Angels - First to Proclaim the Message #2

December 9, 2006

Introduction:
1.  We want to wrap-up our 2 part series of our ABF study on the subject of Christmas.
2.  Give brief Update on the Living Nativity –
3.  As we mentioned the last couple of weeks, it’s interesting to consider something (event, decision, etc.) through the eyes of another person
- when you do that – your perspective can change!
- it’s good for us to look at something from a different perspective – it helps us to avoid ‘ruts’ and doing the same thing the same way over and over again!
- God is certainly predictable, yet the extremely creative!
4.  It’s good for us to push the pause button and look at a situation through the eyes of another person
-  that’s why the Gospels and the epistles are so interesting – they present the message of Christ from different perspectives (life situations)
5.  While the Christmas season can mean a lot of different things to different people –we want to make sure we have a biblical perspective on these events
- Let’s consider: Christmas Through the Eyes of Angels – The First to Proclaim the Message
- Let’s RE-READ the following passages:
 Matthew 1:18-25 – Get a person to read v. 18-21, another for v. 22-25
 Luke 1:26-38 – Get a person to read v. 26-33, another for v. 34-38
 Luke 2:1-14 – Get a person to read v. 1-7, another for v. 8-14
*  We want to study 5 unique messages the angels give regarding the events of that incredible day!
- for those of you who were not able to be here last week, here is a brief review of what we studied:
1.  Angels are created beings – they are NOT eternal
2.  Angels were created with a will – the ability to choose to obey God or reject Him
* The purpose for which they were created: To bring glory to God
angel = messenger, one who is sent, a representative
3.  Under the leadership of Lucifer, the Chief Angel of worship & praise, some of the angels ‘fell’ from grace and rebelled against God and were expelled from heaven (cf. Isa. 14:12)
4.  The word of ‘angels’ is actually neuter – i.e. it’s neither male nor female [Note: But every time a specific angel is named (e.g. Gabriel, Lucifer, Michael), it’s always a male gender]
5.  Keep in mind, angels are spirit beings – they are not made of flesh and blood as we are, and they are not made in the image and likeness of God
6. Angels know Who God is and understand His power!
 James 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
- we also pointed out an angel proclaimed . . .


  I.  The Message of a Unique Plan – Matthew 1:21


- the angel in this case boldly proclaimed the plan of . . .
A. Christ the Redeemer
Redeem = to buy back
- which implies a price, a rescue FROM something TO something
- this plan and the message started back in Gen. 3 – especially v. 15
 Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."
- to think about man’s sinfulness for a moment  may help you to better understand the magnitude of our sin – i.e. what God had to redeem us from!
- we spent some time thinking about the sins of mankind in the OT, NT, and today!
- let’s go back to Luke 1 and see the plan that Gabriel announced to Mary
[TEACHERS – this is where we STOPPED last week]
B.  Christ the King – Luke 1:32-33
- the angels understood the power of the Lord God and He could give whatever He wants to whomever He wants
- Gabriel announced 3 key phrases about the plan of God to give certain positions and authority to this Child:
1.  “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David”
- this goes all the way back to the Lord’s promise to David that his seed would not depart from the throne of Israel
 2 Samuel 7:13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 "Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever." 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
- the fulfillment of the prophesy has to do with God’s integrity – Does He or does He not keep His promises?  YES HE DOES!!
[Note: Given the fact that He was rejected, and other passages, the ultimate fulfillment of this promise will be seen when Christ sets up His millennial kingdom on the earth and rules from the Throne of David, in Jerusalem, for 1,000 years!]
- right now, Jesus is seated in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God, but one day, He will sit on the throne of David and rule this earth as the Prince of Peace, as the King of Kings
** I hope you get excited about that truth!
2.  “…He will reign over the house of Jacob forever”
- this establishes Christ’s lineage to Abraham and is part of the Abrahamic covenant
 Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;  2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
- Isaac was the son of Abraham, Jacob was the son of Isaac (but Jacob was the 2nd son of Jacob; he bought the birth-right from Esau, the 1st son (Esau exchanged this great privilege for food [he was hungry] – he gave up the eternal blessing for a temporal blessing!!!)
- the birth-right was being in the position of lineage of the promised Messiah – and with that came blessings just like God promised!
Q: Do you think there are any lessons we can learn from that situation?
 making temporal decisions over eternal one
 letting our bodies control us to point where we forfeit God’s blessings because we give into the flesh
3.  “…of His kingdom there will be no end” = eternal authority
- How fitting it was for the angel, Gabriel, to announce this: 
> He had already seen the struggle in the heavens with Lucifer, and how the created being, along with all those who joined him, were expelled from heaven!
> that demonstrated God’s authority as Creator!
- it’s for this reason that Paul could write in Phil. 2:
 Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Point:  All of life is about the glory of God being revealed through the Christ and His kingdom -as Pastor Goode used to say: “The KING and His DOMAIN!”
- that why Jesus would later say:
 Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
-that’s why Paul would write to the church at Colossae:
 Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
- let’s apply this truth to our lives:
Q: How are you letting this perspective impact your life?
• examples of you submitting to your King
• examples of you trying to advance His kingdom
- Since Joseph and Mary both either questioned or did not fully understand what was about to happen . . . Gabriel gave them . . .


