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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - Christmas, The Wisdom of God

Charles Stanley - Christmas, The Wisdom of God

Charles Stanley - Christmas, The Wisdom of God
TOPICS: Christmas

It's always a source of comfort and peace to know that our God every day, all day long who's guiding our life is a God of wisdom which means He always chooses the best in every single decision that He makes. Not only does He choose the best, but He chooses the best way for us to get to the best. Not only that, wisdom is more than just the fact that God knows everything. But, when you think about the decisions that God makes, He always makes wise decisions which always brings the best results. So, if a person really wants the best results in their life, they will choose God's way. They will choose to follow the decisions that God sets out for their life.

And when you think about that, I think about Romans 8:28 when the Apostle Paul who was affirming this very idea of the wisdom of God, he said, We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose, why? Because He's an all-wise God and He always chooses the best. Likewise, if you'll look around you and look at your life, would you not agree that when you and I follow His will and His purpose and plan, we always come out with the best? Well, what I want to talk about in this message, I want to talk about a decision that God made. I want to talk about the wisdom that is found in this decision. Because from Genesis to Revelation here's what you'll find. God making decisions. And you see His wisdom all the way in one event after the other, you see the wisdom of God being expressed and lived out and played out in life.

And if you'll turn to Romans chapter 11 for a moment. And, Paul had been in this Roman's epistle, what he'd been doing is he had been expressing and declaring and expounding the wisdom of God. In God's whole redemptive plan, how very, very wise it is. And so when he comes to this eleventh chapter and the thirty-third verse, he just bursts out in this awesome sense of praise to God and he says, "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways"! So, when I think about God's wisdom and think about how unfathomable His ways, I want us to choose one of those events in history. One of those events that probably as good as any share with us the wisdom of God. Look how wise God is in every single aspect of that. Well, what is it?

Well, the title of this message is "Christmas: The Wisdom of God". And what I want us to see, I want us to see how God's wisdom is so clearly and beautifully explained and expressed in the whole scene of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ beginning with the timing of it. So somebody says, Well, what's so wise about the timing of it? Here's what's wise about it. In eternity past, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit made a plan. And so creation came. And so God let time go by. And if we can just start with some of those civilizations like Egypt, for example, and all of their emptiness, and all of their many, many gods that they worshipped, that was not God's timing. And so, then you move on to other generations and while you, we're moving onto those, I want you to turn and follow with me because I want you to see something in Galatians chapter 4. Galatians chapter 4, look in verse 4 if you will. He says, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 'In order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.'" In the fullness of time.

So, let's go back. We had the civilization of Egypt. In all of their tremendous accomplishments and achievements, God said, That's not the right time. Then you come, for example, to the time of the Assyrians, the Assyrian Empire, how vast it was. That was not the right time. Then you come to the time of the Chaldeans and that was not the right time. Then you come, for example, to the time of the Persians, and as advanced as that was, that was not the right time. Then you come to the times of the Greeks. Awesome civilization, probably contributing to as much to a civilization as any group of people who've ever lived. They gave us the language, the Greek language, and they gave us many things; art and all the rest. But that was not the right time. Then came the time of the Romans, and what happens? They built upon that Greek civilization. They had roads and highways, for example, that were safe.

Sea travel was safe. They had the communication that was so prevalent and that is that, if a person could speak the Greek language they could be known and understood in most places. And so when the Apostle Paul came along, it was all just set up perfectly for him. He could travel safely. He could speak in the Greek language. He could be heard and understood almost everywhere. The world was wide open and they had what they called the Pax, the Pax Romana which was the peace of Rome. They ruled in the known world of their day. Well, it was in this time of Roman domination that Jesus Christ was born. In fact, he says, In the fullness of time. That is, when God saw that the time was exactly right for Him to accomplish His purpose and to do His thing, that's when the Lord Jesus Christ was born.

