Declaring the Christ

22/12/2019 13:20

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Date: 18 December, 2019
Text: Luke 2:21-40
Title: Declaring the Christ
Theme:
Proposition: We need to be one who declares His birth. 
Rhetorical: 
Introduction:
 
Last Sunday morning - 
- We saw Joseph and Mary in a stable in Bethlehem because the inn was full.
- She has just given birth to Jesus, swaddled him and put him in a manger.
- We visited the hills around Bethlehem and the humble shepherds.
- We saw the majestic angelic announcement and chorus of Glory to God.
- The Shepherds came and verified that THIS WAS INDEED THE CHRIST AS WAS REVEALED BY THE ANGELS.
 
note: Luke 2 is a passage which verifies over and over again that Jesus is the Christ.
1.) It took place in Bethlehem - the city of David.
- where Mary and Joseph reported for the Roman Census taking place.
- This was the city of David showing the royal heritage of Jesus.
ill. There was a king born in the stable on that day - The Davidic Covenant - 2 Samuel 7
12  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14  I will be his father, and he shall be my son.
- This king would reign over a kingdom.
- He would sit on a throne of power.
- He would do so eternally.
2.) The angels announced it and the shepherds verified it.
3.) Our text today have two who declare that this is the Christ.
4.) The passage ends with Jesus at 12 years old in the temple with incredible wisdom asking questions and answering them.
46  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
 
THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON THE TWO WHO DECLARED THE CHRIST AT THE TEMPLE.
 
21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
exp. Jesus means Saviour - Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
 note: Jesus was subject to God's law and the sign of the Abrahamic covenant is placed upon him.
22  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
exp. Here again Jesus is subject to the law of God as the firstborn child was to be dedicated to God.
23  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) (exp. Exodus 13:2)
24  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
exp. Mary and Joseph were young and poor. They couldn't afford the more expensive sacrifice of a lamb for a burnt offering and a dove for a sin offering. (And so they brought the acceptable sacrifice of two doves or pigeons.)
 
 note: Now in our text we come to the first who declares Christ.
25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon;
 
note: The second declarer of Christ is found in verse 36.
36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser:
 
exp. The Simeon and Anna are very special vessels chosen by God for this ministry of declaring the Christ. The Spirit of God speaking by Luke puts an emphasis upon the worthy walk of these two declarers of Christ.
 
My message this morning is, "Walk Worthy of Declaring Christ."
 
question: Are you walking worthy of declaring Christ?
 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
 
