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The Old Testament Promise Of Christ (2)


The Virgin Birth 2

For this morning, we will be completing our look at the virgin birth of Christ.  We had begun this study, yesterday, by examining the Old Testament prophecies concerning His birth.  Now let’s look at the New Testament fulfillments to these prophecies.   Our Lord, in His Word,  makes it plain that the virgin birth is a reality that has historically taken place.

May the Lord bless us and show us the true identity of Jesus as we complete our study on the virgin birth of the Messiah, the Sent One from God….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Gen 3:14-15 (KJV)
14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Isa 7:13-16 (KJV)
13) And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15) Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16) For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Jer 31:22 (KJV)
22) How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

Matt 1:22-24 (KJV)
22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Luke 1:26-38 (KJV)
26) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary.
28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women.
29) And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36) And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37) For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Gal 4:4 (KJV)
4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

THE STUDY:

The virgin birth of Christ is a very important subject that is of vital importance for us to understand.  We fine that the virgin birth is directly linked to the divinity of Christ.  In Matthew 1:23 we read… “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The virgin birth is one of the strongest evidences God has given to mankind to prove beyond a doubt that Jesus Christ was not simply a man, but God come in the flesh.  It is with this spirit of soberness and seriousness that we approach the historical record that proves to us that Jesus was born of a virgin…

THE PROPHECY:

For a look at the prophecies of the virgin birth found in the OT, please refer to the previous lesson in this series.

THE FULFILLMENT:

Matt 1:22-23

In Matt 1:22-23 we find that Jesus is clearly declared to be the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isa 7:14… Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

In the context of this passage, an angel sent from God appears to Joseph in a dream.  In this dream the angel is explaining to Joseph that the pregnancy of Mary was not due to unfaithfulness, but as a result of a miraculous act of God.

What is meant by the term “virgin”?  In today’s world, we find many who try to explain away the virgin birth by saying that the term virgin simply means “young lady” or “young servant”.  The Greek word that is translated virgin in this passage is CLEARLY used to describe a young lady who had never had relations with a man a majority of times in the NT.   In a few instances, it COULD mean “young lady”, but it could also mean “virgin” in these same passages.   So based upon the Greek term for virgin, there is no reason to undo the “virgin” translation.

But if we remember the context, it dictates that this word MUST refer to a “lady who has never had relations with a man”.   Remember, the angel is making an argument to Joseph to persuade him not to divorce Mary due to unfaithfulness on her part.  At this point in time Mary is pregnant.  The only possible translation that makes any sense is the translation “virgin”.  If this word simply means “young lady” the angel is saying that Mary’s pregnancy is a result of her fulfilling an OT prophecy that said that a young lady will conceive (the implication is that the conception would be the result of an intimate relationship with a man).  If this were the case, the angel would be making the case for Joseph to divorce Mary.  Following the receipt of the dream Joseph comes to the conclusion that Mary is innocent of adultery, and therefore, should not be divorced.  He could only come to this conclusion if the angel told him that His espoused wife was pregnant due to a divine miracle, not a normal intimate relationship with another man.

Also, please remember that the angel links this miraculous birth to Christ being “Immanuel” or “God with us”.  If the Lord was born through a natural union between a woman and a man, then the assumption would be that Christ is like all other men born into this world.   But, here, the angel is clearly saying He was God, Himself, born into the midst of man.  How can this be?  It is because, through the miracle of the virgin birth, we have God Himself being conceived in Mary’s womb and coming forth into this human world.

Luke 1:26-38

In this section of Scripture, we find the Word declaring that Mary was a virgin at the time of conception and afterward… And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary.

But in this same passage we find Mary, herself, declaring her virginity in verse 34… Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”  The angel proceeds to explain to her how a virgin could become pregnant in verse 35…  “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”  Once again, please notice that the virgin birth sets Jesus apart from all other men…. Jesus, and Jesus alone, can be called “The Son of God” or “The One that proceeds from God” or “One that is born of God”.

