With me in the studio is my beloved wife, Shirley, and, you know, I really do wish you could see her. She's all decked out in red and white for the occasion.
Shirley Dobson: Thanks, Jim. I hope our listeners agree with me that this is the most important time of the year. Everything we care about is embodied in Christmas, from children to families to friends, and of course the good food, and especially the celebration of the Christ child. Because of his birth and resurrection, we have the promise of eternal life.
Dr. Dobson: So, ring the Christmas bells that you brought, Shirley, as we say together!
Both: Merry Christmas everyone!
Announcer: Today, on Family Talk:
Roger Marsh: Well, hello, everyone, I'm Roger Marsh and I want to wish all of you a merry Christmas, from our family to yours. I hope you've been enjoying a wonderful time with your family and your friends today. During the next half hour, we're going to focus on the true meaning of this season through an insightful presentation.
Here now is Dr. James Dobson to tell you more about what we have planned for this special broadcast. Doctor?
Dr. Dobson: Thank you, Roger. We're going to devote the rest of our program today to a message given by my good friend, Dr. Robert Jeffress. He's a prolific author, a political commentator, and a very well-known pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas.
Dr. Jeffress also hosts his own TV/radio ministry called, Pathway to Victory. And what you're going to hear today is a sermon he gave a few years ago which highlights the majestic and powerful name of Jesus. It's a very unique presentation that includes reading of various Bible verses and the singing of classic hymns.
I think you're going to enjoy this broadcast as it focuses our mindset on Jesus. Here now is Dr. Robert Jeffress on this special Christmas edition of Family Talk.
Dr. Jeffress: Well today we come to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, the one whom the New Testament calls the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus, a common name in Israel meaning Savior. Christ, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for the Messiah, the one who was prophesied about in the Old Testament. And then of course, Lord, Kurios, meaning Master. The Lord Jesus Christ, that is how he is referred to in the New Testament.
But there are other names for the Lord in the Old Testament, other titles that were given to Him, and today we're going to look very briefly at four of the most popular titles, names that were given to the Messiah. Names that foretold of what he would do for you and for me when he came.
And so today, for just a few moments, I want you to turn in your Bibles to Isaiah 9:6. Remember when Isaiah wrote this prophecy, 700 years before the coming of Christ, Judah stood on the brink of war. A war that she probably could not win, a war against Samaria and Syria. And yet, as the country stood on the brink of destruction, God, through the prophet Isaiah, sent this word of hope.
He said, "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest upon his shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father, and the Prince of Peace."
Look at this with me for a moment. "For a child will be born to us." Isaiah was telling us that this long awaited Savior was going to be born. This Savior came to save us from our sins. And that meant that He would die a sacrificial death on the cross for us. Here was the problem, God cannot die. He is eternal, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And for the Savior to be able to fulfill his role, his atonement for our sins, he had to come in human flesh.
But notice the second phrase, "A son will be given to us." Yes, he was a baby born in a feeding trough, but he was also the Son of God, whom God gave to the world for the satisfaction, the propitiation of our sins. For God so loved the world that he what? Gave his only begotten Son. That whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.
What we're going to do is I'm going to take each one of these titles given to the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to say just a very brief word about each one. And then we're going to stand together and read some related passages of scripture that amplify on the meaning of that title of God and how it applies to each one of us. And then as an act of worship, we're going to sing a hymn together. A hymn I don't want us to sing out of ritualistic rote, but a hymn that expresses the meaning of this name. And when we sing this hymn, I want us to sing it as an act of thanksgiving to God, praise to God, for what he's done for us in sending a Savior.
First of all, "His name will be called Wonderful Counselor." Wonderful Counselor. Jesus Christ possesses all of the wisdom of God because He is God. He knows everything about this world, he knows everything about your world. Do you realize Jesus knows everything about your past? There's nothing you can hide from Him. He knows everything about your present situation, He's intimately aware of what's going on in your life right now. And He knows about your future as well.
He knows about your past, your present, and your future because He has planned your past, your present, and your future. And that's why He is the only reliable guide for our lives. He has deposited, the living Word of God, has deposited all of his wisdom in the written word of God. Jesus Christ can be trusted because he is God. He can be trusted to help lead us, to navigate us through this life, and to lead us into the next life.
And as a reminder of that, I want us to read this morning about the eternal wisdom of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let's stand together in honor of the reading of God's word, and read these passages of scripture about the wisdom of God deposited in Jesus Christ, now together.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against you. Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law."
"His name shall be called the Wonderful Counselor," secondly, He will be known as the "Mighty God." You know it's a great mistake to believe that Jesus Christ came into existence at Bethlehem. The Bible tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Bible tells us, as we've seen in Colossians 1, that Jesus Christ was not just present at creation, he is the origin of everything created. For by Him, Jesus Christ, everything has been created in heaven and earth and under the earth.
Bethlehem simply represented a change of address for Jesus for 33 years. Let us never forget that this baby, who was born in the feeding trough, was not just any other baby, he was the Mighty God. When we worship Jesus, we're not worshiping some lesser form of God, we are worshiping God Himself. He is the Mighty God.