I. Be one of high character.
exp. Simeon was a man of high character.
25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:
A. Be righteous.
- def. just - Holy, right - He was a righteous man.
note: Integrity - the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
exp. Integrity isn't valued in our day as it has been in times past.
 ill. I witnessed to a man this week - speaking about sin - In answer to my question - He said that he doesn't drink, smoke, curse or look at pornography. I asked him next, "Have you ever lied?" He said he had not and I said, "You just did." (After an explanation he agreed with me.)
question: How do you view your life? Do you see it as ________ sees it or as God sees it?
Pro 21:2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
app. Simeon possessed a righteousness which the Spirit of God speaking through Luke could attest to. Do you posses the same? One who declares Christ ought to be righteous.
B. Be religious.
- def. devout - He was a pious man who was careful in real religion.
Ill. Have you ever met someone who was a devout follower of a football team.
- They are so dedicated they not only watch each match they are in the stadium.
- Their walls are decorated with sports paraphanalia.
- They dress and you know what team they are on by what they are wearing.
- All they talk about is sport - the wake up thinking about it and go to sleep dreaming about it.
note: Worshipping God was not an aside for Simeon - It was what he lived for.
- He wasn't on again off again.
- He wasn't unfaithful in his service for God - HE WAS DEVOUT. 
- His worship of God was the single most important aspect of his life.
exp. If he lived in our day, 
- You wouldn't have to wonder if he would be at church. If he was missing you'd know something was very badly wrong.
- You wouldn't have to ask him to get involved. You couldn't keep him from being involved. 
- He would have daily devotions and participate in evangelism.
app. One who declares Christ ought to be a truly devout follower of Christ.
C. Be faithful = (ful of faith.)
"waiting for the consolation of Israel"  He was full of confident faith. 
exp.  He didn't wonder IF the Messiah was coming. He just wondered WHEN the Messiah would come. As I suspect of our Shepherds, God's Spirit declares of Simeon. He was full of faith.
 note: Other's may have doubted the Messiah was going to come.
- Centuries had passed without further revelation from God.
- The prophecies of the coming messiah were old unfulfilled promises to many.
- The Romans had taken over the world. How could a Jewish king raise up a kingdom?
exp. But, Simeon maintained his faith.
ill. Adonirum Judson - missionary to Burma - in a burmese prison he was asked, "What do you think now regarding the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?" He is reported to have said, "The future is as bright as the promises of God."
 exp. Simeone had that kind of faith.
 app. Do you? Are you a person who has a strong belief in the promises of God even when the future looks very bleak?
transition: To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must be one of Character (righteous, religious, faithful....)
 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
II. Be one who is Spirit enabled.
and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: 
exp. Three times in these succeeding sentences God's Spirit through Luke declares that Simeon was a man full of Himself.
- "The Holy Ghost was upon him."
- The Holy Ghost illumined his mind. "Revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost."
- The Holy Ghost guided him. "He came by the Spirit into the temple."
 ill. Act 19:2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
exp. I don't believe that these were saved men as they only knew the preaching of John. When he baptized them in Jesus name he laid hands on them and they received God's Spirit as a true testimony of their conversion.
 note: But, I wonder how many believers would have to truthfully say as to their awareness of the Holy Ghost, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost."
ill. Peter before Pentecost - denied Jesus before a bar maid. After Pentecost he declared Jesus to the multitude, many of whom had participated in crucifying Christ. What made the difference?
1.) Didn't Peter want to support Jesus at his death? Matthew 26:33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
2.) What (Who) did Peter need? Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
exp. Simeon had the boldness to declare Christ because Simeone was a spirit empowered man. 
ill. God gave me two divine appointments on Wednesday as I did flyers (cold frosty morning.) I was reminded that I need to pray for God's Spirit to guide me in my evangelism. (You know what I also need Him to empower me in my evangelism.)
 app. We all do. Are you a HOLY GHOST ENABLED PERSON. Are you fully submitted to the Spirit of God whom you received at salvation - if you are saved.
 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
III. Be one who takes the Christ to yourself.
 exp. There is a beautiful scene that unfolds as this older man comes up to this young couple and little baby Jesus. Simeon perhaps as a temple official is given the opportunity to take the Christ child to himself.
 question: If you could take Jesus up in your arms, would you?
A. Embrace Jesus.
...and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
exp. Simeon is praising God that he has the opportunity to possess in his arms the son of God.
app. Let me ask you this morning, do you possess the Son of God in your heart?
 ill. Pastor Randy Tanis who preached Thursday evening.
- Taught the children at our church in WI.
- I told him that I'm hoping to visit the old church in Rock Lake when we are there.
- I got saved in that church - dad preached a message on hell - I went down to his study afterwards and took Jesus into my heart as my personal Saviour.
app. You can't declare Christ if you don't possess Christ. If you don't possess Christ - unlike Simeon, you are not ready to die.
B. You need to be ready to - Depart this world in peace.
29  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
exp. Simeon was an old man and ready to die, but first he had to hold the Christ in His arms. God had promised him that he would not die until he physically held God's Son.
 note: God has not promised you that you will not die until you  possess God's Son in your heart. IF YOU DON'T POSSESS GOD'S SON IN YOUR HEART, YOU AREN'T READY TO DIE.
 ill. Man this week - he's not scared about eternity - his dad's heart stopped - they revived him - he said, "Best sleep I've ever had." I told him that your heart ceasing to beat is not death (Hypothermic patients can have their heart stop for several hours and be revived.) 
 ill. Audrey Shoeman (34) - British Hiker in Spain - 6 hour cardiac arrest because of hypothermia. She wasn't dead. God has made our bodies to enter a state like death to preserve life.
 note: Death is the departure of the Soul from the body.
 ill. Gen 25:8  Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:17  And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
Gen 35:29  And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
 ill. Your soul is going to leave your body and go to one of two places. We refer to them as Heaven and Hell.
Luke 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
app. Waking up in hell is not departing in peace. Simeon had no wrath to face but an eternity of peace with God. What about you my friend? 
- Have you taken Jesus into your heart?
- Have you seen God's salvation?
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must possess Christ.
 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
IV. Be one who is aware of the suffering of Christ.
34  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, 
exp. I would just point out to refute Catholic church teaching - Mary didn't bless Simeon. Simeon blessed Joseph, Mary and the child.
A. The Christ would not be embraced.
Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
exp. If only the Chief priests and Pharisees had tender hearts instead of hard hearts, they may have heard this prophecy taking place in the temple.
  After several centuries of silence God is speaking through Simeon in the temple affirming that THE CHRIST WOULD BE REJECTED.
Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
 Ill. Imagine Christmas morning in a proud man's home. A knock comes on the door and a poor infirmed beggar clothed in rags hands tries to hand a brown paper bag to this proud man. Imagine that this poor beggar is actually a billionaire who is having a bit of Christmas fun by putting thousands of pounds in brown paper bags to see who will heartily receive his gift - NOT FOR WHAT IT CONTAINS BUT FOR LOVE OF THE BEGGAR. Do you imagine that the proud home owner will receive that fine gift wrapped in so humble a package?
ill. We watched the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen's Speech on Thursday - there was righly drama, pageantry, elegance and finery - in the House of Lords.
exp. Jesus didn't come robed in finery. The greatest treasure of all the world was wrapped in such a way THAT ONLY THOSE WHO LOVE HIM WILL UNRAP THE GIFT AND RECIEVE THE UNTOLD WEALTH OF EVERLASTING LIFE.
app. Have you humbled yourself and received the incredible gift of God's Son? Do you love God enough to take Him in his humble robe of flesh?
B. The Christ would be crucified.
35  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
exp. In the audience at Calvary there was none who suffered so much as Mary. Joseph was not included in this prophecy as he would not be at the crucifixion of his son. This infant, toddler, child, teenager, young man, man, was lovingly cared for by him from the first day of his birth.
 ill. On the cross, Jesus would give a bit of comfort to his mother.
John 19:26  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
exp. This one who declared the Christ was aware of the sufferings of Christ.
 question: And why would the Christ have to suffer? Why would the spear pierce the side of Jesus and the sword pierce through the soul of his mother?
Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
app. Those who walk worthy of declaring Christ must be aware of the sufferings of Christ knowing that He suffered on Calvary for man's sin.
 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
V. Be one who's life is dedicated to God.
36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple,
exp. We come now to our second example of ONE WHO DECLARES CHRIST, Anna. She is an elderly woman. Suprisingly, Scripture gives her age but not the age of Simeon. But, in giving her age the Bible emphasizes the dedication of this woman.
 note: She is now 84 years old. She had been widowed in her mid to late 20's. It seems she was childless as the Bible seems to indicate that her temple service began immediately. As a young widow, she could have remarried. But, instead she chose to be single, to be fully dedicated to God.
ill. Amy Carmichael - telling how God led her to a fully dedicated single life. “I had feelings of fear about the future. That was why I was there – to be alone with God. The devil kept on whispering, ‘It’s all right now, but what about afterwards? You are going to be very lonely.’ And he painted pictures of loneliness – I can see them still. And I turned to my God in a kind of desperation and said, ‘Lord what can I do? How can I go on to the end?’ And He said, ‘None of them that trust in Me shall be desolate’. That word has been with me ever since. It has been fulfilled to me.”
In 1901 Amy rescued her first temple child. Such children were destined for a life of prostitution in Hindu temples. Over the years she rescued, and had brought to her, many other children in similar danger. A home was made for them amidst a community of believers, later called the ‘Dohnavur Fellowship’. Like Amy, many at Dohnavur chose to remain single ‘to attend upon the Lord without distraction’, as one of them said.
In 1916 Amy formed ‘The Sisters of the Common Life’ for single women like herself. In a book of guidelines for them Amy wrote: “There is nothing dreary or doubtful about this life. It is meant to be continually joyful.” She describes those who embraced this lifestyle as those, “being willing to follow the Lamb wherever he goeth”.
app. God may not call you to a life so devoted to him that you can not marry. However, are you one who is fully dedicated to God. Surely those who declare Christ should be fully dedicated to God.

