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Message Monday: Cradle Roll of Christ – Wonderful Counsleor

05 Dec

Intro:

  • Today we begin a brief series of messages that I pray will help us to see the Savior with new eyes during this Christmas season.
  • Think with me for just a moment of the excitement when you discovered that you or a close family member was expecting a baby.
  • One of the first questions always asked is what will you name the baby.
  • Lists of favorite names are compiled by parents as well as a list of never names.
  • Churches would also get involved in this name craze.
    • In Baptist churches years ago when they would know a new baby was on the way they would enroll the baby in the church.
    • Because they did not know the name by writing down “Baby” and the parents last name on the Cradle Roll.

 

Hook:

  • So imagine with me for just a moment that God was going to enroll the Christ Child into one of our churches.
    • There would be no last name because God needs no last name.
    • To enroll the child a name would be requires and so when asked what would God provide as a name?
    • In the book of Isaiah in at least two verses we receive God’s answer as to what name Jesus shall be called.
    • Today we begin by examining the first name in Isaiah 9:6.

Message Points:

  • The first task that we need to examine as we look at this passage is to determine just how many names Isaiah 9:6 contains.
    • Some think there are as many as eight names in this verse.
      • This ignores the grammar that clearly has some of these words (Everlasting describes Father; Peace describes Prince) in a special Hebrew construction describing other nouns like adjectives.
    • In older translations like the King James there is a comma that separates Wonderful and Counselor yielding five titles.
      • This ignores the fact that the exact same situation is true of Might God and to be consistent a comma should be placed between Mighty and God as well.
    • The best solution that takes into account all of the grammar is to see four names in this verse, each one having a word to further define and describe it.
  • In the case of this first name in Isaiah 9:6 the name is counselor and wonderful describes the name.
  • This makes great sense in the context of this verse, since the verse mentions the government resting upon the shoulders of the Messiah.
    • The word Counselor is essentially equivalent to the title Minister in parliamentary governments and Secretary in our United States democratic republic.
    • The day to day running of governmental affairs falls upon the shoulders of such individuals.
  • So what do these names mean?
  • Let’s begin with Wonderful.
    • Of the 13 times this word is used in the Old Testament :
      • Three times this word expressly mentions God’s personal salvation in the Exodus from Egypt (Ex. 15:11, Psalm 77:11, Psalm 78:12).
      • Six times this word is used to describe God miraculously working out his plan (Psalm 77:14, Psalm 88:10; Psalm 88:12; Psalm 89:5; Isaiah 25: 1; Daniel 12:6).
      • Once this word describes the miraculous power of God’s Word (Psalm 119:129).
      • Two references of this word clearly make the distinction between God’s ability and humanity’ s ability (Isaiah 29:14; Lam. 1:9).
      • Then there is the reference in our verse.
    • So the vast majority of the times this word is used in the Old Testament refer to God’s ability to plan and work out miracles.
      • Specifically this word refers to God’s ability to save people according to His plan like in the Exodus from Egypt.
      • This is important because many of us may have prayed this week for God to provide a miracle for the Morris family in our church.
      • When God does not provide the miracles we ask for, naturally we have questions.
        • We can question God’s power and his abilities.
        • We can get angry and question if God is a really hearing us or loving us.
        • As The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says of this word, God’s miracles are not given just to display his power, but ultimately to display his ability to show his mercy and rescue us from death and Hell.
        • Christ’s life would embody the greatest of all miracles the fact that God could raise a man from the dead.
      • When God does not answer our request for a miracle, as unfair as it is to us in the moment, we must remember that God makes the way for us through the deep dark sea.
        • Even in the darkness and difficulty that comes when God does not answer as we like God does answer our prayer in two ways.
        • If our prayer is for a believer who dies instead of being healed, God promises to lead our loved one through veil of death into life everlasting.
        • Also for us God promises to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • This leads us to understand the 1ST part of name in Isaiah 9:6: The Messiah will Embody God’s Wonder (Isaiah 25:1).
    • Isaiah further describes this thought in one of the places the word is used later in his book.
    • Isaiah 25:1 says “O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous (wonderful) things, things planned long ago.”
