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“God, the Savior of Men”

Friday's Featured Sermon: "God, the Savior of Men"

by Jacob Trotter December 10, 2021

Why was Jesus born?

We know where he was born. We know when he was born. We sing songs celebrating that he was born. But why was he born?

One of the simplest answers is this: Jesus was born to be the Savior. This is why the angels in Luke 2:11 proclaimed, “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a savior.”

Before the angels spoke in Luke 2, Mary herself sang, “My soul exults the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46–47). Shortly after this, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied that God “has raised up a horn of salvation for us” (Luke 1:69). Then a righteous man named Simeon saw Jesus and said to God, “My eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:30).

Mary, Zacharias, Simeon, and the angels all recognized that Jesus was born to bring God’s salvation. They understood this because they knew that God Himself is a savior.

In his sermon “God, the Savior of Men,” John MacArthur explains,

It’s not, as some people say, that God is the bad guy and Jesus is the good guy and, that Jesus gets up there and really, really pleads with God, trying to soften Him up. It’s not that. As much as Jesus is a savior, so much is God a savior, and so much is the Holy Spirit a savior. There’s no diminishing of that saving nature in any member of the Trinity.

He continues,

In the Old Testament, God is a savior, and over and over again His salvation is spoken of; I’m going to resist the opportunity to point out innumerable Scriptures. Deuteronomy 20 verse 3, “The Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” to save you. I mean, by nature God did that. That’s just in the very fabric of His eternal being. The psalmist says of God in Psalm 25:5, “Thou are the God of my salvation.” They knew Him as a savior. In fact, David in Psalm 51 was praying to God; and he lost the joy because of his disobedience, and he says to God, “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation.” They know God as a Savior God. And the Old Testament is just filled with indications of that.

From beginning to end, Scripture presents God as a savior. And the culmination of His saving work began with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Click here to listen to John’s sermon, “God, the Savior of Sinners.”

The Sustainer of Creation and the Savior of Sinners

The Sustainer of Creation and the Savior of Sinners

by John MacArthur December 8, 2021

“If God ceased to exist, the universe would perish with Him, because God not only has created everything, He sustains everything. We are dependent on Him, not only for our origin, but also for our continuing existence.” R. C. Sproul penned those words in 2017—soon before his passing. It some novel revelation; Sproul was merely paraphrasing the author of Hebrews, who states that Christ “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3, ESV).

In fact Jesus has been sustaining all things ever since He created them. As we have already seen, He is the Creator of the entire universe, material and nonmaterial. But Christ’s authority does not stop there. He continually upholds and sustains all of His creation.

Christ established the principle of cohesion; He makes the universe a cosmos instead of chaos. He infallibly ensures that the universe runs as an ordered, reliable unit instead of as an erratic, unpredictable muddle. That’s because our Lord has devised and implemented the myriad natural laws, both complex and straightforward, that are all perfectly reliable, consistent, and precisely suited to their particular purposes. Time and again they wonderfully demonstrate the mind and power of Jesus Christ working through the universe.

No scientist, mathematician, astronomer, or nuclear physicist could do anything or discover anything apart from the sustaining power and authority of Christ. The whole universe hangs on His powerful word, His infinite wisdom, and His effortless ability to control every element and orchestrate the movements of every molecule, atom, and subatomic particle.

For example, if the size of the Earth’s orbit around the sun increased or decreased by even the slightest amount, we would soon fatally freeze or fry. If the Earth’s angle of tilt went beyond its present range even slightly, that would drastically disrupt the familiar four-season cycle and threaten to end life on the planet. Similarly, if the moon’s orbit around the Earth diminished, ocean tides would greatly increase, to unimaginable havoc. And if our atmosphere thinned just a little, many of the thousands of meteors that now enter it and harmlessly incinerate before striking the ground would crash to the surface with potentially catastrophic results.

Jesus Christ prevents such disasters by perfectly maintaining the universe’s intricate balance. The most astronomical distances and largest objects are not beyond His control. The most delicate and microscopic processes do not escape His attention. He is the preeminent power and authority who nevertheless came to earth in human form, assuming a servant’s role.

The Redeemer of Sinners

The writer of Hebrews then shifts his focus from the vastness of Christ’s universe to narrow in on His people. Jesus “by himself purged our sins” (Hebrews 1:3, KJV). Jesus, by His atoning death, brought about the purging or cleansing of the sins of all believers. That is what we needed most, and only the Lord Jesus could meet that need.

The Old Testament priests offered animal sacrifices over and over, but none of those could ultimately remove sins. Those repeated sacrifices instead merely pointed to mankind’s desperate need for a once-for-all sacrifice that could suffice for final atonement. And God provided such a sacrifice in the person of His Son, Jesus. As the writer of Hebrews later wrote, “So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28); “for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

In keeping with the Old Testament law that the sacrificial lamb had to be spotless, the final New Covenant sacrifice had to be a perfect, sinless substitute. To pay the price of sin for others he had to be perfect, or he would have likewise owed the price for his own sin and thus been unacceptable. And since no one in the world is without sin, the substitute had to be someone from outside the world. Yet to die in the place of men and women, he still needed to be a man.