 
To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....
VI. Be one who is a prayer warrior.
37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
exp. It is not to be presumed that like a monk she was locked inside the temple property, but rather that she was rarely absent from that place of worship which was daily open.
Her ministry was one of fasting and prayers night and day.
 ill. John Nelson Hyded - called Praying Hyde - 1899 wrote to his college saying, "Have felt led to pray for others this winter as never before. I never before knew what it was to work all day and then pray all night before God for another… In college or at parties at home, I used to keep such hours for myself, or pleasure, and can I not do as much for God and souls?”
In 1904, Indian Christians and western missionaries gathered for the first of an annual series of conventions at Sialkot in what is today Pakistan. To support this time of spiritual renewal, John Hyde and his friends formed the Punjab Prayer Union, setting aside half an hour each day to pray for revival. The results of their prayers were plainly seen at the Sialkot Convention as a special anointing fell upon those gathered. Year by year the prayer union fasted and prayed, and at each convention a growing urgency for evangelism and intercession filled each attendee. John Hyde emerged as the prayer leader, and all were amazed at both the depth of his spiritual insight, and the ferocity of his burden for India.
 exp. Reading about John Hyde is convicting because my prayer life doesn't measure up to the intercession of this man.
question: Would I be wrong to suppose that the prayer life of Anna excells that of you and me? To what extent?
 app. It is one thing to say I don't pray as much as this dear woman prayed and do not have the impact that she had. It is another to say that I don't pray or to admit that I pray very little. TO WALK WORTHY TO DECLARE CHRIST YOU MUST BE ONE WHO IS A PRAYER WARRIOR.
 
