Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Bible Doctrine Series-Immanuel
The Hebrew word Immanuel, meaning “God with us,” is used specifically only twice in the Old Testament, and transliterated into Greek only once in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul, in Galatians 4:4-5 says “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might receive the adoption as sons.” It was God’s Son, Immanuel, of which it is spoken in Matthew 1:23 “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.” This verse is, of course, referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. The author of the letter to the Hebrews, speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, tells us He is God (Hebrews 1:8). He was born of as virgin as prophesied by Isaiah. Speaking about this same Jesus, John 1:3, 12, 14 says “All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Lord Jesus spent a mere 33 years on earth, of which a little over 3 years were spent in public ministry, teaching and making disciples. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cleansed lepers, and cast out demons. He was tempted by Satan-tempted in all things as we are-yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). When Immanuel came to this earth He didn’t come for a visit to see how things were going. He came with a mission: He knew the blood of goats and bulls could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:14), therefore, He became a sacrifice for us, taking all our sins upon Himself. 1 Peter 2:24 says “And He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” Although He knew the shame and suffering to come, Immanuel was willing to submit to His Father’s will. Men despised and rejected Him, yet He willingly gave His own life by dying on the cross to enable mankind to inherit eternal life. Death, however, knew victory for only three days; then God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead (Acts 2:24). Since our Immanuel is the source of eternal life, death could hold Him no longer. By His resurrection, the Lord Jesus rendered the devil, who had the power of death, powerless. His resurrection provides indisputable evidence of our justification. The book of Romans 4:25 say “He was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” Merrill c. Tenney defines Justification as “That judicial act of God, by which, on the basis of the meritorious work of Christ, imputed to the sinner and received by him through faith, He declares the sinner absolved from his sin, released from its penalty, and restored as righteous.” In other words, because of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, God considers those who in faith receive His Son as being free from the consequences or penalties of sin. That person is then considered righteous. The reason? The Lord Jesus Christ paid the full price for the sin of the world. The Lord Jesus came to this earth, lived, and worked among us... He came to purchase our redemption and enable us to become the children of God. He told His disciples it would be better for them if He left—only then would the Holy Spirit come. Jesus had one body and was limited to being in one place at one time. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, has no such limitations. He would live in each believer. Truly the Lord Jesus is Immanuel—God with us. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.