And to show our reverence for the reading of the word of God, let's stand together now as we read these passages about the Mighty God we all serve.
Now together, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God, and their expanse is declaring the work of his hands. Oh Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, who have displayed your splendor above the heavens. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man that you take thought of him? And the son of man, that you care for him? You make him to rule over the works of your hands, you have put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen, and also the beast of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea. Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth."
"And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father." How could the Son of God also be the Eternal Father? That is a mystery that is far beyond my pay grade, to understand how God can be a Son and a father at the same time. But what we do know is, he is equal to God.
And this phrase, the Eternal Father, is one of relationship. You see, when we trust in Christ to be our Savior, when that barrier of sin is forever broken down between God and us, it changes our relationship with God. No longer are we enemies of God, the Bible says, but we become friends of God. No longer are we slaves of God, but we are sons and daughters of God, with the same rights as Jesus Christ himself.
And because of that, we can call upon God, not as some distant deity, but we can call on him as our Abba Father, our daddy, our papa. Eternal Father, that phrase denotes the relationship with God, and the love He has for us. A love that is eternal and is as steadfast as God himself.
As we read about God our Father and His faithfulness from generation to generation, let's stand together as we read these selected portions of scripture.
Now together, "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations, before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. You turn man back into the dust and say, 'Return, oh children of men.' Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have. For he himself has said, 'I will never desert you now will I ever forsake you.'"
"And he shall be called the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father, and the Prince of Peace." When Jesus came, he offered peace to the world.
But it's not a peace that is enjoyed by everyone. Some people think that Jesus coming means that there is peace on earth with every man. The Bible doesn't teach that. No, the Bible says the only way you will ever experience peace with yourself, the only way you can experience peace with other people, peace in the world, is by first of all being at peace with God. And that's why Christ came, to reconcile us to God, to change our status from the enemies of God to the friends of God.
If you can, wherever you are, let's stand as we read from Luke 2 about the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Now together, "And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men with whom he is pleased.' Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
Would you join me in a word of prayer? All of us praying together. Today we've been opening gifts, giving gifts, but the whole reason Christ came was to give us the gift we all needed most, the gift of righteousness, a right standing before God. The Bible says we're all going to die one day, we're all going to stand before God in judgment, and the only hope we have of surviving that judgment of a holy, a perfect God, is to be clothed, dressed not in our righteousness, a righteousness filled with holes, but the righteousness that Jesus has, perfection, absolute perfection. And God offers to give us that gift right now by trusting in Christ as our Savior.
What a shame it would be to go through another Christmas season if you have never received God's free gift to you, the gift of righteousness. The Bible says, "But as many as received Jesus, to them he gave the power to become the sons, the daughters of God, even to those who believe on his name." Have you come to that place where you've realized you can't save yourself, you can't forgive yourself, you need God to do that for you.
This morning is an opportunity for you to receive that greatest gift of all, the gift we all need, the gift of forgiveness. The Bible says we've all sinned, we've all fallen short of God's perfect standard. God knows that. And that's why he sent Christ to die for us. God doesn't want us to live and die in our sins, he offers us a way back to God. I can't end the service today without giving you, wherever you are, an opportunity to trust in Christ as your Savior.
And so, if today you would like to become a Christian, not a church member this morning, but a true Christian, if you'd like to receive the gift of forgiveness in your life, would you pray this prayer silently in your heart with me?
Dear God, thank you for loving me and not hating me. Even though I have failed You in so many ways, I'm truly sorry about the sins in my life. I'm sorry for the way that I've disappointed You so many times. But I believe what I've heard this morning, that You loved me so much You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins, to take the punishment from You that I deserved for my sins. And right now, I'm trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone to save me, to forgive me of my sins. Thank You for forgiving me, and help me from this point on to live the rest of my life for You.
Dr. Dobson: Well this is James Dobson again, and you've been listening to a sermon by my good friend, Dr. Robert Jeffress. Learn more about his ministry and church by going to drjamesdobson.org and then clicking on today's broadcast page.
That's all the time we have for today, I pray that God richly blesses you and your loved ones on this Christmas day. Merry Christmas.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
Roger Marsh: Hi, this is Roger Marsh for Family Talk. Do you remember Dr. Dobson's touching interview with Rebecca Gregory?
Rebecca Gregory: The hardest part of that day was not the physical though, it was the emotional. It was everything that not only I saw, but my son saw as well.
Roger Marsh: Or what about the powerful interview with Dennis Prager?
Dennis Prager: Nice people can do damage. Nice is not the same as wise. Lack of wisdom creates evil, not lack of niceness.
Roger Marsh: There were so many great Family Talk moments this year, it may be hard to pick your favorite. But don't worry, we've done it for you!
We've selected 18 of the most popular broadcasts of the past year and present them to you together on six audio CDs in the 2019 Family Talk Best of Broadcast Collection. These entertaining and informative programs are sure to bless you become a cherished part of your family resource library.
This compelling CD set is our thank you for your gift of any amount in support of Family Talk. Learn more at drjamesdobson.org or by calling 877-732-6825.
Thank you and God bless you.