Matt 13:55                    Is Not This the Son of Mary?                            12/23/2007    ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       His Mother Mary (Matt 13:55-56, 1:20-25, Gal 1:18-19, Jude 1:1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Incarnation (John 1:14, 3:13, 10:30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Our Kinsman Redeemer (Isa 54:3-5, Col 1:16, Eph 5:30, John 8:44)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 13:53 (2X). I have finished all eight parables in Matt 13. Why then are we going back to Matt 13? The reason is that we have here a passage on which I have never preached before. And it is a passage that has been ignored by most churches, and as a result many errors have been generated concerning Jesus as the Son of Mary. And thus the title of this sermon is, Is Not This the Son of Mary? (2X). Let us now read, when:

Mt 13:53 ¶  And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.

Mt 13:54  And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

Mt 13:55-57  Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?               And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?       And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Mt 13:58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

When Jesus came into His own country, means when Jesus came into Nazareth, for there He grew up for at least 30 years, and there He assisted His stepfather Joseph who was the carpenter of Nazareth. And when His stepfather died Jesus was the carpenter of Nazareth, for we read in Mark 6:

Mr 6:3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.

And they were offended in Him”. These same words in Mark 6:3 as well as in Matt 13:57 indicate that they did not believe Him. We read in Matt 13:54, “He taught them in their synagogue”. What did the Lord Jesus teach them? Most likely He taught them in parables, just like Jesus taught in parables in Matt 13. Please turn one page to your left, to Matt 13:34 (2X), and there we read, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them”. Is that not amazing? “Without a parable spake he not unto them”. We find the same truth in the Gospel According to Mark, for there in Mark 4:33-34 we read, “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.             But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples”. And so, Jesus spoke many things in parables. We need to keep this in mind when we try to unravel the mysteries of the kingdom in the Bible. We know why the Lord Jesus spoke in parables, for if you turn again one page to your left, please do, we read in Matt 13:10-11 (2X), “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them: Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given”. In other words, when the Lord Jesus taught the Gospel, He always taught them in such a way that those whom God intended to save would understand His teachings, and those whom God did not plan to save would be confused and turn from Him toward another gospel. It means then that God has a certain number of people whom God will save, who are called His elect, and God will not save all those who are among the non-elect. And that is indeed what we see here in Matt 13:57; please turn there again, Matt 13:57, where we read, “And they were offended in Him”. Notice that it says “in Him”, not “at Him” as we would say in correct English. The reason is that all the elect are “in Christ”, whereas all the non-elect will not feel at home “in Christ”. They will not feel at home in a Gospel where Christ is the sovereign Lord who chooses to save whom He will, for they are offended in Him. And so, we read in Matt 13:54 that they criticized His teachings, as if they were saying, “From where did Jesus learn this teaching? He did not go to seminary, like all our beloved pastors did. Let me just add one comment to this: When we look into the worldwide church today, we see many pastors who are definitely spouting false gospels, and are leading many people astray. These pastors have also gone to seminary. But their education did not make them wise unto salvation. And that is what really counts with God.

And then the people in Nazareth said, “From where has this man these mighty works?” In other words, they recognized that Jesus did mighty works, but they did not want to believe Him in spite of all the mighty works that Jesus did. The Lord Jesus addressed this fact in John 10:38, where He said, “Though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him”. And so, these people were under the curse of unbelief. But let us now address:

#1.       His Mother Mary (Matt 13:55-56, 1:20-25, Gal 1:18-19, Jude 1:1)

We read in Matt 13:55-56 these words,

Mt 13:55-56  Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?               And his sisters, are they not all with us?

Is this a surprise? Jesus had half-brothers who were named James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas. And Jesus had sisters, plural, which means He had at least two half-sisters. These were half-brothers and half-sisters, for they had the same mother, but Joseph was their father, whereas in Jesus’ case God was His Father. There is absolutely no reason to believe that these were children of Joseph from a previous marriage, for then they would not be physically related to Jesus, and then they would not be called His “brethren” and “sisters”. The people in Nazareth believed that Jesus as well as these brothers and sisters were the legitimate children of Joseph and Mary. In fact, the largest denomination in the world has concocted the idea that these children were of a former marriage of Joseph, so that they could maintain their doctrine that Mary remained a virgin. Their preconceived idea is that the Virgin Mary remained a virgin forever. But this idea is false, and is contradicted in several places in the Bible. When Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem there is no mention of six children accompanying them. And when the wise men from the east visited Jesus two years later, there was no mention of six other children accompanying them. And when Joseph and Mary and Jesus fled into Egypt, there was no mention of six other children accompanying them. And when they returned from Egypt, Joseph planned to settle in Bethlehem, for in the past two years he had built up a reputation of being a carpenter. But when he heard that the cruel Archelaus reigned in Judea in the place of his father Herod, he decided to go back to Nazareth. If Joseph had six children already, and if he had left them with a caretaker in Nazareth, why was he not eager to go back to Nazareth? And so you see, it is an impossible idea that these six children were from a previous marriage of Joseph. These were children of Joseph and Mary. Can we prove that? Please turn in your Bibles to chapter 1 of this Gospel of Matthew, Matt 1:20 (2X). We have here the event where Joseph discovered that his espoused wife was pregnant, and since he had no intercourse with her he suspected that she had an affair with another man. And since Joseph was a tender man he planned to divorce her silently. But then we read in Matt 1:20-25,