Of course, the only person who could meet those requirements was Jesus Christ. He is the only sinless man, the only perfect substitute for sinners. By offering Himself to die on the cross, He took the full wrath of God for sinners like you and me. That divine wrath, originally and righteously directed toward us, was then satisfied. Thus God can forgive you—because Christ paid the penalty for your sin.

So one of the preeminent glories of Christ is that, as the God-Man, He came to die for sinners. And He died on the cross to accomplish redemption. Immediately prior to His death, Jesus uttered these profound words: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Once and for all He paid the price for the sins of everyone who would ever believe in Him.

It is because of Christ alone that we live and breathe and can enjoy eternal forgiveness. No wonder the Hebrews writer next turns to Christ’s glorious exaltation.

The Exalted One

The author of Hebrews concludes his marvelous outline of Christ’s preeminence by affirming His exaltation: “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

Christ’s ministry on earth ended forty days after His resurrection, when He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9–11). And when He returned there, God seated Him at His right hand (Psalm 110:1Hebrews 1:138:110:1212:2), which always symbolized the side of power, authority, prominence, and preeminence (Romans 8:341 Peter 3:22). Paul says that at that point God gave Him a name above all names—Lord (Philippians 2:9–11), which is the New Testament synonym for Old Testament descriptions of God as sovereign ruler.

When Jesus went into heaven, He did what no priest had ever done—He sat down. The Old Testament priests never sat down while ministering because even their most faithful work was imperfect. But Christ perfectly accomplished the work of redemption on the cross; therefore it was appropriate for Him to picture that by sitting down in glory. He remains there, on the right hand of the throne of God, as the believer’s great High Priest and intercessor (Hebrews 7:259:24).

When you read and study Hebrews 1, the wonderful truth of Jesus Christ’s preeminence and superiority shines forth from every verse. You can’t miss it, whether it’s in His inheritance of all things, His agency in creation, His essential nature as God, or His atoning death for sinners. The entire chapter effectively proclaims the Messiah’s true identity and rightful position.

When you consider the baby in the Bethlehem shelter, you’re seeing more than an adorable child who grew up to be a good teacher and compassionate healer. Hebrews 1 confronts and challenges you to own an accurate understanding of the matchless person and work of Christ. The writer, through careful, Spirit-inspired argumentation, declares irrefutably that the child born to Mary was indeed God in the manger. Jesus truly was the Son of God, miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, yet born naturally to a young woman in Israel two thousand years ago. And He is irrefutably the Lord and Savior who lived a perfect life and died as the perfect atonement, so that all who believe in Him might have eternal life.

(Adapted from God in the Manger)

AUDIO The Miraculous Baby Boy Born In Bethlehem

By Rev Bill Woods

How cute to see a little girl’s doll, recruited at the last minute and wrapped tightly in a blanket, lying on the straw of an X-ended manger that’s spent the rest of the year in the church attic.

Jessica’s to stand in for Mary — Robert, the tallest boy in Sunday school, makes a perfect Joseph — once they put the fake beard on him.

Understand, I’m not against nativity scenes.  But we’ve seen so many, year after year, it’s hard to read Scripture and see with fresh eyes what it’s saying to us.

Luke 2:1-7
 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.
 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.
 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Notice 4 things about the birth of Jesus: He was born in history, He was born in David’s birthplace, His birth was accompanied by hardship, and He was born in humble circumstances.

1.  JESUS WAS BORN IN HISTORY — Luke 2:1-2 —At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.
2  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Jesus has an historical context; He’s not a myth or a legend.

A myth is “a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence.”

    – Jesus was born in history.

A legend is “a story from the past that’s regarded as historical although not verifiable.”

    – But Jesus is both historical and verifiable. 

– He’s not only mentioned in the New Testament, but also by people living when He lived and also in early documents written by Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius, Bar-Serapion,

       Thallus, Lucian, and the Talmud.

        – Jesus is a real person in history — that can be verified!

We have record of those who were in power when Jesus was born:

      – “Caesar Augustus” was the emperor Octavian, founder of the Roman Empire, who reigned  from BC 27 until his death in AD 14, he was succeeded by Tiberius Caesar.

Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1) was called “king of the Jews,” who ruled Judea from 40BC to 4 BC.

       – Herod’s paranoia and ruthlessness was well known, he executed 3 of his own sons, his favorite wife and her mother and slaughtered all the baby boys in Bethlehem.

The 3rd ruler — Quirinius, was a military leader and Roman consul in central Asia Minor, and later Imperial Legate of Syria-Cilicia (AD 6 to 9), where Josephus said he conducted a census.

    – The census in Luke 2 wasn’t recorded historically, but probably took place under a command   authority he had during his military maneuvers in Cilicia, or during an earlier stint as governor in Syria.

    – Early heresies such as Docetism and modern heresies such as Christian Science strip Jesus  of His place in history and make Him into some kind of “Christ figure” or metaphysical guru.

        – Scripture puts Him within history as a man who lived and died and rose again in real  time, a man who permanently changed the history he was born into.

