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Christmas is here: the Lord has come! Part 1

December 17, 2014

Grace to you! Christmas will soon be here! We are going to look at some amazing issues surrounding the birth of Christ. This week we will look at an Old Testament book that spoke about Christ’s birth BEFORE He was ever born! Long ago, God had promised over and over that One will come someday who will put an end to sin, death, and the devil. The Old Testament, all the books written before Jesus was born, spoke often of a future deliverer, a descendent from David, a greater king who would come to this earth and bring God’s kingdom and rule. This week we will look at one of the many, many predictions surrounding the birth of the Messiah, which means God’s anointed one.

Micah was a rather obscure prophet and messenger of God. He was a contemporary of such great prophets like Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. He lived during a difficult time when Israel was about to be overrun by the conquering Assyrians. God had told the people of Israel that if they would not return to Him that He would send an invading army who would capture them and lead them away from the land of Israel. The people sat in their smugness thinking God would not judge His people. But Micah comes with a dire warning of impeding danger.

Micah in the midst of predicting judgment does give a word of hope that after the judgment God will restore a people for Himself. How was God going to do this? God Himself would be the rescuer but somehow it’s going to be by a physically born king. How can this be? Hear what Micah said 700 years before Jesus was born: Micah 5:2 2 “but as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

Wow! Listen to what Micah says how a king will come from Bethlehem Ephrathah, a no name place like most of Marion County, who will rule over God’s people. But here’s where it gets interesting: it says His going forth is from ‘eternity’! Only God is eternal. The future deliverer will be both a man born in Bethlehem but also God! God will somehow take on human flesh. This is exactly what we see with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. God Himself came to be born of the virgin to live and die to take away our sins…just as the prophecy told us 700 years before Jesus was born. Jesus now reigns as king in heaven. We now await the return of Christ to bring in an everlasting Christmas for all those who trust in Him. It’s why we speak of Jesus as Immanuel. It literally means, “God with us” just like the prophets foretold!

Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Sunday Service: 10:45 AM. Visit our web page: www.southwhitwellbaptist.webs.com

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