In this text we have “all the bases covered” concerning the virgin birth… we have three clear declarations that cannot be denied… the Word describes Mary as a virgin; Mary, herself, declares her virginity; and the angel explains how the virgin birth took place.  Based upon these three witnesses (the Word, Mary, and the Gabriel), we have clear proof beyond doubt that Mary was a virgin.  Keep in mind that the Word is clear that at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”  (Deut 19:15)

Gal 4:4

In Gal 4:4, we will find the virgin birth being referenced by the Apostle Paul…. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law

Paul is explaining to us four different truths about Christ that we can learn through His birth…

His conception/birth was a part of God’s sovereign plan and took place in His timing… “when the fulness of the time was come”;  His came from heaven and was sent with a ministry to fulfill… “God sent forth his Son”;  He was conceived without a man’s intervention, proving He was God Himself… “Made of a woman”;  He was not only God, but man as well…. “Made under the law”.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In our study of the NT record of His virgin birth we learn much about Jesus ….
1.  He is God Himself, come into this world as a man through the physical birth process
2.  His virgin birth was proven by the testimony of three witnesses (the Word, Mary and the angel Gabriel) thus legally establishing the validity of the claim
3.  He is the One that was sent in the timing of His Father’s plan
4.  He proceeded from God, sent on a specific mission
5.  He was God Himself, proven by His virgin birth
6.  He was genuinely man, living under the responsibility to keep all the laws of God, His Father.

As we come to an understanding of all the ramifications of His virgin birth, may we all praise and honor Him as God, Himself, and re-dedicate ourselves to His allegiance.

If there is anyone who has never trusted in Christ, through these truths of His virgin birth, may you come to a saving faith in Him….

If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Hold Fast to Truth


“If you hold to My teaching you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” – (John 8:31b-32)

 

Jesus is the truth that sets us free from the sin and deception that seek to entangle us. When we commit our lives to Christ, and invest our hearts and minds into learning Who He is, we are considered His disciples. However, we must not simply be readers of His word, but also doers of His word. Disciples display faith in action. As freedom is found and truth is made known, our lives should actively reflect His presence in us. May we embrace His teachings so that we know the truth, and walk boldly in the freedom that Christ bestows upon His beloved.

 

Let us each hold fast,His Mighty Power

to God’s Holy Word;

where the truth is found,

and freedom is heard.

When we choose embrace,

the teachings of Christ;

we must also move,

model a changed life.

The truth that we know,

should be evident;

in how we go forth,

in Christ, we’re content.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and seek to know You, we find You. Thank You that You reveal Yourself to us, and set us free from the sin and deception that entangle us. Thank You that equip and empower us to do Your will, as we actively seek You. Forgive us for not investing in our relationship with You, or for not holding fast to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be quick to hold fast to all that You have promised, no matter how things appear. Lead us to be faithful doers and not mere talkers. Help us to love others as You so abundantly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You this season, as they encounter the truth of who You are, and what You have done for them, individually. Be exalted O God, as we actively reflect Your presence in us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

A Prayer of Praise for the Mourning Christian


Though You say You delight in me,
I find no comfort.
Though You say You love me,
I cannot feel.

And through my sorrow I see dimly
Because the enemy seeks me;
I loathe my encompassing skin
And know the serpent is watching.

What of the night, where is the Watchman?
My soul quakes in joy and apprehension.
Where is my Salvation
In the darkest of hours?

While I mourn and lament
Your promises come!
As You have pledged,
I will have peace.

Even through a renewed affliction
I hear Your voice.
Even in the darkest of the day
I have Your assurances!

O Lord, I am not alone and I am not forsaken;
For I am Yours forever and You are mine.

I will Praise You forever!
I am Yours!
My prayers have been answered
In the midst of my mourning.

©revkatherinemarple
My Life as a Christian

When God Came Home


Originally posted on messytheology:

IMG_7992Seven Christmases ago I lay in a hospital bed, wondering if I would ever get to go home. Typhoid, brucellosis, and a host of companion infections had racked my body for months, reducing my frame to skin and bones and my consciousness to an unsteady state. The long battle with illness had finally landed me (literally) in an American hospital bed, transported on a stretcher through more ambulances and diagnostic labs, foreign ICUs and international flights than my semi-conscious brain could keep track of. Gazing out the sterile hospital window into the lonely darkness, I wanted nothing more than to be home.

