God With Us
In Matthew 1:15-23 God’s angel spoke to Joseph concerning Mary, his espoused wife, concerning the conception of the baby in Mary’s womb. The virgin birth of Jesus, as well as His name had been prophesied 700 years earlier by the prophet in Isaiah 7:14. There we read that the baby’s name would be Immanuel.
In the Matthew 1 account that virgin birth of Jesus was explained to Joseph, who would naturally be concerned about it. In that account the name Immanuel is confirmed, but this time the spelling is with a capital E. The main thing about this baby’s name is that it means “God with us.” In verse 25 of Matthew 1 we learn that Joseph called the baby’s name, Jesus. To see the connection of the name Jesus with that of Emmanuel, read the message, under this CHRISTMAS category, “Who is the Christmas Child?”
Truly Jesus is “God with us”. Those of us who have received Him as Saviour and Lord, know His presence in our lives very intimately. We have no question as to who Jesus is. He is not only our Saviour and Lord, but He is our very life. He is more real and precious to us than anyone or anything on this earth.
JESUS IS GOD OUR CREATOR.
God was with us human beings long before He was born as the baby Jesus in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. This same Jesus who was born in a manger and who died on a cross for our sins, is God the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This creation, a mass of atoms, is held together by Christ Himself, according to Colossians 1:13-17.
Preaching Christ in Athens as recorded in Acts 17:28-31, The Apostle Paul announces that “in Him we live and move and have our being.” The natural man now, as then, blindly seeks after his own idea of God, but ignores and rebels vociferously against the God of the Bible, “though He is not far from any of us.”
Even as Jesus ministered to the people, performing miracles in their presence; they blindly rejected Him as God incarnate. It’s true that in a personal way, Jesus is not with the unbeliever; although He keeps unbelievers alive by His power.
SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD.
Note in Isaiah 59:1-2 that our sins have separated God from us. Isaiah 53:1-6 teaches us that our sins have separated us from God. Though the atoms of the unbeliever’s body are held together by the power of God, the unbeliever has no sense of God’s presence. He is a stranger and outcast to God. The only way a sinner and God can be in fellowship is for the sin problem to be settled first. God has settled the sin problem by coming to this earth as the man Jesus and dying on a cross, paying the full penalty that we deserved to pay for our sins.
Those who receive Christ as Saviour are instantly brought into fellowship with God. Those who reject the Saviour are banished from His presence now and through eternity. The unbeliever’s problem is not an intellectual one; it is a moral problem.
The natural man rejects Jesus and wants nothing to do with Him. The hatred is emotional and irrational. I’ve never seen nor heard a rational man get angry and upset about Santa Claus or the Easter bunny, which they know is pure fiction. Yet even in the natural man’s denial of Christ, he is consumed with irrational hatred towards Him and towards those who preach the need to receive and trust Him as Saviour.
Ultimately it took the shedding of Jesus’ blood on Calvary’s cross and His bodily resurrection from the tomb to save us. We must admit our need of Him as sinners and trust His sacrifice for our sins. John 1:11-13 explains it as receiving Christ as Saviour.
The repentant thief on the cross did so and was with Christ in Heaven that day. The Roman centurion who directed the crucifixion of Christ, also received Jesus as God. and I believe, Saviour.
What sent the shepherds back to their sheep in the field that first Christmas night? They recognized that baby in the manger as the Son of God, their Creator and Saviour.
GOD CREATED US TO BE WITH HIM AND ENJOY HIM FOREVER.
When God created the universe and mankind, He did it for His pleasure. Read Revelation 4:11, Psalm 147:10-11, Psalm 149:4
God gets no pleasure In the death and the punishment of the wicked in Hell. Read the question in Ezekiel 18:23 The implied answer is “Of course not!” Rather, it is God’s pleasure to give us the Kingdom. Luke 12:29-32. God saved us for His pleasure, according to Ephesians 1.
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
Adam and Eve were created to walk daily with God in the Garden of Eden. Sin broke that fellowship and Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God. God found them and provided a blood sacrifice to cover their sins temporarily. Eventually, Jesus the Lamb of God, was the perfect and final sacrifice for sin. Thos who receive Him are saved. Those who reject Him are lost.
Christians are saved to enjoy constant fellowship with God. However, sin hinders that fellowship. Only as we confess our sins to God, does He forgive us and restore us to fellowship. That’s the messages of I John 1.
In our perfect, sinless state in Heaven. we will live in constant fellowship with God. Satan will be in hell and unable to tempt us. We will have glorified bodies, incapable of sin. We will enjoy total intimacy with God. That was the Psalmist’s desire in Psalm 42:1-2. That was Paul’s and is our desire as Christians. Philippians 3:10. That will be our experience throughout eternity. Revelation 21:3.
IMAGINE! FOREVER IN HIS PRESENCE! WHAT WILL THAT MEAN?
In Heaven we shall see Him.
We can’t see Him now in these physical bodies. John 1:18, I Peter 1:8
At best, we see Him darkly now through His Word. I Corinthians 13:12
He is presently unapproachable now in His glory. I Timothy 6:16
Moses saw a glimpse of His glory. Exodus 33:12-13
The pure in heart will one day see Him. Matthew 5:8
One day we shall be like Him. We are presently being made ready to live in His sight through the process of sanctification. I John 3:1-3, Psalm 17:1,15 Even now, through the process of sanctification we are being gradually changed from one degree of glory to another as we spend time in His presence in His Word and in prayer. II Corinthians 3:18
In Heaven we shall adore and worship Him perfectly. That adoration and worship ought to be going on now constantly 24/7/365,
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