Undercover God Part III
Welcome In The Name Of The Father, And The Son, And The Holy Spirit
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.
And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Indeed we do confess to you as a Church body that nothing will be impossible with you. We have witnessed and measured this truth in our own lives through your forgiveness. As deep a chasm as our sin burrows and tunnels… your Grace digs deeper still. We cannot out dig you.
None of us would ever have fathomed sending our only child to die for people who deserve death. None of us would pay such a price for those who hate us. None of us loves our enemies as you have loved us at the Cross of Christ.
Yet here it is, the Gospel. It comes forth from your Spirit to the pens of the Authors of the Bible. You are true, therefore your promises are true. We trust in your Sovereignty. Father if you will make us clean we shall be clean. We thank you your answer is, “I Am Willing. Be Clean.”
May your good will be done.
Introduction: It grieves me to no end that Eschatology (The study of God keeping promises) has become the purview of wackos. The second Advent is the conclusion of the first Advent. In other words, Christmas is a cliff-hanger. The Savior comes to set the captives chained in the shadow of Death free, but does He? He hangs upon the Cross and three days later conquers Death by rising from the dead. He ascends to His rightful place in Heaven leaving marching orders for His chosen people, the Church… Now what? The Word says He shall return to planet earth in power. On that day He shall set all wrong right. On that day He shall serve up a hot dish of recompense toward those who thought they’d trample over the innocent. On that day He shall avenge all the victims of cruelty. On that day evil will finally be forced to pick on someone their own size , and death will finally understand that it has bitten off more than it can chew.
Jesus said in the Sermon On the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
And the skeptic is the pessimist, and he has ice in his veins and stone for heart. He scoffs saying, “Pie in the sky. Things are and shall be as they ever were, nothing ever gets better”
People are going to keep dehumanizing one another.
Children will continue to be gunned down in our streets and parks.
Hospitals will keep on expanding their cancer wings because cancer isn’t going anywhere soon
Families will continue to fracture over the most base and carnal of desires.
Folks will continue to die isolated and alone all the while being surrounded by a sea of possessions.
I don’t describe the skeptic’s world-view this way to tear him down, no, rather, I am merely describing the page I see, for it is familiar to me as I have such a page in my own story. And I do wonder if cultivating the life of the heart might not allow us to not only believe in the Gospel but feel the Gospel as well.
The skeptic says this world will not get better. It would take a miracle for things to change around here.
And the skeptic is right, you know, it will take a miracle.
Do you recall what the Angel Gabriel said to Mary long ago when she asked, just as many ask today, “How will this be?”
“Nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)
This right here is our most dearly held trump card. It is the tree under whose shade we camp. This central truth we carry close to our hearts because we are fickle dustlings who oft are overcome with doubt. We are sojourners under this alien sun. We are camping. We are just passing through. We seek God’s undiscovered country. We are on a quest for our Father’s house nestled in the everlasting hills.
We are sojourners under this alien sun. This trek is long and our legs often rubberize at the most critical of times. When our campfire cools to embers the shadows dance and mingle with our doubts and play tricks on our soul. What shall you say to your fair weathered soul on that night?
Say, “Nothing will be impossible for God.”
Say with our Crucified Carpenter King,
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
~ Matthew 19:26-30
If you desire to count the cost of following Jesus and compare the cost to the benefit of following Him then get good at math, for no equation will come to any other conclusion than this:
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Let us explore three particular themes in which nothing will be impossible with God.
1. Neither will the trading of places between the vast and evil hoard that is mankind with the innocent and stainless Son of God via the incarnation be impossible with God.
The skeptic says, how can God be born of a woman? Did something untoward occur between God and Mary. Our answer is no, nothing untoward occurred between God and Mary for our God is infinitely superior to Zeus and all the other silly deities of Greek and Roman mythology who were little more than sinful humans with super powers running amok over the Earth. No, our God is a true God. He is Holy, pure and compassionate. He is the God of Wonders, and none more so than the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity into flesh and blood.
The skeptic will say “How can a man pay for another’s sins? Perhaps he can pay for his own, but never for another’s.”
To which we reply, “You cannot fathom the love and compassion of our God.” His Love is irrational and grace based in such way that it is mysterious to our selfish way of thinking. Can we not wrap our small minds around the truth that there is no catch to God’s Grace? He gets nothing from us, for if He ever could profit or gain from us, in that very moment He would abdicate the throne of Heaven Itself. To be God means needing nothing from those you have created.
2nd Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2. Neither was the Resurrection from dead of the sin bearer, Jesus Christ, impossible with God.
For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.
And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
Nor shall your everlasting life be impossible with God.
I am rather partial to the old spiritual, What Wondrous Love Is This? says,
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.
3. Neither will the redemption of immense personal suffering for the Glory of God and ultimate good of the believer be impossible with God.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Sara Groves Sings,
I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
Our God is Lord of time, and in His good time He shall make all things right. He has a good track record.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God