What the Christmas Story Teaches Us about God: God Is with Us

Sunday Sermon Series What the Christmas Story Tells Us about God Holidays Christmas

Today we look at two terms that help to describe God. They are very different terms, and both are important aspects of who God is.

Transcendent means God is far away; God is different from us, He is holy.

Immanent means God is near to us; God is present in our world, He is like us.

Which of these is emphasized in the Old Testament? Transcendent (Isaiah 55:8-9; Isaiah 6) … In general, the Old Testament gives us a sense of God’s holiness and greatness. God is a being that no human can wrap their mind around. … However, there are times that God makes his closeness known to His people in the Old Testament, such as in Isaiah 7 which also happens to be a prophecy of the birth of Jesus. The prophecy there has a fulfillment in the same chapter, but also another (and greater) fulfillment later (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23).

Which of these is emphasized in the Christmas Story? Immanent (Matthew 1:18-23) … This is the greater fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 6 and 9. God came to Earth. He walked with humans, ate with tax collectors, conversed with prostitutes, and forgave sinners.

God is both transcendent and immanent. If we view God as one and not the other, we get a wrong view of God. … If God is immanent and not transcendent, then we lose fear of God and start worshipping everything because God is in everything and everything is good. There is no reverence for God. … If God is transcendent and not immanent then we have no personal relationship with God and risk believing God exists without living like we believe in the God the Bible tells us about. God is just out there and doesn’t care to be involved in our lives.

The incarnation means God became a human (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:11-18; 4:15-16). … Jesus lived as a human and has gone through everything that we have or will go through. Jesus has faced the temptations that we face. Because of this, we can go to Him for help when we face issues we struggle with.

Look at the passenger side mirror the next time you get in a vehicle. It should say “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” So is God. Sometimes God can seem so far away that it feels like He couldn’t understand what we go through, but He is always near and has gone through temptations the same as us.