One Solitary Life by ken Blanchard

He was born in an obscure village, the child of peasant woman. He grew up in still another villager where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.

 2.  JESUS WAS BORN IN DAVID’S BIRTHPLACE — Luke 2:4 — And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.

Jesus was born in the birthplace of David, Israel’s greatest King who reigned 1000 years before Jesus was born.

    God’s promise to David through the Prophet Samuel

2 Samuel 7:16 Your house  and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.’”

Micah prophesied 730 years before Christ was born — Micah 5:2 — But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.

The Jews eagerly expected David’s successor and called Him the Messiah the “Son of David.”

    – Jesus is the Son of David, this promised King. 

      – It’s no accident that Joseph was “of the house and lineage of David” — Luke 2:4 or that   Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.

Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, but God needed them in Bethlehem for this birth.

    – “It just so happened…” that Rome ordered a tax census and Joseph had to return to his  ancestral town, Bethlehem, to enroll.”  (What a coincidence!)

      – This meant hardship for the Family.

The most glorious event in history was unfolding, but for Joseph and Mary it was drudgery and hardship — a real pain.

    – Mary and Joseph lived 4 days journey north of Bethlehem in Nazareth.

Mary was pregnant.

    – A journey late in pregnancy was arduous for her.

      – But if she stayed in Nazareth, she’d have to face scandal alone.

      – Her unmarried pregnancy could have gotten stoned to death!

Luke puts it delicately — Luke 2:5 — He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

Making the problem even worse, it was probably winter.

    – Larry Shown bawling me out for having Marty out so late in her pregnancy with Kim.

    – What a horrible journey in winter for a pregnant teenage mom!

      – Who says following God’s Plan is easy?

Just because we face hardships and obstacles doesn’t mean God’s absent or that we’ve misread His will.

    – Sure, we face trouble.

      – But we face even more trouble if we DON’T follow Jesus.

Jesus faced obstacles, but He told His disciples — John 16:33 — I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

4. JESUS WAS BORN IN HUMBLE CIRCUMSTANCES — Luke 2:5-7 — He took with him  Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
 She gave birth to her first child, a son.

She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth  and  .  laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The manger always astounds me!  COULDN’T GOD HAVE DONE BETTER FOR HIS OWN SON? !!!

    – Jesus wasn’t born in a snug home or a sterile hospital 

“there was no room for them in  the inn.”

We’ve romanticized the birth and swept up after the animals, but the evidence is clear:

    – God’s Holy Son was born in a dirty stable or cave where animals were kept.

His 1st crib was a common cattle trough!

        – Why?  I wonder.

          – I ask again, wouldn’t you think God could’ve done better than that?…………..

I don’t think this was an accident or God’s lack of provision for His Son.

    – There’s a message here. Though Jesus was by very nature God — Philippians 2:6 —

      Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to

      cling to.

He didn’t grasp at His prerogatives or flaunt His rights.

Instead, he “made Himself nothing” (Greek Kenoo), taking the very nature of a servant, created in human likeness….

Philippians 2:7 — Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,

    – The Greek word kenoo means “make empty”

      – Jesus literally “emptied Himself” of all the privileges He was heir to.

        – He didn’t just take a low place; He took the lowest place.

His commission was “to preach good news to the poor” — Luke 4:18-19
18  “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,
19  and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”

This is quoted from Isaiah 61:1 — The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

So He was born among the poorest.

His disciples argued about who’d be greatest in the Kingdom, but Jesus stopped them short   

 Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The manger represents serving.

    – The message is clear: Jesus’ disciples aren’t supposed to seek glory but to be servants.

      – Serving when it’s convenient and serving when it isn’t.

        – Serving when no one understands or appreciates what we do.

Christmas teaches us servanthood, God’s serving, and then ours.


Today people are scrambling to pick up gifts for people they care about or feel obligated to give something to.

    – All those I-pods, computers, cars, toys, or whatever are going to wear out and be tossed.


Most expensive gifts come with a warranty.

    – If they wear out or have faulty parts they’ll be replaced.


    – Our warranty is ETERNAL LIFE WITH CHRIST!



The updated version of Rev Bill Woods’ book “There Is Still Power In The Blood” will be available soon.

AUDIO Was This Anyway To Treat A King?

By Rev. Bill Woods

Luke 2:1-14


Luke 2:1-7

1  At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.
2  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.
4  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
5  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
6  And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
7  She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Paying taxes isn’t something we like to do, but this time God orchestrated it.

     – This time it was a miracle because God moved a whole nation to get Mary to Bethlehem so  prophecy could be fulfilled at Jesus birth.!

Augustus wasn’t a man of God and didn’t know he was helping complete God’s prophecy made 750 years earlier.

God often uses evil men to carry out His purpose.

      – He did to chasten Israel.

      – To crucify Jesus.

      – That’s what He did here.

The Birth — Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

If people who have trouble with the virgin birth would check a little closer, they’d see everything about the super­natural Christ is supernatural.

His beginning (as a man) was supernaturally ordained:

Galatians 4:4 — But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.

