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Immanuel – God with Us

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

And the Word became flesh, how marvelous is that! First He, Jesus Christ is the Word. As we read in the beginning of this Gospel of the Apostle John he identifies who is the Word that he is writing about. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) In Genesis we read that God spoke and all creation came into being. That is the power of God’s Word that is the power of Jesus. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossian Church concurs who Jesus is and the power that He has. “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. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17) Jesus the Word of God is throughout all eternity, the eternity before this moment and the eternity after this moment and if that were not true the universe as we know it would have long ago disintegrated. History testifies that Jesus came to earth to be amongst men, history testifies that Jesus was crucified by men, and the very existence of this present moment testifies that He rose from the grave and lives. The Word of God is the truth, as He came to testify of the truth, (John 18:37) and the truth of His Word will set us free from the bonds of sin. (John 8:32)

As part of the Godhead He was with God and as God He became as His creation a man. “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6-8) In all humility He surrendered Himself of His Deity and became as we are the creation. Jesus gave up His throne in heaven and the riches of God’s glory so that through Him we could become as He is. (1 John 3:2) He gave up His wealth of glory and honor that we could through Him have glory and honor. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) This is the love that Jesus has for us that while we were in rebellion against the Father He loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Moses wanted to see the glory of God and asked Him to reveal it to him. (Exodus 33:18) The Prophet Isaiah in his vision saw the magnificence of One upon the throne who I believe was Jesus. “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1-4) The Apostle John saw Him on the throne in his vision on Patmos. “I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.” (Revelation 1:13-14)

What man would not want and desire to see God? Many have searched through the ages to see that which the human eye cannot behold. Man has searched in every place he can think of and sadly most have missed the vision. The Word of God, Jesus Christ is God. The Apostle Phillip asked Jesus to show him the Father and Jesus answered him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9) If you want to know the Lord and truly see God with your spiritual eye, then meditate on the Word of God, Jesus. God reveals Himself and His glory through the life, works and words of Jesus. He will open our minds to the absolute truth by His indwelling Holy Spirit.

We can know the way to God through Jesus the Word of God. Only Jesus has an intimate knowledge of God the Father because only He was a man unmarred by sin. He was born with the blood of His Father in heaven and did not have the sin nature of men. How well we can know God depends on the knowledge of the truth of Jesus, His begotten Son. By obeying His commands we know the way we should walk, the manner that we are to live our lives and our relationship with others in this world. When we find ourselves in a strange place and ask for direction we can easily become confused by the answer that we receive. But when we ask Jesus for direction He answers follow Me and He will lead us on the way. (John 12:26)

Jesus is the absolute truth, He embodies the truth. If a professor teaches mathematics, his character may not reflect that which he teaches. But to the one who teaches moral truth his character is the principal by which he lives by. In is important then our obedience to the third commandment. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7) We must never profane the name of the Lord with our vanity. Our worship and obedience to His Word is serious and those who forsake Him and His way will not go unpunished.

We can have no clearer picture of God than by looking unto Jesus. Jesus is the full revelation of God to man. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15) Jesus suffered the same sufferings that we do. Jesus had every opportunity to waste time, become gluttonous, angry, bitter from rejection, and he had to face not only the death of loved ones but His own death as well. He was tempted in every way that man is and overcame by the truth found in the Word of God. Jesus had to cope with life’s trials and temptations on the same ground that men do and by His victory we can see the full character of God and through our faith in Him we can have the same victory.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the path to abundant life with our heavenly Father in His Kingdom. We can gain firsthand knowledge by the example of Jesus’ life of what the true way to life is. We each can live a purposeful life in cooperation with Him. In Jesus we see God teaching, healing, sacrificing, correcting us in love, guarding over us as His children, and patiently counseling us along the way to the far shore. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus, the Word of God, is “full of grace.” Grace is God’s unmerited favor towards men. As the Heavenly host had announced at His birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) We see further into this Scripture in verse 16 and read, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” Our relationship with Jesus Christ grants that we receive many beneficial gifts toward our salvation. Here we have a picture of grace being stacked upon grace, gifts upon gifts, and blessings upon blessing. This abundance of God’s favor comes to us through our personal relationship with Jesus. Our own calling is an act of grace, a gift unto us apart from any merit on our part. Some see grace only in our justification and the forgiveness of sin. But this attitude is limiting the fullness of God’s plan and purpose for our life. Our relationship with God through Jesus is a connection that supplies us with a continuous flow of grace, blessings, gifts, favor, powers, forgiveness, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, healings, protection, and more through God’s loving concern.

Now that the Christmas season has past us till next year, the Lord willing, let us look forward to the coming again of our Savior. Were we have celebrated the birth of the new born King, Immanuel, let us remember that He is the Word of God, the absolute truth. He has promised that He will come again. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) When he first came He was given the name Immanuel. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) He came and showed us the way to live that is pleasing to His Father. He taught us the truth by His Word. And through Him we can have life and have it abundantly. When we place our faith in Him, when He comes again, our Immanuel, God will truly be with His people. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor, December 27, 2014

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