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A CHILD IS BORN – A SON IS GIVEN

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, December 16, 2012

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder...” (Isaiah 9:6).


When Isaiah wrote this prophecy his people were at war. Judah’s wicked King Ahaz was on the throne. Samaria and Syria joined together to invade Judah. The king and his people were afraid. But God told Isaiah that they would not come.

Then Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah. He said the Messiah would lead the nation into joy and prosperity. He said the Messiah would come as a child. In chapter seven the prophet said,

“The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Now God gave Isaiah a further revelation. The virgin born child would grow up to be a deliverer of His people. The Scofield headline above verse one says it all. “A divine child is Israel’s only hope.” Our text puts it this way,

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Today Isaiah’s message comes to a world still ravaged by war. Even at Christmas time some nations are arming themselves for fierce conflict. All over the world there is pain and anguish – the result of man’s sin. Yet across the centuries comes the voice of the prophet Isaiah. He points fallen mankind to “Israel’s only hope.” And that hope, the only hope, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Muslims may think they can overthrow Israel and the nations of the free world. They may think they can stamp out Christianity. But they have a false hope that will not come to pass. Christ will come again and sit upon “the throne of David.” “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” As Dr. Watts so eloquently put it,

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
   Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
   Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
(“Jesus Shall Reign” by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

That’s all of the verse I have time to speak on this morning. Come back tonight at 6:00 and I’ll give you the rest of it! Come back tonight. We’re going to have dinner and I’m going to preach on the second half of the verse! Amen! The text divides naturally into two parts.

I. First, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”

Why does the prophet say, “A child is born” and “a son is given”? Here’s why. Jesus was born in Bethlehem as a little baby. He had a real human birth. He was a real flesh and blood baby. The prophet Micah foretold His birth over 700 years before it happened.

“But thou, Bethlehem 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” (Micah 5:2).

Micah told us that Jesus the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. And that is exactly what happened.

When Jesus was born, wise men came from the East seeking Him. They went to King Herod and asked where He was. But Herod didn’t know where the Messiah would be born. He called in his scribes, who studied the Old Testament Scriptures night and day. The scribes immediately told King Herod the prophecy of Micah. The Christ child would be born in Bethlehem. Yes, Jesus had a human birth. He was born in a cow stall, and His mother wrapped the baby and put Him in a feeding trough for cattle. It was a lowly birth, a very poor place for a baby to be born. But who was this baby?

The prophet Isaiah said, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” He wasn’t just a child. He was also a son – the Son of God! He had no human father. God was His Father. Before He was born the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary and said,

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

“That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The virgin-born Son of God was the Second Person of the Holy Trinity! He was “given.” “Unto us a son is given.” John 3:16 says,

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…”
       (John 3:16).

God sent His only begotten Son down from Heaven. He “gave” His Son to mankind. He “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). That’s why Charles Wesley said,

Late in time behold Him come,
   Offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
   Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
   Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the newborn King.”
(“Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Jesus came as both – a child and a son. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). He came down from Heaven. He was clothed with human flesh. He was a perfect, sinless man. But He was more than that. “God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16). Christ was God in the flesh! As the perfect God-man, He took man’s sin upon Himself. He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to pay the penalty for man’s sin. But wait, there is something more I want to say.

The text says, “unto us a son is given.” Christ was “given” to the world. He came down from Heaven, from outside of the world. After He rose from the dead, He went back to Heaven. “While they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Jesus came out of Heaven. He was “given” to us for a time. Then He went back to Heaven. The angel said, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6). And that is even more true today than it was on the first Easter! “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.”

That is a deep thought for your generation. Your generation is called “post-modern.” To put it simply, here is the difference between you and me. My generation is “modern.” We think that we have to understand something with our minds to believe it. That was the “modern” way of knowing something. But your generation is “post-modern.” You have to “feel” something to know it is real. We had to understand it, but you have to feel it. My father would never have thought he had to feel Jesus! Neither did I! But your generation thinks it has to feel Him or He isn’t real! Get the picture?

