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The fullness of the plan of God

Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The purpose of God on display in the Christmas Story

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Galatians 4:4–5 KJV 1900
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Acts 2:23 KJV 1900
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Mathew’s account of the Christmas story reveals the fullness of the plan of God.
Matthew 1:21 KJV 1900
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
2 focuses:
Matt 1
Fullness = God’s plan
Determinate Counsel = God’s purpose
Examine through 3 scenes of the Christmas Story:

Scene #1- The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 1:18 KJV 1900
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Earthly problem: Mary was found to be with child before her marriage to Joseph had taken place. And Joseph seeks an earthly solution:
Matthew 1:19 KJV 1900
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
But this seemingly earthly plan was actually part of the fullness of the plan of God.
Matthew 1:20 KJV 1900
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:19 KJV 1900
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Notice, the fullness of the plan of God is so significant, so important that all three members of the trinity are involved.
Angel of the Lord- sent by God the Father
Luke 1:19 KJV 1900
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
Holy Spirit- that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Son of God- Jesus is the second person of the Godhead, clothed in human flesh and blood.
Every since the fall in the Garden of Eden all of human history has been leading up to this one moment. This, finally is the fullness of the plan of God where God Himself, enters into humanity to accomplish the will of the Father.
Matthew 1:21 KJV 1900
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Determinate counsel / the purpose of God
The New American Commentary: Matthew 3. The Virginal Conception: God Becomes Human (1:18–25)

He is to be named Jesus (Heb. Yeshua), which means Yahweh is salvation or “the Lord saves”

The determinate counsel or the purpose of God in sending his Son, was to save his people from their sins. This little babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit, sent to do the will of the Father, would one day accomplish the ultimate purpose of God by shedding His blood on the cross of Calvary so that He might save His people from their sins. This is the exact purpose of God, being put into action, through Christmas!
The purpose of God was according to the fullness of the plan of God. Matthew is going to highlight the intricacy of God’s plan by showing us several OT prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. In other words, how do we know that Jesus was sent according to the fullness of the plan of God? Because every detail of the Christmas story, of the birth of Jesus, fulfills OT prophecy.
Matthew 1:22–23 KJV 1900
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matt 1.22-23
Isaiah 7:14 KJV 1900
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel.
And so with God’s purpose and plan clearly revealed Joseph wakes from his dream and obeys the word of the Lord.
Matthew 1:24–25 KJV 1900
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

#223- Born to Die

Scene #2- The Visit of the Wise Men

Matthew 2:1–6 KJV 1900
1 Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Beth-lehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Matt 2.
Micah 5:2 KJV 1900
2 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Fullness of the plan of God- why were Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem? So in the perfect time God used the Roman captivity to fulfill yet another prophecy of Jesus.
Matthew 2:7–9 KJV 1900
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Matt 1.
Fullness of the plan of God- How did the star move? It could have been 1). A supernatural event of God
2). Something that God planned way back in the creation of the solar system, that on that day and that moment the star would move and come to rest over where Jesus was.
In any event this leads us to a second purpose of God- something that fit into God’s determinate counsel.
Matthew 2:11 KJV 1900
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Matt 2.
The second ultimate purpose of God is worship! God in the fullness of time, according to His perfect plan led these wise men to Bethlehem by means of a star in order to fulfill His purpose of worship. In their act of worship they gave to Jesus kingly gifts.

#217- In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Scene #3- The Flight to Egypt

Matthew 2:12 KJV 1900
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Matthew 2:13–15 KJV 1900
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Matt 2.13
God’s Plan- shown in prophecy
Hosea 11:1 KJV 1900
1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, And called my son out of Egypt.
Matthew 2:16–18 KJV 1900
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Jeremiah 31:15 KJV 1900
15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children Refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Determinate counsel- God’s purpose:
John 19:10–11 KJV 1900
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Herod nor these soldiers could not harm Jesus, because God’s purpose would not be thwarted by anyone. Jesus would accomplish God’s ultimate purpose; To save His people from their sins, and to bring about worship that God deserves.
Matthew 2:19–23 KJV 1900
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
“He shall be called a Nazarene.” No direct Scripture fulfilled in this prophecy. This phrase is spoken of differently by Matthew. He uses the not prophet (singular), but prophets (plural). Jesus is full-fulling the thrust of OT prophecy here rather than one specific instance.
To be called a Nazarene in Jesus’ day is the equivalent of being called “hick” or “redneck.” People looked down on those who were from Nazareth.
John 1:46 KJV 1900
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Had Jesus been known as “Jesus of Bethlehem” he would have had the aura of one who came from the royal city- there would have been overtones of messianic majesty.
But “Jesus of Nazareth” carried with it overtones of contempt.

We are to understand the prophets as pointing to one who would be despised and rejected, and Jesus as fulfilling this by his connection with obscure Nazareth.

What does Isaiah say about Jesus- He would be “despised and rejected.” Jesus fulfills this, in part, with his connection to Nazareth.
That's a few of hundreds of prophecies related to the Lord Jesus Christ. They cannot all come to pass by chance. In 1969, Professor Peter Stoner took eight of those prophecies, eight of them...born in Bethlehem, preceded by a messenger, riding on a donkey, betrayed by a friend, sold for 30 pieces of silver, money used to buy a potter's field, silent as a lamb, hands and feet pieced. Had his math students do a study of the science of probability. They came up with one chance in ten to the seventeenth power...that's one chance in ten with seventeen zeroes after it. And interestingly enough, some years later his grandson went back to the problem and decided it was actually ten to the eighteenth power. I'm not sure where that distinction lies. But clear enough that the Old Testament gives us ample indication that God is its author because no one knows the future but God.
Thus we see the fullness of the plan of God and determinate counsel of the purpose of God in the Christmas story. Jesus, the Son of God, was set at the exact right time, in the exact right manner, in the exact right circumstances to accomplish the ultimate purpose of God, the reason we celebrate Christmas, 1). So that Jesus might save His people from their sins 2). that God might receive the worship He deserves. May this be at the heart of every one of us this Christmas season.

#189- O Come, All Ye Faithful

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