Is. 9:6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This is one of the most loved prophecies in the Bible. What an awesome glimpse into the miraculous nature of everything about Christ. From the shocking virgin birth, to His unprecedented ministry of signs and wonders, the life of our Lord was wonderful. His preaching and teaching were like nothing before or since, His devastating death, His miraculous resurrection, and His eternal reign as King of All is foreseen in this prophecy. We have to join together with Isaiah and say everything about Jesus is wonderful. Here is an excerpt by Luther on this passage. He was focusing on the wonderful nature of the message of righteousness that comes by grace through faith.

“The Christian church is righteous and holy, even though it may not appear so. For the truth is that Christian righteousness is outside of us, alone in Christ, and by our faith in Him. Accordingly, the church and every believer in it confesses: I know that I am sinful and unclean, bound in sin and shame, subject to death, knowing nothing but sin, and yet I am righteous and holy, not of myself, but in Christ Jesus who has become my cloak of righteousness before God, my sanctification and redemption. The Christian righteousness surpasses all human knowledge, reason, and wisdom, being completely beyond reason’s competence and judgement. That is why the wise of this world argue that righteousness is a quality or outward form, a kind of virtue, holy or pious conduct, that must be found in a person if he is righteous or pious. It is like the color of the wall, or of the bread, or of one’s skin, light or dark; so, they say, righteousness or holiness must be a personal characteristic. Moreover, our own reason chimes in with the same conclusion, that righteousness must be something we see and fee; and yet all I feel and see is nothing but unrighteousness. How can I, therefore be righteous.”

This is the central message of redemption. Man can never live a life that qualifies Him for fellowship with the Holy God. The provision for fellowship with God comes as a gift received by faith. As Luther declared, righteousness comes from outside of us, righteousness is found only in one man, the man is Jesus Christ. He has offered us a glorious exchange. He took our shame and guilt, we take His righteousness upon our lives. How is this possible? How is this gift of righteousness received? It is offered as a gift received only by faith. This is the wonderful: yes, supernatural nature of the gospel message. It’s not something we can attain to but is something that is given to us as a gift. This is the message that broke the darkness Europe was enshrouded in in the 1500′s. Suddenly, a light broke through the darkness. It was the wonderful message of the birth of our Savior.

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