I’ve been reading a book by Dr. David F. Wells, Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World (Eerdmans, 2005). Dr. Wells quoted Edna Hong, who described your generation. She said, “They wish and they want, they long – these young people. For experience. For religious experience. For Extraordinary Religious Experience which will put all their pieces together into one beautiful holy whole…free of all the clutter and cliches of institutional religions” (p. 114).

That pretty well describes some young people I see in the inquiry room. “They long for experience – for religious experience which will put all their pieces together into one holy whole.” And if they don’t feel that, they say they aren’t saved. I suppose they think that’s what the old-time people got in revivals that I tell them about. They shouted, “Hallelujah! I’m saved!” But that isn’t quite right. They shouted because their sins were pardoned, not because they had a “religious experience that put all their pieces together.” If you have to have that kind of feeling, you’ll need to go to an “emerging” church. They’ll turn the lights down. Light candles. Play rock music, and gather around you talking in “tongues.” You’ll probably “feel” something, but it won’t be Jesus! It will be your own jangled nerves. Or maybe a demon. But it won’t be Jesus! Look at Isaiah 8:19-20. Stand and read it.

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:19-20).

You may be seated.

They were seeking those with demonic “familiar spirits.” They were seeking “wizards that peep and mutter.” They longed for a “religious experience” to prove their religion through their feelings! But the prophet told them,

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

Isaiah said, “Look at the Bible, not at weird emotions and inner feelings!” And what does the Bible say about Christ? It says, “unto us a Son is given.” Yes, He was given to die on the Cross to pay for our sins. And now He is gone, back up into Heaven. He is not here to give you a tingle in your spine or a quiver in your heart! That is the stuff of emotions and demons – not Jesus! Trust Jesus by raw faith, without feelings, and have done with it! Amen! “Only trust Him. Only trust Him. Only trust Him now. He will save you. He will save you. He will save you now.” Amen. But there is one more point.

II. Second, “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.”

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder…” (Isaiah 9:6).

As beautiful as the Christmas story is, there would be no hope in it if Christ had stayed dead on the Cross. Yes, He was “given” to us to die for our sins. But there is more. He rose from the dead and ascended back to Heaven. And He is coming back again. He said,

“They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

He is coming again He is coming again.
   With power and great glory,
He is coming again!
    (“He is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).

“And the government shall be upon his shoulder…Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

The old rabbis got the second half of the text right. They knew that the Messiah would reign as a king. They knew “the government shall be upon his shoulder.” But somehow they didn’t comprehend the first part of the text, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”

Today it is the other way around. People know that Christ was born as a baby in Bethlehem. They understand dimly that “unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” But they do not know that Christ is Lord. In their hearts they say, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). That is why they will go out to a drunken party, or a dance, or something else, rather than be in church on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. They do not want Christ to be their Lord and king. They are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (II Timothy 3:4). But, no matter what they do, I am asking you to make Jesus the Lord of your heart and life. Those who have Jesus for their Saviour and Lord now will be ready when He comes again.

Yes, Christ is coming to establish His Kingdom on this earth for one thousand years! Then the prayer of the ages will be answered, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

And Amen! If you would like to speak with Dr. Cagan or me about becoming a real Christian, and being saved by Jesus, please step to the back of the room now. Mr. Lee, please lead us in prayer.

(END OF SERMON)
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write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Isaiah 7:10-14.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Once in Royal David’s City” (by Cecil F. Alexander, 1818-1895).


THE OUTLINE OF

A CHILD IS BORN – A SON IS GIVEN

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder...” (Isaiah 9:6).

(Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7)

I.   First, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,” Isaiah 9:6a;
Micah 5:2; Luke 1:35; John 3:16; 1:14; I Timothy 3:16; Acts 1:9;
Matthew 28:6; Isaiah 8:19-20.

II.  Second, “And the government shall be upon his shoulder,”
Isaiah 9:6b; Matthew 24:30; Luke 19:14; II Timothy 3:4.