Apologetics, Biblical Doctrines, Christian Living, Church, Faith

Unto Us a Child is Born

Four Wonderful Names

ISAIAH 9

     6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful – Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Normally, when government falls upon the shoulders of a child, the nation is in trouble. It is a sign of judgment. But this child is different. He is different the names he is given.

In modern society, a name is simply a label and does not usually signify much. In Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and Juliet”, the question is asked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” While that is true, names are still very important. In the Bible the name is very meaningful.

First, the name is the person. For example, in Isaiah 30:27 we read, “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire.”

Second, the name is the person revealed.

Third, the name is the person actively present.

Four Divine Names of the Messiah
Called “Jesus” (Jehovah’s Salvation) in the New Testament

Wonderful Counselor
The Mighty God
The Everlasting (Eternal) Father
The Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6 says that “a child is born…a son is given.” The language is precise in order to protect the divinity of Christ. Jesus was the God-man. Jesus was born a child…but He is the eternal Son. The child was born, but the Son was given. The Son was sent into the world.

In the New Testament, Jesus only once said He was born (John 18:37). Jesus usually spoke in terms of being sent. He said that before Abraham was, “I am” (John 8:58). Jesus was not like other men. Jesus spoke of Himself as coming, or being sent, in order to stress His divinity, and uniqueness. For example, our Lord Jesus called upon other men to repent, but He never had the need to repent. All other men are lost sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks to save them. All other men are sick. Jesus is not sick. He is the Great Physician to give life to the sick and dying. All other men have forfeited their lives to sin. Jesus has not forfeited His life but He gave it in order to ransom others. All other men are sinners. No one could accuse Jesus of any sin.

Because of His unique status, the child was to have the burden of government placed upon His shoulders. Like the High Priest of old, who wore the names of the tribes of Israel upon his body, Jesus shall bear the weight of the government of His people. All power and all authority in heaven and in earth rest upon Jesus. He is capable of bearing this responsibility.

Wonderful Counselor. This is a name for God, and is used elsewhere. In Judges 13:15-22 we notice verse 18, where the name of the angel of the Lord is called Wonderful, though it is translated “secret”. And then in verse 22 Manoah says to his wife, “We have seen God.”

The child is called Wonderful because that is exactly what Jesus is. Jesus has been wonderful in the past when His past existence is considered. It was Jesus who spoke and the universe came into existence. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17). What a wonderful thing it is to have eternal existence.

Jesus was wonderful in His death, for in His death comes salvation. He was wonderful in His resurrection, for from that comes hope for all who believe in Jesus.

Jesus is wonderful in the present, for He is sustainer of Christians in the trials of life.

Jesus is wonderful in the future, for of His kingdom there shall be no end.

Jesus is wonderful, and He is a wonderful counselor. He is able to be a wonderful counselor for He sits in the council of the triune God. He knows the past, present, and future. He knows all that shall come to pass. He knows what is right, just, and holy. He knows the mind of God for He is very God of very God. There is no hesitation, nor shadow of turning in His counsel. His counsel can be trusted, as Jesus reveals God’s will to us. The Lord communicates the mind and will of God through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Jesus has some wonderful counsel for souls today.

For those who are weary. Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee (Psalm 55:22).

To the young person Jesus says, “Seekest thou great things for yourself, seek them not (Jer. 45:5). Rather, seek first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).

For those who are caught up in sin, the Lord gives this counsel. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18).

For the unconverted, Jesus has the greatest counsel of all. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Another name for Jesus is “the Mighty God.” Unitarians often rebuke Christians for believing that Jesus Christ is God. The mockery comes because Unitarians do not believe in the trinity. Nevertheless, Christians must stay firm on the Doctrine of the Trinity while confessing it is a great mystery. But the Scriptures are clear. Jesus Christ is very God of very God. Here, the child that is born, the son that is given, is called the Mighty God. Such a designation would be blasphemous unless it is true. To worship Jesus as a man is to commit idolatry. But Christians do not believe we worship a man. We are not idolaters. We worship the one and only Mighty /God who gathered together at Calvary all the sins of His people and bore their penalty to the full. He cried out, “It is finished!” and provided redemption for them.

Then, Jesus is called, “the Everlasting (Eternal) Father.” Jesus is declared to be “The Father of Eternity.” The infant in the manger is the Infinite One, the Founder of Eternity. All time proceeds from Him, and He is the author of it. He is therefore the life giver. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). In Isaiah 8:18 it is stated “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” This verse is applied to Jesus in Hebrews 2:13. “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” The child that is born, the son that is given, the Father of Eternity has many children, spiritually.

When Jesus is called Father, there is no confusion within the Trinity for the term “father” in Isaiah is not used in the same sense when we speak of “Our Father” in heaven. Jesus is the Everlasting Father to us, who are the heirs of salvation. Jesus is a father to us, we are like the children. Paul spoke of being a “father” to the Corinthians. “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:14-15). In the Trinity Jesus is the Son.

Jesus is the everlasting Father which means He never loses His own. Once a person believes in Jesus they have eternal life and they shall in no means perish.

Finally, Jesus is called, “the Prince of Peace.” Jesus is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. There is no peace apart from Jesus.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven is certain for “the zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

“Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and king,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad,
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! The name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease—
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin,
He sets the pris’ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, list’ning to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever giv’n
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heav’n.”

Charles Wesley

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