Wonderful Counselor

Bible Book: Isaiah  9 : 6
Subject: Christmas; Jesus, Birth Of; Christ, Names of
Series: Christmas - The Name Above All Names
[Editor's Note: The "Name Above All Names" is a four-part Christmas sermon series from Isaiah 9:6. All four messages can be found in PastorLife.]

Today we begin a series entitled "The Name Above All Names." This series involves four sermons taken from Isaiah 9:6, as passage written by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before Christ was born. Remarkably, he projected the birth of Christ, the nature of Christ and the death of Christ in the Bible book which bears his name. Among the amazing prophesies of Isaiah is the one found in our text for today.

There is a great dualism presented in this verse. In one phrase Isaiah points out that a child is born, but then he asserts that a son is given. Why say twice what appears to be essentially the same thing? Because the two are not the same, not in the least. On that first Christmas about 2,000 years ago, the child Jesus was born, but the Son is preexistent. The Son was not born, for He always has been and always will be. The child was born, but the Son was given. Yes, the child and the Son are One, but the terms used to describe Him are very different indeed.

A Child is born ... speaks of the Humanity of Christ.
A Son is given ...  speaks of the Divinity of Christ.
A Child is born ...  speaks of Impotence.
A Son is given  ...  speaks of Omnipotence.
A Child is born ...   speaks of the Terrestrial.
A Son is given  ...   speaks of the Celestial.
A Child is born  ...  that speaks of the Earthly.
A Son is given ...   speaks of the Heavenly.
A Child is born ...  speaks of the Son of Man.
A Son is given... that speaks of the Son of God.

Isaiah caught the duality of Christ in simple, but profound words as he described the wonderful gift God was giving to the world - namely, His own Son. Just think of it, "Jesus had an earthly mother, but no earthly father. Jesus has a heavenly Father, but no heavenly mother." In essence, God's Son from heaven came to be born as a child here on earth for the express purpose of redeeming the lost race of humanity.

In this passage Isaiah speaks of four titles for the Son. If one reads the Bible carefully, he or she will discover that the Word of God contains more than 225 terms, names or titles for our Lord. Truly, His name is the name above every name. In this four part series, we are going to look at the four titles, which Isaiah gave to us in this passage, and relate them to our lives right now.

The four names are:

Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father, and
Prince of Peace

We begin today with the title Wonderful Counselor.

The name Counselor, and the adjective Wonderful, are filled with meaning - as we shall see. A counselor is one who gives advice, leads, or defends someone. But we must be careful to whom we turn for counsel. The story is told of two bums sitting together on a park bench. One of them said to the other, "I'm a man who never took advice from anybody." The other said, "Shake my hand, old buddy, for I'm the man who followed everybody's advice."

The problem for many people is they will not listen to words of wisdom. For others, they are listening to the wrong voices or they heed too many voices. Today we are going to consider listening to and following the Wonderful Counselor.

Let's contrast the effort of an earthly counselor with the wonder of the divine Counselor. Now, granted, we need earthly counselors. They play an important role. In fact, they may be used by the divine Counselor to help us when they are applying the Word of God to our situations. This message is not meant to demean or belittle human counsel, but rather it is to reveal the superiority of the Savior when counsel is given to us.

I. The Earthly Counselor Must Ask to Know Your Need - The Wonderful Counselor Knows Your Need Before You Ask

A counselor must have knowledge of the person he or she is seeking to advise. Counselors always begin by asking questions or seeking to get the counselee to discuss the situation and life experiences that exists because that will have an impact on the advice needed. But Christ, the Son who was given, needs no introduction to your need. He knows you wholly, completely and utterly. He knows your talents and gifts. He knows your sins and weaknesses. He knows your history. He knows all about you. The earthly counselor must ask about your need. The wonderful Counselor knows what you need before you ask.

Listen to the words of Jesus found in Matthew 6:8, which reads, "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

Think about all He knows about us.

A. He Knows Our Past

Our need of counseling assumes and presupposes that we have a past, but the Lord knows our past, every moment of it. He is the Wonderful Counselor because He has all the knowledge of our past in His heart and mind. He knows the secret sin of your past. He knows the hidden hurt of your past. He knows the lost dreams of your past. He knows all about your past experiences.

