Emanuel: The Greatest Gift Ever
Peace Promised (Isaiah 54:1-17, Isaiah 2:2-5, Isaiah 9:6)
This week was a wrap up of our Advent celebration where God the Son lowered himself to save man from the eternal consequences of sin. In the last few weeks, we have looked at Hope, Love, Joy, and this week we examined a final motif Scripture elaborates on: peace. We heard about how Christians redeemed this pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice to remember Jesus’ first and second coming. We began by remembering the Prophet Isaiah, who was sent to the people of Israel to warn them that they were about to be deported into Assyria out of the land he promised.
- What promises of God given in Scripture have you seen fulfilled in your life with the coming of Jesus?
- Is Jesus’s coming to die for us something you use as a standard for self-sacrifice in serving at Blaze? If not, why not?
Jesus’ First Coming (Isaiah 53:1-5; Matthew 23:37-39; Romans 5:1, 8:31-39)
Because of His grace, God knew the only way his wrath against sin could be quenched was through a God-sized atonement. He hates sin so much that before Jesus lowered himself, God introduced the sacrificial system of atonement to help man understand the need for a blood-payment. God sent Jesus simply to unleash all wrath owed to man on Him. Jesus dying gave us peace with God. The Jews in biblical times were looking for a very different messiah than what was prophesied. They were looking for a king who would be the promised Messiah who would bring peace through war. They simply rejected Jesus because He didn't fit their definition of “messiah”. Our understanding of Jesus and the consequences for following him have to be biblical.
- Do you a biblical understanding of who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him?
- Have you been looking for a Jesus that saves you from all heartache and pain?
Jesus’ Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-21, 21:5-8)
Only Jesus was capable of saving the world from it’s wrath-filled future. Scripture is clear in promising that peace will fill the world as a result of the Son’s sacrifice. If God had been just, the only future we would have had apart from Jesus would have been eternal death and separation from Him.
- Do you believe all men are guilty of sin? If so, do you give them grace when they fail you?
- Do you struggle with feeling like there are other ways to pay for sin? If so, describe what God’s grace is?
World peace is the reality of what will happen when God fulfills His promise and returns in all His Glory, so rightly deserved!
Isaiah 2:2-5 ESV:
 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
 and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the LORD.
Isaiah 9:6 ESV:
 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 54:1-17 ESV:
 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.
 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.
 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
 For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
 For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
 For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
 In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the LORD, your Redeemer.
 “This is like the days of Noah to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you.
 For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
and lay your foundations with sapphires.
 I will make your pinnacles of agate,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your wall of precious stones.
 All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
 In righteousness you shall be established;
you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
 If anyone stirs up strife,
it is not from me;
whoever stirs up strife with you
shall fall because of you.
 Behold, I have created the smith
who blows the fire of coals
and produces a weapon for its purpose.
I have also created the ravager to destroy;
 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD
and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”
 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Romans 3:21-26 ESV:
 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 5:1 ESV:
 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:31-39 ESV:
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:13-19 ESV:
 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”
Revelation 19:11-21 ESV:
“ Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God,  to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”  And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.  And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.”
Revelation 21:5-8 ESV:
 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.  The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
 If answers are difficult to get here, then this is a great opportunity to challenge everyone in the group to spend more time in Scripture.
 If not, what are your thoughts on Romans 3:21-26