What the Virgin Birth Shows Us

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to speak at The Grove Student Ministry for their “Christmas at The Grove” service. The Grove is the student ministry at Union Grove Baptist Church in Lexington, NC. Josh Evans is the student pastor and has a great blog where you can find great posts on student ministry and leadership. I wanted to summarize the message I gave and share it here on my blog.

After much prayer and study, I decided to speak to the students about what the Virgin birth shows us about God and His Son Jesus. I believe the Virgin birth shows us three important truths that can be seen in Luke 1:35 which says,

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.”

Gods Power. The first thing we see from the Virgin birth and this verse in particular is that God is powerful. The phrase “the power of the Most High will overshadow you” shows us that the Virgin birth was something planned and carried out by our sovereign and all-powerful God! A virgin giving birth to a child is impossible, but our God is the God of the impossible. We are reminded of this when the angel tells Mary this in verse 37: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Christ Sinlessness. We see the word holy in this verse which means  pure, good, without any defect or deficiency or blemish. It carries the idea of being totally set apart from sin. One of the reasons Christ had to be born of a virgin was because He had to be sinless. If He would have come through the normal means of birth He would have inherited the sinful nature we are all given because of Adam’s sin in Genesis. Christ would not have been able to be the sacrifice for our sins if He had a sin nature. He had to be sinless in order to die for our sins in our place. Being born through a Virgin and by God’s power, Christ came into the world sinless. He then lived a perfect, sinless life in order for His righteousness to be imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21). I wrote a blog called “What the Layaway Angels Teach us About Christ” that talks more about this truth, check it out!

Christ Humanity. Christ was fully God, but also fully man. We don’t understand this, but we know it is true because God’s Word teaches it. This is why the Virgin birth is so amazing! Christ, even though fully, came down to earth and walk among us a man. The verse above ends with the phrase Son of God. This title of Christ shows us His deity as well as His humanity. This was Christ very title of Himself and used it the most Himself. He wants people to understand He is fully God, but also embraced humanity. This should encourage us because He can understand and sympathize with us as we go through life. The beginning of Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” Christ, our high priest, can sympathize with us, how encouraging! The ends of this verse says, “…in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Even though Christ was sinless, He still faced temptation as we do. We see this clearly in Luke 4:1-12. The reason Christ came as a human was ultimately to die on the cross for our sin and giving us a way to have a relationship with God (Philippians 2:5-8; John 14:6).

I hope this Christmas didn’t pass you by without taking a time to think about the Virgin birth of our Savior. He came through God’s power for you! He was sinless so He could die for you and give you His righteousness! He embraced humanity so He could sympathize with you! Christ came into this world for you and for me. Have we let that truth seek in this Christmas?

I hope to have the video of this sermon on here soon. Until then feel free to check out some of my other sermons I have preached over the past year on the “Preaching and Teaching” page here on my blog.

What The Layaway Angels Teach us About Christ

If you have been watching the news for the past few days, you probably saw a story on what they are calling the “Layaway Angels.” It seems that all across the country people are going to their local Kmart and Wal-Mart to pay off peoples layaway accounts. People are shocked when they find out their account has been paid off. What I find interesting is how this story teaches so much about Christ, but many people miss that and say this story reminds them of how we should be “generous” during the Christmas season. I am all for being generous, but we need to realize the Christmas season is so much than just being generous.

The “Layaway Angels” remind us of the real reason for Christmas and it is not about be generous. We all are born into this world as sinners (Romans 3:32) and the price we must pay for being a sinner is death (Romans 6:23). The good news, the Gospel, is that Christ came into this world to pay that price for us by dying in our place (Romans 5:8). Not only did He die in our place, but He gave us His righteousness because being righteous, perfect, is the only way to be in relationship with a holy God. Christ, who knew no sin, became sin so that we could be given His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). The theological word for this is impute which basically means that Christ gave us His righteousness as if it were ours. So now we stand justified (“declared righteous”) before God.

Just like these “Layaway Angels” paid off the debt of others accounts, Christ paid the debt of our account, a price we could not pay. That is the reason we celebrate Christmas! We celebrate Christmas because Christ came into this world through a virgin so He could live a perfect life and go to the cross for us. Christmas is about the Gospel! If Christ were not born, there would be no cross and no salvation for us.

I think it is important to remind ourselves of what Christ did for us as much as possible. So when you hear about the “Layaway Angels” remind yourself of what Christ did for you. He came and paid off your account so you could have a personal relationship with God.