But where was my home?

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere

View original 921 more words

The Old Testament Promise Of Christ (1)


The Virgin Birth 1

As we begin our study of the prophecies we find in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by the birth of Christ, let’s ask the Lord for knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  But, especially, let’s ask the Lord for God-given faith…faith in the validity and truthfulness of His Word.

You might wonder why faith is so important as we study these prophecies and their fulfillments.   Well, as we progress, we are going to see that this study is based upon an assumption that God’s Word is absolutely truthful…  How do we know that these prophecies were actually received years before their fulfillment?  It is based upon our belief that the authors of the Old Testament are the genuine authors and the time of their writings is as described in the Word.  How do we know that the fulfillments of these prophecies actually took place? It is based upon the trustworthiness of the Word’s historical accounts of the birth of Christ and physical lineage of Christ.

I am entering this series with an acknowledgment that I am certain that God’s Word is absolutely truthful and without error.  I will be treating it as such throughout our study.  If a person believes in the absolute truthfulness of the Word THERE CAN BE NO DENIAL that the Jesus is the miraculous fulfillment of the prophecies that we will be covering.  If this is so, we can declare with unqualified certainty that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.

The eternal truths we will be looking at in this study can only be denied through an assumption that God’s Word is not perfect, contains errors, or at the worse is fraudulent hoax.

May the Lord bless us and show us the true identity of Jesus as we begin our study….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Gen 3:14-15 (KJV)
14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Isa 7:13-16 (KJV)
13) And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15) Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16) For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Jer 31:22 (KJV)
22) How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

Matt 1:22-24 (KJV)
22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

Luke 1:26-38 (KJV)
26) And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary.
28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women.
29) And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36) And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37) For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38) And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Gal 4:4 (KJV)
4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
THE STUDY:

The virgin birth of Christ has become one of the most controversial truths of the day.  We may wonder why it is such a provocative teaching.  The teaching of the virgin birth is directly linked to Christ’s identity as God Himself…

Matt 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

To deny His virgin birth is to place Him on the level of any other man born into this earth.  It is the virgin birth that sets Him ENTIRELY apart from any other prophet, priest, or king that has ever been born into this world.

As a matter of fact, the virgin birth that separates Christ from all the other human beings who have ever been born.  Although Christ arose from the dead, Lazarus, and others, did so as well… although Christ ascended to be with the Father, Elijah and others did so also.  There are very few other events in the life of Christ that were not experienced by at least one other man sometime throughout history, but it is the virgin birth that clearly set Him apart from all others.

THE PROPHECY:

There are at least three Old Testament teachings about the coming Messiah that deal with His virgin birth…

Gen 3:15

In Gen 3:15 the Lord is addressing Satan following the fall of man.  In the context He is  placing a curse upon him.  As the Lord places the curse upon Satan, He describes the relationship that would exist between the Messiah and Satan … And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed

Here, we can see that the coming Messiah was described as “Her Seed”.  Throughout the Bible, when speaking of the process of conception the man is described as the donor of the “seed” (Gen 38:9). While the woman’s womb is, normally, looked upon as the fertile ground in which the seed is planted that gives off the fruit (Deut 28:4)

By saying that the Messiah would be “her seed”, it is describing a unique event in which the woman would become fruitful without the seed of a man.  The Messiah would not only be the fruit she bore, but also the result of her seed, not that of a man.

Jer 31:22

The prophecy we find in Jer 31:22, emphasizes the uniqueness of the conception of the Messiah which was had without the donation of seed from the man.  Jeremiah is speaking to the unfaithful, backsliding, nation of Judah encouraging them to turn back to the Lord before the Babylonian takeover of Judah would take place.  What is the argument that He uses to motivate them?  It is the virgin birth  of the Messiah … “How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

Here, we see that the virgin birth is described as “a woman shall compass a man”.  In other words, a woman would “go ahead of a man”, “reach her goal ahead of a man”, or “surround a man”, “overcome a man”.  In all of these, the basic idea is that the woman will achieve her goal without the aid of a man.  It is a as if she would be victorious over man by accomplishing what normally what she could not do without a man.  This is exactly what took place through the virgin birth.  What she could only do through partnership with a man (physical conception and birth), she now would accomplish alone.