B. He Knows Our Present

Sometimes we will speak to a friend or famiy member and say, "You can't image what I'm going through right now." But you can't say that to Jesus! The Lord knows your present pressures, your present temptations, and your present trails. He knows this very minute what perhaps no other soul on earth knows about you. He is wonderful in His knowledge of us.

C. He Knows Our Future

No earthly counselor can boast that he is aware of the future of the person he or she is counseling. Our Lord knows what is ahead of us. He is able to see the future and to guide us through the landmines that dot our future landscape. He alone can do this!

Now, consider another important issue related to the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus...

II. The Earthly Counselor Hopes He Can Help You - The Wonderful Counselor Knows He can Help You.

Every pastor is called upon from time to time to counsel people who are dealing with difficult issues. Every time I have been asked to assist people in this way, it has been my prayer that I can give some practical, helpful and biblical advice. If my counsel or that or others really helped we cannot be sure, but I can tell you that the Wonderful Counselor never searches for the right answers - He is the answer!

A. Those Who Have Tried Him Testify Of Him

John 6:68-69, "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.'" What a great statement Peter made that day. Where can you go to get an answer regarding the evil in our world? To whom can you turn for truth regarding the your own evil heart? Where can you turn for help in getting rid of the guilt that plagues your heart and mind? Where do you go to find real love - sacrifical love? Jesus is the answer every time. He has the "words of eternal life" and can handle every situation you face.

Those who know Him tell of His love and leadership in their lives. He is the only One who has the words you and I need to hear.

B. Those Who Have Not Tried Him Are Invited To Do So

Matthew 11:28-29 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Jesus calls us to come to Him because He longs to save and to lead us. He is the Great Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd. No matter that He already has 99 sheep safely in the fold, He cares for the one that is lost and hurting. He came to this world on that first Christmas long ago to reveal the love of God for the human heart and soul. Now, He calls you to come to Him. He is the only One with the rest that is needed for the troubled soul.

C. Those Who Have Turned Away From Him Regret Their Decision

Isaiah 48:17-18, "This is what the LORD says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.'"

To turn on back on the Lord, is to invite disaster. He is the only one who can lead in the path that is correct. Note what Isaiah penned in 48:17-18. He revealed that the people had rejected God's love and went their own way. If only they had listened to Him, they would have found peace like a river and blessings deeper than the waves upon the sea. He is the only One who can teach "you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." Perhaps you have gone your own way in life and now you regret it. Listen to these words,

"Come home, come home,

Ye who are weary come home,

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

Ye who are weary come home." (Will L. Thompson, 1880)

Indeed, he calls the weary to come home. Someone here today needs to come to your senses, like the Prodigal Son, and come home to Lord. He is waiting and watching for you.

III. The Earthly Counselor Tries To Give You An Appointment - The Wonderful Counselor Is Always Available

Don't misunderstand me, God is not an errand boy or a cosmic Santa Claus. What I am saying is that the Lord does not make us wait when we are in trouble. When Simon Peter was sinking in the water, he prayed, "Lord, save me!" The Lord Jesus put out a hand and helped him before the waters of the Sea of Galilee could swallow him up. Now I know that you have called on the Lord and thought that He was wasn't listening, but you were wrong. He told us to call on Him and that He would hear us. Of course, we must go to Him in a proper manner. Let me tell you three requests our Wonderful Counselor will hear and answer.

A. The Request For Conversion

Would you like to be saved? Would you like to really know God in a personal way? I think at Christmastime, many people feel a kind of loneliness that they can't explain. It is a deep-down feeling of missing home or longing for something lost. That feeling just might be God speaking ot you about the fact that you've missed out on what really matters in life. You have never fully trusted Jesus Christ to redeem you. One never finds his or her true home till they find it in Christ. You can come home to Him today.

Look at Romans 10:9, 10, and 13. You can be saved! The Wonderful Counselor is the Lord and Savior. Call on Him. He is always available to save those who turn to Him in faith, those whose hearts have been touched with conviction of sin and assurance of His redeemer status. "His arm is not shortened that He cannot save."

