Posted tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

A Follow Up Question

January 25, 2009

Following up on my last question (I’m going somewhere with this), allow me to ask a follow-up question for your consideration as well:

“If there is no life in Christ apart from love for Christ, how does one come to have a love for Christ?”

Discuss. 🙂

Fay, Faith, and the Future Coming of Christ

August 20, 2008

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” [Luke 18:8]

Five days ago my life changed.

While studying Saturday morning, I was rudely interrupted by a newsflash, graphics and all, directing my attention to tropical storm Fay.  All projections and reports indicated that the eye of the storm was going to hit the Florida coast right on top of the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area.  My wife and I have been here since the beginning of hurricane season, but frankly we have not been taking the “hurricane preparedness” talk seriously.  That was until Saturday morning.

Within moments, I had Googled numerous websites about what and how (not why!) to prepare for such a storm.  Having quickly jotted down a “preparation kit,” I grabbed my keys and headed out for the local Wal-Mart and gas station along with about 50% of the rest of the city (the other half presumably were smart enough to do this earlier!).  Coming home with 12 gallons of water, a full tank of gas, and enough dry foods to last till Y3K, I felt like preparations were on their way.

Next came the family plan, then two trips to Lowe’s, one to Target, and once more to the gas station (for the other car).  I laid out our emergency goods like a captain preparing his troopers for a blitzkrieg.  Flashlights, candles, glow sticks, tarp, rope, rain gear, headlamps, etc., it was all coming together.  Finally came the last major preparation: putting up the storm shutters–eighty individual shutters with over 200 screws.  It is moments like this that I wish I resembled more of “Tim the Toolman” and less of “Tim the Blogger.”  My oversized Phillips-head screwdriver barely made a dint into the seemingly never-ending task.  Fortunately, two deacons and their kids came over with their fancy 18 volt (not 14!) DeWalt powered drills (kids had their own too) to help me out.  After three days of tireless work, numerous trips to the store, and double checking the house, we were finally ready for the storm.

(more…)

We Have to Live and to Die, and We Must Have the Gospel

July 6, 2008

Mornin’ words from Charles Spurgeon:

“I may not have many more opportunities of preaching, and I make up my mind to this one thing, that I will waste no time upon secondary themes, but when I do preach it shall be the gospel, or something very closely bearing upon it.  I will endeavour each time to strike under the fifth rib, and never beat the air.  Those who have a taste for the superfluities may take their fill of them, it is for me to keep to the great necessary truths by which men’s souls are saved.  My work is to preach Christ crucified and the gospel, which gives men salvation through faith. I hear every now and then of very taking sermons about some bright new nothing or another.  Some preachers remind me of the emperor who had a wonderful skill in carving men’s heads upon cherry stones.  What a multitude of preachers we have who can make wonderfully fine discourses out of a mere passing thought, of no consequence to anyone.  But we want the gospel.  We have to live and to die, and we must have the gospel. Certain of us may be cold in our graves before many weeks are over, and we cannot afford to toy and trifle: we want to see the bearings of all teachings upon our eternal destinies, and upon the gospel which sheds its light over our future.”

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Vol. 28 (1882) (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1971), 200.

Oh the Heart-Pulling Glory in Jesus Christ!

May 18, 2008

The first of hopefully several excerpts from the PRC paperback of the month, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan (emphasis mine):

“Oh! the heart-attracting glory that is in Jesus Christ, when he is discovered, to draw those to him that are given to him of the Father; therefore those that come of old, rendered this as the cause of their coming to him: ‘And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14).  And the reason why others come not, but perish in their sins, is for want of a sight of his glory.  ‘If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

There is therefore heart-pulling glory in Jesus Christ which, when discovered, draws the man to him; therefore, by ‘shall come to me’, Christ may mean, when his glory is discovered, then they must come, then they shall come to me.

[ . . .] Indeed, the carnal man says, at least in his heart, ‘There is no form or comeliness in Christ; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him’ (Isaiah 53:2); but he lies.  This he speaks, as having never seen him.  But they that stand in his house, and look upon him through the glass of his Word, by the help of his Holy Spirit, they will tell you other things.  ‘But we all,’ say they, ‘with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2 Cor. 3:18).  They see glory in his person, glory in his undertakings, glory in the merit of his blood, and glory in the perfection of his righteousness; yes, heart-affecting, heart-sweetening, and heart-changing glory!”

 – John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2004), 73-75.

If the Scriptures explain our sinful state as “falling short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and that the gospel is the “glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), then surely our gospel proclamation must not be on the worthiness of man but the excellencies and glory of Jesus Christ.  If hearts are going to be pulled, affected, sweetened or changed, it will not be by making much of the sinner but by making much of Jesus Christ.  He who is altogether lovely loves the unlovable, and such love is glorious indeed.  May we preach thus and so exult in the God-man who is the radiance of God’s glory (Heb. 1:3). 

Holy Child Who Chose the Hearts of Men

December 24, 2007

Holy Child who chose the hearts of men
To be His favoured home
Leaving heaven’s gates for Bethlehem
God came to call His own
Now to us the highest King is born
Behold the Royal Son
Glory kneels to mend all that is torn
The promised Child has come

Joy and pain as man He knew on earth
No place to lay His head
As a servant He embraced this world
And on a cross He bled
Having borne the deepest grief of man
He rose to heaven’s throne
Now I’m sheltered in the Father’s hand
I stand by grace alone

May the gift of God amaze us still
The triumph of all time
As His child I kneel to Heaven’s will
To make His purpose mine
Though this road be scarred with trial and pain
It’s paved with lavish grace
Knowing Him will be my greatest gain
My hope the Saviour’s face

(By Keith & Kristyn Getty)

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

December 24, 2007

“From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing:

“To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen virgin mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all the earth.

