Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 21st December 1997

From the Pastor: Immanuel

"A virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

"What's in a name? runs the cliche question. For most of us the question answers itself: precisely nothing! One may, if inclined, look up the meanings of names such as those of the Bible, or those of Anglo-Saxon origin, but for the rest of us life goes on. In the Bible, however, a name expresses the inner nature and character of the person.

In the visions of the prophets our Lord bore many names. In Isaiah 7-9 there are four lads with strange names; two of these are Isaiah's own sons, the other two preview the coming Messiah. The name in the text above has been precious to multitudes of Christians down through the years. "Immanuel" appears in hymns from the ancient church to modern times as a term for our Lord.

As the inspired Gospel writer reminds us, the name means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23), but not merely in some providential sense, such as "God is with us as we travel". Instead, the birth itself brings God to us; that is, God Himself is in the Person of the Child. That is the glorious announcement!

"Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made man."

Because the name expresses what He is, all the promises of God in the Scriptures, the affirmation that he is "for" every believer, are confirmed (2 Corinthians 1:20). Come to Him as the Immanuel for you and find all His promises confirmed to you. This will be the best Christmas blessing.

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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