Saturday, December 31, 2016

Born in a Manger - God?


God, born in a manger?

I don’t suppose anyone can ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How does one explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny infant? Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God becoming a man. We will never comprehend why He who was infinitely rich would become poor, assume a human nature, and enter into a world He knew would reject Him and kill Him.

Nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby. Yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity in any sense, He was born into our world as a tiny infant. How can both things be true?

Humanity and Deity

For nearly two thousand years, debate has been raging about who Jesus really is. Some say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet, and so on. The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less than God.

But let the Bible speak for itself. John’s gospel begins with a clear statement that Jesus is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made,” John 1. 1-3. Who is “the Word” spoken of in these verses? John 1. 14 removes any doubt: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.

The biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was the incarnation of God. For one thing, He was omniscient (knew all things). John 2. 24-25 says that, “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” Nathanael was shocked to discover that Jesus knew all about him before they ever met. It was enough to persuade him that Jesus was the Messiah, John 1. 48-50. John 4 describes Jesus’ meeting with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He knew everything about her, John 4. 17-19, 29, which was to shock her to the core of her being.

Jesus also did the works of God, saying, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves,” John 14. 11. Jesus’ works are convincing proof that He is God. He began His miraculous ministry with a simple act—He created wine at a wedding in Cana, John 2. 1-11. Only God can create. Moreover, He healed people who were hopelessly ill. He gave a blind man eyes. He opened ears that had never heard. He restored withered limbs. He created enough fish and bread to feed thousands. He raised the dead simply by a command.

This child was God

Why would God become a man and be born in such a lowly manner and let men treat Him the way they did?

It was the Father’s good pleasure . . . through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20). He did it to make peace between God and humanity. All of us have sinned, and we sin repeatedly: “There is none righteous, not even one,” Rom. 3.10. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Rom. 3. 23. God hates sin and must respond with His wrath. He is a righteous judge who “is angry with the wicked every day,”  Ps. 7.11. Humanity reacts with more hatred, rebellion, or indifference toward God: “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” Rom. 3. 18. The only possible response of a holy God to our sin is more than we can bear, for “the wages of sin is death,” Rom. 6. 23.

Only Jesus, because He alone is both God and man, could ever resolve the conflict. He takes the hand of a repentant, yielding sinner and the outstretched hand of a holy yet loving God, and He joins the two. He can forgive our sins, reconcile us to God, and thus make “peace through the blood of His cross,” Col. 1. 20. And God is not reluctant for that to occur; rather it is the very reason He sent Christ into the world.

God is justifiably angry with our sin. Yet He loves us enough that He gave His own Son to live on earth, die on a cross, suffering the full weight of God’s wrath, which should have been our lot. He paid the penalty for sin and can bring peace between us and God. It could not have been done any other way.


Will you hear the voice of God in His word, the Bible and trust His Son, Jesus, for salvation. My prayer is that you will.

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk


This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Complaints - The Top Four



The Top Four Complaints this Christmas 

(to get full benefit from this blog you would be best to either have a bible to look at or go click on the Bible verse links)

What do you find most frustrating about Christmas?

Without sounding like a Dickensian Scrooge this is my list:

  1. The excess consumption of food;
  2. The spending of money you don't have;
  3. The endless wrapping of things which will in seconds be opened and the paper binned - if you are frugal and economical you could reuse the paper!;
  4. The receipt of presents that you don't really need.

I think I am quite a contented person. My Christmas present list is usually non- existent and when asked I struggle to think of things I really need. Maybe this is because I am so well look after that I have very little need of anything. This is most likely true!

The whole idea of being content poses questions that we would be wise to ask regularly

Am I satisfied with my life?

Is there meaning in my life that is bigger that merely maintaining my existence?

The bible suggests that we were not placed on this planet for our own pleasure! We are actually most satisfied when living life in the way God designed. Focusing on self is not the best way although it is our natural bias. Isaiah 43:21 and Revelation 4:11, in the bible, state these principles.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the best example of the right way to live. In fact He was the only person ever to live who lived up to the exacting and high standards of God as defined in the Bible, see Exodus 20 for the detail. In the biblical letter to the Hebrews Jesus is described as 'holy... and undefiled'. BUT in addition to this He lived for the glory of his Father, read John 17:4, and for the good of the people He came into contact with, see Acts 10:38.

