Elizabeth, Mary and Anna

These three important women are part of the Christmas story told in Luke 1 and 2. Women are made in the image of God to bear His message. What a life the Holy Spirit gives us when we live in wisdom. (Proverbs 24:7; Genesis 1:26-27; Luke 1:11-2:37)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11381
11:00 AM on 12/10/2017

 

P. Schaller

Our subject today is Women. Aren’t they amazing? How about it? The guys here. What do you think? If you have a marriage and found a good wife, you found something extraordinary. Biblical view.

Three important women that we read regarding the birth of Christ. It happens here before it happens in history. Go back in time. Who is informed, who is involved, who knows what is really happening, who gets the secret. Who is on the inside secret? Christ is going to be born in Bethlehem but before it happens, an angel in heaven, Gabriel, it says he stands in the presence of God. We understood Gabriel is a messenger sent to a priest, Zacharias. What does he say to him? Your wife is going to have a child. He counters. Naturally he is saying I can’t believe that would happen. She is barren. We have no children all of our married life, and she is beyond age. How did the angel respond to that? Duh? What did the angel say? In our language, Zechariahs you got to be kidding me. I am an angel and I stand in the presence of God. I come here to tell you something. Cut the crap. Excuse me for the use of the French word! I’m talking to you in the level down here where you are living. I’m telling you this man made a mistake by talking back this way when he should have known better and understood an angel from God is talking to him. How should he respond? Zacharias should say to the angel, please forgive me. It’s hard to believe this but I believe you and respect you. Let it be according to God or God’s will. Or he could have been in the GG church and Spirit filled and said absolutely. Let it be so. But he was at another GG church! No, like me. Like you. We might be so familiar with our messages, when it comes down to the real hour, the real time, what kind of fire do I have. What kind of spirit am I of? I have to confess at times I can be just like this priest. What did the angel say? He said because you didn’t believe me, you’re going to be dumb during the pregnancy. You’re not going to speak. The way you speak is in unbelief. God holds you accountable for that.

I don’t want you to fall asleep while I read the Scripture. I want you to be engaged in it. This is a beautiful thing. This angel visits and tells them what God is going to do. At the beginning of service, I asked you, what is God doing? Have you seen something? Are you on the inside? Are you growing in your faith? Is God helping you and comforting you? Has God answered any prayers? How many can say in the last year you have been healed by God? Thank you, God. That’s amazing. How many have had answers to prayer? How about a prodigal son or daughter came to the Lord? Thank you for those hands. How about this week coming up. Maybe something to do with your job or finances. Good news or bad news, I want to be on the inside and know what God is saying. I don’t expect them to send an angel to me. I do expect them to send a brother or sister or Bible verse that is on fire.

These three women are different. Elizabeth is beyond the age of bearing children but now will have one. If she didn’t have the H.S., what would happen to a woman in her heart and mind if she only lives on a natural level? Like we draw here. Up on the refrigerator.

Prov. 24:7, another point, I am a fool. I know I am. But because of the new birth, the H.S. is coming into my life and now I’m reaching for wisdom. It’s not natural. I say me because you and I were all the same. We all are the same. We’re very foolish. Because of our new birth. I mean everyone in this room and around the room we have been honored by God and incorporated into his kingdom where we call him Father and the H.S. is our teacher. He opens this book to us. Don’t be a Christian who has this book on the piano or bookshelf but in the heart and it’s not too high for me. This book is not too high for you and me. We can learn the pages, the stories and it has an effect on us. I said by illustration, when I was a little boy, my mom would put cookies or candies on the frig, and I’d climb up to see what was up there. Life is like that. You have to search. We are looking for something more than the first floor.

This woman could have stayed at home and said my husband and I don’t have children. I didn’t know why God has done that. The other ladies are always gossiping about me and my family so I stopped talking to them. All of this is life on the first floor. What is God saying? Don’t live like that. Live a godly life. Be Spirit filled.

Second woman is Mary. What do you know about Mary? She was young, not married. Engaged. This marriage had been decided and she did not have sex. She was a virgin and the same angel came to her six months later. Do you know what the angel said? Your aunt Elizabeth is pregnant. And the angel told her that. Now for you, you will be pregnant also. She has a different spirit or attitude. She’s more innocent, more believing. Yes, but I don’t have any relations with any men but she is believing. The shadow of the almighty will come upon you. That holy thing born of you shall be called the Son of God. Let it be unto me according to your word. What would a pregnant teenager say who is not married? What would a pregnant teen say that wasn’t looking for this? How low could the talk be? My community will not understand me. I’m not the cause of this. Many things could be said about this woman. You have to go to another place in life and realize that this is okay. I don’t have to explain it. I’m in another place. I don’t know exactly what is happening but God is with me. Let the people misunderstand me. That’s ok. I’m not living before them. I want to live in the secret place of the Most High with the Lord God Almighty. You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Col 3:3. Third woman is Anna. Another marriage profile that is fascinating. She was a widow for 84 years. She was married for 7. She must have been at the age of puberty or beyond to get married. Let’s say 15 plus 7 is 22 and then 84 as a widow. When she was 22 her husband died and didn’t remarry and she had no children. She’s serving in the temple with prayer for 84 years. Now she is 106 years old when she sees the Messiah in the temple as a baby. She has the spiritual understanding, the mind to understand. Those are the three stories of these women generally speaking. How important women are in the unfolding plan of God.