His body ordained:

Hebrews 10:5 — That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer.”

    – Talk about Designer Genes!

His Blood ordained1 Peter 1:19-20 — It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.

His purpose was ordained to get the job done!Hebrews 9:26 — If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.

His family was ordained

  • Every human being is predestined to be adopted into God’s Family and share Heaven with God and His angels.
  • Even though God predetermined that we should be with Him in His Kingdom, it’s up to us as individuals to accept His Gift.
  • The arrangements were made but Satan threw a monkey wrench into the plan when he tempted Eve and Adam to sin — God then had to make Salvation available to us by our choice.
  • Each of us has been chosen to share in God’s Family but as Free-moral agents we have the power to choose God or not to choose God.

We have 2 grandchildren that, at the moment, have opted to reject their mom and her family.

  • They’ve listened to and bought into lies told by their biological dad and at this moment are living outside of the blessings belonging to our family.
  • Because of their choices they’ve missed out on birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and aren’t even listed as beneficiaries to inherit what should rightfully be theirs when we die.
  • They’ve made the choice!  Our family desperately wants them to come back into the fold!

In the same way, Satan has told lies that have alienated God’s children from Him.

  • He wants them to come back to Him, but it’s their choice as individuals whether they do or don’t.
  • This rebellious rejection of God is causing sinners to miss the inheritance God has for them.

Ephesians 1:4-7Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Because the Wages of Sin is Death and we’re born sinners, God had to redeem us unto Himself.

  • Not one person on earth could be good enough to earn Heaven — only a man with no sin of His own  could achieve that by dying in our place — MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Jesus is God — He alone could atone for the sins of the world population!

  • His Atonement is universal and is offered to every man, woman, and child, but we must choose to accept this wonderful gift!
  • We must choose personally — nobody can choose for us.

How was this Gift delivered?

  • You’d think something this important would be with a lot of fanfare and folderol.
  • This Gift was delivered in the most humble way — so even the poorest could know they were included.

THE MANGER — Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Things haven’t changed!  THERE’S STILL NO ROOM FOR JESUS!

Jesus desires a relationship with His Creation but the coldness of the world crowds Him out. 

The world has no room for JESUS!

The parents at the Mesa grade school made a fuss over Silent Night and The Little Drummer Boy being included in the children’s Christmas program.

  • The dad made the most fuss. He said, “This is neither the time nor the place.”      
  • What are we celebrating?  I wonder if their children are going to receive gifts to celebrate this Holiday that starts with the Name of Christ!               

Most homes crowd Him out! — Luke 9:58 — But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

  • Jesus can certainly identify with the homeless people.
  • He wants to give you a home in Heaven!


  • When we lost our home in 2008, I had to retrieve mail sent to the old house because the address change hadn’t been fixed yet — the father of the man who took our house said, “There is such a spirit of peace in this house, I understand a minister used to live here!”

Jesus wasn’t welcome in His own Synagogue:

Luke 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

When He announced who He was the people in the synagogue were furious. 

  • Jesus isn’t welcome in most churches today.

Matthew 7:21-23 — “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

Jesus isn’t welcome in our Society

Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

This describes the confusion of the world.

  • They don’t recognize the Gift of God that can bring Peace and Hope so they avoid Him.

All the prophets told the place, manner, and time of His birth.

  • There was and is still no room.

But there was room in: In Pilate’s Hall!   On Calvary’s Cross.  In Joseph’s tomb!

But let’s go on with the rest of the story:

Luke 2:8-18 — That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,


    – They were favored by a visit from angels — glory shone about them.

    – Imagine the thrill of seeing angels!

    – God included these shepherds in this wonderful news showing God cares for the lowly and the humble.

They were Frightened!

  • God’s mercy produces love and compassion.
  • God’s glory always produces fright.

Isaiah 6 — “Woe is Me”

Acts 9 — Saul (Paul) fell to the ground

Revelation — John fell like a dead man.

Today, too many people take God too flippant and casual.

  • We should approach Him with respect and reverence!


It was Simple and very understandable.

  • People try to make the Plan of Salvation too difficult.

1 John 1:9 — But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

The message stimulated the shepherds to action.

  • They didn’t just continue to sit like bumps on a log. 
  • They got up and got busy — happily responding to the Gift God had just given them

Too many Christians think when they’re saved thats an end in itself.

  • Not so!  There should be a NO PARKING sign on the altar.
  • When we’re saved, we should get busy for the Lord — the shepherds told everyone!

The message brought Satisfaction

  • Nothing’s more satisfying than knowing your sins are forgiven and are under the Blood of Christ and that if you died right now you’d be with Him in Glory!







There was a young man getting ready to go to college.

  • He knew the vastness of the college campus he was to attend and thought he needed a car to make it to his classes on time. 
  • His classes were all over that huge campus and scheduled close together.
  • Also he felt a car would help his social life.

He asked his dad to buy him a car he’d already picked out.

Dad said, “Come back this afternoon and we’ll talk about it.”

That afternoon he went to Dad’s office expecting to receive money for a car.

