Emmanuel – God With Us

Title: Emmanuel - God With Us

Bible Book: Matthew 1 : 23

Author: Jesse M. Hendley

Subject: Christmas; Emmanuel; Christ, Birth of



My subject today is one word found in Matthew 1:23. It is a Hebrew word, Emmanuel. Actually it is three words compounded into one word: "With us God." God with us! It is an amazing word! It is a very precious word. I hope that the Lord will speak to our hearts today.

As we think about the word Emmanuel, let us think about the Coming of our Lord in a three-fold way. First, He DID COME, over 1900 years ago into this world. Second, He IS COMING, daily, hourly, unto us who believe on Him, in spirit, into our spirit, revealing Himself to our hearts. Finally, He SHALL COME in His glorified body, this same Jesus, back to this earth again. He is going to be seeking for something precious to his own heart and for people who are precious unto Him.

The texts for this message are Matthew 1:21, 1:23 and Luke 18:8.

I. He Did Come

The Lord Jesus Christ DID COME. You remember the Scripture in Matthew 1:21, "Thou shalt call His name JESUS for He shall save His people from their sins." He did come! He came into this world over 1900 years ago. Some people doubt that He ever did come. Some people doubt that GOD ever visited the earth.

I heard a man on television talking about the Incarnation of Jesus and he made some interesting statements. He said that if God did come into this world 1900 years ago and came as a little Baby, placing Himself at the mercy of men, this would be the reasonable way for Him to come. If God wanted men to love Him, could there be any other method as effective as this, of coming as a little baby? If God wanted men to know Him, could there be any better way? This man was saying that there is no greater love than in the family circle. The knowledge of one another is intimate in the family circle.

He said also that the idea of the Creator coming into the world as a little Babe in Bethlehem is for many people an unappealing thought. That is true, because a lot of people don't want to think of God. They love their sins. They do not want to meet God. They do not want to know God. They do not want to get right with God. They shun the very idea of meeting God in any way.

He said that if GOD came to earth that night, IT WAS THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED ON THIS EARTH! That is true, and it stirred my heart as I listened.

But I had the impression that he himself did not really know whether God had come or not. There was a doubt in his mind about it. He kept saying, "IF God came to earth that night . . . IF God came to earth that night." So, you see, in this world there are people who doubt that God ever did come to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Babe of Bethlehem; that God came into this world to live and to die on a cross for sin, be buried, arise again, and ascend back into heaven. There are people who doubt this. There are people who do not believe. But Jesus did come to earth!

We find this doubt in the New Testament. After His resurrection His disciples, when they heard that He was ALIVE, "believed not." Mark 16. When the women came from the tomb and told the disciples, "He's alive! we've seen Him!" they didn't believe it. Is it any wonder that today, 1900 years removed from that time, there are people who do not believe that GOD ever came to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ? They think it is all a myth, just the imagination of some people, something that they thought up, just a fantasy. They do not believe that GOD LITERALLY CAME TO EARTH IN JESUS in Bethlehem. Multitudes down through the years have not believed it. Multitudes today do not believe it.

But, listen. There are OTHER people who HAVE believed it! There have been people in every century who have believed. There are people on earth right today who believe, and I happen to be one of them! I thank God for it. There's not a shadow of a doubt in my mind about Jesus!

Now, what is the difference? Why to some people believe? Why do some not believe? The answer is, some of us HAVE MET HIM! We have had a meeting with Jesus! He has come into our lives. We KNOW Him, as literally as we know our wives, our husbands, our loved ones. We KNOW Him in an intimacy that cannot be denied.

I could talk about external reasons why I believe God came to earth in the Person of Jesus 1900 years ago, but I want to talk about some PERSONAL reasons.

A. He Saved Us From Our Sins

First of all, HE SAVED some of us from our sins! The first great announcement about Him was, "Thou halt call His name JESUS for He shall save His people from their sins." But that is found not only in Matthew 1:21; that is true in my heart and life. He has saved me from my sins! I know that. It is a fact that cannot be denied. JESUS CHRIST HAS SAVED ME FROM MY SINS, and thousands of people on earth testify to this same experience today.

