December 2011

The Gospel At Christmas

Christmas is the day when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The date itself has been the source of much debate, and while the 25th of December is an unlikely date for the event, that doesn’t change anything. Because for many hundreds of years that’s the day which we celebrate it.
Its About The Gospel[3]But the debate over the date is another typical distraction by those who would take our eyes off the point of Christmas, namely the gospel, which begins with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on that day in Bethlehem.
What God accomplished at Calvary, He started that day. What He proved by his resurrection, started its manifestation in the manger. What had been planned and prophesied over for many years and on many occasions, finished and was fulfilled finally as Jesus Christ bore the sins of His elect on that Cross.
But at His birth, His humiliation began. He laid aside many aspects of His divine nature, instead, he took for Himself the lowliest for of humanity, namely a baby, at the same time, to a poor family, a not yet married teenage mother, under Roman occupation and generally a very hard life, or to quote the hymn writer, a ‘mean estate’.
He grew up, under the rule of His parents, subjecting Himself to His subjects. He lived as the son of a carpenter, manual collar work. He once fasted for 40 days, while staying in a wilderness and undergoing the strongest temptations Satan could throw at Him. He spent 3 years absolutely packed with ministry work, preaching, miracle working. During that time He didn’t even have a place to lay His head. He also had many enemies, mostly from the religious rulers of His time. Eventually they arrested Him, subjected Him to an extremely cruel torture and finally breathed His last, naked, nailed to a wooden cross. And in that action, God poured out His wrath onto, and Christ bore it. On His shoulders were placed the sins of those God had chosen to save. Finally, He was laid in a borrowed tomb, and for three days, His body remained. Then on the third day He rose, resurrection, the culmination. What began in Bethlehem, had finished.
The Gospel is the good news that despite a man’s rebellion, despite every single sin done, every lie, every blasphemy, every act and moment of hatred, very lustful thought, and of selfishness, Christ has provided a way for that wicked man to be reconciled to God, forgiven of his sins, to ease his conscience and give him eternal life. Jesus Christ, the God-man, provides the only way to God. He commands you today to repent, and to put your trust in His son, Jesus Christ. Don’t delay, tomorrow is not promised, please be reconciled to God, put your faith in Him, He will save you.
To sum up. Jesus Christ, the God man, bore the sins of people on the cross. At Christmas, we celebrate is birth, the day he began to live on the earth, the start of His humiliation, which culminated in His exultation, and our salvation.

A Personal Manifesto

mirror_by_Harp-02At what point, do I decide to stop being an idiot, and start acting more like a man

A man provides for his wife, family and those around him. I need to be in a financial position to do this 
– Plan on earning more, working harder and work efficiently
– Plan on saving more and spending less
– Plan on giving more to the work of the ministry

A man needs to protect his wife, family and those around him
– get reasonably fit
– cultivate greater discernment skills
– be alert for situations where protection needs to be given, then give it.

A man needs to teach his wife and family
– finish the degree 
– teach as often as I can
– get into the habit of preaching the gospel more regularly
– get into the habit of using language less theological people can understand
– get into the habit of asking counsel when I don’t understand something myself.
– read more helpful books

A man needs to lead his wife and family in sanctification and righteousness.
– repent of all known sins, heat up the war on any sin not yet dead
– look to Jesus Christ and His gospel for comfort more than at my sinfulness and unworthiness.
– pray daily for my wife and family, even though I have neither yet.
– pray much more and be even more diligent in the study of scripture.
-  remember it’s the gospel, it’s the gospel, IT’S THE GOSPEL

Finally, to redeem my time better, pour myself into ministry and take courage with all my heart, to swallow my pride, it’s the only way. I pray God gives me strength