Mt 1:20-21  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Mt 1:22-24  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,                  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.               Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Mt 1:25  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Verse 20 says, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife”. In other words, Joseph, do not fear to take Mary as your legitimate wife, and have a normal husband and wife relationship. And then we read in the end of verse 24, “and he took unto him his wife”. What action on the part of Joseph is in view here? What is in view was that they got married. When did they get married? We do not know. But what we do know is that Joseph had normal sexual relationship with Mary after Jesus was born, for verse 25 says, “And he knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son”. It does not mean that he was not aware of her till after the birth of Jesus. It means that after Jesus was born he had normal sexual relationship with her as his wife. And that is where these 6 children came from that we read about in Matt 13:55-56. You see, Mary did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus. The Bible is very clear that Jesus had half-brothers and half-sisters. For example, in Gal 1 the apostle Paul recalls the events after his conversion. And then he says in Gal 1:18-19, “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother”. Clearly James, the oldest half-brother of Jesus, had become the leader of the believers in Jerusalem. This was not the apostle James, the brother of John, for James was the first one of the apostles to be martyred for his faithful witness. And likewise, when we turn to the Epistle of Jude, we read there in the first verse, Jude 1:1, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James”. The name Jude is the same as Judas, or Judah, and clearly here we have the youngest half-brother of Jesus. And so, the Bible is very clear that Mary had at least 6 other children after she gave birth to the Lord Jesus. This is not Mary-bashing, for when we read the story of the Virgin Mary, it is astoundingly beautiful and altogether God glorifying.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 1:26 (2X). Mary was a young woman, at least of childbearing age, so she must have been at least 16 years old. The Bible speaks of Mary as the mother of Jesus; nothing more than that. After the ascension of Jesus she is listed in Acts 1:14, where she is present with all the other believers in the upper room. That is the last time the Word of God speaks of Mary. She should not be called the “mother of God”, for that is a perversion of the largest denomination in the world. God does not use those words in the Bible. We read in Luke 1:

Lu 1:26-29  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,      To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.               And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.            And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

Lu 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Lu 1:31-33  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.      He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:             And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Lu 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Lu 1:35-36  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.       And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Lu 1:37-38  For with God nothing shall be impossible.                And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

In verse 28 we read, “Hail, (thou that art) highly favoured, the Lord is with thee”. We should not imagine that this is a greeting reserved only for Mary. The Greek verb that has been translated “highly favoured”, has also been used in Eph 1:6, where we read, Eph 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved”. Here God says “made us accepted”, which is exactly the same word. In other words, each one of the saints is also “highly favored” by God, and Mary is also one who has likewise been made accepted in the Beloved, referring to Christ. This implies that Mary also was a sinner saved by grace. Any hypothesis that Mary was a sinless person is an invention of the Devil, intended to lift Mary up above the rest of mankind. Again in verse 30 the Angel said, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God”. The word translated “favour” appears 156 times in the Bible, and has almost always been translated “grace”. And we know what grace means. It is the grace unto salvation; the grace of converting sinners into saints. It is the grace of God of lifting us up from the dunghill, and making us sons of God in the courts of heaven, and making us inherit the throne of glory. Did Mary understand this? Absolutely Yes! Let us read a few verses from Mary’s response to the greeting of Elisabeth. Please drop down to verse 46, Luke 1:46,

Lu 1:46-50  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,           And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.      For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.          For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.       And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Mary says in verse 47, “God my Saviour”. Yes, Christ is her Saviour, for she needed to be saved also. And in verse 50 Mary says, “His mercy is on them that fear him”. Yes, she also needed the mercy of God. And we know what mercy is. Mercy is God withholding what we do deserve. We deserve to go to Hell; for even if we have committed only one sin in our entire life, if that sin would not have been atoned for, we would be sent to Hell to atone for that sin. Mercy is God withholding what we do deserve. And Mary understood that, for Mary was a humble virgin. But before we leave this passage I would like you to see again what we what we are confronted with here in verse 35 (2X), “Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”. “The son of God”. You see, the focus of this passage in Luke 1:26-56 is not on Mary, the focus is on the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the reason for God choosing Mary as the provider of a body for the Lord Jesus. And so we are entering the mystery that is called:

#2.       The Incarnation (John 1:14, 3:13, 10:30)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 1:14 (2X). Today I am giving you a revised view of the Incarnation as I understand it now. In the past I may have given you a view that is slightly incorrect. Please forgive me for that. But it is very important that we arrive at a correct understanding of who Jesus Christ really is. We need to worship the God whom the Bible describes as the one true God. And we need to understand what it really means when we read “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”, John 1:14. Now, this we need to harmonize with what we read in Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever?” It cannot mean that, when Jesus was conceived, God made a change in the nature of the Second Person of the Triune God, for then Heb 13:8 would be invalid. And so, we must arrive at the following conclusion: The Son of God is both God and man at the same time; God of the substance of the Father, and man of the substance of His mother. Perfect God, and perfect man. When God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead, was made flesh and dwelt among us, according to John 1:14, He remains equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Although He is God and man, yet He is not two beings, but one Christ. In this we should not think of the conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but rather by taking of the manhood into God. God did not come down to dwell in the man, Jesus, but God took the man, Jesus, and made Him the Son of God. And so, He is one altogether, not by confusion of the substance, but by unity of the Person. And yet the distinction of His two natures are not taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature is being preserved, and is simultaneously occurring in one Person and in one Subsistence, not divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, when we speak of Christ as the only begotten Son of God, we must understand that the Person of the Son is subsisting in two natures, the human and the divine. This is the Incarnation.

For example, let us see this in the statement the Lord Jesus made in John 3. Please turn two or three pages to John 3:13 (2X). The Lord Jesus is telling Nicodemus concerning Himself. He says in:

Joh 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Notice that the ending of the verse is in the present tense. I checked this out in the Greek text, but it is indeed in the present tense. The Lord Jesus says that He came down from heaven, but at the same time He is in heaven. And so, we must not think of the Lord Jesus as two persons, one in heaven and one on earth, but the one Person, Christ, in His human nature resides on earth, and in His divine nature is both on earth and in heaven. With our human mind we cannot comprehend this, but the words of Scripture give us the terminology that we must accept and believe. The Lord Jesus in His divine nature resides both on earth as in heaven. This is also what we understand from John 10:30. Please turn a few pages to your right to John 10:30 (2X). Here again the Lord Jesus spoke of Himself to the unbelieving Jews, and He said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one”. Again this is stated in the present tense, which means that the Lord Jesus was with the Father in heaven while He spoke these words to the Jews on earth. If you think this is complicated, wait till you see the next section. To gain a clear understanding of the Incarnation we must first of all take a look at verses relating to His death and burial and resurrection. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X).

In this Epistle to the Ephesians God makes a most comprehensive statement concerning our presence in Christ. This is no small matter, for the combination of the words “in Christ” occurs 77 times in the NT. And if we add the combination “in Him” we have another 67 occurrences. We read in:

Eph 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:            According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Three times do we read in these four verses that we are in Christ. In verse 3 we read that God has blessed us in Christ, because we are standing before His throne in Christ. In verse 4 we read that God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, which means that our names were written in the mind of Christ before the foundation of the world. In verse 6 we read that God has made us accepted in Christ, which means that when He atoned for our sins He made us accepted as His Bride. And so, it is really important that we know that all the elect were and are in Christ, all the way from before the foundation of the world, until eternity future. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 6:2 (2X). And what we read here is equally astounding. In this passage we read about our salvation through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But we also read in this passage about baptism. What kind of baptism is this? Water baptism is something that we do, and thus water baptism can in no wise contribute anything to our salvation. Now we remember that baptism means “washing”. The Lord Jesus said in Luke 12:50, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Jesus referred to His crucifixion, and He called it a baptism, because it was a washing of sins that occurred at the cross.  Let us now read Rom 6:2-7,

Ro 6:3-7  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?        Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.     For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:      Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.       For he that is dead is freed from sin.

