It Came To Pass

Luke_2_1t7

Audio of Sermon & Music: 

Sermon Notes: Luke 2:1-7 (KJV) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. [2] (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) [3] And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. [4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) [5] To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. [6] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. [7] And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I love the words that start chapter 2 of the Christmas Story.

It Came To Pass”

The phrase is found 452 times in the Bible. It’s not found in the first three chapters of the Bible in the Book of Genesis. Though time was created by God in those first books as He set the lights in the Heavens, and established 24 hour days, time didn’t matter until Adam sinned. Adam and Eve had access to the Tree of Life, and lived infinite lives until the day that they listened to that old serpent the devil. With one bite the devil led all humanity into sin.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned …

The phrase “it came to pass” doesn’t come into being until Genesis chapter 4, showing us that the phrase is tied to time and death. You see, we all shall cease to be. Why? Because Adam not only brought sin into the world, but his action separated us from God and from Paradise. We do not have access to the Tree of Life. We will not live together forever, defeating death, in our own ability. The clock is ticking. When you are a young man or woman you may think you are infinite and immortal. But as you age you realize you are fragile. The things I used to be able to do I can no longer do without effort, if at all. “It Came To Pass”. Time is ticking.

The first “It Came To Pass” is found in the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel. The Bible says:

Genesis 4:3 (KJV) And in process of time IT CAME TO PASS, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Man was separated from God by Adam’s sin, and man wanted God. We were created to walk with God. So Cain – a farmer because his daddy was a farmer – brought the fruit of the ground to God to offer it to Him. But there was a problem with this offering. Though a day would come when God would allow man to bring food offerings, the only covering for sin was blood. God showed this to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The Bible says …

Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV) And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Why is this? Why does God require the shedding of blood to cover sin? Because God’s Word to Adam was “the day that you eat that which is forbidden YOU SHALL SURELY DIE” (Genesis 2:17). The penalty for sin against the Holy Creator is death. God said it, and God meant it. So death hovers over all of Adam’s children.

But what if Someone died in my place?
What if Someone worthy died in my place?

God wanted all of Adam’s children to understand that sin is not a trifle, but it is an act against the Holy and Righteous Who runs all things. When Cain brought his offering to God no Blood was shed. I’ve never seen a stalk of corn bleed, or a radish hemorrhage. Vegetables have no blood. But then Abel his brother brought an offering to God …

Genesis 4:4 (NKJV) Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat.

Abel didn’t go into the family business, but was a Shepherd. He brought the “blood of the Lamb” to God. And “God respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering” (Genesis 4:4b-5). Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. It requires the blood of the innocent – the death of the innocent – to cover sin. Abel’s offering was of blood, and his sin was covered. But what of Cain? God could not accept his offering, the works of his hands.

You cannot work your way to God, but must obey His Word.
God wants none to perish, but wants all to be saved.

Ezekiel 18:23 (NKJV) Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

God is not pleased with the death and sin of mankind. He advised Cain to do as his brother Abel did, to offer the blood of the lamb for his sins. What did Cain do? In the second “It Came To Pass” of the Bible we see:

Genesis 4:8 (KJV) And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and IT CAME TO PASS, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Rather than do what God says, Cain rose up against his brother and killed him with a 357 Magnum! That tragedy would never have happened if the government had intervened and made a law against it. Is that true? No. Cain killed his brother with whatever he had at hand. He did so not because of government laxity, but because of sin in his heart. Cain didn’t want to listen to God. He felt that he knew better than God, and would do it his way. As a result his brother was murdered – the blood of an innocent – because he knew better than God.

So “It Came To Pass” begins human history, and that history is bloody, filled with violence and evil. Man grows so evil that It Came To Pass” that God would send a flood on the earth in Genesis 6. Erasing all of humanity but Noah and his family, surely thins would be better. No, because sin is in us, and death by sin. We are all fallen.

But God never forgot us.
God was not willing that we perish, but wished us life.

God Who Controls Time Entered Time For Us

Luke 2:1-3 (KJV) And IT CAME TO PASS in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. [2] (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) [3] And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Governments love to tax people. Without taxes there could be no armies to protect us, and no politicians to lie to us. Taxes pay for highways. Taxes build schools for our children. Taxes have good uses, though I believe human greed misuses much of our tax dollars. When Caesar Augustus, the Emperor of Rome decreed that all those under Roman rule be taxed, he decreed that every family return nto their home town to be counted. Everyone into his own city. No one thought much of this except the inconvenience of it, but God was in control. What appeared to be a petty squabble between Caesar and Herod which led to a census was actually God controlling human events. The Bible says:

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV) Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

This census caused the tiny family of Joseph and Mary to travel nearly a hundred miles.

Luke 2:4-6 (KJV) … Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) [5] To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. [6] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 

If the decree of Caesar Augustus had not been issued, Mary would have had her Baby in Nazareth where she and Joseph lived. But the decree of the Emperor required that every person return to their home town to be counted for tax purposes. They traveled about 97 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and Mary was GREAT with Child. Was this just a coincidence? Just happenstance? No, for God is control.

Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV) The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

God is in control – ALWAYS! Many years before God promised that Messiah would enter humanity in a very specific way. What God’s Word says will always come to pass. God’s Word does not change with the seasons, nor with the fickle soul of man. His Word is true – let every man be a liar! God’s Word said that …

  • First, the Messiah would come into this world through Bethlehem:

Micah 5:2 (NKJV) But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.

There were two Bethlehems when Micah wrote this prophecy. Bethlehem Ephrathah was the Bethlehem of Judah. The One promised was from everlasting”, the Eternal Christ. When Herod the King wondered where Christ would be born the chief priests and Scribes quoted this prophecy of Micah:

Matthew 2:6 (NKJV) But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.

  • Second, Messiah was to be a direct descendant of David. God said that the Messiah would come from the Ruling Tribe of Israel, Judah (see 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; 2 Chronicles 6:16). God promised King David that he would have a Son who would rule forever. Messiah had to come from the line of David. When Jesus came He was known as “The Son of David” because His lineage was established by both Mary and Joseph. Joseph would take his wife Mary – GREAT with CHILD – to Bethlehem because of the decree of the Emperor.

Matthew 12:23 … and all the people were amazed {at Jesus}, and said, Is this not the Son of David?

God is in control. Though the Emperor issued the decree, and though Mary and Joseph moved to Bethlehem because of the decree, it was God Who was in control. The Emperor would not tax the people until ten years later based on this census … but God wanted the Christ to be born in Bethlehem.

The name “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread”.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem because He is God’s Messiah. The Lord said:

John 6:51 (NASB) I am the LIVING BREAD THAT CAME DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

God chose where Christ would be born “before the world began” (II Timothy 1:9 NASB). Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, for Jesus is the one and only Messiah.

John 7:42 (NKJV) Has not the Scripture said that the CHRIST COMES FROM THE SEED OF DAVID AND FROM THE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, where David was?

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David. He is a direct descendant of King David. He is the Son of David. How would this King of Kings – our Savior – be born?

God Was In Charge And
Messiah Was Brought Forth Safely

Luke 2:1 (KJV) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Let’s break this wonderful text down.

  • She brought forth”. Mary had no midwives or doctors. Mary had her child with Joseph, her faithful husband, at hand. Most women have someone to receive the Child, but our Savior was born in lowest place. His mother brought Him forth. He was delivered safely.

  • And wrapped Him in swaddling clothes”. You would think that the Messiah, the Savior of the world, would be wrapped in a robe befitting a king. The Scripture says:

Colossians 2:9 For in [Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Jesus is God in human flesh. Abel sacrificed a lamb for his sins and God had respect to that. But an earthly lamb was only appropriate until God made a more permanent way. God made us to walk with Him, but we turned our backs on God. But God loved us, and loves us still. He does not want us to perish, but to ascend to Him.

In order for us to ASCEND to Him He had to DESCEND to us.
He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and not a king’s robe,
So any can reach Him.
And can come to Him.

  • And laid Him in a manger”. His crib was an animal’s feeding trough. How strange and lowly did our Lord enter this earth. Yet He was to be:

John 1:29 (NKJV) … The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

He was not like Abel’s lamb, though Abel obeyed the Father. Jesus was a Child Who would grow into a Man Who …

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) … was in all points tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN.

Jesus Christ is the Innocent born to take my guilty place, and your guilty place. He is the perfect Lamb of God offered for our sins. What better place to find a Lamb than in a Manger? What better place to find Him and Him alone Who can redeem you from sin?

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV) …. knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

That Baby was born to die for the sins of the world. This Jesus was lovingly brought forth, laid to rest in a manger, so that He could grow up and take our punishment on Himself. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Finally:

  • Because there was no room for them at the inn”. The census had pushed people outside of their homes. When Mary and Joseph could find no place to stay because of the crowds, they found a place where animals were kept, a warm barn. No one meant to reject the Christ. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NKJV) … we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

No one knew when they sent that pregnant virgin to a barn to have a baby that she carried the Messiah. No one meant evil of Christ in either the decree of Caesar or the journey – that hard journey – from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They just didn’t know.

But you know.
YOU KNOW.

God’s Word Always Proves True

I have told you. I have showed you. God was in control, and God knew. God’s Word always proves true.

God’s Word says we are born dead in sin.
God’s Word says that we need a Savior.
God’s Word says that Christ is that Savior.
He was born in Bethlehem, in a manger.
He came to this earth to save whosoever will.
God’s Word says that Jesus grew up to die for our sins.
God’s Word says that His death covers our sins.
God’s Word says that He conquered death, and rose again.

Will you receive Him?
Will you confess Him?
Will you believe Him?

God will not receive your efforts at salvation any more than He received Cain’s. He had no respect for Cain’s offering, but unto Abel God had respect. Why? Without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin. Christ came to this earth for you. Christ was born for you. Christ lived for you. Christ died on Calvary for you. Will you receive Him, and in so doing receive what He has for you?

Romans 10:9-11 (NASB) … if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

“It Came To Pass”
Will your life continue forever, or will it
“Come To Pass”?
What you do now for Jesus matters.
What Jesus did for you matters.
Receive Him, and God will receive you.
May God the Holy Spirit reach someone with this Word today.

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!
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One Response to It Came To Pass

  1. hellodewww says:

    Thank you for this sermon. I really learned a lot. May God bless you always!

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