Church family, we’re going to be in the Gospel of Matthew. So if you have your Bible, I’d ask you to turn with me to Matthew’s Gospel.

First book of the New Testament.

And I would like for us to walk through Matthew’s Gospel together, however long it takes. And I believe it’s going to be very good. So we’ll just be in Matthew chapter 1, verse 1 this morning.

So let me read that for us. It says, The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

In the late 19th century, there was an economist, sociologist that noted in his time, the way that people really expressed that they were important, that you mattered, a symbol of status, was that you worked as little as possible. If you were wealthy, and you were of society, and you mattered, you showed that by having as much leisure time as possible. Work was for people that had to do it. You didn’t want to have to work. That was a lowly thing to do. Researchers have noticed, though, a century later, a little more than a century later, it’s the opposite.

People love to work and be busy, and we think that’s a status symbol. It’s good to be busy. We say things like, Oh, I’m so busy right now, I can’t even think straight. We love words like, Productivity. We love words like, Efficiency. So if we’re really busy, and we’re trying to juggle all this stuff, and we don’t have any time, apparently we’re important. Apparently we’re living a life that matters. We are working ourselves to death, and we like it. It’s basically what’s happening. And honestly, I think it’s a scheme and tactic of the enemy to keep us so busy, so distracted, not with just work, but in the digital age, with computers, with tablets, you have a phone in your pocket, which you could see the whole world right now if you wanted to. It keeps us from thinking about what matters most in life, and more importantly, what kind of life matters most to live.

And I think most people are moving at such a fast pace, we don’t stop to consider, what is life, really? We all have these few little moments, don’t we? Whether you live 50 years, 100 years, in the scheme of eternity, we all just live for a second. We’re gone. What are we supposed to do with those few moments? I think what Matthew’s going to do in his Gospels, is challenge us to consider this life of Jesus, it’s worth pausing and considering. If you could consider Jesus’ life, it may just change what you find most important in life, and what kind of life you would live. So the life of Christ, that’s what we want to consider this morning. So again, Matthew 1, verse 1, the book of the genealogy, of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Now usually you read genealogies in the Bible, and you think, well those are boring. I don’t think it’s boring. I think that Matthew chapter 1 is the most exciting chapter in Scripture. Without it, we wouldn’t have the rest. But Matthew seems to think that you and I need to know who David and Abraham are, if we’re going to know who this Jesus is. So who is this Abraham? Well, to understand who Abraham is, friends, we really have to go back to the beginning. We have to go way back, like to the very beginning. And in the very, very beginning, if we go back to Genesis chapter 1, what do we find? We find that God creates. God created the heavens, God created the earth, God created day and night, and the sky, and the land, and the sea, and He fills it with fish, and vegetation, and cattle, and He says all of this is good. God does it, and He says it’s good. But in the midst of that, God does something really unique and special. God creates man. And man is unique and special, because God says, I’m going to create this creature in my image. Consider it in Genesis chapter 1, verse 27. So God created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created them, male and female. He created them. And in 2.7, chapter 2, verse 7, it says, God takes His dirt, He shapes us up, and God breathes His life into us. Then God takes man and puts us in His garden, so that we can enjoy His garden He created, so that we can enjoy His life. So that we can have dominion over it. And then when God sees that man is alone, God gives man woman, that she too can enjoy everything that God has created. Do you notice who in this God-man relationship, who is giver and who is taker?

Who is in the posture of blessing, and who is in the posture of receiving the blessing? Who is independent? Who is completely and entirely a dependent? God makes very clear from His Word what they are to do for their good, what they are not to do, what they are not to do for their good, what they are not to do for their harm. But as you may know, paradise didn’t last too long.

Satan in the form of a serpent, he tempted Adam and Eve to betray the One who created them, loved them, fed them, clothed them, fellowshiped with them. How would you like to go for an evening stroll with the Lord every night? What would that be like? And in one moment, in one moment, they went from having everything that could satisfy them, everything that could bring them real joy in life, to the next moment, none of this they deserve, but to the next moment, they saw it all tarnished, ruined, destroyed, because of their decision to give away, not just God’s best, but friends, to give away God Himself for what cannot truly satisfy. Here’s what they’ve done. They’ve ruined their understanding of themselves. They don’t know how to be humans anymore. They’ve ruined their relationship with other human beings. They’ve ruined their understanding of creation.