Instead, Dad handed him a book and said, “Son I want you read this book.  It’ll help you in your college career.”

The son said, “But Dad, I really need the car right away.”

  • Dad said, “After you read the book, we’ll discuss a car.”

Angrily, the son stomped out of the office, took the book home and threw it on the floor of his room.

He went to college without a car!

  • At Christmas break he came home and asked his dad about a car.
  • Dad answered, “Have you read the book?”

Talk about getting upset at the unreasonableness of his dad!

  • All through 4 years of college, every time he came home he’d ask about a car.
  • Each time the answer was, “Have you read the book?”

Finally, he graduated, got married and had a family of his own.

Years later he asked his dad just what was so important about that book?

Dad said, “Do you still have the book?”

  • The now grown-up son said, “Yes, I kept it but have never read it!”
  • Dad said, “Get it and open it.”

When the son opened the book, he found a check written for the amount of the car he’d wanted for college.

  • The money was there all time, but he wouldn’t open the book to find it.






The updated version of Rev Bill Woods’ book “There Is Still Power In The Blood” will be available soon.

VIDEO Who is Jesus? The God-Man

December 27, 2020

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Philippians 2:5-11

Jesus’s ministry lasted only for three years, and yet His Word and His influence change lives today. Philippians 2:5-11 reveals exactly who Jesus, the God-Man, is.

  • Supernatural: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who… made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men…” (v.5, 7) Jesus was made in the likeness of men, but He was not conceived like any other child. He was born of a virgin, exempt from the curse of man, for God’s Holy blood flowed through His veins.
  • Sinless: Though tempted at all points like us, Jesus remained completely sinless.
  • Sovereign: “…being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God…” (v. 6) Jesus is the Son of God; He is also God the Son.
  • Sacrificial: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient.” (v. 8) Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus’s death was not incidental or accidental. He did not die as a victim or a martyr. He died in obedience to the Father, that you and I might be saved by His death on the cross.”
  • Surviving: C.S. Lewis said, “He has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten back the king of death. Everything is different because He has done so.”
  • Soon-Coming: “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.” (v. 9-11) Jesus will return; and when He does, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
  • Saving: Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus is not a good way to Heaven or the best way to Heaven. Jesus is the only way to Heaven.”

Apply it to your life

Jesus is what the world needs today. Tell someone about the Son of God who left Heaven, came to this Earth, suffered, bled, and died, and walked out of that grave a living, risen Savior.

Downloadable Resources

These resources are now available in multiple formats. You can print from either version. The Word version is editable.

Prophetic Warning and Encouragement

Hoping to write blogs on regular things like “Daily Time in the Word” or “Beauty of Fellowship”. But I feel the Holy Spirit leading to release another dream. Believing this is for His Church..

Dream 1/19/21 : Just a still vision.. Two huge crystals. One was a bowl. I was told it was an amulet. Another was like an earth and I was told it was an omni amulet.

Upon awakening, I wasn’t sure what an amulet was.  I googled it and learned that it is a form of magic to protect against danger and evil.. Onni means in all places and ways.

The omni amulet represents how the enemy is trying to cover all the earth in a spirit of witchcraft.. False truth.. An antichrist culture.. The bowl represents people.. Bowls are to be filled, so we can put things inside.. To eat and drink to live.. Many bowls are covered in spirits not of God.. Being filled with deceit, manipulation and idolatry.. 

We must be putting on the full armor of God.. Meditating on His Word day and night.. Overflowing with the Holy Spirit.. Authoritatively praying against the spirit of evil trying to cover all of the earth.. Pray that the spirit of God will cover all of the earth in His love, light and glory, in Jesus Name.. What life food are we filling our bowls with? May it be Jesus and Jesus alone.

I understand a lot of prophets didn’t get things as thought. May we not judge in unbiblical ways.  People have lost faith because their words did not come to pass.  This shows how much is looked to man and not God.. How much hearts need to be more devoted, learning in the Bible.. Hearing from the Holy Spirit ourselves. We are not to despise prophecies.

May prophetic messages be served and received in love and honor of Yahweh.. To build us up as His Bride.. To help keep our oil full and our lives on His narrow path.. Remaining faithful to Jesus. All is for His glory.

The Lord in His perfect love encourages and warns us.. This is an exciting time.. Do not fear man.. Beautifully fear God in reverence and awestruck wonder.. Our Father cares. He is working all things out in his ultimate kindness and goodness.. To reveal and bring breakthrough.. But it’ll be a ride.. 

We have entered a time where evil has been tolerated for so long.. that it’s become normal for others.. And even celebrated.. Brothers and sisters ~ People must see Jesus living within us.. Hope of glory.. Dwelling in us as His believers.. Church, lets pray without ceasing and discern with wisdom from above.. Walk in the Holy Spirit.. Abide deeply in His Word.. Keep your hearts pure.. Make your entire life a sacrifice of praise to Him.. 

Our Abba didn’t create us to just sit back and watch the movie.. We are citizens of heaven, His babies. He is empowering us to partner with Him for such a time as this.. Seek His face with all your heart.. Worship and proclaim our Lord is Jesus.. Rise and thrive in our Saviors love..

