest in the flesh in the first place, and that he went through all of the sufferings, and he was obedient unto death.
Think about it. He even said to them that he could've called 12 legions of angels ... he even said it, because they're saying, "Hey. Save thyself and us if you're the Christ, the Son of the living God." He says, "I could call now to my Father, and he would send 12 legions of angels to deliver me, but then how then would the scripture be fulfilled?" How could we be saved if he would've backed out? You know what he's basically saying there is that he could've backed out. He still had to make that decision to be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The Bible says, "Wherefore God also had highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Now where some people get confused on this great miracle they sometimes get hung up on the fact that Jesus is called the Son of God, but that he also is referred to as God himself. They say, "Which one is it?" Again, man tries to reduce God to a level where he can understand. When you come at somebody with the idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one they don't like that, because it's too complicated for them. They want to simplify it down to either the false doctrine that Jesus is not God, or else they'll simplify it down to the false doctrine of like a Jesus only movement or whatever. That there's no trinity. That there's no three-in-one as the Bible teaches.
They struggle with that, but the Bible actually specifically tells us why he is called the Son of God. Because you say, "How is he God, and the Son of God?" People will make fun of this and say, "Is God his own son?" Here's the thing, people who make fun of the Bible are blasphemous, and they're scoffers, and they're going to burn in Hell. It's that simple. You say, "How do we convince them? How do we prove it to them?" The bottom line is that some people are just not going to be convinced.
The Bible says, "He that is unjust let him be unjust still. He that is filthy let him be filthy still." All we can do is preach the gospel. We can preach the word of God, and those of us who are saved, "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it's the power of God." We hear of the doctrines of the trinity, we hear of the birth of Christ, we hear the divinity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, and we stand in awe saying, "This is the greatest story that's ever been told". Let the world scoff, and mock, and be an idiot about it. Their story is the stupidest story ever told that everything exploded from the big bang, and that we're descended from monkeys. That's the stupidest, most carnal, ridiculous, powerless story I've ever heard, and it's a lie.
Look down at your Bible, Luke chapter one. I think you're in Luke chapter two. Go back to Luke chapter one, and I'll show you a verse that explains why Jesus is called the son of God. Because we know that he is God. The Bible tells in Colossians chapter one that he created all things. John chapter one tells us that Jesus created all things. The Bible of course in many places, for example Hebrews 1:8 says, "But unto the Son He saith, 'Thy throne oh God is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom'". Many scriptures teach that Jesus is God, but Luke chapter one verse 35 explains why Jesus is called the son of God.
Start in verse 34, then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be seeing I know not a man?" And the angel answered, and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost 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."
The Bible explains here why he's called the son of God, and that is simply because he did not have an earthly father. Simply because of the fact that he's born of a virgin. Simply because of the fact that Mary had not known man by lying with him, and so she is saying, "How am I going to have this child?", and he says that "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the high shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that holy thing thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." There's the biblical reason for him being called the son of God, because he has no earthly father, so therefore the only father that he can look to humanly speaking is God the Father. He's a human being. He's born of an earthly mother, and the father is God the Father. Basically that's why he's known as the son of man, and he's known as the Son of God all throughout scripture.
Again, this doesn't take away from his deity the fact that he's called the son of God. Just because man's logic struggles to understand something that just means that our minds that are not great enough to comprehend all the depths of the mystery of godliness. Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. Just the fact that God was manifest in the flesh is amazing enough in and of itself.
As we celebrate over the next few days ... I know that people have their plans whether it's getting together with family, getting together with friends, whether it's a big ham dinner ... Woo. It's amazing. People think we're in the Old Testament or something. You need to read the New Testament. That's why we eat ham on Christmas is just Jesus Christ is born, and he came to bring in the New Testament, and part of that includes ham. That's part of the package. Whatever your plans include; giving of gifts, and rejoicing, and maybe reading the Christmas story as a family. Reading Luke chapter two together, and just celebrating, and thinking about the birth of Christ.
