Sunday, December 20, 2015
ROM 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The humility and poverty of the stable confused with the wealth and indulgence of selfishness and gift giving.
The quietness of Bethlehem with the chaos of the shopping mall.
The seriousness of the incarnation (birth of Christ or god becoming a man) with the silliness of the party spirit and party attitude.
There's the blinking colored lights confused with the star of heaven.
Cheap plastic toys mixed with the true gifts of the wise men. Angels confused with flying reindeer. An ox and an ass in a stable confused with a red nosed reindeer of all things.
The filth of the stable confused with the whiteness of fresh snow and so it goes.
Mary and Joseph replaced in the Christmas story by North Pole elves.
"There are few causes to which I am more passionately committed than that of Santa Claus. Santa Claus deserves not just any place in the church but the highest place of honor where he should be enthroned as the long-bearded ancient of days, the divine and holy one, whom we call God."
"Santa Claus is God the son. You better watch out, you better not pout; Santa Claus is coming to town. He knows whether you've been bad or good. He slips into the secrets of the heart as easily as he slips down the chimney".
"Santa Claus is God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth, in whose hand is a pack bursting at its seams with the gifts of his creation."
"Santa Claus is also God the Holy Spirit who comes with the sound of gentle laughter with a shape like a bowl full of jelly and he comes in the night to sow the seeds of good humor."
"Santa Claus indeed deserves the exalted and enthroned place in the church for he is God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit."
"I've seen him in the toy store. I even saw him in his car on the freeway the other day and when I saw him with his crazy beard and his baggy suit, I saw more than a seasonal merchant of cheap plastic toys. I saw no less than the triune God. I hope you can see him too."
Is it about a manger with a real star and not Neon lights on stores but a baby who Joseph was told by an angel to call Emanuel because
God has now become one of us.
HEB 10:5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;
It is also a time for us to give thanks for the opportunities of giving and being able to have the ability and the resources to give.
The one who gives is really the one who profits ---- PHI 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.
It seems self-contradictory unless you believe in ISA 55:7-8 and LUK 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
ACT 20:35 "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive.''
HEB 10:5 When He came into the world He says, "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, But a body Thou hast prepared for Me;
Some of the gifts that the greatest of all called in 2CO 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! TLJC -- = unwrapping some of the gifts that He gave to us on that first Christmas day.
There is the gift of Him being identified to us as one who has a high rank and even existed before John the Baptist was born, even though John was born before the humanity of TLJC. - A paradox of deity.
We He came into the world He brought us the ultimate truth, JOH 1:17-18.
Because the bible is very mind and the very thinking of Christ we can say emphatically that TLJC had the apostle John quote what John the Baptist said about Him for our confidence and trust in Him in JOH 1:29.
This was be the one who said who said He was the Messiah to the Samaritan woman at the well when in JOH 4:25.
He even told us how we should honor Him according to the will of God; JOH 5:23.
As another gift to us and those who desire to live for God and to please Him and glorify Him as He created us to do, He told us what to do; JOH 6:28-29.
Why is there is so much confusion then among Christians concerning certain doctrines? I believe two reasons --- Ignorance andor Arrogance.
There is the gift of no condemnation, JOH 8:1-12.
He also gave to us the gift of being able not to live in fear when in JOH 8:56-59.
Our Lord did make Himself known as also being God; JOH 10:33.
He also wanted us to also know that He knew he was going to die for us; JOH 12:3-7.
He illustrated the epitome of humility the night before His death in JOH 13:4-15.
Notice when the disciples still were not getting it, our Lord gives us a gift of illustrating patience with one another; JOH 14:5-11.
As a gift to those who would unwrap and look within for that which He has given to us, He told us that we can have a peace, a peace that the world cannot have because they do not understand; JOH 14:27.
One of the most important gifts He has given us after the gift of salvation in EPH 2:8, of course, is the fact that He also gave us a gift of love and learning how to love others as well.; JOH 15:12-21.
The night before His death He told us about the gift of the Holy Spirit that he would to us, not the gifts of the Spirit but the ministries of the Spirit; JOH 16:12-14.
There's the gift o having courage especially in times of tribulations; JOH 16:33.
The greatest gift He gave us on the cross is found in totality in one phrase; JOH 19:30.
He then told us after he was raised from the dead how blessed we really can be; JOH 20:29.
JOH 21:25 And there are also many other gifts that Jesus gave, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain all the gifts that are given.
A paradox can be a statement that sounds like one thing but many times it reveals the opposite and then leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, and even sometimes contradictory.
Sometimes a paradox sounds like one thing but when explained it reveals just the opposite of what it says or seems to say.
Sometimes in a paradox you can also say two totally opposite things but there's some truth to both of them.
At the most basic level, a paradox is a statement that is self contradictory because it often contains two statements that are both true, but in general, cannot both be true at the same time.
One of the most well known examples that teachers frequently use to introduce the idea of a paradox which is a "jumbo shrimp."
You can save money by spending it.
When someone says "I'm just a nobody." If a nobody is a nobody then that makes him a somebody who is called nobody --- so in reality he or she is a somebody.
When one says "I am" they are saying that they exist and therefore in reality, they are somebody.
Another paradox is viewed as using two words that are opposite but have a real meaning such as: A Wise fool Bittersweet "I can resist anything but temptation."
Nobody goes to that restaurant because it is too crowded. You shouldn't go in the water until you know how to swim. If you didn't get this message, call me. If you're not here, raise your hand.
The point of a paradox is to point out a truth, even if the statements contradict each other.
The problem is that amidst of all the decorating, and the shopping, the traveling, the cooking, and the cleaning, most of us are prone to lose our focus.
He was and still is the exact representation of God - equal to God the Father and equal to God the Holy Spirit which is whyHEB 1:3 says
He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
He is totally the same exact essence of God which is why our Lord said in JOH 5:23 in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
If you do not honor, respect and worship Jesus Christ then you do not honor and respect God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
2JO 1:9-11, Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
This means that our lord did not cling to the fact that he was God and he did not claim His privileges of being God.....a thing to be grasped or something to hold onto.
PHI 2:7, He did not empty Himself of His deity but it says He denied Himself of the proper functions of His deity or His being equal to God.
PHI 2:7 By taking the form of a bond‑servant, [becoming a slave] and being made in the likeness of men. -- in the exact nature of man minus man's OSN.
If we just squeeze all these verses together, it's pretty clear that we're talking about one who is God, that's how it starts, and is Lord and that's how it ends.
That's the real message of Christmas, that Jesus Christ is God and He is Lord.
What this section explains to us is the condescension of the Son of God to come to earth to die and then to return in exaltation to glory.
1. He abandoned a sovereign position; PHI 1:6.
2. He accepted a slave's place = "Taking the form of a slave."
3. He associated with sinful people. We begin to get to the depth of his slavery in verse 7 = "He was made in the likeness of men."
4. He adopted a selfless posture = "He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
5. He abandoned the sovereign position, accepted a slave's place, approached a sinful people, adopted a selfless posture, and finally He ascended to a supreme prince.