“This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself your Savior be
From all your sins to set you free.

“He will on you the gifts bestow
Prepared by God for all below,
That in His kingdom, bright and fair,
You may with us His glory share.

“These are the tokens ye shall mark:
The swaddling-clothes and manger dark;
There ye shall find the Infant laid
By whom the heavens and earth were made.”

Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Go with the shepherds and draw near
To see the precious gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child, so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.

Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through whom the sinful world is blest!
Thou com’st to share my misery;
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How weak art Thou, how poor and small,
That Thou dost choose Thine infant bed
Where humble cattle lately fed!

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
It yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou, King, so rich and great,
As ’twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

And thus, dear Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To make this truth quite plain to me,
That all the world’s wealth, honor, might,
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto us His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.

(By Martin Luther)

Eternal Glory of the Sky

December 23, 2007

Eternal Glory of the sky,
Blest Hope of frail humanity,
The Father’s sole begotten One,
Yet born a spotless virgin’s Son!

Uplift us with Thine arm of might,
And let our hearts rise pure and bright,
And, ardent in God’s praises, pay
The thanks we owe him every day.

The day-star’s rays are glittering clear,
And tell that day itself is near:
The shadows of the night depart;
Thou, holy Light, illume the heart!

Within our senses ever dwell,
And worldly darkness thence expel;
Long as the days of life endure,
Preserve our souls devout and pure.

The faith that first must be possessed,
Root deep within our inmost breast;
And joyous hope in second place,
Then charity, Thy greatest grace.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete.

(By Ambrose of Milan)

Glory Be to God

December 23, 2007

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem
God invisible appears
Endless ages wrapped in years
He has come who cannot change
And Jesus is His name

Emptied of His majesty
He comes in human form
Being’s source begins to be
And God is born
All our griefs He’ll gladly share
All our sins He’ll fully bear
He will cover our disgrace
And suffer in our place

Let the joyful news ring out
The Prince of Peace proclaim
Lift your heart and voice to shout
Immanuel’s name
God has kept His promises
What a work of grace this is
Son of Mary, chosen One
The Lamb of God has come

Hosanna, hosanna
The Lamb of God has come
Hosanna, hosanna
He is the promised One

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem

By Charles Wesley (additional words by Bob Kauflin)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

December 22, 2007

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Joy Has Dawned Upon the World

December 22, 2007

Joy has dawned upon the world,
Promised from creation—
God’s salvation now unfurled,
Hope for ev’ry nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love—
Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother’s breast,
Vuln’rable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story.
Gold—a King is born today,
Incense—God is with us,
Myrrh—His death will make a way,
And by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom;
Reconciling God and man,
Christ, our mighty champion!
What a Savior! What a Friend!
What a glorious myst’ry!
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of hist’ry.

(By Keith Getty & Stuart Townsend)

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

December 21, 2007

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

(by Charles Wesley)

Fullness of Grace

December 20, 2007

Fullness of Grace in man’s human frailty
This is the wonder of Jesus
Laying aside His power and glory
Humbly He entered our world
Chose the path of meanest worth
Scandal of a virgin birth
Born in a stable cold and rejected
Here lies the hope of the world

Fullness of Grace the love of the Father
Shown in the face of Jesus
Stooping to bear the weight of humanity
Walking the Calvary road
Christ the holy Innocent
Took our sin and punishment
Fullness of God despised and rejected
Crushed for the sins of the world

Fullness of hope in Christ we had longed for
Promise of God in Jesus
Through His obedience we are forgiven
Opening the floodgates of heaven
All our hopes and dreams we bring
Gladly as an offering
Fullness of life and joy unspeakable
God’s gift in love to the world

(By Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townsend)

Savior of the Nations, Come

December 20, 2007

Savior of the nations, come,
Virgin’s Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood,
By the Spirit of our God,
Was the Word of God made flesh–
Woman’s Offspring, pure and fresh.

Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
Still to be in heaven enthroned.

From the Father forth He came
And returneth to the same,
Captive leading death and hell–
High the song of triumph swell!

Thou, the Father’s only Son,
Hast o’er sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
When shall we its glories see?

Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.

(by Martin Luther)

A Great and Mighty Wonder

December 19, 2007

A great and mighty wonder
Our Christmas festal brings:
On earth a lowly infant,
Behold the King of kings!

The Word is made incarnate,
Descending from on high;
And cherubim sing anthems
To shepherds from the sky.

And we with them, triumphant,
Repeat the hymn again:
“To God on high be glory,
And peace on earth to men!”

While thus they sing your Monarch,
Those bright angelic bands,
Rejoice, ye vales and mountains!
Ye oceans, clap your hands!

Since all He comes to ransom,
By all be He adored;
The Infant born in Bethlehem,
The Savior and the Lord!

And idol forms shall perish,
And error shall decay,
And Christ shall wield His scepter,
Our Lord and God for aye.

How Sweet the Day

December 19, 2007

How sweet the day when Christ was born
When God Himself took human form
He came to wash our sins away
Our death to die, our debt to pay

How sweet the day when Hope appeared
The One who frees us from our fears
He came to break the power of sin
And give us power to follow Him

Oh sing for joy, lift up your voice
Let us sing for joy, the whole earth rejoice
Let us sing for joy to the Son
For Jesus our Savior has come

How sweet the day when Christ returns
We’ll see the One for whom we yearn
Then we’ll look full upon His face
Our hearts will burst with songs of praise

Come, Lord Jesus, come

(By Stephen Altrogge)