The Christ of Christmas

Title: The Christ of Christmas

Bible Book: Isaiah 9 : 6-7

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Christ, Birth of; Christmas



Rev. James S. Hewett (1930-2006), editor and publisher of Parables Etc. and The Pastors Story File, shares, "An old pioneer traveled westward across the Great Plains until he came to an abrupt halt at the edge of the Grand Canyon. He gawked at the sight before him: a vast chasm one mile down, 18 miles across, and more than 100 miles long! He gasped, 'Something musta happened here!'”

Hewett adds, "A visitor to our world at Christmastime, seeing the lights, decorations, trees, parades, festivities and religious services, also probably would say, 'Something must have happened here!' Indeed, something did happen. God came to our world on the first Christmas."1

Dr. C. Weldon Gaddy shares the following in Geography of the Soul, “Bethlehem is not particularly a religious city, at least not in the sense that most people think about religion. Prior to the birth of Jesus, virtually no one thought of Bethlehem as a holy place. Just the opposite really. Most folks associated Bethlehem with government and politics. Herod lived there. Tax collectors and census takers worked there. Not by the farthest stretch of the imagination could a trip to Bethlehem qualify as a spiritual pilgrimage. Then, as now, most people—even people of faith—saw only a minimal, almost negligible, relationship between faith and politics or taxes. . . . God’s ultimate revelation of the divine nature began to unfold in Bethlehem—a secular city dominated by governmental interests. If that were not enough surprise, look where in Bethlehem Jesus was born.”

Later, Dr. Gaddy explains, “For years, people had looked for God’s Messiah to take the government upon His shoulders, implement a major shift in power, and elevate the nation of Israel to a new plateau of political sovereignty. Herod’s palace seemed to be the only place in town worthy of the Messiah’s entrance into history.

However, you never can tell where God will show up. No area of life, just as no aspect of our lives, is exempted from God’s interest or presence. God cares about transactions in the centers of government as well as about rituals in religious headquarters. God is just as likely to take up residence in a stable as in a palace, to rest the Messiah in a manger as to set Him on a throne.”2

Isaiah the prophet made the following birth announcement hundreds of years in advance, “For unto us a Child is born, /Unto us a Son is given; / And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called / Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, / Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace / There will be no end, / Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, / To order it and establish it with judgment and justice / From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Allow me to share three tremendous truths from this passage about Jesus Christ.

I. The Humanity of Jesus Christ.

“For unto us a Child is born . . .” (Isaiah 9:6a).

Dr. Francis L. Patton (1843-1932), twelfth president of Princeton University, said, “Our Lord’s life was as completely human as it was completely divine. He suffered; He rejoiced in spirit; He loved; He wept; He formed friendships; He used the language of indignation; He was tempted; He was made under the law; His soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. If Christ had no human soul, these references would have no meaning.”3

Rev. F. W. Robertson (1816-1853), known as Robertson of Brighton, states, “There are men so over refined and fastidious, that they cannot endure the thought of anything spiritual being connected with materialism. They could not believe in anything pure that was also fleshly, for flesh and sinfulness are to them synonymous terms. They cannot believe in the divine humanity, for humanity is to them the very opposite of that which is divine: and accordingly, while admitting the divinity of Jesus, they denied the reality of His materialism. . . . These ultra spiritualists, though they would not believe that the divine Essence could be mingled with human nature without degradation, yet they had no intention of elevating human nature by their own conduct. . . . The most spiritual of all men (the apostle) insisted most earnestly on the materialism of the human nature of our Lord.”4

John writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We read in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: / God was manifested in the flesh, / Justified in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Preached among the Gentiles, / Believed on in the world, / Received up in glory.”

The humanity of Jesus is revealed in His development (Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4; Luke 2:40); His hunger and thirst (Luke 2:52; Matthew 4:2; Matthew 21:18; John 4:7); His suffering (Luke 24:46; Hebrews 5:8) and His death (John 19:7; Matthew 27:26, 50; 1 Corinthians 15:3).

Rev. David Guzik, director of Calvary Chapel Bible College Germany, near Siegen, Germany, explains, “Jesus remains a man eternally (Acts 7:55-56, 1 Timothy 2:5). He did not relinquish His humanity on His ascension; but He is now a man in a resurrection body, as we will one day have.