How would the virgin birth motivate Judah to turn back to the Lord?  If Judah understood the greatness of their God, surely they would turn back to Him.  It is through the virgin birth that Jeremiah revealed God’s greatness to them.  After all, the virgin birth of the Messiah is a clear declaration of the power, mercy, wisdom and love that God holds towards His people.  What better reasons to return to Him in repentance and faith?

Isa 7:13-16

The third OT prophecy concerning the virgin birth is found in Isa 7:14… Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

It is in this prophecy that we find the virgin birth clearly proclaimed. This prophecy centers on the prophet Isaiah speaking to the nation of Judah comforting them and encouraging them to not fear the foreign powers aligned against them.  Isaiah was confirming that the Lord would protect them.

The virgin birth and the Messiah’s earthly ministry was a sign to God’s people of their need to trust in the Lord.  How can this be a sign to the people existing then, if the birth of Christ would take place hundreds of years later?

It was an issue of faith in two ways (faith in God and faith in the ministry of Isaiah)…

As we said in the previous text, the virgin birth was a display to all of the Lord’s power, mercy, wisdom and love for His people.  Isaiah was assuring the people of Judah that this was the wonderful God that they served and it was this same wonderful God that promised their deliverance from their enemies.  If they believed this prophecy of the virgin birth would take place, it would prove to them they needed to trust their God NOW.  After all, the same God that would send their Messiah (via a virgin birth) is the same powerful, just, loving God that would deliver them now.

Also, it involved faith in Isaiah as a true prophet from God.  If they believed that Isaiah was delivering God’s message about a virgin birth, surely they could trust his message of their coming deliverance, as well.

If they believed this prophecy about the coming Messiah, then wouldn’t that same faith lead them to trust the prophet’s message of their coming rescue by God?

To say that “virgin” is only describing a “handmaid” is doing away with the whole intent of this prophecy… a handmaid giving birth proves nothing about God’s ability to work miracles and wouldn’t be a motivation for them to believe in the promises of God no matter how impossible it might seem.  It undoes everything Isaiah was trying to accomplish in his message to Judah.

The whole idea is this … if our God can send His Messiah via a virgin birth surely He can deliver us from an invasion from human armies!

Although, the Heb word for “virgin” can describe a young servant… the context of this passage dictates that this conception must be describing a miraculous act of God, and therefore, it must be the conception of one who had never had relations with a man.

THE FULFILLMENT:

In our next lesson we will examine the historical accounts of the fulfillment of these prophecies.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Our study of the OT prophecies concerning the virgin birth of the Messiah, we can come to a fresh understanding of the power, mercy, wisdom and love of our Lord.  Based on this, we also come face to face with our need to trust Him in every area of our lives.

If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –

http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Yesterday, Today and Forever


This morning, as I have read through the 12th and 13th chapters of Hebrews, the following verse jumped out as a great reminder of the great hope we have in Him. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – (Hebrews 13:8) Few words hold so much power and promise.

 

Jesus is our Healer, Redeemer, Father and Friend. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and His love endures forever. No matter what comes our way, He is present and His words remain true. Our greatest hope lies not only in who He is today, but in all that He has in store for us for all of eternity. May we trust in He whom we have known to be faithful in the past; receive all that He is offering to prepare us for today, and hope in the promises that will endure forever.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ,Love Him More than Life

is always the same;

our Holy High Priest,

there’s no greater Name.

He will never change,

His love shall endure;

we can trust in Him,

our hope is secure.

The God that has been,

is the same today;

and will ever be,

for now and always.

His love never ends,

His grace He pours out;

may we hope in Christ,

dispeller of doubt.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You that we can trust completely in You. Thank You that because of Your sacrifice, we can come to You and place all of our hope in You. Forgive us for doubting Who You are, or Your faithfulness when times are uncertain. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be certain of who You are, regardless of what comes our way. Lead us to love others as You so graciously love each of us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified Lord God, as we trust in who You are and the unchanging nature of Your goodness and grace. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

The CHRISTmas Christian


or, The failure of CHRISTmas.