Conclusion:
39  And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
exp. Jesus Christ was growing up. Jesus Christ would die and rise again.
2 Special people were worthy to declare his birth at the temple - Simeon and Anna.
We need to walk worthy of declaring Christ. 
1) Be one of Good character - Righteous, Religious, Full of faith.
2) Be one who is Spirit enabled - Are you filled with God's Spirit?
3) Be one who takes the Christ to yourself. - Possessing life and eternal piece.
4) Be one who is aware of the sufferings of Christ.... and why He suffered.
5) Be one who is dedicated to God. - Are you living your life for Him?

Date: 18 December, 2019

Text: Luke 2:21-40

Title: Declaring the Christ

Theme:

Proposition: We need to be one who declares His birth. 

Rhetorical: 

Introduction:

 

Last Sunday morning - 

- We saw Joseph and Mary in a stable in Bethlehem because the inn was full.

- She has just given birth to Jesus, swaddled him and put him in a manger.

- We visited the hills around Bethlehem and the humble shepherds.

- We saw the majestic angelic announcement and chorus of Glory to God.

- The Shepherds came and verified that THIS WAS INDEED THE CHRIST AS WAS REVEALED BY THE ANGELS.

 

note: Luke 2 is a passage which verifies over and over again that Jesus is the Christ.

1.) It took place in Bethlehem - the city of David.

- where Mary and Joseph reported for the Roman Census taking place.

- This was the city of David showing the royal heritage of Jesus.

ill. There was a king born in the stable on that day - The Davidic Covenant - 2 Samuel 7

12  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

14  I will be his father, and he shall be my son.

- This king would reign over a kingdom.

- He would sit on a throne of power.

- He would do so eternally.

2.) The angels announced it and the shepherds verified it.

3.) Our text today have two who declare that this is the Christ.

4.) The passage ends with Jesus at 12 years old in the temple with incredible wisdom asking questions and answering them.

46  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

 

THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON THE TWO WHO DECLARED THE CHRIST AT THE TEMPLE.

 

21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

exp. Jesus means Saviour - Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

 note: Jesus was subject to God's law and the sign of the Abrahamic covenant is placed upon him.

22  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

exp. Here again Jesus is subject to the law of God as the firstborn child was to be dedicated to God.

23  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) (exp. Exodus 13:2)

24  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

exp. Mary and Joseph were young and poor. They couldn't afford the more expensive sacrifice of a lamb for a burnt offering and a dove for a sin offering. (And so they brought the acceptable sacrifice of two doves or pigeons.)

 

 note: Now in our text we come to the first who declares Christ.

25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon;

 

note: The second declarer of Christ is found in verse 36.

36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser:

 

exp. The Simeon and Anna are very special vessels chosen by God for this ministry of declaring the Christ. The Spirit of God speaking by Luke puts an emphasis upon the worthy walk of these two declarers of Christ.

