North Anderson Baptist Church
The Greatest Mystery
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
It is not surprising that genuine people find the Gospel of Jesus Christ hard to believe. The truth is, the Gospel deals with realities far greater than we can comprehend.

It is sad, however, that many believers, and non-believers alike make faith more difficult than it needs to be, by finding difficulties in the wrong places.

The atonement:

Many deal with difficulty here. How, some ask, can we believe that the single death of Jesus of Nazareth can truly have any bearing on the sins I commit today?

The Resurrection:

This seems for many a stumbling block… How, we ask, can Jesus TRULY have risen PHYSICALLY from the dead? Granted it is hard to deny the empty tomb, but surely the difficulty in believing that Jesus emerged from it into unending bodily life is even greater.

Isn’t it easier to assert that the body was stolen, than to credit the doctrine of the resurrection?

The Virgin Birth

Unfortunately, this is denied widely among protestants today. How, many ask, can someone believe in such a biological anomaly?

The Gospel Miracles

Many people find a source of difficulty here. Granted many believe that Jesus healed (hard to deny), but how can we believe that He walked on water, fed the 5,000, raised the dead?
May I suggest to you this morning, that the GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL does not lie in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of the Resurrection, BUT in the Christmas message of the Incarnation

The truly staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed: God Made Man—The second person of the Godhead became the “second man” (1 Cor. 15:47)

Not only that, but Jesus of Nazareth took on humanity without loss of deity, so that He was as truly divine as He was human.

Here we have 2 mysteries for the price of 1

The plurality of persons within the unity of God

The union of God and Man in the person of Jesus

It is here, in the event that happened on the first Christmas, that the profoundest and most unfathomable depths of Christian Revelation are found: “The Word Became Flesh.”

God became man

The divine Son became a Jew

The almighty appeared on earth as a helpless baby, unable to do any more than wiggle and make noises

Needing to be fed, changed, and taught to talk like any other child

There is no allusion or deception in this: The babyhood of The Son of God was a REALITY

The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets

Nothing in fiction will ever be more fantastic as the truth of the incarnation
HERE is where the true stumbling block lies

It is here that Jews, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many of those who feel the difficulties with the virgin birth, the miracles, the atonement, and the resurrection come to grief.

It is from misbelief, or at least inadequate belief of this truth that difficulties at other points in the Gospels usually arise.

But once the Incarnation is grasped as a reality, these other difficulties dissolve!!!

If, however your belief is that Jesus is no more than a remarkable, Godly man, the difficulties in believing what the NT tells us about His life and work become truly mountainous!

But if Jesus was the same person as the Eternal Word, the Father’s Agent in creation, “through whom He also made the universe” (Hebrews 1:2)

If Jesus is indeed what scripture tells us He is, then it is no wonder that acts of creative power marked His coming into the world, His life in it, and His exit from it.

It is not strange that He, the author of life itself, should rise from the dead

If He truly is God the son, then I would suggest to you today, that it is truly more startling that Jesus should die, than that He should rise again.

And if the immortal son of God did really submit to taste death, it is not strange that such death should have saving significance for a doomed race.

***Once we grant that Jesus was divine, it becomes unreasonable to find difficulty in any of this***

The Incarnation is in itself an unfathomable mystery, but it makes sense of everything else that the NT contains.
SO… Who. Is. This. Child?

The Gospel of Matthew and Luke explain to us the details of Jesus’ birth. Each one in here knows the details

Obscure Jewish village, Bethlehem

Stable because there was no room in the inn, etc.

This happened in order to fulfill the prophecy (Matthew 5:1-6) about the coming Messiah, but again, the importance is not necessarily the events of that Baby’s birth, rather the identity of the Baby born in Bethlehem.

The NT gives us two explanations about who this baby is. We have already laid them out, but I would like to look in detail at what the Bible says about this baby.

The Baby born at Bethlehem was GOD

More precise biblical language gives us the term “son of God”

This phrase, however seems to cause questions to be raised.

Does the statement God’s son mean that there are indeed 2 beings that Christians worship? This would mean that Christianity is indeed polytheistic just as the Jews and Muslims claim

Or does this phrase simply imply that Jesus was not personally divine in the same sense as the father?

In the early church, the Arians believed this

Today, sects such as Jehovah’s witnesses have gravitated toward this thought.
So what does the Bible mean when it says that Jesus is the Son of God?

These questions have puzzled some, including myself. But today I stand before you and proclaim that no question is too great for the word of God!

