Sermon #1 Matthew Notes
Title; The Genealogy of Christ
Text: Matthew 1:1-17
Subject: Lessons from our Lord's Family Tree
Date: May 10, 1994
I am going to do something tonight that I have been putting off for a long, long time. I want to begin an exposition of the four gospels. I hope that it will be a study that is blessed of God. I trust that in every message God the Holy Spirit will be our teacher.
We will begin our study, of course, with the gospel of Matthew. Our text tonight is Matthew 1:17. The title of my message is The Genealogy of Christ. Let's read those first seventeen verses of the New Testament together.
The verses we have just read are the opening lines of the New Testament, the beginning of the story of the Lord Jesus Christ. At first glance it may appear to be just a list of names. But it is much, much more. These lines are given, not by the pen of men alone, but by the direct arrangement and inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. Read them with serious thought. What we have just read is "not the word of man, but of God". (I Thess. 2:13; II Tim. 3:16)
My friends, cherish the Book you hold in your hands. It is "The Holy Bible!" We should, each of us, constantly give thanks to God that he has given us his word in our native tongue.
1. This Book is able to make us wise unto salvation (ll Tim. 3:15).
2. This Book is able to thoroughly furnish us for every good work in this world (ll Tim. 3:17).
3. It is our responsibility to search, and study, and seek to understand the message of this Book and govern over lives by it (John 5:39; ll Tim. 2:15).
4. In the last day we will be judged out of this Book and required to give account to God for our use or neglect of the light he has given us.
Wise they are who follow the counsel of J. C. Ryle--"Read the Bible reverently and diligently, with an honest determination to believe and practice all we find in it. It is no light matter how we use this Book. Above all, let us never read the Bible without praying for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. He alone can apply truth to our hearts, and make us profit by what we read."
The New Testament begins with the history of the earthly life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is given four times, by four different men, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), from four points of view. Yet, in these four narratives there is one complete story, without a single contradiction. Four distinct gospel narratives tell the blessed story of Christ's doing and dying as the Sinners' Substitute. Four times we read of his precious words, works, and worth as our God-man Mediator. How thankful we should be for the four gospels! Each one compliments and re-enforces the other. "To know Christ is life eternal. To believe Christ is to have peace with God. To follow Christ is to be a true Christian. To be with Christ is heaven itself. We can never hear this much about the Lord Jesus Christ." (Ryle) If you need to hear about him, be here every Tuesday night, while I try to expound to you the things of Christ from the four gospels.
In our text tonight Matthew proves that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ of God by giving us his genealogy and at the same time shows us that the Son of God has graciously identified himself with the people he came to save.
I want to show you five things in this message.
1. The Importance of the Genealogy.
2. God's Faithfulness to His Word.
3. The Sinfulness and Corruption of Man.
4. The Great Mercy, Grace, Compassion, and Condescension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. The Sovereignty of God's Grace.
I. First, It is important for us to realize The Importance of This Genealogy.
Matthew was moved by the Holy Spirit to begin his gospel with a long list of names. Sixteen verses are taken up with tracing out the family tree of the Lord Jesus Christ as a man, from Abraham to David, from David to Jechonias, and from Jechonias to Joseph. The seventeenth verse divides the genealogy into three groups of fourteen generations.
Do not foolishly imagine that these verses are useless. Nothing in God's creation is useless. Everything served a purpose. And nothing in God's word is useless! Every word is inspired. Those chapters and verses which seem at first glance to have no spiritual meaning or value are just as needful and important in their place as John 3, Romans 5, and I Corinthians 15.
This genealogy is very important because it is an irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was who he claimed to be, the Son of David, of the seed of Abraham.
A. The Jews kept perfect genealogical records.
B. The Scribes and Pharisees studied and made great issues over endless genealogies. They knew them!
C. If they could have disproved his genealogy, that alone would have been sufficient ground for their rejection of Jesus as the Christ.
D. The Jews agreed about many things, but they never once brought up his ancestry--In fact, no heretic in history has even tried to refute our Lord's genealogy!
E. While Luke's genealogical record lives additional details, there is not so much as one point of disagreement between Matthew's account and Luke's.
II. Secondly, in this long list of names we are made to see God's Faithfulness To His Word.
The Lord God always keeps his word. He had promised that in the Seed of Abraham all the nations of the world would be blessed (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:13-16). God promised that he would raise up One out of the family of David to be the Savior of his people (Isa. 11:1). Matthew 1:1-17 proves that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, whom God had promised. These seventeen verses are a demonstration of the fact that God Almighty always keeps his Word!
A. Let every, thoughtless scoffer remember this and tremble.
Whatever you may think of it, God keeps his word. If you do not repent, you will one day perish by the Word of God.
B. Let every believer remember this and be comforted.
Our heavenly Father will be true to all his promises. "He is not a man that he should lie" (Numb. 23:19). "He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (11 Tim. 2:13). "He cannot lie." (Tit. 1:2). "His promises are all yea and amen in Christ." (11 Cor. 1:20).
1. Saving Grace to the Believing!
2. Sufficient Grace to the Tried!
3. Enabling Grace to the Tempted!
4. Preserving Grace to the Feeble!
5. Restoring Grace to the Fallen!
6. Dying Grace to the Dying!
7. Crowning Grace to His Saints!
III. Thirdly, this genealogy of Christ is one of many revelations in Holy Scripture of The Sinfulness and Corruption of Man.
It is humbling, but instructive for us to observe how many in this list of names were godly parents who had wicked and ungodly sons. Roboam, Joram, Amon, and Jechonias were all terribly wicked men, though they had believing, godly fathers. Learn what these men teach us:
A. Grace does not run in blood lines (John 1:13).
B. Fathers are responsible to train their children; but they are not responsible for either the behavior or the salvation of their children.
Illus: David's Family.
It takes more than a good example, good instruction, and faithful training to save our sons and daughters. It takes the Grace of God. It takes...
1. Sovereign Election!
2. Blood Atonement!
3. Regenerating Grace!
IV. Fourthly, as I read this genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am once more reminded of The Great Mercy. Grace, Compassion, and Condescension of The Lord Jesus Christ.
Some of the names genealogy remind us of shameful events and sad histories. Some of those named are mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. But the last, crowning name in the list is "Christ!" What condescending compassion and grace! Though he is the eternal Son of God, he humbled himself to become a man that he might bring salvation to fallen men! (Philippians 2:7-8, Corinthians 8:9; 9:15)
Here is grace. In the genealogy of Christ five women are mentioned, four of them have a very serious blemish upon them.
V. Lastly, I cannot help noticing that this genealogy of Christ also exemplifies The Sovereignty of God's Saving Grace.
Understand this--No human being is beyond the reach of Christ's saving arm or sympathetic heart. Our sins may have been as many and as vile as any who are here named, but they shall never be remembered against us by God, if we trust him who is the Christ, the Son of God.
Application: John Newton's Story