The Word Of Faith

Christmas Is Christ #4

1Luke 1:56-64 (KJV) And Mary abode with {Elisabeth} about three months, and returned to her own house. [57] Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. [58] And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. [59] And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. [60] And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. [61] And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. [62] And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. [63] And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. [64] And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

For those of you who have been following the Christmas Story with me you know that God came to Elisabeth and Zacharias first, promising them a son named John. This was an answer to Zacharias’ prayer. He and his wife were barren – without children – and they were both well past child bearing years. So God sent Gabriel unto Zacharias to tell him that his prayer was heard, and that he was to have a child.

But then Zacharias doubted the Word of God.
God silenced him that day, taking away his voice.
“Since you did not believe My Words, You will be silent until John is born.”

C.H. Spurgeon wrote “If there can be one sin more heinous than the unbelief of a sinner, it is the unbelief of a saint. For a saint to doubt God’s word – for a saint to distrust God after innumerable instances of his love, after ten thousand proofs of his mercy, exceeds everything.”

So Zacharias was silent for nine months. Mary came to help her cousin Elisabeth have her blessed child. It’s ironic that Elisabeth said of Mary:

Blessed is she that believeth” (vs 45)

but could not say the same thing of her poor husband. Unbelief had shut his mouth. Then the child John was born.

Faith Trusts God Without Knowing Why

Luke 1:59 (KJV) And it came to pass, that on the EIGHTH DAY they came to circumcise the child;

Why was John circumcised on the eighth day? Because this was when God told His people Israel to circumcise their children. God told Abraham:

Genesis 17:12 (KJV) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

Circumcision was the mark of the household of faith. Males were circumcised, not females, so circumcision was not a sign of salvation but of inheritance. Those who would not submit to circumcision among the children of Israel were cut off from Abraham’s inheritance:

Genesis 17:14 (KJV) And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

I want you to notice that God told the Israelite male that he had to be circumcised – but God never told him WHY. When God first directed Abraham to the rite of circumcision – a terribly painful thing to do to an adult male – God never said why. He just said “Do it”.

God said to future generations of children born “do it on the eighth day” but never specified why. Faith does not debate with God. Faith trusts God. God knows best. Where God sees unbelief He chastises if needed to bring us to full faith in Him.

Zacharias doubted God, but Elisabeth trusted God.
Doubt cost Zacharias his voice, but in her faithfulness Elisabeth found a voice.
She circumcised John on the eighth day according to God’s Word.
Why the eighth?
Because God said so.
And God knows best.

It was not until 1935 that doctors discovered the relationship between Vitamin K and Prothrombin, a protein present in blood plasma that leads to clotting of the blood. From Apologetics Press I quote:

On the eighth day {of a newborn’s life} the amount of Prothrombin present {in it’s blood stream} is elevated above one-hundred percent of normal — {this} is the only day in the male’s life … this will be the case … If surgery {such as circumcision} is to be performed, day eight is the perfect day to do it. Vitamin K and prothrombin levels are at their peak.”

Elisabeth didn’t know these medical truths, but trusted the Word of God. Oh that we would trust God and His Word! God always knows best for His children. The Psalmist said “He knows the way of the righteous” (Psalm 1:6). When Job was tried of God he did not curse the Lord, but trusted His heart and His Word, saying:

God knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10)

This trial is not to my destruction, but to my good. Our God is a wonderful Father and a magnificent Provider. We must trust Him.

Do You Prefer GOOD or BEST?

Luke 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and THEY CALLED HIM ZACHARIAS, after the name of his father.

When a child is born it is a celebration in a Jewish home. The Special Rabbi (called the Moile) who was to circumcise the baby and the Rabbi who would bless the child “called him Zacharias after his father’s name”. These men were Jewish authorities, Pastors who were much respected. But Elisabeth did not let their prestige or positions cow her. God had said what this child should be named.

Luke 1:60-61 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. [61] And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

In the Bible names have meaning. “John” means “the Grace or Mercy of the Lord”. John would go before the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.