 

My message this morning is, "Walk Worthy of Declaring Christ."

 

question: Are you walking worthy of declaring Christ?

 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

 

I. Be one of high character.

exp. Simeon was a man of high character.

25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:

A. Be righteous.

- def. just - Holy, right - He was a righteous man.

note: Integrity - the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

exp. Integrity isn't valued in our day as it has been in times past.

 ill. I witnessed to a man this week - speaking about sin - In answer to my question - He said that he doesn't drink, smoke, curse or look at pornography. I asked him next, "Have you ever lied?" He said he had not and I said, "You just did." (After an explanation he agreed with me.)

question: How do you view your life? Do you see it as ________ sees it or as God sees it?

Pro 21:2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

app. Simeon possessed a righteousness which the Spirit of God speaking through Luke could attest to. Do you posses the same? One who declares Christ ought to be righteous.

B. Be religious.

- def. devout - He was a pious man who was careful in real religion.

Ill. Have you ever met someone who was a devout follower of a football team.

- They are so dedicated they not only watch each match they are in the stadium.

- Their walls are decorated with sports paraphanalia.

- They dress and you know what team they are on by what they are wearing.

- All they talk about is sport - the wake up thinking about it and go to sleep dreaming about it.

note: Worshipping God was not an aside for Simeon - It was what he lived for.

- He wasn't on again off again.

- He wasn't unfaithful in his service for God - HE WAS DEVOUT. 

- His worship of God was the single most important aspect of his life.

exp. If he lived in our day, 

- You wouldn't have to wonder if he would be at church. If he was missing you'd know something was very badly wrong.

- You wouldn't have to ask him to get involved. You couldn't keep him from being involved. 

- He would have daily devotions and participate in evangelism.

app. One who declares Christ ought to be a truly devout follower of Christ.

C. Be faithful = (ful of faith.)

"waiting for the consolation of Israel"  He was full of confident faith. 

exp.  He didn't wonder IF the Messiah was coming. He just wondered WHEN the Messiah would come. As I suspect of our Shepherds, God's Spirit declares of Simeon. He was full of faith.

 note: Other's may have doubted the Messiah was going to come.

- Centuries had passed without further revelation from God.

- The prophecies of the coming messiah were old unfulfilled promises to many.

- The Romans had taken over the world. How could a Jewish king raise up a kingdom?

exp. But, Simeon maintained his faith.

ill. Adonirum Judson - missionary to Burma - in a burmese prison he was asked, "What do you think now regarding the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?" He is reported to have said, "The future is as bright as the promises of God."

 exp. Simeone had that kind of faith.

 app. Do you? Are you a person who has a strong belief in the promises of God even when the future looks very bleak?

transition: To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must be one of Character (righteous, religious, faithful....)

 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

II. Be one who is Spirit enabled.

and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: 

exp. Three times in these succeeding sentences God's Spirit through Luke declares that Simeon was a man full of Himself.

- "The Holy Ghost was upon him."

- The Holy Ghost illumined his mind. "Revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost."

- The Holy Ghost guided him. "He came by the Spirit into the temple."

 ill. Act 19:2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

exp. I don't believe that these were saved men as they only knew the preaching of John. When he baptized them in Jesus name he laid hands on them and they received God's Spirit as a true testimony of their conversion.

 note: But, I wonder how many believers would have to truthfully say as to their awareness of the Holy Ghost, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost."

ill. Peter before Pentecost - denied Jesus before a bar maid. After Pentecost he declared Jesus to the multitude, many of whom had participated in crucifying Christ. What made the difference?

1.) Didn't Peter want to support Jesus at his death? Matthew 26:33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

2.) What (Who) did Peter need? Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

exp. Simeon had the boldness to declare Christ because Simeone was a spirit empowered man. 

ill. God gave me two divine appointments on Wednesday as I did flyers (cold frosty morning.) I was reminded that I need to pray for God's Spirit to guide me in my evangelism. (You know what I also need Him to empower me in my evangelism.)

 app. We all do. Are you a HOLY GHOST ENABLED PERSON. Are you fully submitted to the Spirit of God whom you received at salvation - if you are saved.