I think that you may agree that none of us can hope to reach the standards of perfection that are required of us in the bible. None of us live lives like Jesus did! That puts us in a difficult situation. The bible not only defines the unrelenting standard but it spells out the consequences of falling short of it. One of the most searching statements of the bible is 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God' add to this the consequence of sinning (wrongdoing) - 'the wages of sin is death' and the situation becomes impossible.

This is when the offer of forgiveness comes to the surface. God in the bible describes in numerous passages His intention to provide a solution, usually called salvation. One clear statement of truth is this 'Christ died for our sins'. In addition to this we read 'Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that might bring us to God'. In other words the death and resurrection (coming to life again) of Jesus satisfies the legal case against us for all our shortcomings.

How then do we benefit from such a provision? Is it automatic? Do I have to do something to enjoy it? The answer to both questions is no! The only requirement in the word of God is that we recognise and feel the need of forgiveness. When we get to the point were we see our danger and our inability to resolve the issue ourselves then we must turn to God. Leaving everything else behind we need to admit to God our need and cry to Him asking for mercy. The action on our part is 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ'. That means trust Him, rest on Him and rely on Him as Saviour. The guaranteed response is 'you shall be saved'. Now this will sound crazy to you unless you are already a believer. If not pray and ask God to reveal your need of salvation to you. Your part is to simply believe what God says He will do when you call upon His name.

Finally for those who trust Jesus Christ, as Lord and Saviour, he gives us power to live differently. This is another subject but if you are interested email me (stepcar61@gmail.com) and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability.

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk

This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.





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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How much did you spend this Christmas?


During the Christmas season, vast amounts of money pass through the high street banks. This world is all about money. Making it, keeping it and spending it. And in order to get it, you usually have to work.

Shortly before His sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection, the Lord Jesus talked to His disciples about trading in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25.14-30). He compared Himself to a businessman who gave varying amounts of money to people to look after while He was away. He wanted them to use the money to do business i.e. to trade. The word trade actually means to 'work or toil'. The Lord gave His servants resources to work with and He expected a 100% growth rate! The servant given five talents made five more, and the servant given two talents made two more. The Lord commended them for their faithfulness and gave them proportionate responsibility in His heavenly kingdom.
But there was a third servant who the Lord draws our attention to. He dug a hole and put his talent into the ground and on the Lord's return, presented it back to Him, untouched. His excuse was that the Lord was hard, austere and oppressive. That lazy servant got a stern rebuke and was cast out into outer darkness. At the very least he should have put the money in the bank to gain interest, let alone worked with it to make it multiply to full advantage. So, the Lord took the money given to the lazy servant and gave it instead, to the servant who had worked the hardest. He knew that it would then be used to full effect.

Serving the Lord begins when a person gets saved, when a person is born again and is filled with His Spirit (Eph. 1.13). An account is instantly opened in the ‘Bank of Heaven’ and the Christian starts the work of investing in heaven’s currency. It is hard work and the rewards are not measured in the currency of this world - money and material things. Instead the Lord Jesus expects us to make full use of the gifts and resources He gives us to show to others His love, like He showed God's love to us. That involves getting to know God as your Father, and behaving in this world like the Lord Jesus did. He did not seek high status even though He is the King of Kings (Rev. 19.6). Instead, in humility and godly fear, He served others, ministering to their needs and in purity of thought and action, demonstrating the principles of God's heavenly Kingdom. It is not possible to be made redundant from that job, or to be underpaid. And the rewards far surpass anything that can be accumulated in this world and are eternal (not left behind at the gates of death as the treasures of this world are). God promises to call all those who are born again His Sons (Rom. 8.15), not just his servants. He gives them eternal life immediately and promises the splendour of heaven in the future. In addition He rewards their faithful service with 'crowns of righteousness' (2 Tim. 4.8) and positions of authority in His future worldwide administration.  It is not possible to serve two masters; it is either the true God or the god of this world i.e. the devil (Matthew 6.24). 


Why not make 2016 the time when you choose to serve the Lord and invest in wealth that lasts forever? 

Written for FTMP by a guest blogger. 