The other Saturday morning I was in a prayer meeting. One of the men in his prayer said, "Lord, burn out all the dross of our lives, so that we might be pleasing to Thee! All the ugliness, all the sin, purge it out of our lives so that we might live clean before Thee." Now, whatever put that prayer in that man's heart? What was he doing in that prayer meeting anyway? Why would a group of men meet in a room for a PRAYER meeting and talk about Christ, and talk TO CHRIST, in a spiritual fellowship that is heart-warming and marvelous, with every man aware that he was in the Presence of the Son of God? This is not fantasy. This is not imagination. Jesus Christ, Who did come to earth, has continued His work and HAS SAVED some of us from our sins! There are people in every century who have known Him and have borne witness that He the Living Christ, has come down and touched their lives and delivered them from the condemnation and power of sin.

And, friends, everybody has (or has had) the condemnation of sin. There is an enormous weight, a consciousness of wrong, in every life. It is a crushing thing. Some people of the world drink to try to escape it. Some turn on all sorts of noise to drown out that consciousness. Some go out to parties to forget it. They try to get away from that gnawing consciousness of sin, the awareness of guilt and shame in their hearts. Everybody has a consciousness of sin. But some of us, praise God, have had that weight moved by the grace of God. We have no more conscience of SIN. Hebrew 10:21. JESUS has touched our lives! We have BELIEVED on Him and have received Him. He has washed our sins away (Revelation 1:5) and we are not under the condemnation of sin any longer. John 5:24. Our sins are FORGIVEN, for Christ's sake. Ephesians 1:7. We know this. This is an internal fact. We KNOW He came because He has entered into our lives and saved us from our sins.

B. He Gave Us Peace

And then, He gave us PEACE. When He came that first time it was announced, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE among men of good will." That means men who love God. Not just, "Peace, good will toward men." It is literally, "Peace among men who have good will toward God." That is, those who are right with God have peace with God.

There ARE people on this earth who have peace, profound peace, because their sins are forgiven, God's smile is upon them, they are right with God through Christ, and they are walking around on this earth uncondemned in the sight of God! Romans 8:1. Second Corinthians 5:19. There is no condemnation to those whose faith is in Christ! This is not imaginary. This is real, just as real as our physical bodies are real. Just as real as that real face of yours as you look into the mirror. There are people who have this PEACE, because of the forgiveness of sins.

I was out with a group of friends the other day and I made the statement that the greatest thing a human being can know is that his sins are forgiven, blotted out, do not exist anymore in the mind of God, that JESUS PUT AWAY OUR SINS by the Sacrifice of Himself, put them away forever! Hebrews 9:26. A man spoke up and said, "Yes, that is the greatest thing that a human being can ever know. Isn't it wonderful! Isn't it WONDERFUL!" These men were not cursing and swearing and telling off-color jokes. They were reveling in their knowledge of JESUS! They knew Him. They had peace in their hearts, HIS peace! Their lives have been touched by the Son of God! My friends, you cannot get away from the evidence that thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people these 1900 years have come in contact with Jesus Christ. He has brought a peace, a victory, a lifting of the condemnation of sin, that they could not find anywhere on earth.

Yes, many of us believe that He came. I feel sorry for that gentleman on television who kept saying "If." "IF God came to earth that night, it was the greatest event that ever happened on this earth." I want to tell you something. I do not say "IF." I say, "WHEN God came to earth that night, IT WAS the greatest thing that ever happened to earth." "EMMANUEL"---GOD came down to be WITH US!

II. He Comes Now

He not only came 1900 years ago, and lived the most outstanding life that has ever been lived, died on the cross for our sins, came back from the dead and ascended into heaven. But He COMES TO US DAILY in spirit to comfort and strengthen and bless our hearts in a fellowship that is more blessed and intimate than the fellowship of husband and wife or parent and child. "Emmanuel, GOD with us." HE is with me NOW! HE is with me TODAY! I don't have to go back 1900 years for physical proofs of Christ. His Spirit has contacted my spirit, His Mind has contacted my mind, His Soul has contacted my soul. He is wedded to my soul! He lives within my heart! He is in my inner being, Spirit with spirit, and there is a fellowship and intimacy there that cannot be denied.