If Jesus were not fully man, He could not stand in the place of sinful man and be a substitute for the punishment man deserves. If He were not fully God, His sacrifice would be insufficient. If Jesus is not fully God and fully man, we are lost in sin.”5

II. The Deity of Jesus Christ.

“Unto us a Son is given . . . ” (Isaiah 9:6b). Remember as someone states, “The Son wasn’t born, the Son eternally existed; the child was born, the Son was given.” John begins his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). In verse 18 we read, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Jesus responds to the Pharisees, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). We read in Matthew 22:41-46, “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”

They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?’ And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.”

Dr. Lehman Strauss (1911-1997), former professor of Old Testament history at the Philadelphia Bible Institute, explains, “If the early Church had not been built upon the foundation of the deity of Jesus Christ, she never could have withstood the vicious onslaughts of her enemies.”6

Betty Stam (1906-1934), missionary to China, martyred by the Communists, penned these powerful words:

“O Jesus Christ, Thou Son of God and Son of Man,

Thy love no angel understands, nor mortal can!

Thy strength of soul, Thy radiant purity,

Thine understanding heart of sympathy,

The vigor of Thy hand, Thy poetry,

Thy heavenly wisdom, Thy simplicity,

Such sweetness and such power in harmony!

Thy perfect oneness with Thy God above;

The agony endured to how Thy love!

Thou who didst rise triumphantly to prove

Thou art the Living God,

before whom death

And hell itself must shake and move!

Thou Son of God-Grant me Thy face to see,

Thy voice to hear, Thy glory share;

Never apart from Thee.

Ever Thine own to be,

Throughout eternity.”7

Dr. Lehman Strauss warns, “If for any reason we have an unsound, distorted view of the sonship of Jesus, we stand in danger of being banished from the presence of God.”8

John writes, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe shares in The Fullness of Christ, “GOD HAS NO PLANS FOR MANKIND OUTSIDE OF JESUS Christ, for it is He ‘who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption’ (I Corinthians 1:30). Mankind can anticipate no fulfillment of the promises of God outside of Christ.”9

III. The Sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

“And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called / Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, / Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace / There will be no end, / Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, / To order it and establish it with judgment and justice / From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6c-7).

Isaiah also writes, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). There is a link to other names mentioned in Isaiah 9:6-7 with “Immanuel” (Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:21).

Dr. Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), called “the greatest American preacher of the 19th Century,” penned these beautiful words:

“How silently, how silently

The wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of His heaven.

No ear may hear His coming,

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him still,

The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem!

Descend to us, we pray,

Cast out our sin and enter in,

Be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels

The great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us,

Our Lord Immanuel!"

Dr. Lehman Strauss explains, “By the sovereignty of God we mean that God possesses and exercises supreme authority in all creation, including man. Modern political science and modern religion hold to the theory that sovereignty resides in the individual and that any form of government is merely the agency by which man exercises his sovereignty. . . . The god of modern religious thought no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of the Bible than does the dim light of a 15-watt light bulb the glory of the noonday sun. The absolute and universal sovereignty of God is plainly and positively affirmed in Holy Writ!”10

Dr. Loraine Boettner (1901-1990) American theologian and author, states, “In theological language the terms ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ carry with them not our occidental ideas of, on the one had, source of being and superiority, and on the other, subordination and dependence, but rather the Semitic and oriental ideas of likeness or sameness of nature and equality of being. It is, of course, the Semitic consciousness that underlies the phraseology of Scripture, and wherever the Scriptures call Christ the ‘Son of God’ they assert His true and proper deity. The title signifies a unique relationship that cannot be predicated of nor shared with any creature. As any merely human son is like his father in his essential nature, that is, possessed of humanity, so Christ, the Son of God, was like His Father in His essential nature, that is, possessed of deity. The Father and the Son, together with the Holy Spirit, are coeternal and coequal in power and glory, and partake of the same nature or substance.”11

Recently, I learned the following, “It is not perhaps well known that his books on the foundation of the faith came into the hands of Dr. Billy Graham, who not only specially commended them to his team, but also sent an emissary to Little Britain to greet the author in person.”12 The author was F. B. Hole, a man who “preached the Gospel in the West Indies and in South Africa, and indeed visited several other parts of the world in the course of his ministry.”13