Humanity will now struggle, to worship the stuff God makes, instead of God Himself. Worse, they’ve ruined their relationship with God. Where there was once nearness and intimacy, there is, friends, a great divide. And they can’t do anything about it, because they’ve disconnected themselves from the One who gives. But, despite their sin and their inability to do anything about this eternally damning plight they’ve put themselves in, God does something they wouldn’t have expected and we wouldn’t have expected. God does something they don’t deserve and we don’t deserve. God makes a promise. God had said, the day you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die. Yet they did not die. He was merciful. In lieu of judgment, God makes a promise and He lets them live. Consider what He says in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, speaking to the serpent. I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He shall bruise you. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heels. So here in the midst of our sin, the Lord says, someone will come to undo what’s been done in the garden. Someone will come, a seed will come from the woman and will deal a blow of defeat to death, to sin, and the serpent.

You say, well that’s great, that’s Adam. I thought we were talking about Abraham. We needed to know that to get to Abraham. So that promise, that thing we’re holding on to, like that one strand of hope, it passes to Abraham. Through time, this promise becomes more tangible. God comes to Abraham and He puts the promised blessing on him. Now who’s Abraham? Well, Abraham’s a nobody. Abraham is a random, polytheistic pagan from the land of earth, just like anyone else. Abraham, like you and I, he’s an undeserving sinner. Yet God puts His blessing on Abraham. God loves him in a special way. God gives him great wealth. God protects him from his enemies. All of his enemies, don’t mess with him because they know it. Notice again, notice again, who’s the giver and who’s the receiver. Who’s independent and who is a dependent. But most of all, what God does is He calls Abraham to be the progenitor of the Jewish nation. That from Abraham would come that sea to bless, not just the Jewish nation, friends, but all nations. That’s God’s great promise. But, it’s a big but, time lapse, Abraham passes away. The seed hasn’t come yet. So, instead, in the meantime, God gives His people a law. Until this seed comes, here’s a law. This is my law. And I want you to live up to this law. And if you live up to this law, God says, I’ll bless you and keep you. If you don’t live up to this law, God says,

you’ll face harsh consequences. I’ll judge you. So that’s seemingly great. Exodus chapter 19, verse 5 and 6. Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, if, and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples. That’s great, except that it isn’t. Because, friends, you know the problem with bad people? They can’t keep laws. Right? And so these Jews, guess what? They’re from the line of Adam, which means they cannot and will not keep God’s law. The Old Testament is replete with examples of the Israelites disobeying God, rejecting God, sinning and facing His very harsh consequences. And, friends, for you and I this morning in 2018, the greater problem, you and I come from the line of Adam. We cannot obey. We cannot keep God’s laws at all. This is our great plight. We’re incapable to do anything about it because, remember, we were created to be dependents from the origins of humanity. We cannot help ourselves. Yet on whom will we depend now? Who will save us from ourselves?

And maybe it’s just a huge footnote. Let me say this. Our culture today does its very best to keep you and I believing there’s no such thing as right and wrong. There are no absolute truths. But, friends, as unpopular as it may be, we cannot let go of what God will judge one day according to His holy standard. Consider what theologian Philip Graham Ryken says. In these post-Christian times, that’s today, they’re characterized by relativism and narcissism. The relativist attacks God’s intellectual authority. He says, I don’t want anyone telling me what to believe. I demand the right to think what I want to think. The narcissist attacks God’s, God’s moral authority. He says, I don’t want anyone telling me how to behave. I demand to do what I want to do. The relativism is a sin of the mind, a refusal to believe sound doctrine. Narcissism, a sin of the heart, a refusal to lead a holy life.

But, friends, if we read the Word of God, we know that God’s day of judgment will come when Jesus separates the righteous from the wicked. For the righteous, it will be a day of glory. For the wicked, it will be a day of great dread and terror. Isaiah says people will be hiding in caves trying to escape. Escape it. And, friends, if we’re honest this morning, considering everything we have about humanity up to this point, there’s not a very good chance you and I are going to be found among the righteous. What are we to do? The Ecclesiastes writer says, surely there’s not one person on earth who does good and never sins.

But wonder of wonders, God’s long-awaited promise has been fulfilled. Friends, Abraham matters to us this morning because Jesus Himself is the promise for us. He is the promise for us. Fulfilled.

Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name. It’s a title.

