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Echo Evangelique

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8:30am Bible Study
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The World Before Christ and The World Without Christ

Text: Isaiah 9:1-6

Key Concepts:

  • The world before CHRIST, the world with and without CHRIST
  • The backdrop of Israel preceding the birth of Christ
  • The one who can dissipate the darkness
  • What difference has the birth of CHRIST made in your life?

The season of Christmas is considered as the most joyous of the year. We are told that it is the season to be jolly, to exchange gifts and be nice to others. It is allegedly the season of peace, joy and happiness. However, this year because of Covid-19, it is unlikely that we will have the festive atmosphere. Historically, this season is celebrated with concerts, back and forth travels to allow gatherings of all sizes.  Unfortunately, this year the season might be the most gloomy and boring of them all. However, no circumstance should dim the light of Christmas for the child of God. For, nothing can snuff out the light of the incarnation of the Son of God; nor can anything erase the fact that He was made flesh to save us from sin and reconcile us to His Father. Though it might not look like Christmas, the joy of this occasion should come from inside out in the heart of the believer. Our Christmas is not about decorations, concerts, gifts, festivities, rather it is about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ born in a manger to redeem sinners.

The world before CHRIST, the world with and without CHRIST

We have all heard, in relation to dates, the expressions "A.D." -Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the lord,” and “B.C."- "Before Christ." This was done to make the birth of Christ the dividing point in history. However, there has been a movement lately to change A.D.  to C.E. (common era) and B.C. into B.C.E. (before the common era). This is supposedly to be politically correct. Whether people succeed or not at the removing these appellations, the fact is the birth of Jesus Christ has marked history forever. What is the world before Christ, with Christ and without Him? What difference has He made in the world? What difference has Christ made in the lives of His followers? “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Is. 9:2, ESV). The world before Christ is a place of darkness. But the birth of Christ in the world brought light. This is the difference His presence in supposed to make in the life of everybody. For, His presence cannot cohabit along side darkness. In a world of darkness, the light should change your life. It should chase away your own darkness. When Isiah penned these words, the people greatly needed hope. Their lives were characterized by darkness. The people chose the darkness, but that darkness was also God’s judgment upon them. Graciously, God sent Isiah a messenger of hope.  He prophesied the birth of the Savior, the bringer of light.

The backdrop of Israel preceding the birth of Christ

 Israel as a people was divided in parts. Benjamin and Judah became the southern kingdom with Jerusalem as Judah’s main city, and the remaining ten tribes formed the northern kingdom (Israel). They were one kingdom during Salomon’s reign but after his death, they split. The northern tribes were known as the nation of Israel, and the southern, the nation of Judah. They quickly became two different spiritual worlds as well. The south was committed to the Lord, whereas the north fell into idolatry. The north became increasingly evil and corrupt. They eventually allied themselves to the wicked nation of Syria in order to attack their southern brethren. In the time of Israel, God raised Isaiah to warn the people of His approaching judgment. Isaiah prophesied that the fall of the northern kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians who were even more wicked than they. The prophesy was proven true. Indeed, whenever God’s people reject His Word, His morality, and values to embrace the socio-political agenda of the world, they fall under God’s judgment. In the chapter eight (Is. 8), Isaiah is commissioned to deliver a warning to the people of God’s divine wrath because of their unbelief. Spiritual, moral darkness will also bear economic consequences. For, when God judges, every aspect of one’s life is affected. Isaiah exhorted the people to turn back to God, as the only one who could deliver them from His judgment (Is. 8:21-22). The result of idolatry, of rejecting biblical instructions, and setting one’s selfish desires above God, failing to embrace the light in preference to darkness always leads to judgment and leaves one vulnerable to the Devil’s assaults (Ps. 107:10-11). If you have already embraced the agenda and morality of the world at the expense of the Word of God, repent because “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9).

The one who can dissipate the darkness

If you are in the light of Christ, the darkness of the world becomes evident. But that darkness blinds those who live in its shadow and makes them unable to see danger.  Those who live in darkness will grasp at anything within their reach, even at the expense of their soul. The Gospel belongs to those who want to dispel their darkness. Though we may not be able to destroy the darkness of the world, one can get rid of the darkness within. Politics, social justice, the economy cannot scatter that darkness. Jesus alone, the Son that God gifted to us, can repel the darkness (Is. 9:6). Jesus was born seven hundred years after Isaiah made this prophesy. He walked into Galilee and began His ministry. It was a very dark place at that time, a place that desperately needed the light of God. “And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet” (Matt. 4:13-14, NKJV). After the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali experienced God’s judgment through the Assyrians, God honored them. No matter the depth of your darkness, the Son’s light can redeem you and make a difference in your life. However, if you deny your condition and reject the light, your darkness will persist and eventually destroy you (Jn. 1:1-5). Evidently, if you remain in darkness, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil…” (Jn. 3:19-21, NKJV). Does this describe you?

 In conclusion…

What difference has the birth of CHRIST made in your life?

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life”” (Jn 8:12, NKJV). We believe this statement to be truth from God. The light came in the baby born in the manger. The hope of those who were living in darkness was realized. They needed to simply embrace the light to find deliverance. Throughout the world there are scores of men and women, of every shade and tongue, who have been transformed and freed by that light. Whether there are concerts, gifts and decorations, we, the children of God, owe it to our light-bringer to celebrate the season, for He has eradicated our darkness. If you have yet to embrace the light, if you still sit in darkness, wait no longer, take hold of the light. Remember brethren, as children of the light, we cannot be intimidated by darkness. Let your light shine. The light will eventually overcome the darkness. And when you stand for Christ, He will hold you fast. Do not let your circumstance take away the joy of celebrating the coming of the light into the world. The darker it gets the brighter we must shine. The Lord Jesus Christ is our light. That is what we believe, what we proclaim and what we must live by.

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575 American Legion Hwy
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
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Every Sunday at 10:45am