Immanuel

      
The prophet Isaiah told of the coming of Immanuel (meaning God With Us). This week, we look at that prophecy and its meaning.
Music This Week

Isaiah 7:1-17

The Sign of Immanuel

1 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubsof firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘It will not take place,
it will not happen,
for the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’”
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign,whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke awayfrom Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

Sermon Outline

The Sign of Immanuel

13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. - 2 Samuel 7:13

What we celebrate at Christmas is not so much the birth of a baby, but the incarnation of God himself. - R.C. Sproul

Meaning of Immanuel

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. - John 1:1-3

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:6-8

We have never fully tasted or sensed how sinful sin is because it is normal to us.  Jesus, by contrast, saw how abnormal, distorting, ugly, deeply rebellious it really is. Nor have we tasted weakness or need to the extent the strong and rich son of God did.  Nor have we felt as sorrowful as the Lord Jesus, nor experienced shame the way he did- all in his perfectly holy humanity. - Derek Thomas

The Significance of Immanuel

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14

4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, - Galatians 4:4

2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, - 1 John 4:2

16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory. - 1 Timothy 3:16

23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). - Matthew 1:23

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! - Romans 5:15-17

Discussion Questions

  1. How do we balance using human wisdom and planning and trusting in the sovereign plans of God?
  2. Read John 1:1-14. What do we learn about Jesus in this passage? How does this passage relate to the idea that Jesus is Immanuel (God With Us)?
  3. R.C. Sproul said "what we celebrate at Christmas is not so much the birth of a baby, but the incarnation of God himself." How can this quote set our hearts right when thinking about the Christmas season?
  4. What is the importance of Jesus being the God-man? Could there be salvation if Jesus was not fully God and fully man? Why or why not?
  5. Most people know that we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas. What is the importance of Christ being born as a baby?
  6. What is something the Lord has been teaching you this week?