What can we learn from Noah and the Ark?

February 5, 2021Author: hephzibahgarden

Noah and the Ark that Noah built, have some important lessons to teach us:

About Noah:

  • He was a man of Rest. The name Noah has two meanings. One of the meaning is Rest and the other is Comforter.

And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. Genesis‬ ‭5:29‬

  • He was a man who found grace in the sight of God.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis‬ ‭6:8‬.

  • 3 beautiful qualities in Noah — He was a just man, perfect in his generation and he walked with God.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.Genesis‬ ‭6:9‬

  • God gave testimony about Noah that he was a righteous man

And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Genesis‬ ‭7:1‬

  • He was a preacher of righteousness. He preached for about 100 years.

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Peter‬ ‭2:5‬

  • He and his family of 8 stepped into the Ark according to the command of God. They were saved from the great flood that destroyed the whole earth, during the time.

And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Genesis‬ ‭7:7‬

  • 2 each of every living thing also went into the Ark

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. Genesis‬ ‭6:19-20‬

  • The days of the Son of man (end time) is also compared with the days of Noah

And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Luke‬ ‭17:26-27‬.

About the Ark:

  • The Ark was made of Gopher wood. The inside and outside of the Ark was covered with tar. The Ark is compared with the Church — the Body of Christ. Tar spiritually refers to grace. As believers, we must be covered with the grace of God inside and outside.

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. Genesis‬ ‭6:14‬

  • The Ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad and 30 cubits high. 300 spiritually refers to the experience of walking with God. Enoch, a family man, walked with God for 300 years and then he disappeared because God took him away. A believer must have a walking with God experiencedaily, to be partake of God’s kingdom. 50 refers to the day of Pentecost. On this day, the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 people gathered and they all were baptised in the Spirit. To enter the kingdom of God, we must receive the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. 30 refers to doing the will of God. Jesus began His ministry at the age of 30. This means doing the will of God is necessary for a believer to find himself inside the Ark/Body of Christ/Church.

And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. Genesis‬ ‭6:15‬.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John‬ ‭10:7,9‬

Be blessed! 

Can A Born Again Christian Fall Away and Be Lost?


Christians have debated for centuries over whether a truly saved person can lose their salvation. Probably the strongest Biblical passage for that position is Hebrews 6:4-6. This is what the text says,

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

 Now, exactly what does this passage mean? It seems to indicate that a saved person who has experienced all the blessings in vs.4-5 can in the end fall away and be lost. In this blog I want to refer you to two principles of Biblical interpretation:

1) Remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture; and

2) Remember that context rules

Scripture Will Never Contradict Scripture:

That first rule of interpretation about Scripture not contradicting Scripture comes into play because there are other passages in Hebrews which seem to teach the opposite position. Let’s take a look at a few other passages which seem to teach that a born again Christian can’t lose their salvation, because they will persevere in faith to the end.

 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end (Heb. 3:14)

This text speaks about something that has already taken place (have become partakers of Christ) if the following condition is met (we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end). The text is not saying that we will become a partaker of Christ if we go on to hold fast the assurance of our faith until the end. Rather, we have already become partakers of Christ if we go on to persevere in faith. Thus, a person who does not hold fast their assurance firm until the end never became a partaker of Christ. Thus Hebrews 3:14 seems to be saying the exact opposite of Hebrews 6:4-6. Now, two mutually exclusive positions can not both be true. Either one of them is wrong, or both are wrong, but both can’t be true. Either it is possible for a true believer to fall away and lose their salvation, or it is not possible for a true believer to fall away and lose their salvation, but it is one or the other.

Furthermore, Hebrews 10:14 says, For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified (ESV).

If it is true that Jesus’ offering up of Himself on the cross has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified, then it is not possible for those same persons to fall away and lose their salvation. For those who are indwelt, regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit, they possess a perfect standing before God based on the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, and it is “for all time”! They were not perfected until they fall away, but for all time.

Hebrews 13:20-21 tells us,

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen

This text mentions the “eternal covenant.” Well, in Jeremiah 32:40 we also read of the “everlasting covenant”, which I would presume refers to the same thing. What is the nature of the everlasting covenant?

I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.

This covenant includes two things:

1) God will not turn away from them to do them good; and

2) Those with whom this everlasting covenant is made will not turn away from God because God will put the fear of Him in their hearts.

Now, if God promises that He will never turn away from them, and that they will never turn away from Him, what is our only conclusion? That these people will never fall away and be lost.

I’ve said all of this to highlight our first principle of Biblical interpretation – “remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture.” It appears that Scripture is contradicting Scripture. But that’s just it. It must be only an appearance of a contradiction. Our understanding of one or more of these texts must be wrong, because God who inspired all of these texts is a God of truth, and doesn’t contradict Himself. So what are we to do? We need to go back to the drawing room, and decide if we have understood Hebrews 6:4-6 correctly.

Context Rules:

In order to do that, let’s utilize our second rule of Biblical interpretation – “remember that context rules.” So, let’s go back and look at the context of this passage to see if we can uncover any clues as to its proper interpretation.