For more information, videos, podcast visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk 
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Have you any room for Jesus?



I wonder if you have ever thought about how popular Jesus was in his day. The impression we get at times is that he was loved by everyone right up until his rejection by the Jewish authorities, his prosecution by the Roman authorities and his ultimate death of crucifixion.

From the early days of his time on earth the Lord Jesus was excluded and rejected. There is quite a considerable period (from age 12-30) where we have very little information about the behaviour and activities of the Lord Jesus but we do have the commentary of God, the Father, when he publicly spoke from heaven (which was a very unusual thing to do) and said the he was delighted with His Son. This indicated that though there is scant information about these eighteen years there is nothing in that period (or any other period for that matter) that displeased His Father, God.

Let me discuss with you his exclusions - some specific examples relate to Bethlehem, Nazareth, Gadara and Jerusalem.

Bethlehem - even before the Lord Jesus was born he was excluded. Mary and Joseph had travelled ninety miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The scriptures record that Mary's pregnancy came to full term, she brought forth her firstborn son, she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.....because their was no room for them in the inn. Why - no room? Was it just too busy? Was it something about Mary and her pregnant condition? We are not told but we know that there was no room. Excluded!

Nazareth - you should read story for yourself; this is found in Luke 4.16-30. Jesus returns to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. To live all of your life in one place is getting more unusual in the modern world but it was very normal for many years. They would have known Jesus well in Nazareth. I sometimes wonder if they had many unanswered questions about him for he was unique and special in so many ways. He had always gone to the Synagogue and so going on this particular Sabbath day was not unusual. He rises to read, his reading grips the attention of the congregation and they sit spellbound hanging on to his every word. What we know now is that this was the author giving a reading of his book at a private sitting, no wonder they listened so well. When the reading is completed he makes a statement 'today is this scripture fulfilled in your ears'. What is he saying? He is claiming that the bible was written about him and that he is fulfilling it before their eyes. They can't get their heads round it. Is not this Joseph's son we hear them reply. I will not recount the rest of the incident but the end of the story is this. The people are angry with Jesus, they rise as one man and expel him from Nazareth with the intention of either killing him or physically hurting him. Excluded!

Gadara - The rejection and exclusion of the Lord Jesus this time is not because of what he claimed but because of what he did. Read about in Mark 5. The Lord arrives in the region of Gadara. He meets a man who can only be described as out of his mind. He is demon possessed, naked, lives in a graveyard, excluded from society and a danger to his community. To keep the story short - he is healed by the Lord Jesus. When the people from the local town come out to see what is going on they find the previously wild man - sitting, clothed and in His right mind. You would think that they would love the Lord Jesus. They can sleep easy again, things can get back to normal...but. They discover that 2000 pigs had been destroyed in the process of healing the man. They had lost money over this man's healing and they were not happy so they beg the Lord Jesus to leave their region. Excluded!

Jerusalem - It was in this city where he should have been enthroned as King of Israel that he was finally rejected. The current leadership deemed him a threat to their power and position and they could not risk the consequences of ignoring him. If you read John 11.50 they make it sound quite a prudent move when they state that 'one man should die for the people...that the whole nation perish not'. This statement was truer than they ever imagined. The Lord Jesus would not only die to save a nation but to save a world of men and women in need of his rescue plan of salvation. The plans of the rulers all came together when the general public were persuaded to reject the Lord Jesus and demand his execution (John.19.15). He was condemned to the death of the cross. Excluded!

So how about you and I? Will we continue to exclude Him. If we do he will be forced to exclude us on the day of judgement (Matt.25.41) and consign us to eternal punishment for not only breaking God's law but refusing his great salvation (Heb.2.3). When he comes in judgement on the world there will be no place to hide, no room for us (Rev.6.14-17). 

The good news is He still saves those who call out for salvation (Romans.10.13). An acknowledgement of our sin and resting on the Lord Jesus for salvation is all that is required for you to know the blessing of God's forgiveness and salvation.

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk


This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

The birth of Christ as told by the Apostle John





John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


- Posted from Seek the Truth Bible Media
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas & the reason for the season!



Well here we are. Nearly at Christmas weekend. How has your week gone? I hope you achieved what you set out to do. I'm nearly there.