And so as you and I look and we see the wise men coming from the East and the star and all the events that were taking place, God doesn't do anything haphazardly. And listen, just, listen. Just as accurately, just as clearly and just as meticulously, and just as predetermined as God was about the absolute event of His Son's birth, God likewise cares about timing in your life and my life. He's interested in the goals that He set for our life. He's interested in our achievement and accomplishing those goals. He knows how long we have to live, and therefore He's working in your life and my life wisely every single day. That is, He's the one who's chosen the goals and He's the one who knows how we can reach those goals in our life. So in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, first of all He didn't begin, He didn't, His life didn't begin at that moment. He was from eternity past, the Son of the living God, Jesus Christ. Born at a particular time which the Bible says, In the fullness of time. That is, when God had everything all set up.

Now if we had time, we could go through philosophy and we could go through travel, communications, all these things, religion for example in the days in which Jesus was born. Many, many gods that they supposedly worshipped. But there was this sense of disillusionment with their gods. And so Jesus Christ came on the scene just at the right time. Not only is the wisdom of God seen in that but I think the wisdom of God is also seen in the announcement. For example, if you go back to Luke chapter two for a moment. You'll recall that when the angel came in verse ten, "The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, behold I'm bringing you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people.'"

That would not have been so and He would not have said that to some, to an emperor, or Caesar Augustus. "And so, he says, 'For today in the city of David there's been born for you a Savior who is Christ,' the Messiah, the Lord. This'll be a sign to you. You'll find the babe wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger. Suddenly there appeared in the, with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'" Then look. "It came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, 'Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.'" No question in their minds who this angel was. There were people who were expecting the Messiah to arrive. This thing which the Lord has made known to us. "And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger".

Now watch this. "And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about the Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds". What did they do? Exactly what God intended them to do. Those shepherds scattered out among their friends and among their family and they began to tell them what they had seen. And enough of them had seen it that they were believable. And yet, many, many people wondered. But somehow, instead of saying, We don't believe that they wondered at the things that they heard. And the news began to spread that this baby was born. He was announced by an angel and He was announced as Jesus Christ, the Messiah, that is the Lord, the Savior of the world. And the Jews understood what that meant.

And so, the very announcement was the wisdom of God. He used an angel so it was unmistakable. To shepherds because He knew exactly what they would do. He identified Himself again with the lowly, with the shepherds, and He knew He would send them out to share the truth of the message that the Savior had been born. No mistakes, nothing in the whole story of the birth of Jesus Christ is something that just happened, but very carefully, wisely planned by an almighty, awesome, all-wise God who plans out our life and if we are wise enough, we'll follow that plan. But it's interesting also to note that not only did this announcement come from the angels and what an awesome expression of God's wisdom that was. But the way, for example, that Jesus Christ was born was also simply an act of His wisdom. Because I want you to notice if you will back in Luke again. And you will recall that Jesus Christ was not just born of man but the Bible says that He was born of that He was born of a virgin.

Listen to what happened in this first chapter of Luke if you will. And you'll recall the angel visits Mary. "In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent to her in the city of Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph". And then if you'll move on down because the angel speaks and then the scripture says, verse thirty-two: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end". Listen to this. "And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?' And 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 offspring shall be called the Son of God.'"

God in His perfect wisdom knew not to have His Son be born of a man. First of all, He must be absolutely sinless and absolutely perfect for the reason, the purpose, the goal for which God sent Him. Being born of a virgin, I'm sure that many people in that day who heard about that probably did not believe it or said, for example, How could this possibly be? And I can remember on one occasion not just one, but one occasion sitting in a classroom and a professor talking about the Bible and talking about the virgin birth and said, Why, no, I don't believe that. He said that would take a miracle. And I wanted to say, Yes! Yes, yes, yes! That's what it's all about! The miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God conceived in her and brought forth the Son of God.