It’s the Greek rendering for the Old Testament Hebrew rendering of Messiah. And what is a Messiah? It’s an anointed one. It’s a called-out one. It’s a separate one. It’s somebody who has a special purpose to do a very specific task that only they could do. So when Matthew says, hey, Jesus, this Jesus guy that I’m talking about, he’s that Old Testament Hebrew Messiah. Like, he’s the one that’s come in the line of Adam, to redeem Adam. Like, he’s the one that’s come from Abraham to be a blessing to all the nations, not just the Jews. And there’s even proof of that in this lineage, because in this lineage of Abraham and Jesus, we find Rahab the prostitute and Gentile. We find Ruth the Moabite. We find Bathsheba who’s the wife of a Hittite man. We see Jesus has come to love us all. He’s the one to deal with our sin problem. He’s the one who’s resisted evil without fail. He lived a perfect life. He fulfilled the law. He died as a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. He has risen up over the grave, and he has what the Apostle Paul calls an indestructible life. And he gives that indestructible life to us that we would be free from the sin of ourselves, from death and from Satan’s grip.

Jesus has bridged the great divide back to God. Jesus has restored our humanity. Jesus has restored our relationships. And friends, he’s coming back someday to make all creation new. God kept his promise. Jesus is the promise fulfilled. Jesus is the son of Abraham.

Amen. Galatians chapter 3, verse 13.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written, cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree, so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised spirit through faith.

Several years ago, I was I think at a doctor’s office, and I don’t know why, but there was this rose across the room. I’m not the kind of person that goes around smelling roses, but I thought, I’m going to go smell this rose. I don’t know why I wanted to. But I walk across this room, and I just stick my face in this rose, and I take a big whiff in, only to discover it wasn’t a rose. It was fake. And I just, I sucked into my nasal cavity and my lungs like, I guess, months and months of dust and dirt. And I started coughing and choking. And I, like, you look at it like, that’s not a real rose. It was so fake. It wasn’t the real thing, right? And, you know, I think of all people on earth, friends, you and I, we should have the aroma of joy, the aroma of peace, the aroma of true rest. Why? Because you and I alone, we have experienced the one that has brought us the rest that we lost in the garden. We have peace. So in the hardest parts of life, we have peace and joy because Jesus, He’s already conquered sin. He’s already over my life. I’ve known the one who’s fulfilled the promise. And I think we could say that, well, that, you know, that’s not realistic. Life is hard. Life is drudgery. I’m not arguing that life isn’t tough. I do believe that supernaturally by the Spirit we don’t have happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Joy is a happiness that no one can take away because God’s given it to us. The world doesn’t understand it and the world can’t take it away. We should have joy. Paul says we’re the aroma of Christ to those who are being saved. Here’s the question then for you this morning. What do you smell like?

If I were to talk to your friends, if I was to talk to your family, the people that you do life with at your workplace, would they say, you know, that person’s different. When life gets tough and things get hard, they just have this inner calm I can’t really explain. They just smell different from most people. Friends, that is an evangelistic weapon. People don’t want to hear gospel from a bunch of sad, bitter, angry people. They want it from people who have joy. I want to challenge you and even speak that into your life when you constantly face anxieties and pressures. Friends, look back at the cross and see the one who fulfilled the promise. See the son of Abraham.

So that’s who Abraham is. He helps us understand why the life of Christ is so valuable. But if we look back at Matthew chapter 1 verse 1, Matthew seems to believe we need to know who the son of David is as well. So for the longest time in the Old Testament, the people of God did not have a king unique from other nations. They were what you would call a theocracy. God was their king. God gave them his laws, his rules, his regulations so they could act right as a society. God protected them. God ruled over them in righteousness. But the people, they did not want God as their king. They wanted a man to be a king. And God said, fine, have what you want. We see it in 1 Samuel chapter 8 verse 7. And the Lord said to Samuel, obey the voice of the people and all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. So God says, here, have what you want. And God gives them King Saul. And Saul was a terrible king. He was a coward. He was wicked. He did not love God. He did not obey God. He led the people to do evil on God’s side. And please note, as the leader goes, so goes the people. And Saul was so evil, he failed God. God took him out of the throne and in his place, he raised up someone very different. He raised up David. And David loved God with all his heart. David followed after God. David obeyed God. David says in the Psalms, I love your law. I hide it in my heart. David then was a really great example for the kingdom about what it meant to be holy before God. And David ruled in equity and justice. So David was a great king. But as great of a king as he was, even God says, hey, David, you’re a man after my own heart. I mean, what kind of statement is that for God to make about a person? Yet David is a man of failure and fault. David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Then David murdered her husband, Uriah. Tried to cover it up. God pronounced his judgment on him. Says, you will never have rest in your home. There will always be a sore in your home. Absalom overthrows him for a time. David loses his child because of this. So however much David loved the Lord, and it was genuine, however much he did love God and obey God, friends, he was grossly deficient. He was grossly deficient. And worse, David did not have the capacity as a king to perpetuate a kingdom of righteousness. Because none of his sons after him could do even as good a job. As he did. And I want to work through all these kings with you here in this lineage. Let’s start with Solomon. Solomon was David’s son. He was a good king, but he was a womanizer. And so he started worshipping the gods of his many wives. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, he was evil. He took counsel from young, stupid men instead of old wise men. And under Rehoboam, the kingdom split into two. Abishai was sinful like his father. Asaph was good, but in his later years, he abandoned God. Jehoshaphat loved the Lord, but then Joram after him, he was evil. He slaughtered his brothers. It says he led Judah into idolatry and paganism. Uzziah loved the Lord, but it says in his old age, he became prideful and tried to offer incense in the temple. What only priests could do. And God gave him leprosy.