It's always a rush at this time of the year. Whether it's getting as up to date as possible with your job, buying presents or getting the food ready for Christmas it gets hectic. I have the added task of running a series of Carol Services and Christmas related events. Why go to all the bother?

For one very good reason. Christmas is special. It's special because you get time to sit down (maybe not if you are the cook in your house), you spend time with your friends and family (the latter can be a problem depending how well you get on with your family), you give and receive presents and the food is good (hopefully!). BUT (there usually is a BUT in my blogs) BUT what is the real reason that makes the season special? Excuse the corny rhyme but 'what is the reason for the season'?

The answer : JESUS

The clue is in the word CHRISTmas - it's the CHRIST part that is important. This is Jesus' official title. The title Christ means the anointed one. The Jews talked about the promised one as the Messiah. He is the one of whom all the prophets spoke, see Hebrews chapter one, as they related God's promise that one day He would send His Son into the world, Isaiah 9:6 says (700 years before Jesus was born) '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.

When Jesus' disciples realised who Jesus was they were thrilled. John records Philip as saying, in John 1:45, 'We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph'.

Yes, Jesus is the promised one. His birth was predicted as was His death. Unlike us he came to die. We are born to live but Jesus came to die. The bible explicitly states that 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'. He knew this was His primary reason for coming so He said one day 'for this cause I came into the world'.

So let me end this post with a question - do you really get it? Do understand the reason for the season. Have you ever benefitted from the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus? You can: if you turn from your sin, repent and trust Him to save you from your sins.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT ME via SEEKTHETRUTH.ORG.UK 






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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Conception and Birth of Jesus

The Conception and Birth of Jesus

I heard a discussion today on the radio about the conception and birth of Jesus. I will not relate to you what was said but very little credence was given to the record of the Bible. I don't know what you think? Read what the Bible says about the conception and birth of Jesus - it looks pretty clear to me that the claim is that Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. IN a later blog we will discuss the significant of this.

Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [j]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by [the power of] the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her [promised] husband, being a just and righteous man and not wanting to expose her publicly to shame, planned to send her away and divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been [k]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will [l]save His people from their sins.” 22 All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the [m]prophet [Isaiah]: 23 Behold, the [n]virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and he took Mary [to his home] as his wife, 25 but he kept her a virgin until she had given birth to a Son [her firstborn child]; and he named Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation).

Jesus’ Birth Foretold

26 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin [j]betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.32 He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?” 35 Then the angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a cloud]; for that reason the holy (pure, sinless) Child shall be called the Son of God.36 And listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “[k]Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-66

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favored by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.”

The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord,
47 
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 
“For He has looked [with loving care] on the humble state of His maidservant;
For behold, from now on all generations will count me blessed and happyand favored by God!
49 
“For He who is mighty has done great things for me;
And holy is His name [to be worshiped in His purity, majesty, and glory].
50 
And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him.
from generation to generation.
51 
“He has done mighty deeds with His [powerful] arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And exalted those who were humble.
53 
He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 
“He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 
Just as He promised to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56 And Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, and then returned to her home.

John Is Born

57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son.58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown His great mercy toward her, and they were rejoicing with her.
59 It happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child [as required by the Law], and they intended to name him Zacharias, after his father;60 but his mother answered, “No indeed; instead he will be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by that name.” 62 Then they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished.64 At once Zacharias’ mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began speaking, praising and blessing and thanking God. 65 Then fear came on all their neighbors; and all these things were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this little boy turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him [to bring about his birth].

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk

This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.


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Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Carols - O Come All ye Faithful (Part 1)





The text to the Carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful' was originally written in Latin. It's Latin name is 'Adeste Fideles'. The intention was for it to be a hymn. This carol is attributed to John Wade, an Englishman. The music to the carol was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s. The tune was first published in a collection known as "Cantus Diversi" in 1751.

In 1841 Rev. Frederick Oakley is reputed to have worked on the familiar translation of O Come All Ye Faithful which replaced the older Latin lyrics "Adeste Fideles" which is why we now have these familiar and well known lines:

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens
Of heaven above;
Glory to God,
Glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.t
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, the
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be
All glory given;
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,c
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.