Because you see, first of all it wasn't the beginning of His life. It was the beginning of His earthly life but it wasn't the beginning of His life. Because in Micah and other Old Testament passages refer to Him as the one who is from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus Christ had no beginning. He was the Alpha and Omega. Never has had a beginning, never will have an end. The wonderful thing about Him is He is absolutely eternal. Therefore, He did not begin in the Virgin Mary's womb. He did not come, for example, from a man Joseph. But the Spirit of God planted within that woman the very life, the very person of the Son of God. When I think about the wisdom of God, I also think in terms of the very name that He was given.

Now we know that the angels gave Him the name, Jesus. And so when Mary called him Jesus. Suppose for example, you say, Well, what's so wise about that? Well, let me just say this. First of all, it was a very common name in that day. A lot of Jewish boys were named Jesus. Well, why, why, why wasn't He named something very, very different? Jesus was always being what? Always being identified with the lowly. Why was He baptized? Because He was a sinner? No, He was not. He wasn't baptized because He was a sinner. He was baptized in order to identify Himself with sinful mankind. Not because He needed to have anything forgiven or had been forgiven of anything. And so when it comes to His name, what is His name? Jesus. The Hebrew word is Joshua. What did that word mean? Jehovah's deliverer. So, is that an accident? Was that something that just happened? No. This is Jehovah's deliverer. Listen, Jehovah's deliverer. That name symbolized and that name represented and stated the very purpose for which He came, to deliver man from His sins, to be the Savior of the world. But you know what the most awesome expression of His wisdom in all of this is? And that's the purpose for which He came.

Now think about this for a moment. Why did the Father send Him? Why did the Father send the Son? Why did Jesus come? Well, if you'll look at His whole beginning and all the things that surrounded it, why did He come? Jesus Christ came into this world as the Lamb of God for the primary purpose of dying on a cross. He came as a pattern, certainly a pattern of holy and godly living. But that wasn't His reason for coming. His primary reason for coming was to die. He said, "I've come to give My life a ransom for many". And so when you look at the wisdom of God, think about this. Here is a beautiful expression of God's wisdom. Let's just put God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit having a conversation before the beginning of man. And knowing that man would fall, saying, Now, how shall We redeem mankind?

Now of course they didn't have to think about all this, I'm just going through it. Let's think about it. How shall we redeem mankind? Well, here's what we could do. We could give man and assign man a series of regulations and rules by which He was to live, by which He was to live. And therefore, if he keeps all of these rules or a certain number of these rules and regulations, then He will be forgiven of His sins and we will accept Him into the family of God and therefore he will be forgiven and become a child of God. But, having a sinful nature as man does, he will not be able to keep all those rules and regulations. And besides that, man, knowing man, more than likely there'd be a division about what those rules and regulations are. And man couldn't possibly agree on all of them so that won't work.

Well, what about man just being good in his conduct? Well, because he has a sinful nature, we know he's not gonna be good in his conduct and behavior because he can't. His very nature is sinful, is going to be sinful. His very nature's going to be that he's gonna be separated from Us. So, what are We going to do? And so what did God do? In His awesome wisdom, He didn't have to think all this up and I'm sure that conversation probably never happened. But what did He do? He decided there was one way for, in order for man to be forgiven of his sin. And one of the things that God had to deal with is this. God had to deal with this whole issue.

Now wait a minute. If God is holy and absolutely perfect, and man is sinful, and we have decreed that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. And man has, is going to sin and is going to die, then what are we gonna do? How are we gonna handle this? There was only one way. God chose in His wisdom to satisfy every single demand. That is, He knew that man in his conduct would never be able to live up to it. He couldn't keep rules and regulations and deprive Himself. Have some kind of asceticism or some kind of self-infliction of pain in order to make himself acceptable before God. There was no way that man in Himself could ever do anything to be acceptable before God. And man still can't. He couldn't from the beginning and He can't today. And so the thing that God had to decide is this.