Scripture leaves NO DOUBT as to how we should answer this question. And the funny thing is, these questions were raised and solved together by one Apostle in the prologue of his Gospel. The Apostle John.
John presents Jesus throughout his Gospel as “the son of God”


John also understood the mistakes that could arise from this description

Jewish theology used “Son of God” as a title for the (human) messiah. A conquering king that would deliver Israel from the hands of Rome.

Greek mythology told of many “sons of gods” which were super men that were born of a god and human woman.

So John, empowered by the Holy Spirit, made it ABSOLUTELY clear that the Sonship that Jesus claimed and that Christians ascribed to Him WAS in fact a description of personal deity.

From this, we get John’s famous prologue.
*Notice with me that John, in his opening sentences, does not use the term “son” at all. Rather, he speaks first about the “Word.”

*There was no danger in this being misunderstood by John’s audience. OT readers would understand this reference very easily.

God’s word in the OT is God’s Creative Power

Gods word, meaning the literal utterance from God’s mouth is shown to have power over the thing spoken (Psalm 33:6,9) (Genesis1:3)

The word of God, the Bible says, and John’s audience understood is at work!
John gives us 7 truths about the Word in his prologue. Let’s take a look at what they are:

1. “In the Beginning was the Word” (1:1)

The Word is ETERNAL

Genesis 1:26- us, our

Psalm 119:89

Matthew 24:35

2. “The Word was WITH GOD” (1:1)

Here we see the Word’s PERSONALITY

The power that fulfills God’s purposes (i.e. creation) is the power of a DISTINCT, PERSONAL being. This being has an eternal relationship with God

John 10:25-30

John 17:2-5

John 17:21-23

3. “The Word WAS GOD” (1:1)

The Word’s DEITY

Though distinct from the Father, the Word is not a creature (created). He is divine Himself as the Father is divine.

John 8:23-24

John 8:58

Colossians 2:9

Hebrews 1:8

4. “Through Him all things were made” (1:3)

Here is the word CREATING

Jesus is the Father’s agent in creating EVERYTHING that has ever existed!

This is further proof that Jesus, the maker of all things, does not belong to the class of things created.

Colossians 1:16

1 Corinthians 8:6

John 1:10

5. “In Him was LIFE” (1:4)

Here is the word ANIMATING

There is no physical life in the created order that is not given through Jesus.

Here is the Bible’s answer for the ORIGIN and CONTINUENCE of life, in all its forms (human, plant, bacteria, etc.)

Life is given and maintained BY THE WORD!

Created things do not have life in themselves, but life through THE WORD: the second person of the trinity

John 5:21

John 5:40

1 John 4:9

6. “That life was the LIGHT of ALL MANKIND”

Here is the Word REVEALING

In giving life, the word REVEALS to man His Glory and their need of Him

John 8:12

Hebrews 1:3

2 Corinthians 4:6

Colossians 1:27

John 1:14

7. “The Word BECAME FLESH” (1:14)

Here is the word INCARNATE

The baby in the manger at Bethlehem was none other than the ETERNAL WORD OF GOD.

Matthew 1:23

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 43:10,11
And now, after identifying WHO Jesus is: the eternal, divine, author of all things John gives us the identification of Jesus as God’s Son

John 1:14;18

John has now made it INCREDIBLY CLEAR what is meant by “The Son of God”

The Son of God is the Eternal Word of God

The Christmas message rests on the staggering fact that the child in the manger was indeed GOD

But this is only HALF the story…
Invitation (non-believer)

God has revealed to us in His word the incredible mystery of the Incarnation

What is more incredible, however, is the fact that the Eternal Word of God saw it fit to be slain on a cross for the Sins of rebellious Creatures.

“Our God is the lamb, the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the World, His blood breaks the chains.”

Sye Ten Bruggencate

The Bible Tells Us that God breathed the Universe into existence. He spoke. It was Created.

Do you know what God did not do for your salvation? Breathe it into existence. He died for it!

Salvation of 1 soul is a greater miracle than the creation of the whole universe!

Have your sins been accounted for?

Can you stand this morning in a righteousness not of your own, but from the work of the Eternal Word?

Today is the day of salvation, come give your life to Jesus

Salvation is indeed a wonderfully mysterious truth

Maybe you have come in here with doubts

Maybe you have a sin that you have carried with you in here

Maybe you have tried for so long to defeat it yourself. Let me tell you the truth. YOU CAN’T

Only the one who gives life can defeat the sin that entangles you. Would you give it to Jesus today?