Jotham was a good king. Slightly apathetic. Ahaz Ahaz was wicked. Ahaz offered up his sons, his burnt offerings to God. He slaughtered his sons and offered them to false gods. Then he tore all the vessels out of God’s temple and shut up the doors to the temple. He was an evil man. Hezekiah brought revival, but then after Hezekiah came Manasseh, who did what Ahaz did. And 2 Kings even says he led the people to do more evil than the pagan nations.

Amos was evil. Then Josiah was good. Then we end with Jeconiah. He was evil. And Judah is in such horrible spiritual decline. God wipes them out. He throws them into Babylonian captivity. Friends, David was great, but he was not great enough. And just like the kings of Israel and just like the people of Israel, friend, you and I were hopelessly enslaved to the tyranny of sin. We have no one to rescue us. We have no one to reign over us in righteousness. And we have no one to perpetuate a kingdom of righteousness of which sin cannot stand. But there’s a glimmer of hope here again. Because God made a covenant with David just as He had done with Abraham. Look at it in 2 Samuel chapter 7 verse 12. God says when you’re days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you. He shall come from your body and I will establish your kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever. And we get a clearer picture of it in Acts chapter 13 verse 22. And when He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king of whom He testified and said, I have found in David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will of this man’s offspring. God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Friends, Jesus is the King that we need. Jesus is the Son of David. What other king would come down off of His throne and walk among not peasants, but enemies who hate the King, who hate the ways of His kingdom? This Jesus didn’t stay far off. He came near to the worst offender. He loved them. He taught us, His enemies, to be holy and righteous. He never erred. He never had a misstep like David. He was good. He was pure. He was holy. He was kind. Then this King paid the price of the transgressions of all of His enemies who broke His law with His own blood. And then this King, He didn’t browbeat us into submission. He put His Spirit on us that we would love His ways. That we would have the power to obey and live in His kingdom as one of His citizens. Friend, He has not lifted us up to the place of even peasant. Jesus calls us child of God. He calls us part of the royal family. He puts a gold ring on our finger, a royal robe on our back. He says, take a seat at my table and feast with me and with my Father, because you’re in the family now. We’re co-heirs with Christ. What kind of King would do that? Friends, Jesus is not the King we deserved. But by God’s grace, Jesus is the King we got. Jesus is the Son of David. Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6, For to us a child is born, to us a son who is given in the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, of the increase of His government and of peace. There will be no end on the throne of David and over His kingdom to establish it and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. The Son of David.

I love in Mark chapter 10 the story of blind Bartimaeus.

Blind Bartimaeus, he’s outcast, he’s off to the side and he sees Jesus coming and he says, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they say, shut up, blind Bartimaeus. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Shut up, blind Bartimaeus. And eventually Jesus says, bring him to me. And he comes and he says, Bartimaeus, what do you want? He says, I want to receive my sight.

And Jesus says, go, your faith has made you well. And immediately he could see. Now, as it’s interesting, Jesus says to Bartimaeus, go your way.

Yet, that’s not what Bartimaeus does. He recovers his sight and it says he followed him. Now, if you regained your sight, what would you do? I would want to go look at a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. I would want to go show my family, like go look at some trees, like colors. It would be awesome. Friends, not everyone who came to Jesus for healing stayed around. They just went off. They went away. Think about the nine lepers.