Grace and Love always proceeds Jesus, so JOHN was the best name for the child.

John would promote Christ, herald Christ. The name “Zacharias” is a beautiful name meaning “The Lord has remembered”. It’s a good name – but JOHN was better. But God wanted John named John.

As humans when we second guess the will of God we always choose the good over the best. God knows what is BEST. Name him Zacharias – OK that’s good, but not BEST. It is BEST to follow God’s Word.

As soon as Elisabeth said “he shall be called John” the traditionalists began to argue. “Not so! None of your kindred are called by that name”. The traditionalists are everywhere and ever present. Their battle cry is:

We’ve never done it that way before”

and they say “Others will laugh at us if we do what God says”. They are not ground breakers in their faith but love to dig a hole that that everyone else can crawl in with them. They never hear the Word of Faith as “Onward Christian Soldiers”, and instead of standing on the promises of Christ my Lord they die sitting on the premises despite the Lord. They are the noisy ones in the Business Meetings who seem to know best, but do not care to glorify God.

After shunning the mother Elisabeth’s direction … WHAT ARROGANCE …. they look to Zacharias.

Luke 1:62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

If we can’t get support for our suggestion, let’s look to Zacharias!” Here is a man who lost his voice for 9 months for unbelief. Let’s turn to this faithless individual. But Zacharias has learned his lesson. We read:

Luke 1:63-64 {Zacharias} asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. [64] And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

Just four words. “His name IS John”. But with these four words Zacharias’ voice is restored. And as he spoke, John praised God.

Christ Centered Faith Is Rewarded By God

Luke 1:67 (KJV) And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

God will not reward faithlessness, but He does reward faith. Zacharias’ obedience to God in spite of his disability caused his voice to return – and he was FILLED with the Holy Spirit, empowered or anointed or God – and he began to preach!

Luke 1:68-69 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, [69] And hath raised up an HORN OF SALVATION for us in the house of his servant David; [70] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: [71] That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

In his preaching Zacharias praised God for His faithfulness. God raised up the HORN of SALVATION, his son John. God’s Israel are depicted as a mighty army moving forward. When the Calvary moved forward it always responded to the sounds of the HORN, the TRUMPET. John was not the Savior, but he would be the HORN that went before Jesus. Each of the four Gospels show John as the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:30 and Malachi 3:1 …

In Matthew 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’

In Mark 1:1-3 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way; The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.”

In John 1:23 {John the Baptist} said, ‘I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

John would be the Horn of Salvation, the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy. His message would ring out clearly that Christ was the Messiah. His ministry would be successful because Christ was Whom he pointed to. No ministry will stand that does not center itself on Christ.

If Christ is not the point, your ministry is pointless!

The Bible warns in 1 Corinthians 14:8-9 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

There are many preachers and supposed Bible teachers today who are “speaking into the air” rather than preaching. All preaching drives toward Christ. All of God’s glory drives toward Christ. John in his ministry would never be side tracked – he would always herald clearly that Christ was the Savior, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). His ministry would be successful unto the end.

Zacharias also preached of the faithfulness of God, saying ..

Luke 1:72-75 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; [73] The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, [74] That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, [75] In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

Finally, Zacharias directly bestowed blessing on his newborn child Zacharias. Fathers often laid their right hand on their firstborn child to bestow their inheritance upon them. As Zacharias laid his right hand on little baby John he did not bestow his earthly inheritance. Priests such as Zacharias were not given a portion in Israel as were the other tribes, for their portion was the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:1-2). So Zacharias passed on to John the only thing he had – he passed on service to the Lord.

Luke 1:76-79 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; [77] To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, [78] Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring From On High hath visited us, [79] To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The words “Dayspring From On High” or better “Sunrise From On High” is a reference to Jesus Christ. God sent His Son into the world to be the Light of the World. He is the Light of God that lights our path so that we might not stumble in this present darkness. Praise His Name forever more!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Christmas, Christmas Sermons, Faithfulness of God, Following Disciples, Following Jesus, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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