Hebrews 5:11-14 – in this section we discover several things about the recipients of this letter.

1) they were dull of hearing

2) they should have advanced to teachers by then

3) instead they needed someone to teach them the elementary principles of the Word of God

4) they were spiritual infants and unable to consume anything except for milk

5) they were spiritually immature.

Now, remember the whole situation in which this letter was written. The Letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were being tempted to forsake Christ and go back to Judaism. That’s why all the way through the author keeps emphasizing the word “better.” Christ is better than the angels, better than Moses, better than the Aaronic priesthood, He brings in a better covenant, a better hope, better promises, and is a better sacrifice. The author of this letter is urging these new Jewish believers not to forsake Christ and go back to Judaism, for that would mean their spiritual destruction.

Hebrews 6:1-3 – Here the author exhorts his readers to press on to maturity (vs. 1). In other words, they must make progress in their faith. They should have been at the point where they could be teaching others, but were still spiritual babies. They needed to mature.

Hebrews 6:4-6 – Notice that vs. 4 begins with the word “for”, which tells us that the author is giving us a reason why the readers must press on to maturity. It is because if they have received great and precious privileges and blessings, and then have fallen away, they are lost forever. This is a very serious and solemn passage. The author of Hebrews is urgently exhorting his readers to mature in their faith and bear fruit of their salvation, because it is possible that some of them who do not do this may “fall away” and prove that they were never truly saved to begin with.

But you might be thinking, “Brian, how in the world can verses 4-5 be speaking of a person who is not truly saved? Well, let’s look at them. What are these great blessings they had experienced?

1) Enlightenment

2) Tasted of the heavenly gift (probably the gift of the Holy Spirit- Acts 2:38)

3) Partakers of the Holy Spirit

4) Tasted the good word of God

5) Tasted the powers of the age to come

Notice that these readers had “tasted” several of these blessings. Is it possible for someone to taste something, swish it around in their mouth for a while, and then spit it out? Of course it is. No doubt these readers were participating in a Christian church in which the gospel was preached (enlightened, tasted the good word of God), and the power of the Holy Spirit was manifest (tasted the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the powers of the age to come). So, if we were to boil down these blessings we could reduce them to two – the gospel was proclaimed and the Spirit was working. And these professing Christians had continually heard the Word and seen the Spirit work. Yet, there was still the possibility that they could “fall away” and find it impossible to be renewed again to repentance.

Many find the expression “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance” to be ironclad proof that these people were truly saved. After all, they had already repented. However, in 2 Cor. 7:10 Paul says, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Evidently there are two kinds of sorrow – one leading to salvation and the other leading to death. Just as there is a saving faith which ushers in a life of good works, and a non-saving faith which does not usher in good works, so there is a true repentance which leads to salvation and a worldly repentance which is merely regret for the misery their sin has caused them.

The author goes on to say, “since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” Note the little word “and.” These people had once put the Son of God to open shame by valuing other things of the world more than Him. Then they professed faith in Christ and conversion. If they fell away after that, they would be doing the same thing they had done originally, by showing that they valued the rituals and laws of Judaism more than Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:7-8 – Notice again that vs. 7 begins with the word “for.” That tells us that he is going to explain what he meant in verses 4-6. Here he gives a little parable of two different kinds of fields. Both of these fields received abundant rains. However, only one field brought forth useful vegetation, while the other brought forth only worthless thorns and thistles. The first kind of field receives a blessing from God, while the latter is close to being cursed and ends up being burned. The author is explaining the person in vs. 4-6 who received the abundant rains of hearing the Word of God, and seeing the works of the Spirit. However, if he did not produce fruit in his life his end would be that of being “cursed” and “burned” (Mt.25:41). This brings us to the final piece of context which we need to examine.

Hebrews 6:9-12 – The author says in vs. 9, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.” The author believed that his readers were the fruitful and blessed field, not the barren and cursed field. Notice how he puts it – “we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation.” Now, what are the “better things” he’s referring to? Fruitfulness and persevering faith! And, notice that these are the things that “accompany salvation.” When an individual receives salvation, he will produce fruit, and he will persevere to the end, which is exactly what Hebrews 3:14; 10:14; 13:20-21 and Jer. 32:40 all teach.

So, to sum up, I believe that Hebrews 6:4-6 is a strong, sobering, warning for any professing Christian who seems to remain in a spiritually immature condition, rather than pressing on to maturity, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and persevering in faith to the end. To any professing Christian who has heard the Word of God continually, and seen the powers of the Holy Spirit, and then falls away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. Why? Because they have already received all the light they can receive, and then they have turned their backs on it, and deserted Christ to go back from where they came. They have proven that the things of the world are more valuable to them than Jesus. Thus, repentance becomes impossible for them. [ The author seems to outline an unpardonable sin of falling away which seems to contradict the teaching of the Prodigal Son  Luke 15:11-31 ]

I hope this blog is more than an exercise in Biblical Hermeneutics for you. I hope it gives us all a needed and sobering reminder that true saving faith always results in a transformed life, and that we “must show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end (Heb.6:11).” None of us want to hear those terrifying words out of the mouth of our Lord, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”!

