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Advent 2008

In Humility and Exaltation: from a manger to the throne

I. Introduction:

This year the theme for our services is ‘comparing and contrasting the two advents of Christ.’ The Bible teaches us that Jesus came to the earth about 2000 years ago. We often refer to this as His incarnation, or taking on of human flesh. He was our Emmanuel, God with us. This is the first advent of Christ. Yet, the Bible also teaches that Christ is coming again. History is coming to a close and it will be consummated when Christ returns to judge the nations. This will be the second advent of Christ. Over the next four weeks we are going to be comparing and contrasting these two advents. There are places where they are similar and there are places where they are different. As we look at these two advents we want to be thankful in looking back to the first advent and, because of it, hopeful as we look to the second. Tonight we are considering His humility and exaltation.

II. Comparison and contrast

A. The first advent of Christ was characterized by His humility.

1. Matthew 1:18-19 Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph (betrothed). Yet, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Joseph obviously knew that the child was not his. The scandal was going to be public. Mary was not just a virgin, she was an unmarried virgin. This is why read of Joseph being resolved to divorce her quietly. The Son of God was born to an unwed mother.

2. Luke 2:1-7 In Luke we are given the details of the birth of Christ. Because of the registration, Mary and Joseph went up to Bethlehem. The city was crowded, the inn was full, and the only place they could stay was among the animals. Thus, the Lord of the whole universe spent His first night on the very earth He created lying in a feeding trough. We see clearly that the first advent was characterized by humility.

B. The second advent will be characterized by exaltation.

1. Matthew 24:29-31 When the Lord returns, He tells us that it will be with power and great glory. He will not be coming through a shameful situation. No, He will fill the heavens with His glory. He will not return to a manger but on the throne!

2. Philippians 2:9-11 After Christ finished the work of the first advent, Paul tells us that the Father highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Christ is now the exalted One and His second coming will be characterized by exaltation.

III. Conclusion: how should we respond?

We should respond to Christ’s humility and exaltation with humble lives of worship. If He so humbled Himself, then surely we can humble ourselves and serve others. He is surely worthy of such. May we live lives that model His humility and proclaim His exaltation. Amen.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 December 2008 )

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