Just don't let the miracle of it pass you by. Don't let it just go by like, "Oh, yeah. Jesus ... that's the birth of Christ." I've even heard some people that are down on Christmas say, "You're making too big of a deal out of the birth of Christ." They say, "Emphasize the death, burial, and resurrection. Don't make such a big deal about the birth." Here's the thing though, we need to make a big deal about all of it, because all of it is important. We can't just say, "Just only talk about this one part." No, it's all in the scripture. It's all profitable for doctrine.
I think it's great to stop and think about this amazing miracle, because of the fact that he could never die for our sins if he hadn't been born as a human being, which is amazing. Not only that, but he had to live that sinless life. He had to spend 33 and some odd years on this earth living that sinless, perfect life, so that he could be that spotless lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world. He couldn't do that if he would've sinned, or lived a tainted life. In order to have our righteousness come from Jesus he had to live that righteous life. It's all part of God's master plan for the redemption of mankind when the Father sent the son to be savior of the world.
When you read the story of the birth of Christ it emphasizes his mission to save the world, because what do the angels tell the shepherds, "On you was born on this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ Lord," so right from the beginning that's the thing that's emphasized. Hey, there's a savior that's been born and then when he's taken to the temple a week later and Simeon comes and looks upon the baby, he says, "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation". When he's looking at Jesus and even when it's being announced unto Joseph that Mary is going to give birth to this child, "Thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins".
That's what the birth of Christ is all about. It's the birth of a savior. It's the birth of that sinless son of God that would live that perfect life and then sacrifice himself for the sins of the world to be the savior of the world, motivated by love. The Bible says, "For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life". What was it that motivated Jesus to go to the cross? It was his love because the Bible says that he, for the joy that was set before him, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross despising the shame and set down at the right hand at the throne of God. What's that joy that was set before him? There's rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God, right, over one sinner that repented.
The Bible says that there's great joy in heaven. There's great joy in rejoicing in souls that are saved. Even the apostle Paul looked at those who made one to Christ and said, "Ye are our glory and joy," you are our rejoicing in the day of Christ Jesus. That joy of seeing people get saved, that joy of people being redeemed by the blood of Christ, that's what motivated him. The Bible says of course, that he loved us, hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
It was definitely love that motivated Jesus Christ to go through with it when he's sweating and in agony and humanly speaking, not wanting to go forward with it because who in the world would? I mean think about it, obviously humanly speaking it's dread to have to go through something like that. That's why he's in agony the night before saying, "Not my will but thine be done". What's that show you? That humanly speaking he had his own will of, I don't want to do this because who would want to be shamed and spat on and beaten. Anyone who takes what I'm preaching tonight and says, "Oh, you know, you're dragging down Jesus to human level and yada, yada, yada," you know what, it just shows that they're missing out on the great mystery of God.
That's one of the most amazing teachings of the Bible. They're actually reducing Christ's glory, they're not defending Christ's glory. They're actually reducing it because I actually love him more, I love Jesus more because of his humanity. When I read the stories and see the human side it makes me love him more. It makes me want to glorify him more.
Now let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for the savior Lord and for salvation that's only found in Jesus. Lord, we know that there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Lord, I just pray that in the next few days people would emphasize Jesus and that they wouldn't get caught up in the ... all this meaningless nonsense of the world of Santa or reindeer or Rudolph because the world has nothing to rejoice about. They don't even know what Christmas even means and Lord help us as God's people to fill them in and to make sure that Jesus Christ is glorified in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our city. Lord, help us to magnify the name of Jesus over the next few days in our hearts and in our lives. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
All right, let's go ahead and sing one more song. We broke the record again. Man, that bell is just ringing every service now. How many people do we have here tonight? 145, what was the old record for Wednesday night? 140, all right, great, so 145 people here tonight, which is our new Wednesday night record.