It’s Christmastime…that time of year! Or to me, a time to witness people trample over Christ to cheap adornments, cheap gifts and perceived traditions that keep Christ OUT of Christmas. Everyone loves a holiday, loves to say ‘Christmas’ but have no intentions of including Christ.

Christmas is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior; whether it was His actual birthday is not important…we don’t mind having Presidents Day or Martin Luther King Day off from work when that day does not reflect their actual birthdays.

In Redmond and Seattle, Washington, “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas” signs were called ‘not sensitive‘ and ‘alienates other religions‘. I’m pretty darned sure that ‘other religions‘ don’t have anything to do with Christmas anyway. But as usual, people want the holiday, but not Christ.

Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. I can’t make that any simpler. If you don’t want Christ in Christmas, then go to work on December 25th…..and a ‘Happy Holidays’ to ya.

In true Christianity, the Bible teaches us to discern and teach against false doctrine. We are to be a ‘watchman on the wall‘, not passive. Passivity causes slumber, slumber causes CULT. Then, if you are a Christian and don’t care about what CHRISTmas is, then  you are in slumber.

There is no middle road, no gray area…either Christmas is about Jesus Christ or it’s about YOU.

©revkatherinemarple
My Life as a Christian

Atheist Billboard: Tis the Season to Deny the Existence of God


(This is a reposting of a SIH blog entry from a few years ago…)

As the Christmas season approaches, Atheist billboards are beginning to pop up declaring that the virgin birth, and even God’s existence, is only a myth.  With all of this world’s mixed messages about the Lord’s person, His work, and even His existence; I thought it was wise to remind every one of some of the results of denying what the Lord clearly told us in His Word.

The Word of God addresses many subjects including:

  1. the proofs of God’s existence – (Psa 19:1-6, Jer 10:10-16, Acts 17:8-9, etc etc)
  2. the proofs of Christ’s coming to the earth and the work which He performed (Acts 5:29-33, Acts 2:29-36, 1 Cor 15:1-11, etc etc )

as well as many other truths that help us to understand who the Lord is and what He has done for us.

The Lord, by His grace and love, has revealed to us the serious results of denying what He has clearly told us in His Word.  May the Lord bless each of us with an understanding and acceptance of this crucial truth…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Heb 10:19-31

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;…30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.31[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

THE STUDY:

In Hebrews 10:19-25, we find the importance of not taking God’s gracious workings in the lives of His people for granted…

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And [having] an high priest over the house of God;

The Lord has given sinful mankind the privilege to enter into His presence now (through prayer and Bible study) and throughout eternity (dwelling with Him face to face).   Although we are sinful, through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness of sins and communion with Almighty, Holy God.  It is though His work on our behalf that He becomes our intercessor (or priest), standing between God and sinful man, working peace, communion and forgiveness on our behalf.

22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Because the Lord has brought us into a close relationship with Himself, we are to draw near to Him, knowing that He has cleansed us from our inward and outward sins.  This forgiveness was applied to our account when His Spirit applied the Word to our hearts and lives (Eph 5:26).

We are also to be telling others of His workings in our lives and we are to aid others to serve Him in love (by meeting together to worship, learn and encourage other Christians).

All of these acts of appreciation, we are to observe in a greater way because our time is running short.  Soon our God will be coming back to take us home and be with Him forever.

In Hebrews 10:26-31, we find the solemn results of rejecting the truth by those who are not His people…

26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

After we receive the truths God has shown to us, and then count them as being false, there is no reason to believe that the Lord has, or will, forgive us.  If we remain in a state of denial of His truths we should fear, knowing that we are facing the judgment that is prepared by God for those who are His adversaries.  This judgment includes God’s fiery indignation (burning wrath) upon those who oppose Him.

28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Now our attention is turned to the penalty of breaking God’s laws given to the nation of Israel.  According to the law given to them… if there were two or three witnesses to the commission of a crime worthy of death, that was ample proof for execution.

We are to compare that type of sin with the rejection of Christ, His work and His shed blood.  After hearing of Christ and His great sacrifice and then counting that as untrue, worthless, or of no benefit, we commit a very heinous sin in God’s eyes.  It is as if Christ and His work is being tred underfoot, dirtied, buried and ignored.

