Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Fourth Sunday in Advent
Series A

"How (and Why) the Birth of Jesus Came About"
Matthew 1
Rev. Wayne Dobratz

I. Sin suspected 
    A. While Mary was not guilty of fornication, she still was in need of a Savior (“God, my Savior”–Lk 1:46-47)

     B. The human race is guilty as charged–Ps 51:5, 53:3; Prov 20:9, Gen 6:5, I Kings 8:46a, Isa 53:6

II. A remedy for sin promised–“give him the name Jesus...”

     A. The name means “God saves”

     B. God took this name for himself in the Old Testament–cf 2 Sam 22:3 & 47, Ps 18:46, 25:5, 27:9, 38:22, 42:5 & 11; Micah 7:7

     C. The wait was over with the coming of Jesus–Lk 2:11, John 4:42, Acts 5:31, Acts 13:23, Phil 3:20, 1 Tim 1:1, 1 Tim 4:10, 2 Tim 1:10 etc
III. God’s will obeyed

     A. By Joseph in taking Mary as his wife 

        1. It was an act of faith and obedience on his part, as faith is often described in the Scripture–Heb 11 et al

        2. We receive him in faith–as the carol sings, we pray: “Come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel” (cf 2 Cor 4:6, Gal 4:6, Lk 24:32, Eph 3:20)

     B. By God’s Son in taking human flesh–Ps 40:6ff, John1:14ff, Rom 8:3, Phil 2:7, 1 Th 3:16

     C. By God’s Son offering up His innocent life in humility as the sacrifice for human sin–Isa 53:9, Lk 22:37, Acts 8:33, 2 Cor 8:9, Phil 2:7-8
After noting that it was common to include the name of God in a personal name, Albert Barnes goes on to say: (Matthew) had just given an account of the miraculous conception of Jesus: of his being begotten by the Holy Spirit. God was therefore his Father. He was divine as well as human. His appropriate name, therefore, was “God with us.” 

And though the mere use of such a name would not prove that he had a divine nature, yet as Matthew uses it, and meant evidently to apply it, it does prove that Jesus was more than a man; that he was God as well as man. And it is this which gives glory to the plan of redemption. 

It is this which is the wonder of angels. It is this which makes the plan so vast, so grand, so full of instruction and comfort to Christians. (See Phil 2:6-8) It is this which sheds such peace and joy into the sinner’s heart; which gives him such security of salvation, and which renders the condescension of God in the work of redemption so great and his character so lovely.

“Till God in human flesh I see,
my thoughts no comfort find.
The holy, just, and sacred Three
are terror to my mind.
But if Immanuel’s face appears,
my hope, my joy, begins.
His grace removes my slavish fears.
His blood removes my sins.”

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM