A baby in a manger—what a little picture for such an immense person! Every Christmas we gaze in awe at a simple crèche and marvel at the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God. Those tiny fingers belie the supreme power the person Himself not only possesses, but has already exercised. Even in His infancy Jesus embodied the fullness of the Godhead. The Son of God, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7 ESV).… Continue reading
As we move through the Christmas season, so often despite our best intentions, we can lose the proper focus. We know that there is no Christmas without Christ, but we can become practical secularists, worried about making sure there are enough cookies baked, that the house is ready for the arrival of out of town guests and of course that the right presents are purchased, wrapped and delivered to the right people.
But as we celebrate Christmas, it is of the utmost importance that we remember the first Christmas gift ever given. I am not referring to the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought to the Christ child, but to the Christ child Himself.… Continue reading
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a handful of conversations and heard a number of my friends express sentiments that reveal an ironic situation, namely, that many Christians are finding it more difficult than ever to remain focused on Christ during the Christmas season. Amid frantic last-minute shopping trips, home decorations, meal preparations, family gatherings, and holiday parties, the Christ can become almost entirely eclipsed by all of our Christmas activity. I’ve lost count of the number of times this year alone, that I have heard other Christians express their desire to remain focused on Christ this Christmas. This is obviously a good desire, but how do we do it? In this brief post I want to suggest one simple way to help keep yourself and your family (if you have one) focused on Christ this Christmas: Attend your local church’s Christmas Eve worship service.… Continue reading
The cross event entails a blameless man, unworthy of death, murdered by guilty, vile men yet also dying on behalf of dirty defiled people who need a Savior. It’s the love story of love stories. Our loving Lord, seeing our need for a Savior, who is also just and requires death for sin, sees our rebellion. Instead of declaring us traitors and pronouncing, “Off with their heads!” (which we deserve), He sends His son to die in our place, the blameless for the guilty.
Paul, summarizes this reality in Romans 5:1-10
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For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
I recently finished up the first part of a two part preface to a planned verse by verse exposition of the Gospel of John and this past Sunday, I started on part two. I don’t think that is so unusual, especially among churches where preaching and teaching is taken seriously. In churches devoted to expository preaching introductory messages are often preached before a new sermon series. What is unusual is that part one of this preface was a verse by verse exposition of all of the Servant songs of Isaiah and part two will be an exposition of all of the songs of ascent, Psalms 120-134. … Continue reading