The proof that Jesus was the son of David to Bartimaeus, I don’t think it’s found in that he called him son of David. I think it’s found in that with his life, he followed the son of David. With his life, he subjected himself to his king.

Friends, you and I are expats. We’re exiles. We don’t belong to this world. We’re of a different kingdom. And the proof of our life is not in that we say Jesus is king. It’s how you and I live our lives actually. Because if a king is a king, that doesn’t mean he has some control over you. It means he gets to say what’s up in your life. What are you listening to? What are you watching? What thoughts are in your head? What intentions are in your heart? How do you treat people? How do you spend your money? How do you spend your time? How do you use all of your resources? This king, Jesus, if he is our king, we’re going to be so interested to know what does it look like to be a citizen of this king’s kingdom? I want to learn his way so I can look different from the rest of the world. Friends, we look different in our posture because we have this rest, but we act different because we have a king who showed us how to act and live. Are we as the church living, following together this great king, the son of David? That’s also evangelistic and will change the world around us.

So that’s the life of Jesus. That’s why Abraham matters. That’s why David matters. But if you turn with me here as we come to the end, I want to look at John chapter 11, verse 21 and 27 with you.

Just kind of close with this.

So Jesus’ friend Lazarus has died and Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you. Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. Martha said to him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. But Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And everyone who lives and believes shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to him, yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, who is coming into the world. Friends, Jesus’ life matters because Jesus himself is the source of all life. People who are living, they’re not living, they’re just existing if they don’t know Christ. You cannot have life and not know Christ. He is the source of life for us, both physically and spiritually. And Jesus himself is the one who has redeemed both physically and spiritually our lives. He is the one that has done it. So if we don’t know Jesus and we’re not following him, we don’t have his spirit. Friends, we don’t have life. It’s his. It’s his rest. It’s his peace. It’s his joy. It’s his power. It’s his righteousness. It’s all him. This great promise. This great king. Friends, do we know him and do we love him? And are we following him? And are we sharing him with the world? It’s his everlasting kingdom that he invites us to be a part of. We don’t deserve it, but he invites us into it. It starts

with repenting. I want to be a part of the kingdom of this world. I’m going to believe on this Jesus. And his spirit’s going to save me. And then I get to get together with all my brothers and sisters who have also by grace been brought into this holy family. And we get to go and live out the implications of the gospel, the truth of the gospel, Christ in us, the hope of glory, the hope of the world that everyone else will see it. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we do. So

that’s what I think Matthew’s going to argue for. And I guess just speaking


I think that’s all I want to do. And I think that’s all I want us to do as a church. What are we going to be about? Following Jesus together. That’s what he’s called us to do. And so by God’s grace, we’ll walk together. And by God’s grace, we’ll arrive at home together in the end. So may God bless us and keep us in all things. So I love you. We’re praying for you and praying for us. And may Jesus be exalted among us.

Would you pray with me?

Father, this morning

we need to be reminded as we have been already by your word that

we’ve sinned against you and we don’t deserve you, Lord. And you could have left us and you had no obligation to us, but you Father, you’ve loved us. You will love us. You will love us. You will love us long ago to send Jesus to save us. God, you’re not making up stuff last minute. You’re sovereign God who knows all things. You’re sovereign God who loves us perfectly and doesn’t change.

So Lord, this morning I’m praying for us in this room, Lord. I’m praying that if there’s someone here, they know you, but they’re not living in the victory and the joy that Christ has afforded them. Lord, by your Spirit, would you flood us this morning with your joy, with peace, with rest. The world can’t explain, Lord. We can just breathe. Because Jesus has accomplished all things well in our place.

Father, would you in your Spirit convict us of sin that’s keeping us from following Jesus? Sin that’s keeping us from surrendering to this King? Sin that’s keeping us from being, Lord, a unified, holy, usable church for your glory?

Lord, if someone’s here this morning and they don’t truly know you, they know about religion, they know about Jesus, but they have yet to surrender their soul to you. Lord, I pray you would do that mighty work of conviction and bring them to salvation even this morning, God.

Lord, I pray over us as we church family together that as we’re knit together in love, oh Lord, we would just love to go and share this promise with the world. We would love to tell the world about this King and what He has freely done for us.

So, Father, we bless you. We bless Jesus. We ask your Spirit to move among us as we respond to you in worship now. So, in Jesus’ name we pray that. Amen.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: Matthew 1:1