Original here

God’s Holiness, Your Wholeness

by Skip Heitzig | December 29, 2020

If ever there was a religious sounding word, it’s holy. Regardless of the context, most people probably hear it and think of cathedrals, stained glass, candlelight, and the sound of monks chanting. Step outside, and holiness evokes a desert landscape wandered by bearded men in sandals.

Most of the time, our understanding of God’s holiness makes Him seem unapproachable, even unpleasant. He’s up there, we’re down here, and all we can do is hope He grades on a curve. The prophet Isaiah’s vision of God fits that profile: he saw the Lord “high and lifted up,” His robe spread throughout the temple, with six-winged seraphim crying out, “Holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:1, 3). Isaiah’s reaction was fitting: he cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (v. 5).

The apostle John’s vision of the same awe-inspiring scene in Revelation 4 offers a few more details but echoes the same proclamation from the angels: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” (v. 8). Though we might say that holiness is God’s most unpopular attribute, it is His most noteworthy one to the heavenly hosts, worth the emphasis of triple repetition.

Heaven’s cry is not “love, love, love” or “grace, grace, grace.” It isn’t “wrath, wrath, wrath” or “justice, justice, justice.” Those are all key aspects of God’s character and nature, but His only attribute that merits such a superlative highlighting is His holiness. The Bible calls God holy over 630 times. His holiness separates Him from all of His creation. There is no one like Him, perfect in all His ways. And as Isaiah discovered, His perfection magnifies our imperfection.

But Isaiah also discovered that God is not aloof in His holiness. While Isaiah lamented his “unclean lips” (v. 5), an angel touched his corrupt human mouth with a live coal from the altar. It was a symbolic gesture of purification, and a necessary one, since God’s holiness cannot abide the presence of unholiness. It also pointed to the ultimate cleansing that God would provide through Jesus Christ.

That leads us to an important truth about God’s holiness: He doesn’t destroy the unholy but declares us holy through the blood of Christ. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). In other words, God’s holiness includes paying the price required to allow us into His presence. His holiness informs His love, grace, and mercy, and it satisfies His justice and wrath.

Like Isaiah, when we have the humility to recognize the gulf between us and God, we will respond with repentance and gratitude. We’ll embrace what God has done for us in Christ, and the smoke surrounding God’s holiness will clear: we’ll see that His holiness makes our salvation possible, empowers us with purpose, and guides us to wholeness.

A relationship with God is transformative; He loves us the way we are, but He loves us so much He won’t leave us that way. This is where our sanctification—growing in holiness—comes into play. When you grow in holiness, you’re after not perfection but pursuit. You want to pursue the God who pursued you, and you want to let others know that His holiness leads to our wholeness. And just like the angels in heaven who never tire of God’s holiness, you’ll come to a place where you’re captivated by His perfection, driven to glorify Him in all things.’s-holiness-your-wholeness

This Is God

by Skip Heitzig | December 15, 2020

I remember the night I met the woman who would become my wife. I was at a friend’s apartment in Southern California, and I saw her from across the room. She confidently walked up to me, put out her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Lenya.” On our first date, she told me about her background, her hopes, and her dreams. Thus started a long, lasting, and very satisfying relationship.

The best way to get acquainted with someone is to get firsthand knowledge from them about who they are. Essentially, that is what Moses did to God in Exodus 34. Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God answered his request not with an appearance, but with a list of attributes. In this foundational passage about who God is, we see two aspects of His personality: His designation, or who He says He is, and His description, what He says about Himself.

First is His designation: God began by naming Himself. “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God'” (v. 6)—or Yahweh, Yahweh El in Hebrew. El is the generic term for God, but Yahweh is specific, and it means I am. This is the name God used when He introduced Himself to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3: “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). The repetition here was to emphasize to Moses that this was the same God who spoke to him back then.

What does the name I am tell us about God? It means He is the self-existent one, the only noncontingent being in the universe—that is, He doesn’t depend on anybody else for His existence. It also refers to his eternal nature. God is not the great I was or I used to be; He is the great I am. And it highlights His active existence—that He is involved with humanity, not detached or aloof.

In the Bible, a person’s name was far more than just an identity tag. The Hebrew people believed there was a connection between a person’s name and a person’s nature. Whatever they were named was often brought to bear with their character. So this is God’s character, reputation, and authority—His designation: Yahweh, Yahweh El.

That brings us to God’s description of who He is: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (vv. 6-7). What a description, isn’t it?

Here’s how Moses responded: he “made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped” (v. 8). God introduced Himself to Moses—”Hi, I’m God. Here’s what I’m like”—and Moses worshiped. All teaching of the Scriptures should lead to this; good theology is the foundation and impetus for true worship. That’s why I tell worship leaders every chance I get, “Make sure your songs are filled with good theology.”

Do you, like Moses, make haste to worship the Lord every time you learn more about Him? It’s the fitting response, and it’s one of the keys to a long, lasting, and satisfying relationship with Him.

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