B. The Request For Cleansing

In 1 John 1:9 we are told that He is faithful and just to forgive all those who confess their sins to Him. Tell Him the truth. He doesn't just want to help you, He will help you! He cares upon what sin has done to you. Some of us in this service today have known the Lord for many years, but it is been a while since you just came and knelt before Him in repentance for those sins that so easily beset you. He is calling you today - come as the Magi came - and bow down before the King who loves you - come to the Wonderful Counselor!

One lady came forward to her pastor during the invitation following the sermon. She admitted that she sometimes stretched the truth. The pastor said, "Come now, dear sister, tell the Lord the truth. Tell Him that you LIE!"

At first she hesitated, and then with tears she asked God to forgive her for lying. Sweet peace came in that very instant. Tell God the truth. He will hear the prayer of an humble and contrite heart. Besides, He already knows our needs, our hurts and our sins.

C. The Request For Calm

In Philippians 4:4 and following, we read that we are to turn to the Wonderful Counselor in our hour of trouble. What will He do? He will give us a peace that passes understanding. He will guard our hearts and minds. Sadly, Christmastime is a season often fraught with sadness. Jesus is the Counselor for the lonely heart and the sad spirit. He can give you a peace that goes beyond understanding. Listen, can you hear Him? He is calling you to His side even today.

One of the words for counselor is the word "advocate." A lawyer is called a counselor. He is one who stands in our place and represents us. That is what Jesus is to us. He is our great Paraclete. He is our Advocate. He can bring calm in the midst of the storm. He can give songs in the night.

IV. The Earthly Counselor Charges A Fee - The Wonderful Counselor Paid the Price With His Blood

A professional counselor charges a fee for service, and he or she must do so. They are not pastors or ministers and their only income is achieved through some type of fee for service. Admittedly, there are times when such services are needed by individuals. I do not make light of those who are trained in the field of counseling. In fact, our church has a Christian counseling office to whom we recommend people who have problems that need that type of assistance. However, out Lord offers a service which only He can provide and no one has the fee necessary to receive what He, and He only, can provide.

As I said a moment ago, a counselor can stand for one who goes before court for you. An attorney is called a counselor, because the attorney stands for you and advises you before a judge. This type of counselor also charges a fee, and must in order to have compensation for services. However, Jesus stood between the Law of God for us. He took the wrath of the Law in our place. We violated the Law of God, but it was He who died in our place.

Look at Isaiah 55. We come without price. The songwriter penned,

"In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling."

Jesus took our crown of thorns.

Jesus accepted the nails in His hands.

Jesus took our punishment.

He stood between the Law for us and at great price. Now He calls us to come to Him. Turn to the Counselor. Turn to the Wonderful Counselor.

Please remember with me that it was a counselor who first corrupted us. Look to Genesis and you will see that Satan counseled Eve and she and Adam disobeyed the Lord. Man has listened to the wrong counselor; let's listen to the Wonderful Counselor today - the Lord Jesus Christ.

The "Wolf Magazine of Letters" told of a woman who in the Christmas rush purchased 50 greeting cards without looking at the message inside. She signed and addressed all but one, and then dropped them in a mailbox, still not taking time to see what each card said on the inside. The verse on the inside was completely overlooked. Just imagine her dismay when a few days later she glanced at the one un-mailed card and read these words:

"This card is just to say,

A little gift is on the way."

Needless to say, that gift was never received by anyone. There were 49 disappointed families wondering what had happened to their presents.

But God did not forget us. He made a promise through Isaiah and some 700 years later He gave His only Son that we might inherit eternal life. Turn to Him now. His counsel is for you to repent and be saved. His counsel to the Christian is for us to walk in close fellowship with Him. Let us come now to the Wonderful Counselor.


Is there someone here today who needs direction? Do you need the Lord to show you how to deal with a problem? Are you trying to make important decisions in your life or help others do that? There is only One who can help you. Jesus is His name. Come to Him now!

An anonymous author made this striking comparison: "Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. Jesus painted no pictures; yet some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Hayden, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.

"His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul! Philosophy could not accomplish that. Nor art. Nor literature. Nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. He alone can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead."

Now is the time to come to the Wonderful Counselor. In Him you will find peace, strength, direction, and if it is your need today, you will find eternal life!