Ge 1:26, image can be translated likeness as well. Man, he means human kind, humanity is made in my image. First thing God says about women is they are like him. Man was made first then the woman and we are like God. That’s fantastic. I believe it. When you look at all the animals and see how limited they are. They don’t give mercy. Wild animals don’t give mercy. They think food and navigation. But man is so marvelous. We are fascinated with each other. When you look into the face and heart of another person, you see God. God must be like that mother who loves her child or father who is respecting his son or husband and wife that are interacting with each other.

The woman being the helpmate in 2:18. God said it’s good for a man not to be alone. I could say a hearty amen. Solitude is important for us to rest and be replenished in my meditation. But I don’t do so well when I’m left to myself. If I’m left to myself without God, it’s a disaster. When God is with me it’s godly and holy solitude and if his thoughts are with me, they are very edifying to me. I have a tendency to go horizontal with those thoughts. I want to share them with someone. Marriage is sharing life with another person. How beautiful when it is right and how painful and hurtful when it’s not right. Even without marriage, we call each other my sister and brother. Not my wife or fiancé or girlfriend but my sister. We are a family. The women here should feel safe and secure because the men are godly. The men should feel safe and secure in their relationships because the women are godly.

You see in our culture the press is talking and the ladies harassed at work coming out of the closet and talking about inappropriate behavior at work. That’s a good thing when it has happened as no one should be taken advantage of. On the other hand, there could be something there that has a backlash. There are two parties, a man and woman. If she is inappropriate it could draw him into inappropriate behavior. If he is appropriately behaving, she could be drawn into inappropriate behavior. Know your parameters at work. Say I’d appreciate it if we wouldn’t talk in those terms. A man could say to the woman your dress is very nice and it’s not right. You say as a woman, thank you but please don’t say anything about my appearance. She is sending a message. I have a professional relationship in a professional environment. What is needed in my life is the Holy Spirit in my life as a man. The Holy Spirit gives a sense of propriety and respect for my colleagues and my sisters and anyone else there that is with me in my life. They are my sisters. Not my wife. Same principle. First floor and then there is something more. That’s what we are looking for. I go to work and I’m a godly woman and I’m there in that working place and I want to send the right signals. If the man I’m working with is demanding me to do something not right or appropriate for my future in the working place or my promotion, my godly life is not for sale. I don’t behavior like that and have nothing to do with it. I want to be a professional person working in the right way. Can you do that? I don’t know. Can I do this? I have to. I want to. God will give me the grace for it. In our culture because of our movies and TV programs they talk garbage and then expect you to behave at work. You talk garbage, garbage in and it comes out.

These three women had something going on. Elizabeth prophesied and she is in the inside of God’s work. Mary understood. Mary is saying I can’t talk about it. I have something going on from God. Wisdom is too high for a fool. Not saying we go around telling people they are fools. Our world will not understand our values. Our culture will not understand what we are talking about. Our world will make these dirty jokes and talk down and they may talk down about women. I’m not part of that. I don’t think like that. When I say I, I’m saying us. You understand me. The woman is a helpmate.

Ge 2:18, He means she will be suitable for the man. Means like opposite him, like a mirror image. Those molecules in organic chemistry and then the mirror image. It’s the same but the opposite. A man looks at a woman and sees himself but they are different. She is a mirror image of him. She helps. Helping there is used in the O.T. for God helping people, helping Israel. The woman is helping the man and other places it’s used in Psalms, Isaiah, and the Pentateuch for God helping people.

My wife has been a great helpmate to me and helped me in many ways, spiritual, psychological, intellectual, and on a social level. I’m very thankful for it.

One of these three women her husband dies at 21. I’m making that number up. 84 years without a husband or children. Maybe being talked about. Being somehow a little different. Maybe being shameful but not to her. She was in the temple day and night fasting and praying and waiting for the Messiah. You might say I can’t fast and pray for 84 years. You don’t know what you could do in your life by the grace of God. You could be a single woman and it’s a joy. This is my place in life. Many times single women wonder if they would ever marry. One of our people said God told them that’s none of your business. I think you follow my point. I could live here in a world of a lot of questions and troubles and ideas about my self-image and all the talking and the social media or I could believe God is in my life and doing something and he will lead me and guide me in my life. I have found what it means to be a helpmate, a helper, a mirror image. I have found what it means to be an expression of God in this world.