Most of these old carols are packed full of facts and truth concerning Jesus and His coming into the world. This carol is no different and so we are not to be disappointed. 

Please consider one of the lines with me!

'Joyful and triumphant'

I can understand the joy that comes along with the birth of a new child. Everyone knows that a new baby should be a happy occasion but it can be a time of sorrow again if illness on the part of either the mother or the child is involved. When Jesus was born the angels announced to the shepherds 'good tidings of great joy'. The explanation that they gave was that a 'Saviour' had been born. Jesus would one day die on a cross and as a result provide salvation for all who will believe
.

My question is - what is the word 'triumphant' doing here in this carol? What is triumphant about a new born. I can only assume that the writer had a full understanding of who Jesus is and what His coming into the world would achieve! 

An angel announced before the birth of Jesus that 'He shall be great'. Never was a truer word spoken! The secret of His greatness started long before His birth. Jesus is uniquely great because of who He is! All the rest of us have to do something to make us great. The Bible teaches that He is the Son of the Highest, the Son of God. The Bible records that the angelic armies of heaven worshipped Him and stood with bated breath waiting to do whatever he requested. His greatness was not like any greatness we have. We are dependent on strength of character aligned to opportunities but Jesus is great, full stop, end of story. 

I don't think that anyone would deny that Jesus was great in His life. Even if you are a total unbeliever, indeed a cynic, you would be hard pushed to find any flaws in the character Jesus from the records we have of His life. Records that include statements from His enemies as well as His friends. Records that are written by men who had no reason to paint Jesus in a good light. Jesus stands unique among men. His character is flawless and his teaching and miracles blessed all manner of people. 

The greatest feature of Jesus' life was His death. This is a paradox in terms but nevertheless it's true. His death was uncalled for in so many ways. 

1, As far as the laws of Judaism were concerned, if they had checked out His claims to be God in flesh, they would have found sufficient evidence to support the claim. Instead they rejected His claim to deity and sentenced Him to death.

2. In respect of the laws of Rome - the conclusion of the judge, Pilate, was 'I find no cause of death in Him'. 

3, Morally Jesus didn't qualify to die. The bible states 'the wages of sin is death'. The Bible states that Jesus never sinned nor could He. Death had no power over Him. He stated one day 'I have power to lay down my life, I have power to take it again'. His death was a sacrifice, He 'died for our sins', 'He suffered the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God'.

The triumph is for those who believe in Him. We are delivered from our sins, freed from the fear of death and saved from the judgement of God.

The questions remains - Are you joyful and triumphant! You could be if you have Christ as your Lord and  Saviour.

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk



This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Carols - Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Part 2)



This is the second post on Hark the Herald Angels Sing. If you want to get the background to the Carol read yesterday's post - Part 1. 

Today I want to draw your attention to the lines - Veiled in flesh, the Godhead seen, Hail the incarnate deity, Pleased, as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. These words are so full of meaning to anyone who has read the Bible. 

The essence of the Christmas story is contained in this fact - God became Man. The last word of our selected lines provides us with a clue; the name Emmanuel. This name means 'God with us,' Matthew 1.23. In this account of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph (Mary's betrothed husband) in a dream. The angel confirms to Joseph what is happening to Mary and tells him not to fear to take Mary as his wife. Joseph is told that when the boy is born he should be called Jesus 'for he will save his people from their sins'. At this stage we get a little commentary on what is going on. The biblical writer states that all of these events had been predicted and were the fulfilment of ancient prophecies. One of them is a direct quote from the Book of Isaiah which had been written hundreds of years before. In chapter seven verse fourteen it was stated 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel'. There it is again - Emmanuel - God with us.

I, for one, am so glad that He came. The scripture states that He came into the world to save sinners. I was a sinner but Jesus died for me. When I was young I realised this, I turned to God from my sin. I accepted that I was a sinner and that I needed my sins forgiven. It was wonderful to discover that Jesus had died for me and had risen from the dead on the third day. I was saved through believing - What about you?


Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth, and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
Christ, by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come
Offspring of the favoured one
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead seen
Hail the incarnate deity
Pleased, as man with men to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn king
Hail the heaven born prince of peace
Hail the son of righteousness
Light and life to all he brings
Risen with healing in his wings
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
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