 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

III. Be one who takes the Christ to yourself.

 exp. There is a beautiful scene that unfolds as this older man comes up to this young couple and little baby Jesus. Simeon perhaps as a temple official is given the opportunity to take the Christ child to himself.

 question: If you could take Jesus up in your arms, would you?

A. Embrace Jesus.

...and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

exp. Simeon is praising God that he has the opportunity to possess in his arms the son of God.

app. Let me ask you this morning, do you possess the Son of God in your heart?

 ill. Pastor Randy Tanis who preached Thursday evening.

- Taught the children at our church in WI.

- I told him that I'm hoping to visit the old church in Rock Lake when we are there.

- I got saved in that church - dad preached a message on hell - I went down to his study afterwards and took Jesus into my heart as my personal Saviour.

app. You can't declare Christ if you don't possess Christ. If you don't possess Christ - unlike Simeon, you are not ready to die.

B. You need to be ready to - Depart this world in peace.

29  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

exp. Simeon was an old man and ready to die, but first he had to hold the Christ in His arms. God had promised him that he would not die until he physically held God's Son.

 note: God has not promised you that you will not die until you  possess God's Son in your heart. IF YOU DON'T POSSESS GOD'S SON IN YOUR HEART, YOU AREN'T READY TO DIE.

 ill. Man this week - he's not scared about eternity - his dad's heart stopped - they revived him - he said, "Best sleep I've ever had." I told him that your heart ceasing to beat is not death (Hypothermic patients can have their heart stop for several hours and be revived.) 

 ill. Audrey Shoeman (34) - British Hiker in Spain - 6 hour cardiac arrest because of hypothermia. She wasn't dead. God has made our bodies to enter a state like death to preserve life.

 note: Death is the departure of the Soul from the body.

 ill. Gen 25:8  Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

Gen 25:17  And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.

Gen 35:29  And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

 ill. Your soul is going to leave your body and go to one of two places. We refer to them as Heaven and Hell.

Luke 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

app. Waking up in hell is not departing in peace. Simeon had no wrath to face but an eternity of peace with God. What about you my friend? 

- Have you taken Jesus into your heart?

- Have you seen God's salvation?

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must possess Christ.

 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

IV. Be one who is aware of the suffering of Christ.

34  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, 

exp. I would just point out to refute Catholic church teaching - Mary didn't bless Simeon. Simeon blessed Joseph, Mary and the child.

A. The Christ would not be embraced.

Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

exp. If only the Chief priests and Pharisees had tender hearts instead of hard hearts, they may have heard this prophecy taking place in the temple.

  After several centuries of silence God is speaking through Simeon in the temple affirming that THE CHRIST WOULD BE REJECTED.

Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

 Ill. Imagine Christmas morning in a proud man's home. A knock comes on the door and a poor infirmed beggar clothed in rags hands tries to hand a brown paper bag to this proud man. Imagine that this poor beggar is actually a billionaire who is having a bit of Christmas fun by putting thousands of pounds in brown paper bags to see who will heartily receive his gift - NOT FOR WHAT IT CONTAINS BUT FOR LOVE OF THE BEGGAR. Do you imagine that the proud home owner will receive that fine gift wrapped in so humble a package?

ill. We watched the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen's Speech on Thursday - there was righly drama, pageantry, elegance and finery - in the House of Lords.

exp. Jesus didn't come robed in finery. The greatest treasure of all the world was wrapped in such a way THAT ONLY THOSE WHO LOVE HIM WILL UNRAP THE GIFT AND RECIEVE THE UNTOLD WEALTH OF EVERLASTING LIFE.

app. Have you humbled yourself and received the incredible gift of God's Son? Do you love God enough to take Him in his humble robe of flesh?

B. The Christ would be crucified.

35  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

exp. In the audience at Calvary there was none who suffered so much as Mary. Joseph was not included in this prophecy as he would not be at the crucifixion of his son. This infant, toddler, child, teenager, young man, man, was lovingly cared for by him from the first day of his birth.

 ill. On the cross, Jesus would give a bit of comfort to his mother.

John 19:26  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

exp. This one who declared the Christ was aware of the sufferings of Christ.

 question: And why would the Christ have to suffer? Why would the spear pierce the side of Jesus and the sword pierce through the soul of his mother?

Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

app. Those who walk worthy of declaring Christ must be aware of the sufferings of Christ knowing that He suffered on Calvary for man's sin.

