Sunday Sermon: ‘Emmanuel, God Is Always With Us’



Matthew 1:23 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.

There are many names found in scripture that have been given to our Savior Jesus Christ. For instance, He is the:

  • Bread of life
  • Captain of our salvation
  • Good shepherd
  • Redeemer

Isaiah 9:6 says that His name shall be called: “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

All the names of Jesus are precious because they all tell us something special about Him. But perhaps one of the most special names is the name ‘Emmanuel’ which means – “God with us.”

I. God Came to Be With Us at Bethlehem  

God was with us when He sent His Son into the world. It is the name Emmanuel that helps us to know that Jesus was no ordinary baby. The Bible teaches us that He was God, clothed in human flesh.

The baby who laid in the manger was God with us. The baby that grew into a boy was God in the flesh. No doubt you will remember the incident when Jesus was only twelve and His parents could not find Him. Finally they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the religious experts, both hearing them and asking them questions. The Bible says: “And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.” (see Lk 2:46) When Mary and Joseph questioned Him about what He was doing, Emmanuel replied to them – “Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business?” (see Lk 2:49)

It was God with us when our Lord first began His public ministry. On the day that He was baptized by John, the Bible says that the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove, and a voice was heard out of heaven which said: “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” (see Lk 3:22)

It was God with us when Jesus went to cross. The Apostle Paul writes:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

God was with us at Bethlehem. But God was also with us before Bethlehem.

II. God Was With Us, Even Before Bethlehem  

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 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:

God chose us ‘in Christ’ before the foundation of the world. The Bible says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) How far back ‘in the beginning’ actually was, no one knows. We don’t when God created the heaven and the earth, but we do know that before He created the world or made the first man and woman, He already had a plan for how He was going to save us from our sins. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.

A. God Chose Us

Exactly what it means that ‘God chose us’ has been a mystery to many down through the centuries of Christianity. Some believe that God chose who would be saved and who wouldn’t. This is sometimes referred to as ‘election’ or ‘predestination.’

I do not believe that scripture is so much teaching us the ‘WHO’ of salvation, but rather the ‘HO W’ of salvation. Let me explain.

1. ‘WHO’

Did God choose ‘the who’ of salvation? Yes He did. The angel said to the shepherds:

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)

The Bible says:

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance… 2 Pet 3:9

For God so loved the world, that whosoever believeth in Him… Jn 3:16

The who includes ‘all people.’ It includes whosoever will, even the lowliest.

“For unto you (a common, ordinary, lowly shepherds) is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11)

God’s choice for His Son to be born in a stable tells us that God is offering salvation to ‘whosoever will.’ The Bible closes with these words:

“Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17

2. ‘HOW’

God has not chosen the ‘WHO’ of salvation, but rather the ‘HOW’ of salvation. Again we look at Paul’s words in the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him

Actually scripture teaches us that God chose:

When Jesus Would Be Born (in harmony with His perfect time table / see Gal 4:4)

How Jesus Would Be Born (through the womb of a virgin / see Is 7:14; Mt 1:23 )

Where Jesus Would Be Born (in a village called Bethlehem / see Micah 5:2; Mt 2:6)

Why Jesus Would Be Born (to be the Savior of the world / see Luke 2:11)

B. We Must Choose Him

Jesus said:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God chose for the world to be saved through the death of His Son. But in order to be saved, the world must choose Him. The Bible says:

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 II. God Will Continue to Be With Us Throughout All Eternity

God was with us before Bethlehem, and God was with us at Bethlehem. But is also still with us today. Jesus Christ is still ministering to God’s children at this very moment.

Many of you know that we’re currently studying in the book of Hebrews on Wednesday nights. The book of Hebrews is a deep book with many wonderful spiritual truths. The primary theme of the book of Hebrews is the Lord Jesus Christ. Last Wednesday night we looked at Hebrews chapter 2 and four great things that Jesus has or is accomplishing that brings pleasure to His Father.

Jesus Tasted Death for Every Man (Heb 2:9)

Jesus is Bringing Many Sons (daughters) to Glory (Heb 2:10)

Jesus Disarmed the Devil of His Power (Heb 2:14)

Jesus is Ministering to the Needs of God’s Children (Heb 2:17-18)

What is Jesus doing now that He is heaven? Most of us probably think that He’s doing nothing. Scripture says that after He finished His work on the cross and ascended back to His Father, He sat down at God’s right hand.

Because He’s sitting down, must of us think that He’s doing nothing. Yet He is still very active in our lives. Consider this wonderful truth found in the book of Acts.

Acts chapters 6 & 7 tell us about a Christian named Stephen. Stephen was one of the first deacons in the church and a tremendous man of God. As God was using Stephen in a great way, the religious leaders of Israel turned against him and thus they had him arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin.

As they questioned Stephen about his faith, they became so angry with him that they determined to stone him to death. As they were hurling their stones at Stephen, something wonderful happened.

Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said , Behold , I see the heavens opened , and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Notice, Jesus was not setting; He was standing! The Bible teaches us that Emmanuel is still with us and that He is ministering to His followers in at least two significant ways:

A. He is Ministering As Our Advocate

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

What is an advocate? Today we might call them a defense attorney. An advocate is someone who comes to our defense.

a. Why Does Jesus Come to Our Defense?

Why do we need a defense attorney? We need one because we have someone who accuses us before God ‘night and day.’

Revelation 12:10 … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Actually the name ‘Devil’ means: {false accuser, or slanderer} and the name ‘Satan’ means – {adversary, or one who withstands}. Night and day the Devil is looking for ways to slander us before our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, sometimes he is right. Too often we are guilty of the accusations he brings against us.

What happens when Satan comes to slander God’s children?

1 John 2: 1 …if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Jesus Christ, the righteous one, Emmanuel (God with us) stands to our defense.

 b. How Does Jesus Come to Our Defense?

What does Jesus say in our defense? He doesn’t argue our sinlessness or worthiness. Instead He reminds our adversary that our sins are now under His blood.

 B. He is Ministering As Our High Priest

Jesus is not only our Advocate in Heaven. He is also our High Priest.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

The word ‘succour’ means to help. Warren Wiersbe says that it means to – ‘run to the cry of a child.’ How many of you would run to the cry of your child? I can think of at least two occasions when I have driven like a mad-man to get to Tennessee to be with one of my daughters who was in need. I would do so again today if there was a need.

How much more does our merciful and faithful High Priest desire to care for us as God’s children. Jesus is still our Emmanuel. He is still God with us. Just before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus said to His disciples.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Here is a very important truth. The word ‘comfortless’ is the Greek word: ‘orphanos’, from which we get the English word – ‘orphan.’ Jesus said: “I will not leave you like orphans. I will come and comfort you.”

What does Jesus do as our faithful and merciful High Priest?

1. He Ministers to Us in a Heavenly

The Bible says that He is a: “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God…” (Heb 2:17) No doubt this includes His role as our Advocate. The Bible says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Jesus applies His blood to our sins.

2. He Ministers Us in a Human Way

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Jesus never sinned. Though the devil threw everything he had against Him, Emmanuel never sinned. Yet, as John MacArthur states it; Jesus “felt the force of temptation.” In other words, Jesus understands what it is like to be human and He ministers to us according to our humanity.


God came to be with us at Bethlehem, but in truth – He has always be with us. We were in the heart and mind of God, even before He created the world. Best of all, God will always be with us. We read from the final chapters of the book of Revelation:

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

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