Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
A guest column by Todd Holcomb:
I would like to tell you the Christmas story as you may have never heard it before. It goes a little something like this...
Long ago through the prophet Isaiah, the LORD declared, "I am the first, and I am the last. I laid the foundation of the earth and spread out the heavens. There was no God before me, nor shall there by any after me. I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. I blot out your transgressions for my own sake. I will not remember your sins, for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance."
He promised to send His servant, born of a virgin, to be a covenant to the people. But perhaps not even the prophet Isaiah could fathom the extent of His plan when he said, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
By the same power and authority with which he called forth the very heavens and earth the LORD swore to redeem Israel and bring salvation to the world.
Many generations later some shepherds were tending their sheep just outside of Bethlehem. Suddenly, an angel appeared to them and said, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
They rushed into the city and found the baby just as the angel had said, but did they grasp who it was looking up at them from the hay? Perhaps they thought a prophet like Moses had been born who would lead them out from oppressive rule. Or maybe they believed he would grow into a king like David and vanquish their enemies. That might have been enough if the LORD's plan was merely to restore Israel to her former glory, but the LORD was doing a much greater work.
The child looking up at those shepherds was none other than the Son of the Most High, the very image of the invisible God. By him all things had been created, in heaven and on earth. They were created through him and for him. He was before all things, and in him all things hold together. He would grow to be more than a king. He would become the head of the church, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things to the LORD, making peace by the blood of his cross.
By His Word the LORD created the heavens and the earth. By His Word He declared salvation to the end of the world. And by His Word, who became flesh and dwelt among us, He reconciled all things unto Himself. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the faithful Word of God.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. He is Immanuel, God with us, and he is the hope of salvation to all who believe.
Merry Christmas!

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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