A. He Came To Give Me Life

He came to me TO GIVE ME LIFE. That is what salvation is - Christ coming into the heart to dwell, bringing Life, God's Life, Divine Life, the Life of Christ Himself. This is the most amazing thing, the greatest thing that can happen to a human being.

The greatest thing that happened to us physically was when our parents gave us physical life. Above all other things a man treasures his life. Nothing else compares in value with his life. But, my friends, the greatest thing that can happen to a man is when GOD gives to him HIS LIFE, God's Life! The life our parents gave to us is not enough, not enough for eternity, not enough even for time. We need Another Kind of life: we need GOD'S LIFE. THAT LIFE is what Jesus came to give. Some of us HAVE IT. We have it NOW. We don't have to say, "If He came," because we know He comes to us everyday. He lives with us. He comes to us every hour. He is with us constantly. He is ever with us! He never forsakes us.

B. He Came To Be With Me - Literally

And He is with us LITERALLY. There are times when we are more aware of His Presence than at other times. But He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Hebrews 13:5. In times of prayer, in times of worship, in times of reading His Word, in times of witnessing, His Presence becomes so overwhelmingly sweet, beloved friends, that there is no denial that the Living Christ comes to us today. One who tasted this experience long ago cried, "O taste and see that the Lord is good." I have been in services so real that you could almost reach out and TOUCH Jesus Christ! He was in your heart, in your soul, He overflowed your being, He was THERE and everybody knew it! I have heard certain born again people sing of Jesus and I could not help but weep. I could not restrain my emotions. JESUS was there! When I go to my prayer room and bend over the pages of HIS WORD, I know that Jesus is there! I lose myself in the study of the Bible, His precious Word, for Jesus is there! I kneel in holy prayer. I go alone when the weight gets heavy, when the trials get heavy, when sorrows come. I bear up the sorrows of others and the sorrows of my own heart and life, and I tell you, my Lord Jesus is there!


And there are thousands of people on this earth right now who will bear witness to this, that "Emmanuel---God with us" is a REALITY in their lives. I have never seen Him with my physical eyes. I will one day. But I have seen Him with the eyes of my soul! I have beheld the Loveliness of Christ, the Son of God. He is my Savior. I could sooner deny that I exist than deny the Presence of the Son of God in my heart.

III. He Shall Come

Finally, may I remind you that He is COMING AGAIN. Our Lord is coming again! We read in Luke 18:8 these wonderful words, "Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?" Jesus is talking to us. He is saying that He is coming AGAIN to this earth. He is going to come and institute a great search! He will be looking for something. He will be desiring something, something very precious to Him. What is it? FAITH! He will be looking for FAITH, that is, men and women who really know Him, trust Him, believe on Him, have faith in Him. He will be looking for men and women of faith.

"When the Son of Man cometh, shall He FIND faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8. The word find suggests a search. Jesus is the great Searcher, the great Discoverer. He wants to find men and women in whose hearts and lives there is literal FAITH! When He comes the second time He will look for the most precious thing on earth: FAITH IN HIM. He is not coming to look for money. He is not coming to look for fame. He is not coming to look for so-called VIP's (Very Important People). I am not making fun of these things, but Jesus is coming back again into this world to look for FAITH! He will look for men and women who have faith in Him. When He was on earth, that was the thing that thrilled Him more than anything else---to find faith in Him! One time He found a man of faith who was a Gentile, and He said to His Jewish friends, "I have not found so great faith even in Israel." And on one occasion He said to His disciples, "O ye of LITTLE faith!" And He said to a little woman, "Woman, GREAT is thy faith!" The most precious thing to Christ is faith! Why? Because it honors Him to believe in Him, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ from the heart, to trust His blood, to believe His Word, to believe that He came and does come and will come again, to believe until He becomes very real to our own hearts and our own lives. To believe in this Christ who is physically absent, Whom we do not see with our physical eyes but believe on with our hearts, is to greatly HONOR Him and to glorify His Name. My friends, He is looking for people who will trust Him, believe in Him, depend upon Him and believe that He is coming AGAIN to clean up this world and bring us to a glorious eternity with Him.

