God Loves The Godly Man

Christ Is Christmas Series

1Sermon Notes Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV) 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. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 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. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 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. 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.

Audio of Sermon:

Last week we talked about the parents of John the Baptist, the Herald of Christ. We spoke of faith filled Elisabeth, and praised God for Godly women. Godly and faithful women are so important to the preaching of the Gospel. It is the efforts of the mother and particularly my grandmother that planted the seed of the Gospel in my heart, a seed that would one day bloom forth into eternal life.

But we also need to recognize the importance of the Godly man.

In the Christmas story and the children’s plays Joseph of Nazareth is often pushed back into the shadows, relegated to a third wheel sort of position. But Joseph was very important to the birth of our Lord Jesus.

Joseph was a carpenter who lived in Nazareth (Matthew 13:55, Luke 2:4).
His name means “Yahweh Will Increase”.

He carried the same name as the Old Testament Joseph who, sold into slavery by his brothers, became the savior of the nation of Israel.

The Old Testament Joseph would not take vengeance on his deceitful and envious brothers, but said:

Genesis 50:20 (NLT) You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

A Godly Man puts his faith in the Word of God, and puts God before his own base desires. Had the Old Testament Joseph taken vengeance then Israel would have never been a great nation. The New Testament Joseph has much in common with his namesake. The Reverend Francis J Peffley wrote a paper called “The Two Josephs” in which we see some very interesting parallels between the “Joseph of the Coat of many Colors” and “Joseph the husband of Mary”:

Both Josephs had a father named Jacob
Both Josephs were of the Household of David
Both Josephs suffered without complaint for God’s glory
Both Josephs left home and ended up in Egypt
Both Josephs were chosen by God to bring Bread into the world
Both Josephs were Godly men who loved the Lord

Let’s honor our Lord by studying what He wrote of His Stepfather Joseph.

The Just Or Righteous Man Has A Changed BEING

Matthew 1:18-19 (KJV) 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. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away …

In the ancient world marriage and engagement we both looked at with equal seriousness. The commentator William Barclay noted:

The Jews were usually betrothed ten or twelve months before marriage. So sacred was this relationship that unfaithfulness to it was considered adultery, and was punishable by death.” (Deuteronomy 22:23-28)

Mary and Joseph had not yet consummated their marriage when “she was found with child”. The Child she carried was the Christ, the Messiah promised to be our Savior. But Joseph had no way of knowing this. She was discovered to be pregnant by Joseph – I suspect she began to show as the Child within her grew. This caused Joseph a problem.

Joseph her husband, BEING a JUST man

Joseph was BEING what he was supposed to be – He was BEING a JUST or RIGHTEOUS Man.

  • The JUST Man is a person who first of all has been saved by faith in God, the God of Scripture. The Bible repeatedly says:

Hebrews 10:38 (KJV)  Now the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Habakkuk 2:4 (KJV)  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH.

The “Just”, “Justified”, or “Righteous” person puts their faith in the God of the Heavens. The faith that they have shows in the life that they live. There are a lot of people who say “I am saved” but live just like the darkness around them. The salvation that does not touch your heart or change your lifestyle is but a fake salvation.

  • The JUST Man Is Not Like He WAS. Salvation comes to us the day we receive Christ as our Savior, but with SALVATION comes SANCTIFICATION.

Romans 1:16-17 (KJV)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  [17]  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

A “Just” person has first realized that they are sinners, then realized that they needed God as their Savior. The “Just” person is saved by faith. Once that person is saved they begin a non-rebellious relationship with God. They become a son of the Father, and begin to walk in His paths.

There is no such thing as a just or righteous person who does not obey the Father.

Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:24).
Noah “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,
WALKED FAITHFULLY with God (Genesis 6:9).

Those who are “Just” obey their Savior.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU? TO ACT JUSTLY and to love mercy and TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD.

If you are JUST you will ACT JUST.

  • The JUST Man honors his God FIRST, not last. Discovering that Mary was pregnant meant that he – according to the Word of God’s Law – should “put her away”.

The Politically Correct crowd are, I am sure, experiencing their heads spinning around like the little girl in the horror movie The Exorcist. “What!” they declare. “How dare Joseph not look the other way?”. The Just Man does not debate what God has clearly stated. God tells us in His Word that sexual activity is only to be between two married people – one man and one woman (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5).

Those who are saved by faith in Christ – justified – are not to make light of sin, but are to honor the Lord Who saved them. So Joseph moved to ACT JUSTLY.

The Just Man Is Not Self Righteous But COMPASSIONATE

Matthew 1:19 (KJV) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and NOT WILLING TO MAKE HER A PUBLIC EXAMPLE, was minded to put her away privily.

COMPASSION is the mark of the Christian because it is the mark of Christ.

Matthew 9:36 (ESV) When {Jesus} saw the crowds, HE HAD COMPASSION FOR THEM, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 14:14 (NKJV) And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was MOVED WITH COMPASSION for them, and healed their sick.

