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December 20, 2015

"THE HOLY CHILD JESUS"

TEXT: Acts 4: 23-31
READING:
 Psalm 2: 1-12

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SUBJ: The incarnation of Christ and its importance as witnessed in the early Church and that especially seen in the manner in which they allude to Jesus and His holiness.

AIM: That we might become even more conscious of the holiness of God and Christ as the Holy God-Man of our salvation and thus be led to seek after holiness in Him.

INTR: We are often challenged at this time of the year to maintain our focus on the exalted place of Christ in that celebrations seem to take on a life of their own and become an end in themselves.
1. We are indeed thankful for such passages as those found in Isaiah concerning the nature of the birth of Christ in that they set forth the life and reign of Christ as well and for that which is echoed in this passage from the Second Psalm.
2. It is essential that we preach the message as an integral part of the Gospel in that if Christ had not lived and suffered as a man He could not have been a substitute for men!
3. His birth and the reason of His life and ministry were evidently of deep importance to those in the early Church as we note by the reference here to Him and not to themselves.

THESIS: It is imperative that we recognize Him as “Thy Holy Child Jesus” in that God and His will are declared unto us in Him and ever reminds us that we are to: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14.

I. The Vision of the Prophets (vv. 23-26)
1. From Isaiah:
1) See: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
2) AND 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7.
3) Noting that these aspects of the significance of His birth are often omitted.
2. Here the reference is to the declaration of His sovereignty from the Psalm 2.
3. It is against the Lord and His Christ – Note especially the fact that collaboration among the rulers was prophesied.

II. The message of Angels
1. The appearance to Mary and the announcement of what was to occur and especially that it would be the Holy Spirit that would come upon her.
2. The confirmation to Joseph as to what was happening.
3. The appearance to the shepherds and the very nature of the announcement – 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:9-10. We should see this as continuing!!
4. The confirmation of Simeon: 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. Luke 2:29-32

III. The Anchor of the Church (vv. 27-30)
1. In the face of the persecution which was worsening, their focus was still upon “thy Holy child Jesus”
1) Many translations here use the term “servant” instead of “child” in that the word admits to both ideas and may signify the idea of servant-son.
2) In any event the fact that they used the given name “Jesus” (noting that it is at the given name Jesus every knee shall bow and c.).
3) There is clear reference to His humanity and the opposition He faced as a man.
2. The collaborating rulers in this case were Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the Jews that were gathered together
3. And, in the end result it was to do according to the counsel determined before to be done.
1) See: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Acts 2:23-24.
2) And now they were still endeavoring to silence the Gospel and the name of Jesus and the nature of opposition was the same:
4. Thus, their prayer was to invoke he Name of thy Holy Child Jesus:
1) Holy in essence
2) Holy in conception
3) Holy in birth
4) Holy in life
5) Holy in sacrifice
6) Holy in resurrection
7) Holy in Ascension
5. Our identity is with Him!!