Let me remind you that Jesus is qualified to know when people have faith, and to find people of faith, because He came into this world and lived the life of faith. When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth? Yes, He is going to find it in some people. Will He find it in you? And don't forget that FAITH is a gift unto us. Ephesians 2:8, "By grace are ye saved, through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is THE GIFT OF GOD." What is the gift of God? Faith! Salvation is the gift of God, and salvation is BY FAITH, so faith is a gift of God. If you have faith in Jesus today, you didn't originate it. You didn't create it. He gave it to you! He revealed Himself to you, so much that you believed on Him, you responded to Him. The response was yours, but Jesus is the One Who gave you the faith. Jesus creates faith in the heart of the believer, therefore He can see it, recognize it, find it. He, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the One Who gives faith.

A. When Will He Come Again?

Now WHEN will this take place? When will He come back to really seek this faith? He IS coming back; He SAID He is coming! The answer is, at any moment He may come! There is no timetable on the Lord Jesus' return. When He comes again from the Father's right hand back into this world Jesus will seek for men and women who have had faith in Him and HE WILL BRING THEM TO HIMSELF in a literal way. Whereas our relationship with Him was a spiritual thing before, when He comes it will be a literal togetherness in a way such as we have never known Him before! Oh, the glory of it all!

B. Where Will He Find Faith On The Earth?

And WHERE will He seek for this faith? All over this earth! Jesus will go from pole to pole in His search. He will go to the rich; He will go to the poor. He will go to the learned; He will go to the unlearned. He will go to the great; He will go to the small. He will go to every class of people. He will go to the palace; He will go to the cottage. He will search on land, on sea, on desert, everywhere on earth, looking for men and women of faith! And he will find every one of them! Every man and woman of faith!


Now two things in conclusion. First, to the Christian. If Jesus is with us, "Emmanuel - God with us," we ought to be as CARE-free as a little child. We ought to be careful about sin, but outside of sin we ought to be as care-free as a child. We ought not to worry about a thing. Why be "anxious" if GOD is with me?

I have a little grandson. He doesn't worry about buying a house or about taxes or the cost of running an automobile or going to work or getting up in the morning or breakfast or where he is going to sleep at night. He has somebody looking after him who loves him utterly: his daddy and mother. They provide every thing humanly possible for him. And, my friends, if you and I are Christians GOD is with us. CHRIST is with us. We ought to be as carefree as a little child.

But, unsaved friends with no faith, God have mercy on you. YOU ARE LOST. The other day on television I saw a caravan in the desert. Many times those caravans will go a thousand miles over the trackless desert and get lost, swallowed up, lost, never heard from again. I thought, O God! That is the way it is going to be with people who do not find The Way in CHRIST - they will be lost, LOST - and that forever!

O beloved, put your faith in Jesus! Put your faith in HIM!

At this Christmas season as all true Christians (men and women who have a living faith in Jesus) worship Him and rejoice in His great salvation, ARE YOU a person of faith? If not, I pray for you and ask you to put your faith and trust in JESUS CHRIST - TODAY, NOW. He will be your Savior, too!

You ask, "How?" Just tell Him right now that it is your deliberate will to put your faith and confidence in Him alone, that you are RELYING ON HIM from this day forward to be your Savior. He will do it! He will save you! For HE ALWAYS HONORS FAITH. Open your Bible to Romans 10:13, and read it, and claim it as your promise. God has put it there as His contract with you that He WILL save you.

And if you are saved, will you tell Him today that you want to die to self, that He may live His life more perfectly WITH you, and IN you, and THROUGH you, so that others may be won to Him through your life and testimony.

Happy Christmas to all who know EMMANUEL - "God WITH US."

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