II.  The Message of a Unique Power


A.  “for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” – Matt. 1:20
- there are 3 references to the Holy Spirit in the passage we read – Gabriel mentioned it twice – once in his statement to Joseph (Mt. 1:20) and once to Mary (Lk. 1:35)
Q: what is the significance of this?
> The Holy Spirit is the 3rd Person of the Trinity – Gen. 1 makes it clear He was present at creation
- there are hundreds of mention of Him in the OT and NT – He’s not a force, He is a Being – He is God and therefore has unlimited power!
- HE (Holy Spirit) was the source of the miraculous event – the entire God-head is involved
B.  “the power of the most High will over shadow you” – Luke 1:35
“Gabriel explained that this would be a miracle, the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Joseph, her betrothed, would not be the father of the child (Matt. 1:18–25), even though Jesus would be legally identified as the son of Joseph (Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42). It’s possible that some people thought Mary had been unfaithful to Joseph and that Jesus was “born of fornication” (John 8:41). This was a part of the pain that Mary had to bear all her life (Luke 2:35).   - Wiersbe
- think about who Luke is writing to: the Greeks
Q: What do you know about the Greek culture that would make this statement HIGHLY significant to his audience?
A: The Greeks were known for their numerous gods – Example: Zeus and a lot of others!
Point: For Luke to write ‘the power of the MOST HIGH will over shadow you’ puts the God of Heaven in a different category – the most HIGH, the supreme, above all others!
- that’s the God we serve!
“The angel ended his message by giving Mary a word of encouragement: her aged relative Elizabeth was with child, proving that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” God gave a similar word to Abraham when He announced the birth of Isaac (Gen. 18:14). That our God can do anything is the witness of many, including Job (Job 42:2), Jeremiah (Jer. 32:17), and even our Lord Jesus (Matt. 19:26). I personally like the translation of this verse found in the 1901 American Standard Version: “For no word of God shall be void of power.” God accomplishes His purposes through the power of His Word (Ps. 33:9). - Wiersbe
Input: Can you think of other passages of Scripture that speak of the power of the God ‘most High’? [various answers]
 Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Q: What are you facing right now that is challenging your belief in the power of God?
[just like Mary and Joseph were facing – you’re thinking, “How can this happen?”]
Example: Two Blind Men’s faith was tested when Jesus healed him – and Jesus’ ability or power as God was put to the test!
 Matthew 9:28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."
Example:  When God told Abraham about having a child and Sarah laughed:
 Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."
Input: What are some examples in your life where God demonstrated His power?
[various answers]
- the angels also gave us . . . 