What is the picture here? The Bible tells us here, and in many other places, that we have been crucified with Christ, we have died with Christ, we were buried with Christ, we were raised with Christ, we ascended with Christ, and we are presently seated with Christ in heaven. And all this was made possible because we were and are in Christ. But notice the words of verse 4, “Therefore we are buried with him through the washing of the cross into death”. We were buried with Him because we were in Him. What went into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea? Was it just the dead body of Jesus? No, for that was the human body of Jesus. We need to be aware of the divine nature and the human nature of Christ. When the Bible tells us that we were and are in Christ, it says that we were and are in Him in His divine nature. So then, what was going on when Christ died and was put in the grave? If we were in Him when He went into the grave, it means that His divine nature was present in His human body when He was buried. And thus, when the Lord Jesus said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”, and then He died, and what went into heaven was His human soul. Therefore, when we correctly understand the Incarnation, we conclude that God the Son, the Second Person of he Triune Godhead, became united with a complete human being, Jesus, consisting of both body and soul. His divine nature and His human nature were both complete. And thus, when the Lord Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane, in Matt 26:38, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me”, He was speaking in His humanity, and He was speaking of His human soul. A real man is one that partakes of our human nature, body and soul. Christ must not come in a specially created human nature, for then He stands outside the scope of the human race. No, He must be one of us, because since man sinned, man must pay the penalty for sin. And as far as His humanity is concerned, He must have been with us in the loins of Adam. He must be a very real Son of man. But although to His nature He is out of Adam, as to His Person He was not reckoned in Adam. Jesus came not in sinful flesh, but according to Rom 8:3 He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, for He must be the spotless Lamb of God in His human body as well as in His human soul. And therefore He was made like one of us, except for sin. He did not inherit the original sin that we inherit from Adam. Moreover, in His atonement, the divine nature could not be the object of divine wrath. The relation between the real manhood and the true Godhead of this Mediator, therefore, must be such that in His human nature the divine nature endures the infinite wrath of God, so that God bears the punishment for sin in the human nature. He must be God because His work must have infinite value. His suffering and death must be imputed to all the elect, and this is possible only when it is the Person of the Son of God that suffers in the human nature, and suffers the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. And we should not be the evaluators of that penalty; let God determine what is equivalent to an eternity in Hell for Christ. Therefore the two natures of Christ must be united in the one Person of the Son of God. He must be one Person, and not two. And that one Person of the Mediator must be the divine Person of the Son of God, for only in this way could He stand outside the imputation of the original guilt of sin. And so we see that the subject of the Incarnation and all its consequences requires that the Lord Jesus was fully God and fully man. Let us now apply these concepts to:

#3.       Our Kinsman Redeemer (Isa 54:3-5, Col 1:16, Eph 5:30, John 8:44)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 54:3 (2X). This entire chapter of Isa 54 is addressed to Sarah. We know that, because Isa 54:1 is quoted in Gal 4:27, where Sarah represents the believers of the New Covenant, which is the covenant of grace, and which is the only covenant that brings salvation. God is now addressing all the saints over the whole world. He says in Isa 54:3-5

Isa 54:3  For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Isa 54:4  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

Isa 54:5  For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

God promises here in verse 3 that the believers of the New Covenant shall include the Gentiles and God “shall make the desolate cities to be inhabited”. What are those desolate cities? This refers back to verse 1, where God says that we should rejoice that we do not belong to the majority of mankind, for the majority of mankind belongs to the desolate. The unsaved are called desolate. But the promise of verse 3 is that even the desolate cities shall be inhabited by people who are alive to God. Then in verse 4 God comforts us with the promise that our sins shall be forgiven, and on the last day we shall not be ashamed. Then in verse 5 God says, “For thy Maker is thine husband”. Christ is our Maker, for we read in Col 1:16, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”. And Christ will be our Husband, for presently we are His Bride. When we say that He is our Maker, we recognize that we are speaking of His divinity, not His humanity. But when we say that He is our Husband we recognize that we are speaking of Christ in His humanity, for we read in Eph 5:30, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones”. This is the Person who has purchased us from the slave market of sin and Satan, and who has redeemed us with His precious blood. This is our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. And when God calls Him the Holy One of Israel, we realize that God is speaking of the NT Israel, which is the Israel named after Christ, whose name is also Israel. He is our Redeemer, because He is one of us. The word “Redeemer” is also translated as “Kinsman”. Christ is our Kinsman, for He is one of us. In fact, the word Kinsman means He is next of kin. And since He is next of kin, He is also our “Avenger of blood”. The same word for Redeemer, and Kinsman, has also been translated “Revenger” and “Avenger”, for Christ is our Avenger of blood. It means that Christ will avenge us on those who have tried to kill us. Who tried to kill us? Satan tried to kill us, not with swords, but with words. The Lord Jesus said in John 8:44, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”. How was Satan a murderer from the beginning? Through his lies he brought death and agony into the world. Through his lies he caused Adam and Eve to suffer the consequences of their sin. But God had mercy on them, and on us, through Christ’s atonement on the cross. And God promises that Christ will avenge us on our enemies, for He is our avenger of blood. Who are our enemies? The Devil and all those who are on the side of the Devil are our enemies, for they are trying to make us fall for the lies that they spread through false gospels that are so prevalent today. Thank God that Christ is our Defender, and our Avenger, for God appointed Him to be our Kinsman. And so you see another reason why Christ had to be one of us, fully man and fully God.

Amen.                   Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.