 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

V. Be one who's life is dedicated to God.

36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple,

exp. We come now to our second example of ONE WHO DECLARES CHRIST, Anna. She is an elderly woman. Suprisingly, Scripture gives her age but not the age of Simeon. But, in giving her age the Bible emphasizes the dedication of this woman.

 note: She is now 84 years old. She had been widowed in her mid to late 20's. It seems she was childless as the Bible seems to indicate that her temple service began immediately. As a young widow, she could have remarried. But, instead she chose to be single, to be fully dedicated to God.

ill. Amy Carmichael - telling how God led her to a fully dedicated single life. “I had feelings of fear about the future. That was why I was there – to be alone with God. The devil kept on whispering, ‘It’s all right now, but what about afterwards? You are going to be very lonely.’ And he painted pictures of loneliness – I can see them still. And I turned to my God in a kind of desperation and said, ‘Lord what can I do? How can I go on to the end?’ And He said, ‘None of them that trust in Me shall be desolate’. That word has been with me ever since. It has been fulfilled to me.”

In 1901 Amy rescued her first temple child. Such children were destined for a life of prostitution in Hindu temples. Over the years she rescued, and had brought to her, many other children in similar danger. A home was made for them amidst a community of believers, later called the ‘Dohnavur Fellowship’. Like Amy, many at Dohnavur chose to remain single ‘to attend upon the Lord without distraction’, as one of them said.

In 1916 Amy formed ‘The Sisters of the Common Life’ for single women like herself. In a book of guidelines for them Amy wrote: “There is nothing dreary or doubtful about this life. It is meant to be continually joyful.” She describes those who embraced this lifestyle as those, “being willing to follow the Lamb wherever he goeth”.

app. God may not call you to a life so devoted to him that you can not marry. However, are you one who is fully dedicated to God. Surely those who declare Christ should be fully dedicated to God.


 

To walk worthy of declaring Christ you must....

VI. Be one who is a prayer warrior.

37  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

exp. It is not to be presumed that like a monk she was locked inside the temple property, but rather that she was rarely absent from that place of worship which was daily open.

Her ministry was one of fasting and prayers night and day.

 ill. John Nelson Hyded - called Praying Hyde - 1899 wrote to his college saying, "Have felt led to pray for others this winter as never before. I never before knew what it was to work all day and then pray all night before God for another… In college or at parties at home, I used to keep such hours for myself, or pleasure, and can I not do as much for God and souls?”

In 1904, Indian Christians and western missionaries gathered for the first of an annual series of conventions at Sialkot in what is today Pakistan. To support this time of spiritual renewal, John Hyde and his friends formed the Punjab Prayer Union, setting aside half an hour each day to pray for revival. The results of their prayers were plainly seen at the Sialkot Convention as a special anointing fell upon those gathered. Year by year the prayer union fasted and prayed, and at each convention a growing urgency for evangelism and intercession filled each attendee. John Hyde emerged as the prayer leader, and all were amazed at both the depth of his spiritual insight, and the ferocity of his burden for India.

 exp. Reading about John Hyde is convicting because my prayer life doesn't measure up to the intercession of this man.

question: Would I be wrong to suppose that the prayer life of Anna excells that of you and me? To what extent?

 app. It is one thing to say I don't pray as much as this dear woman prayed and do not have the impact that she had. It is another to say that I don't pray or to admit that I pray very little. TO WALK WORTHY TO DECLARE CHRIST YOU MUST BE ONE WHO IS A PRAYER WARRIOR.

 

Conclusion:

39  And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

40  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

exp. Jesus Christ was growing up. Jesus Christ would die and rise again.

2 Special people were worthy to declare his birth at the temple - Simeon and Anna.

We need to walk worthy of declaring Christ. 

1) Be one of Good character - Righteous, Religious, Full of faith.

2) Be one who is Spirit enabled - Are you filled with God's Spirit?

3) Be one who takes the Christ to yourself. - Possessing life and eternal piece.

4) Be one who is aware of the sufferings of Christ.... and why He suffered.

5) Be one who is dedicated to God. - Are you living your life for Him?

 

6) Be one who is a prayer warrior. - Do you pray and fast?

6) Be one who is a prayer warrior. - Do you pray and fast?