Evangelist Frank Binford Hole (1874-1964), who edited and contributed to two periodicals in London: Edification and Scripture Truth, explains, “The epoch in which we live is not the day of God's government upon the earth but the day of His grace, when government is still in the hands of the Gentiles and God is gathering out of the nations a people for His name. The time of grace may soon end, and then God will arise to deal with the world problems created by the sin of man. To bring the whole earth into subjection will indeed be a colossal task, but as our scripture says, ‘The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.’ We may well rejoice that so it will be.”14

Dr. Henry Allan Ironside (1876-1951), former pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois, states, “He is destined to exercise supreme rule over all the universe.”15

On the phrase “the government will be upon His shoulder”, Pastor Brian Bill explains, “This means that all the expectations of the throne of King David are fulfilled in Christ (see 2 Samuel 7:13-16). The baby bundled in the straw holds the universe together. The one nestled on Mary’s shoulders, bears everything on His shoulders. He is redeemer and ruler of all. Part of the reason we have been inoculated by the incarnation and even bored with the baby is because we focus only on the infant Jesus.”16

John writes, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:22-23).

From His prayer recorded in John 17 we read, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:1-5).

Peter declared to Cornelius’ household, “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36).

Paul exhorted those in Philippi, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).

John records the following in Revelation 5:8-14, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

‘You are worthy to take the scroll,

And to open its seals;

For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood

Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

And have made us kings and priests to our God;

And we shall reign on the earth.’

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

‘Blessing and honor and glory and power

Be to Him who sits on the throne,

And to the Lamb, forever and ever!’

Then the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

John later writes in Revelation 11:15-18, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’ And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:

‘ We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,

The One who is and who was and who is to come,

Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,

And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,

And those who fear Your name, small and great,

And should destroy those who destroy the earth.’”

In Revelation 19:6, John tells, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”

John continues in Revelation 19:11-16, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:



Dr. Joseph T. Bayly (1920-1986), former president of David C. Cook Publishing Company, Elgin, Illinois, has written,

Praise God for Christmas

Praise Him for the incarnation,

for the word made flesh.

I will not sing of shepherds

watching flocks on frosty nights,

or angel choristers.

I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem,

or lowing oxen,

wise men trailing star with gold,

frankincense, and myrrh.

Tonight I will sing praise to the Father

who stood on heaven's threshold

and said farewell to his Son

as he stepped across the stars

to Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,

who became most finite, a baby

who would one day be executed for my crime.

Praise him in the heavens,

Praise him in the stable,

Praise him in my heart.”17

Dr. James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000) reminds us, “The world has many false ideas of Christmas. . . . We need a Savior. That is why that great Christmas hymn by Charles Wesley says so clearly:

Come, thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set Thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us;

Let us find our rest in Thee.

Born Thy people to deliver

Born a child and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever,

Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.”

Dr. Boice concludes, “To understand Christmas is to understand that and come to Him in whom alone we have salvation.”18

Paul instructs those in Rome, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved’” (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

1James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1988) Database ©2005, WORDsearch Corp

2C. Weldon Gaddy, Geography of the Soul (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), pp. 13-14

3Lehman Strauss, The Second Person (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1951), p. 28 Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

4Frederick W. Robertson, Sermons Preached at Brighton. 3 Volumes (New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1906-1909)

5David Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Available from: Accessed: 12/12/09

6Lehman Strauss, The Second Person (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1951, 1970), p. 25

7Lehman Strauss, The Second Person (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1951, 1970), p. x

8Lehman Strauss, The Second Person (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1951, 1970), p. 2

9D. Stuart Briscoe, The Fullness of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1965), p. 30

10Lehman Strauss, The First Person (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1967, 1969), p. 55

11Loraine Boettner, The Person of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1943)

12Available from: Accessed: 12/14/09

13Available from: Accessed: 12/14/09

14Available from: 5: 1-Isaiah 9: 7 Accessed: 12/12/09

15Available from: Accessed: 12/12/09

16Brian Bill, “One Baby With Many Names” Available from: Accessed: 12/12/09

17Joseph T. Bayly, Psalms of My Life (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries International, 1987)

18James Montgomery Boice, The Christ of Christmas (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1983), pp. 87-88

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on and

About the Author

[email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© December 20, 2009 All Rights Reserved


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