Luke 1:11-19. Do you need any more evidences? Be quicker to hear me and agree.

vs. 20. If I could be in prayer and God speak to my heart and now I have a message. If I’m filled with my own way and my excuses and problems, then I don’t have anything to say. It’s more of the same old, same old. To the ladies here, I’m wanting to edify every woman in this room and beyond. I am so thankful for their years of service in the Body of Christ. The many women that have said I am going after God. Will you get married? I don’t know. Will you have a child? I don’t know. These three profiles they have reason for talking or scandal, or gossiping or being discouraged. We expect something more in our life than just those things. And the behavior of a godly woman and the wisdom of a godly woman like Deborah, Sarah, and Abigail who counseled David. In our church life there are folks – [he’s reading] “many Christian women feel overlooked, slighted and disempowered in the church which is tragic…God, J.C. was highly affirming of women. They were disciples that followed him. The men and then the woman disciples, the Mary’s.

The woman that supported him in Lk 2. The prostitutes that were born again and loved him. The woman that wiped his feet with her tears. The woman who took the alabaster box. Here are the men and the women. Get it right. The box of ointment was $30,000 she poured it out on him and wasted it. It was for his burial.

I have been in the ministry for decades and seen God raise up women with a word of wisdom in season and an amazing spirit of love and an attitude of faith. We have seen it decade after decade. In Finland, we had a huge disproportionate number of women in our church. 30 men to 200 women. If you were a single guy, you really enjoyed that! We were so young the older folks wouldn’t come to our church. There was a period we had one married couple in a church of 200 people. It was loaded with single people. When we are looking for what God is doing it’s awesome. God raised up women.

We don’t ordain women in our ministry based on 1 Tim 2 but we empower them, honor them, and listen to them. They are part of our organization. They are gifted.

There are words of insight. If you look at the text regarding Anna, Lk. 2:36, what is a prophetess? A prophet is a man that speaks from the Word of God, the heart of God and the mind of God. Prophetess is a woman that speaks from the heart of God and mind of God. This woman is right on.

John Knox had his wife and his mother in law was right on. She was a spiritual person he had fellowship with and she gave him guidance and insight. Luther had Katharina Von Bora, a nun. 12 nuns in a convent. They wanted out of the convent and wanted to get married and live like that. The word got to him so he had a business man who was delivering herring, fish, to the convent, pickled herring barrels. The fish went in and out on the wagon came on the barrels twelve women. He had them come to the university where he was and they got married off. There were two left over and he married one of them. She became an amazing help to him. Wise, loving, faithful. One time he fell into depression and Katie came into the room dressed in black like she was a widow. She was mourning the death of someone. He said who died? She said God died. What was the message? Luther you are depressed. You are depressed because God has died. Can’t you rejoice because God has not died? You are acting like God has died. You get the idea. Women. I love them in the Lord, amen. I love their portion. I love what they can do in the church. I love their fire, passion, humanity. I love what they can give. They are a blessing to us.

vs. 36. A widow for 84 years. What would you do if you were a widow and it went on decade after decade? I don’t want you to get discouraged. There is a way for all of us, a door. When the door is shut there is a window. Noah’s ark shut the door but a window goes up to heaven. When God shuts a door, he opens a window. A fool will be satisfied with foolishness but we got something going on. She did not leave the temple. That’s how I feel about church life. This is my church. I’m part of it. If I come in a wheelchair one day and can’t talk or hear or have some disease or a disability, I know my place. This is our family. I belong in God’s house. This is a house. As long as the Word of God and the Holy Spirit and love of brethren are here, we have a good place.

vs. 37-38. John Sabo said maybe there were Jews in that hour that knew Daniel’s prophecy about the 69 weeks of years and anticipating the Messiah coming. They could say now he must be coming. There were people there and this woman could give a rap session. I saw him in the temple. I know. God showed me this is the Messiah. I know.

In the U.S., we have a big population, 330 million or something and many believers and many don’t believe what we think about the coming of Christ. Many don’t believe in this book as God’s Word. Many would make a mockery or joke about it. Let that be what it is.

Wisdom is too high for a fool. If he came the first time, he’s coming again. We should always be ready. Always be prepared, always be looking for something about the scandalous stuff and know who you are and what you are doing in this world. What our message is and what we are doing here. P. Scibelli had a rap at our outreach meeting. You are so welcome on a Saturday morning and at lunch time. He talked about watching and discerning and recognizing. We were saying we put on latex gloves. The soap, make sure there is no bacteria. We use the gloves. Then we put in all the garbage where people say and any movie. I read everything. I talk to everyone. I got the latex gloves to make sure I have no bacteria on my hands. That’s an anomaly there. I’m being poisoned in my soul and so concerned about bacteria. My soul. Who are my best friends? What kind of spirit do I have? What kind of conversation? What do I do when I have free time? What is the plan of God for my life?

One day we will be out of our body and see more clearly. Pay attention. I need a bath, some kind of a bath. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken of. I need a (he’s making noises). Yeah! Super hero. I don’t care about the latex gloves as much as I care about my soul.

Every one of these three women could have a story on level one but everyone was part of something altogether bigger. Learn to spin it the other way and be thankful. God is with me, wisdom is too high for a fool but for us who are born again wisdom is what we are looking for and we feel real at home with it.

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

 

Post a comment