Even if the initial receipt of the truth affects our life causing a worldly, outward, reformation (sanctification) , this is not proof of spiritual life being present.   Simple good works shown in the life is no guarantee of acceptance by God.

A heart of repentant faith in Christ and in His work is an absolutely necessity for the forgiveness of sins.  This type of belief cannot be turned from, nor denied. (2 Cor 7:9-10)

30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.31[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Lord is plain throughout His Word, not only is He a God of love and grace; He is also a God of justice.  The Lord makes it clear that He will send judgment and deserved punishment upon those who reject the kind, loving, gracious, most valuable work of His Son.

This truth will bring terror upon those who reject Him.  To deny God’s existence and work is to sentence themselves to an eternity of separation from God in eternal misery in the lake of fire.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

Let us never forget all that our God has done for us.  He not only created us, but then He saved us from our deserved punishment  through the sacrifice of His Son.   How much more should we be motivated to serve Him after all He has done for us? (Rom 12:1-2)

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Please take time to, honestly and with an open heart, study God’s Word and come to an understanding of the many various proofs of God’s existence and His Son’s work on your behalf.

The Bible makes it plain that we have all sinned and are facing punishment for those sins. (Rom 1:18-21, 2:11-12, Acts 17:30-31)  This is why rejecting the existence of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is tantamount to sentencing yourself to an eternity of suffering at the hands of a Just God.  (Rom 2:5, 2 Pet 2:9, 3:7, Rev 20:15, 21:8)

Things do not have to be this way, however.  This same God, who is just in punishing sin, is also a very kind, gracious and loving God.  He has sent His Son to the earth to save His people from their sins. (Matt 1:21)

Through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, the payment for the sin debt of God’s people was made in full.

By turning from our disbelief, and by trusting in Christ and His work on the cross, we can find forgiveness for our sins and peace with God. (Rom 3:26-28, 4:17-25, 5:1-2, 15:13)

Oh, won’t you change your mind and attitude about God and Christ?   Won’t you believe that God and His Son exist, and that they have performed the necessary work to forgive you of your sins?  By looking to Him and placing your life and future in His hands you will be assured of a life of peace with God.

May the Lord bless you as you seek the truth about Him.

———————————————————————–

Turning Your Misery into Ministry


Originally posted on Cyber Support Group:

Are you kidding me?! Who wants to hear about the miseries I have suffered through life? The old saying, “Misery loves company” is not always true.

“For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow…Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.” 2Cor.1:5-7

God wants to use, and will use, our misery and suffering to help others. The experiences we go through, both good and bad, can be used by the One who knows our suffering.

For many years I suffered abuse from the hands of others. I went through years of therapy and shouted at God many times, “You could have stopped it!” I didn’t understand that God could not only heal all that deep pain but use it for His glory.

Many have suffered in many different ways in…

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The Prayer of the Sorrowful Christian


I cried, but no one heard.
I was hurt, but no one helped.
I fought alone to no avail,
I waited, but no one came.

I saw, but couldn’t remember.
I heard, but couldn’t discern.
I held out my hand, but it came back empty.
My heart hurt, and no one comforted me.

How can I love when I receive none,
Where is the delight in life?
Is it in the mirror looking back at me
Or is it in the eyes of another?

Lord! Come closer, be near me
Because my fight is harder than ever.
You are my only Joy, my Salvation
From a life of tears and remorse.

I have lost so much and gained little.
This world has spewed me out
But it won’t let me go.
Let me go, world…I am not yours.

But I look up and see my Abundance
In a face I have not yet met.
His beauty is infinite, His love is unmatched.
Just a little while longer, He says, You are not done.

I hold my hands up to Him in Praise
and seek His warmth with sweet tears.
I am yours, I say, I am yours!
Touch me today, Lord…Touch me today!

I am a stranger, a sojourner in this world.
My woes are His, but the consequences are mine.
I look to Him, I Praise His name!
Until I cross that River, I will rest in Him!

©katherinemarple

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

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My Life as a Christian

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