Matthew 20:34 (NKJV) So JESUS HAD COMPASSION and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

The word COMPASSION is a compound derived from COM which means WITH and PASSION. The word means “To have passion with, or to empathize or put yourself in their place as you have sympathetic pity for the sufferings of others”.

Joseph knew that Mary was carrying a child who was not his, and he wanted to obey the Law of God because he put God first. Joseph could have said:

How dare she do this to me?
I’m going to the priests and have this little girl taken care of.”

That’s the way of the flesh, the world, and the devil. But this is not the way of Christ. Joseph had compassion. He empathized with Mary. His thought processes ran this way.

Mary is with child, but it’s not my child.
I need to honor my God and His Word.
But we are all sinners, and I have often stumbled.
I love Mary still, so I will divorce her privately.”

So often I hear Christians who, being offended, get on their High Horse so they can ride over a fallen brother or sister. They puff up their chests and look up to the Heavens, saying:

Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like this Publican over here.
What an honor You bestowed on Yourself the day that You saved Me!
(Blessed be My Name forever)”

Jesus spoke against this type of person in Luke 18:10-14 when He taught of the Pharisee and the Publican in the Temple. Being righteous means to do things in a Godly, loving, and right way. Those who are saved by faith are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit – we are His Temple (1 Corinthians 3:17; 6:19).

Joseph was saved by Grace, and lived by Grace. He emulated the teachings of the Apostle who declared:

1 John 4:7-8, 11-13 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

The saved person is first of all loving as God is loving, and merciful as God is merciful. Those who are “just” are righteous, not self-righteous. Joseph was not self righteous, but he loved Mary … even if she had made a mistake (which she had not). Joseph was not out for vengeance, but realized that his actions reflected on his God. So he chose to be compassionate. He chose to be loving. The Godly man is much like God, for God is inside him.

The Just or Righteous Man CONVERSES With God

Matthew 1:20 (KJV) But while HE THOUGHT ON THESE THINGS, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying…

The word translated “thought” is the Greek ἐνθυμέομαι enthymeomai which means “To MEDITATE on”. Joseph was in deep meditative PRAYER. He approached God in prayer with the problem. Oh, that we would PRAY and SEEK HIS FACE rather than worry!

1 Chronicles 16:11 Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

James 5:13 Is any one among you in trouble? Let them PRAY ….

Proverbs 15:8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the PRAYER of the UPRIGHT pleases Him…

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who CALL ON HIM, to all who CALL ON HIM in truth.

Joseph was not approaching the problem himself, but seeking God’s face while meditating on God’s Word. I want you to notice that as he meditated – not MEDICATED but MEDITATED – it is THEN that God sends the Angel Gabriel to answer his prayer.

The Angel came to Mary out of the blue.
The Angel came to Joseph when he was blue,
But in obedient prayer!

Matthew 1:20-21 (KJV) … 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. 21 And SHE SHALL bring forth a son, and THOU SHALT call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

When Joseph prayed I want you to notice:

  • The Angel called him by NAME. If God saved you, God knows you.

Isaiah 43:1 (ESV) … “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

John 10:3 (ESV) …. the sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out …

God did not die for no body on that Cross. God gave His life for YOU. He knows you by name. Joseph! Hear Me, Joseph! I have numbered the hairs of your head. I know you, and love you.

  • God told Joseph “Don’t be afraid”.

Isaiah 41:10 So DO NOT FEAR, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Joseph, that Baby is not a mark of Mary’s unfaithfulness.
That Baby is a mark of MY Faithfulness.
I promised the Messiah, and have chosen you and Mary
To be a part of this great plan!”

Mary SHALL bring forth a Son … the unique Son of God … and You Joseph have a part in this. YOU get to name the Savior of the world. YOU shall call His name JESUS.”

Righteous men often fall. King David fell. Noah fell. We all fall. But righteous men PRAY. They are people of prayer. They love the Lord, and converse with Him frequently.

The Just or Righteous Man COMPLIES
With God’s Direction

Matthew 1:22-25 (KJV) 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. 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.

Isaiah – a Just man – prophesied what the Lord told him to prophesy. Joseph – a Just man – did what God said so that the prophecy would come to pass. Joseph raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord told him to do. He obediently received Mary to be his wife. But he did not have intimate relations with her until she brought forth Jesus.

Jesus had many step brothers and step sisters that were born after He came into the world. Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56 tells us that the half brothers of Jesus were James, Joseph, Jude and Simon. The Catholic Church tries to make these out to be cousins, but the Bible calls them “brothers” and “sisters”. And our text specifically says:

and Joseph KNEW HER NOT TILL she brought forth her firstborn son

Joseph KNEW HER INTIMATELY after Jesus was born, and other children came into the family. But Joseph obeyed God. He obeyed God in loving his wife. He obeyed God and became a beautiful example of fatherhood to Jesus.

God bless the Godly man. We are in desperate need of Godly men in the world today, men who will not mistreat women, but who will be as Joseph was. May God touch your hearts with His Word!

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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