    • Notice the structure of this verse.
      • There is a confession that the Lord is Isaiah’s God.
      • There is a commitment to exalt and praise God’s name.
      • The content of the praise is that God is faithful to do the WONDERFUL things planned.
    • Friends take this away as you understand how Christ embodies God’s Wonder.
      • God in Christ is faithful to complete His PLAN OF SALVATION.
      • This does not always mean healing, freedom from suffering, or even our best life now.
      • This means that we will be rescued from the finality of death and hell through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Christ to everlasting life.
  • Now let’s turn to the main word in this name of God in Isaiah 9:6.
  • The word counselor in the Old Testament is used 23 times.
    • 12 times for human counselors of kings, mainly in this history of the kingdom of Israel and Ezra.
    • 6 times of God’s judgement of wicked human counselors (Job. 3:14; Job 12:17; Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 48:28; Micah 4:9; & Nah. 1:11).
    • 4 times of the benefit of Counselors (Proverbs 11:14, 12:20, 15:22, & 24:6)
    • And once in this passage clearly referencing the Messiah.
  • Today it would be best to turn to the 4 time in Proverbs to see exactly what is meant by counselors.
    • By in large we need counselors and many of them to advise us to seek what is right. Listen to these verses.
      • Proverbs 11:4 says “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers (counselors) make victory sure.”
      • Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
      • Proverbs 24:6 says “for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers (counselors).”
      • Since the Fall, each and every one of us is a sinner bent towards pleasing our own desires.
      • Later this mentality was called hedonism but hedonism was a dangerous philosophy for a king who had total control.
      • As you see in these verses with many counselors the king would hopefully act to benefit the most people.
      • The devotion to doing what benefits the most people is rightly called utilitarianism.
      • Essentially in our democratic forms of government we have the responsibility we have the need not only to do what is best for the most people, but also to explain why our decisions are best.
      • While this philosophy may be acceptable for leaders to practice in their relationship with other people, we must ask why Isaiah uses this word as a name for Christ?
      • In other words why should we listen to Christ over any other counselor?
    • Proverbs 12:20 helps us here as it says “There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote (counsel) peace.
      • Christ is the ultimate counselor because he plans to wonderfully provide us peace with God and fellow men.
      • For us to listen to Christ and to His Word over every other individual best because Christ is…
        • The only way for us to have peace with God through his substitutionary atonement.
        • Further Christ provides us peace with others here and now by allowing us the freedom to forgive because we know that he in the end will judge every person according to his decisions.
          • Those who choose Christ will be judged righteous.
          • Those who refuse Christ will be judged as unrighteous.
  • Thus the 2ND part of the name of Christ: The Messiah will Embody God’s Counsel (Isiah 11:2)
    • Listen to Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—
    • While each phrase in this description of the Messiah is important focus upon the one that is pointing out the Spirit of counsel.
      • That Spirit of counsel is paired with power.
      • The Messiah will be the best Counselor because he will exercise His power not only with Word but with deed.
    • One of my favorite books is the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
      • In the book Edmund one of the children transported to the mystical fantasy land of Narnia struggles between the counsel of the evil white witch and the righteous Lion Aslan.
      • The wicked white witch uses Edmund for information and then betrayed him planning to kill him to keep him from becoming a king of Narnia.
      • Aslan while powerful enough to punish Edmund for his own betrayal chooses instead to sacrifice himself to make peace and redeem the boy.
      • Aslan had the wise counsel, but he also had the power to secure peace for the boy and the rest of Narnia.
    • This children’s book captures well the type of Counselor Jesus is.
      • He does not intrude in our lives with a violent power that demands our obedience.
      • The Messiah shows himself to us in the way that he used his power to take our place and to suffer for us.

 

Conclusion:

  • Is that how you see Jesus?Image result for wonderful counselor
    • Is He Wonderful to you because of his plan of salvation?
    • Is he a Counselor for you because he uses his power to save you?
  • Today you can turn away from you selfishness and trust Christ for salvation.
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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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