Here is one video you can find on the web about the “Layaway Angels.”

God Speaks Even in a Haircut Shop

Today I went to Great Clips to get a much needed haircut. I figured since I am spending the whole summer working a summer camp less hair would be a plus. As I went in I did the normal routine. Check-in, sit down with strangers and feel awkward, see an old friends from high school I have not seen in year, and finally get my name called to get my hair cut, well shaved! When I sat down the lady, somewhere in her upper 20’s or lowers 30’s, asked me where I went to school. I told her I am currently attending Piedmont Baptist College and she said, “O a pastor!” Even though I am training to be a youth pastor I figured it was close enough so just went on with the conversation. After I told her why  I don’t want hair and wouldn’t mind having none she said, “well you men can do that, but the Bible says women cannot cut their hair.” I smiled and laughed slightly and she asked why I was laughing. I simply said, “you can do that, but hope yall cut your hair eventually.” She said, “but the Bible says we can’t.” I went on to explain to her that was stated in the Old Testament and there are Laws in the Old Testament that are not enforced today due to Christ coming to die on the cross and fulfilled/ended the Law. I told her the Old Testament is full of Laws and now in the New Testament we have Christ and when accept His free gift of salvation (The Gospel-1 Corinthians 15:3b-14) and it’s more about a relationship than just following the Law. I thought that was end of the conversation and honestly though she was a unbeliever.

After a few awkward moments the lady asked me why do I feel like God wants me in ministry. I went on to tell her how growing up in High School my father left so my youth pastor (Jeremy Pollard-now is a children’s pastor at The Summit in Durham, NC) was sort of my father figure and took me under his wing. He lead me to Christ, gave my ministry opportunities, and built a relationship with me that still last today. Thanks to him I got to work in the youth group as a college leader and eventually was an intern over the youth group. I explained to her how through that God called me into ministry and my heart is in youth ministry. She said she loved how I said “called” and went on to explain that she has had times when “called” her to stuff and people just don’t understand. She said that people like us who are saved know God’s voice and know when He speaks to us. Wow, I thought, thats so right! By that time, I knew from her profession that she must be saved. At about this point I felt God move and the Holy Spirt say this is an opportunity to encourage and to receive encouragement. If this was all that happened, it would have been more than enough because God encouraged me and showed His goodness just in this short conversation, but God added one more thing before my haircut was done.

I asked the lady where does she go to church. She told me about the church in the area she is a member of and how much she liked it. She said before she went there she heard negative things about the pastor. She said she wanted to check it out for herself inspite of what people said which to that I though was respectable. She said after a few months of being there her son and mother passed away in a few months apart from each other. My heart sank as I thought about the pain she must have experienced. She told me how when her mom died she or her mom before she died had enough money to have a proper burial. The pastor (so called “bad” and had negative comments thrown at him) gave her money and paid for a proper burial out of his own pocket. She explained how that encouraged her and helped her so much. I told her “actions speak louder than words” and we both agreed and I could see how that experience of that pastor helping her was an encouragement still to this day.

She asked me where did I go to church and told her where I attend. I told her something I was dealing with in the area of church and she told me something that I needed to hear. God knew I needed to hear this and I believe through her, God spoke directly to me and told me what I need to do. She said, “well just pray and God will tell you what you need to do and direct you.” Simple, direct advice I have heard many times before, but today is right when I needed it. God knew it and He choose to use this sweet lady as a vessel He could speak to me!

That last paragraph is the whole point of this post. God knows when we need an encouraging conversation or a word from Him. he knows exactly when and how we need it. He will act at the right time. As I left the place and was driving home God reminded me of a point that Bruce Chick (pastor at Sovereign Grace Community Church in Roanoke, VA) said a few Sunday ago when I was there. He said, “we need other people[Christians] because God lives in each of us who are saved [literally lives in us], and so we can directly speak the words of God to someone and they can directly speak God’s words to us.” Wow, thats good stuff! Don’t say we don’t need other Christians because we do! They have Christ IN them like we all do who are believers! So we need each other because we have Christ in us and we need the help and need to be helping!

Overall, God encouraged me so much through this event this afternoon. I hope I never forget that God will always give me little instances like this as I go through the journey of my Christian life. I believe God is concerned about every little detail of our lives and will use even the littlest, most random things (like hair cut places) to speak to us! Keep your eyes and ear open for Him and don’t be afraid to speak the words of God to others when you have the chance!