III.  The Message of a Unique Person


- for the Jew, names mean a lot – we don’t pay as much attention to the meaning of our names in our culture, but this was not true in the OT and even in some cultures today
- the angel that appeared to Joseph in Matthew 1:21 said:
A.  You will call His name Jesus . . . for He will save His people from their sins.
- this child was going to be the Savior
Input: What does that statement imply about man, about Jesus, about the future, etc.?
 Man – that man is sinful and NEEDS a Savior
[Note: That’s why we start the Living Nativity with the Genesis scene and Noah’s ark – to remind our community about the sinfulness of man and our need of a Savior
 Jesus – that He was qualified and was born to die [Explain the sacrificial system in the OT – how it had to be a spotless lamb, no flaws]
 Future – there would be a ‘rescue’ – a promise fulfilled
- in Mt. 1:23 the angel announced another name . . .
B.  The virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
Input: What are the implications of that statement?
- God was going to be clothed in human flesh – to become a man, like His creation (that’s HUMILITY!)
> this is what is known as the incarnation
- think about how that should affect our life . . . knowing that God is with us
- how would that help us handle temptation? . . . respond to the sin of others knowing God is with us? . . . handling discouragement or facing trials ?
Point: God is with us – that is THE source of power and strength available to us in order to bring glory to Him!
C.  Son of God
 Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
“Gabriel was careful to point out that the Baby would be a “holy thing” and would not share the sinful human nature of man. Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21), He did no sin (1 Peter 2:22), and He had no sin (1 John 3:5). His body was prepared for Him by the Spirit of God (Heb. 10:5) who “overshadowed” Mary. That word is applied to the presence of God in the holy of holies in the Jewish tabernacle and temple (Ex. 40:35). Mary’s womb became a holy of holies for the Son of God!” - Wiersbe
- let’s conclude our study by focusing on . . . .


IV.  The Message of a Unique Praise – Luke 2:10-14 [READ the verses again]


- it doesn’t say they were singing – it simply says they were ‘praising God’ and ‘said’ . . .
“Glory to God in the highest . . .!
Input: For what would you like to praise God this morning? [not only for something God has done, is doing, but for Who He is!
[mention the Walking with the Master study next year – probably our spring emphasis until we get to the Community Center GRAND Opening – fitting into theme (TBA)!]


V.  The Message of a Unique Presence – Luke 1:28


- in addition to His name being called Immanuel (God with us) – the angel got specific and applied the message specifically to Mary
“The Lord is with you” – just as the Lord was with Mary, He is with us – He literally lives and dwells inside the heart (inner man) of those who know Him as their Lord and Savior:
 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Summary: 
1.  Christmas ought to remind us the message we proclaim is an incredible truth.
2.  We are His ‘ambassadors’ – sent from God above –like the angels, we are His messengers!
 2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Q: Are we faithful to proclaim that message of His coming . . .
> But more importantly, the message of the Gospel – His death, burial, and resurrection!


ABF: Christmas Series
“Christmas Through the Eyes of Angels – First to Announce the Message” – Part 2
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-14
Introduction:
1.  Angels are created beings – they are NOT eternal
2.  Angels were created with a will – the ability to choose to obey God or reject Him
* The purpose for which they were created: To bring glory to God
angel = messenger, one who is sent, a representative
3.  Under the leadership of Lucifer, the Chief Angel of worship & praise, some of the angels ‘fell’ from grace and rebelled against God and were expelled from heaven (cf. Isa. 14:12)
4.  The word of ‘angels’ is actually neuter – i.e. it’s neither male nor female [Note: But every time a specific angel is named (e.g. Gabriel, Lucifer, Michael), it’s always a male gender]
5.  Keep in mind, angels are spirit beings – they are not made of flesh and blood as we are, and they are not made in the image and likeness of God
6. Angels know Who God is and understand His power!
  I.  The Message of a Unique Plan – Matthew 1:21
A. Christ the Redeemer
Redeem = to buy back
B.  Christ the __________ – Luke 1:32-33
1.  “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David”
2.  “…He will reign over the house of Jacob forever”
3.  “…of His kingdom there will be no end” = ________ _____________

Q: How are you letting this perspective impact your life?