How now, how now can we still remain God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, in our perfect holiness, and at the same time forgive man who cannot help himself? There was only one way. And God in His wisdom chose to do this. The Godhead; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit made a decision. Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God, would come into this world Himself, be born of a virgin, live among men, and ultimately go to the cross. And on that cross, He would lay down His life. The sacrificial lamb, born in a stable as a lamb, born in the "house of bread" because He would be the bread of life. He would lay down His life as a substitute, as a sacrificial substitute for all mankind. And the only person who could who could possibly do that would be God.

Who else could bear the sin of all mankind but God Himself? Because every other human being on the face of the earth would be a sinner. And so, he could not die for his own sin, own, except for his own sin and that wouldn't work. And so, God in His perfect wisdom chose to come into this world. He chose to come, born of a virgin, live His life, go to the cross, be crucified by Romans but predetermined by the Godhead Themselves in order that He may die a substitutionary sacrificial death that man might be forgiven of their sins. And when any person, universally no matter who they are, would accept that He is the Son of God. That His death is atoning, that means it's paying a price for something. And that it is a substitute, He took our place.

The moment a person is willing to accept Him as the Savior, His death as atoning, His death as a substitute. That moment their sins would be forgiven, their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. They would be sealed as a child of Almighty God and be eternally secure as long as they live on this earth and for all eternity. In the wisdom of God, He said there can only be one way, one way, one person, one cross, one death, one substitute, one awesome sacrifice for the sin of mankind and that is the person of Jesus Christ. So that when you and I look at the manger scene, if we see God's whole redemptive plan, this is the way we'll see it. We'll see the manger scene with the shadow of the cross-laying right across it.

Now this all-wise God who gave us one single plan of redemption said, This is it. This is the way. You say, Well, isn't that rather arrogant? You'll have to blame God. Well, can't there be some other way? Here's what God said. One way. And Jesus said it very clearly, very simple. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man anywhere comes to the Father but by Me". You know what Christmas is all about? Christmas is this beautiful, awesome demonstration of God's holy, perfect wisdom in loving man unconditionally and giving us a redeemer in a way, in a, by a means that we will never be able to erase from our minds that manger scene when God visited earth for the first time in His perfect deity. Taking upon Himself humanity, lest every single person on the face of the earth be blinded forever by His glory and radiance and majesty. He had to be housed in human body so that we could look upon Him.

Let me ask you a question. If God says, and He has said it, there's only one way, in My wisdom there's only one way. You say, But now I just, that's not the issue. You know what? It doesn't make any difference what I believe or what you believe. The issue is what did God say? In one, listen. God said there is one way and only one way. And here's the beauty of it all. He made it so simple. You don't have to own anything. You don't have to go anywhere. You don't have to have anything. You don't have to have an education. You don't have to that, no, there's not a single solitary material thing that man's ever come up with that you have to have. You know what you have to do? Simply trust Him, believe Him, accept what He says as true.

How do you do that? Here's what you do. You say, Lord Jesus, shut You out of my life all these years. I'm asking You to forgive me of my sin. And I do believe that Your death at the cross paid my sin-debt in full because that's what Your Word says. And therefore, I'm asking You to forgive me on the basis of Your death, and I'm trusting You as my personal Savior for the forgiveness of my sins. Then you have done the wisest thing you could possibly do on the face of this earth. Receive for yourself the gift of eternal life which comes in a person, and that person is Jesus Christ. That's what Christmas is all about.

And Father, how grateful we are. You in all of Your awesome wisdom controlled, sovereignly overruled every single aspect of the coming of Your Son. And now these hundreds and hundreds of years later, we worship You. We adore You, we praise You, we bless You, we obey You, we bow before You, we humble ourselves before You in recognition and adoration for Your awesome wisdom in doing it Your way. May the Holy Spirit speak to the hearts of many, many people that they might receive Christ, their only hope and Your one door to heaven, as their personal Savior. In His wonderful name we pray, amen.

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