Sermon on Sunday, December 2, 2012 by Pastor Thomas Tate
MARY, THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PROMISE
AND A GREAT ROLE MODEL
- Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
MARY FULFILLS GOD’S PROMISE DUE TO HER MORAL PURITY
- Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary…Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
MARY WAS FAVORED AND BLESSED BY GOD OVER ALL WOMEN
- And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
- When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
MARY BY FAITH RECEIVED THE BLESSING AND PUT GOD’S WILL OVER HER OWN AND JOSEPH’S
- And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
- And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
MARY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT SHE DID NOT RECEIVE THIS BLESSING BY MERIT BUT GIVES GOD THE GLORY
- And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name.
Sermon-based Bible Study Questions
1. How have you viewed Mary? Were you brought up in the Catholic church and taught she was sinless or were you brought up in the protestant faith and been taught that Mary shouldn’t be lifted up?
2. Read Isaiah 7:10-14 and Luke 1:26-27,34. What was God’s promised sign? Who does He say will be born to a virgin? How is Mary the fulfillment of this promise? Can a virgin give birth today? How is God’s way ahead of today’s science?
3. Would Mary have been chosen to be used by God if she hadn’t kept morally (sexually) pure? What lesson could today’s youth learn from this? Why is virginity (or sexual purity) so rare today, even in the church (kids and adults)?
4. Read Luke 1:28-30,41-43. How should Mary be viewed in the history of faith? How has she been look at? What is the proper balance for someone selected for such a great responsibility that needed so much faith?
6. What was Mary’s attitude about being selected to carry the Lord into the world and raise Him (Luke 1:46-49)? What do you think Mary would say about how she has been elevated to being co-redeemer by the Catholic church? What can we all learn from her humility?