II.  The Message of a Unique __________
A.  “for the Child who has been conceived in her is _________________” – Matt. 1:20
B.  “the power of the most High will over shadow you” – Luke 1:35
“Gabriel explained that this would be a miracle, the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Joseph, her betrothed, would not be the father of the child (Matt. 1:18–25), even though Jesus would be legally identified as the son of Joseph (Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42). It’s possible that some people thought Mary had been unfaithful to Joseph and that Jesus was “born of fornication” (John 8:41). This was a part of the pain that Mary had to bear all her life (Luke 2:35).   - Wiersbe
“The angel ended his message by giving Mary a word of encouragement: her aged relative Elizabeth was with child, proving that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” God gave a similar word to Abraham when He announced the birth of Isaac (Gen. 18:14). That our God can do anything is the witness of many, including Job (Job 42:2), Jeremiah (Jer. 32:17), and even our Lord Jesus (Matt. 19:26). I personally like the translation of this verse found in the 1901 American Standard Version: “For no word of God shall be void of power.” God accomplishes His purposes through the power of His Word (Ps. 33:9). - Wiersbe
Input: Can you think of other passages of Scripture that speak of the power of the God ‘most High’?
 Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Q: What are you facing right now that is challenging your belief in the power of God?
Example: Two Blind Men
 Matthew 9:28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord."
Example:  Abraham and Sarah
 Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."
Input: What are some examples in your life where God demonstrated His power?
III.  The Message of a Unique _____________
A.  You will call His name _____________ . . . for He will save His people from their sins.
Input: What does that statement imply about man, about Jesus, about the future, etc.?


B.  The virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name __________________," which translated means, "_______ _________ ____."
Input: What are the implications of that statement?


C.  _______ of _________

IV.  The Message of a Unique _____________ – Luke 2:10-14
“Glory to God in the highest . . .!
Input: For what would you like to praise God this morning?


V.  The Message of a Unique _______________ – Luke 1:28
“The Lord is with you”
 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Summary: 
1.  Christmas ought to remind us the message we proclaim is an __________ ____________.
2.  We are His ‘ambassadors’ – sent from God above –like the angels, we are His messengers!
 2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


ABF: Christmas Series
“Christmas Through the Eyes of Angels
– First to Announce the Message” – Part 2
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-14

Introduction:
[Review]
  I.  The Message of a Unique Plan – Mt. 1:21
A. Christ the Redeemer
Redeem = to buy back
B.  Christ the King – Luke 1:32-33
1.  “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David”
 2 Samuel 7:13-17
2.  “…He will reign over the house of Jacob forever”
 Genesis 12:1-3
3.  “…of His kingdom there will be no end” = eternal authority
 Philippians 2:9-11
 Matthew 6:33
 Colossians 1:16-18
Q: How are you letting this perspective impact your life?
II.  The Message of a Unique Power
A.  “for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” – Matt. 1:20
B.  “the power of the most High will over shadow you” – Luke 1:35
Quote – Wiersbe
Quote – Wiersbe
Input: Can you think of other passages of Scripture that speak of the power of the God ‘most High’?
 Ephesians 3:20
Q: What are you facing right now that is challenging your belief in the power of God?
Example: Two Blind Men
 Matthew 9:28
Example:  Abraham and Sarah
 Genesis 18:14
Input: What are some examples in your life where God demonstrated His power?
III.  The Message of a Unique Person
A.  You will call His name Jesus . . . for He will save His people from their sins.
Input: What does that statement imply about man, about Jesus, about the future, etc.?
B.  The virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
Input: What are the implications of that statement?
C.  Son of God
Quote – Wiersbe
IV.  The Message of a Unique Praise
“Glory to God in the highest . . .!
Input: For what would you like to praise God this morning?
V.  The Message of a Unique Presence
“The Lord is with you”
 1 Corinthians 6:19
Summary: 
1.  Christmas ought to remind us the message we proclaim is an incredible truth.
2.  We are His ‘ambassadors’ – sent from God above –like the angels, we are His messengers!
 2 Corinthians 5:20