Friday, December 8, 2023

Prisoners of Hope - Part 2


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on December 3rd 2023  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here.

The Sign, the Son, the Saviour

Have you ever heard of unusual births?

I read about Octomom who delivered 8 babies. Most people ask how tall the baby is, the weight of the baby, etc. But if you consider the age of the mother, the oldest mother that gave birth to a baby in recent times is 70 years old. The most unusual birth ever is the birth of Jesus. During Christmas time, we can treat the extraordinary and supernatural as ordinary. We lose the marvel of what Christmas is about.

Thirty years ago, there was no WhatsApp and messaging. All of us used to write letters. We take things like communication for granted. Let us take time to linger and read the scriptures.

Matthew 1:18-This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 

Mary and Joseph were engaged. In those days, if anyone wanted to cancel the engagement, they were supposed to get divorced. After Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he did not want to disgrace her. He thought of divorcing her quietly.

Matthew 1:20-23 - 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

Matthew was quoting the verse from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin[d] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel.[f] 

Luke 1:11 - 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 

The 400 years of silence were broken when the angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah.

Luke 1:26-38

This passage is an amazing account of Mary.

The sign that was mentioned in the book of Isaiah was “born of a Virgin.”

Why was this sign given? In those days, many people claimed to be God. Hence, a sign was given.

Many people may wonder why Mary was chosen.

Mary was not like she was better than others. It is only because of the grace and favour of God.

Luke 1:35 - 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.

God’s Spirit came upon Mary, and she conceived. We may think how blessed Mary was. But it was different for Mary.

In Roman Catholicism, there is something called as immaculate conception. Which means Mary was kept sinless from birth to conceive Jesus. But this is not true. We will understand it from verse 46.

Luke 1:46-47 - 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Mary calls out God as Saviour. If Mary was sinless, she wouldn’t need a Saviour. Jewish people have been waiting for centuries for Jesus. Some of you may be waiting for something to happen. Nothing is impossible to God.

Luke1:37 - 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

Luke 1:35 - 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.

Mary was a virgin, but the Holy Spirit came upon Mary. The power of God came upon her.

When we have impossible situations, as we wait in God’s presence, God comes through. The impossible becomes possible.

This Christmas we are going to celebrate a miracle - The supernatural conception of Jesus.

The birth of Jesus was natural, but the conception was supernatural.

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Let us meditate on the above verses as we are in this Christmas season.

Will continue the sermon next week.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

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