Archive for the ‘Holiday Thoughts’ Category

Holiday Thoughts 9

December 25, 2016

Romans 1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH “.”

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

2 Timothy 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

John 16:20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

The world hated Christ once they saw His life and heard His teachings. This is why we must be so careful this time of year (December 25) as well as other times. The holiday periods are fraught with great danger because the world is caught up with the wrong idea of Christ and they will celebrate the birth of baby Jesus while at the same time they hate His true teachings about Himself, which is the very truth of God. False churches and seemingly the whole world will join in a celebration of the birth of baby Jesus, but that does not change their hatred for the true Christ and His true teachings. We must never forget that the world is at enmity toward the true God and they hate Him when they see the true Jesus. One cannot hate the Father without hating the true Jesus and one cannot hate the true Jesus without hating the true Father. This makes it so clear that the world has a false Christ in mind when they celebrate (to some degree and in some way) baby Jesus.

It is perhaps a terrible way of thinking in the minds of most, yet the Bible is quite clear that people hate God and they hate the Son He sent. The great celebrations that go on this time of year are really demonstrations of how willing people are to love some idea of the baby Jesus and yet just how much they hate the true Jesus. The world loves the things of the season as long as they are not confronted with the truth of God, yet it also appears that the professing Church (majority, if not vast majority) goes along with that. The Lord Jesus Christ cannot be worshiped in truth and spirit apart from a true worship of Him as Divine. A celebration of baby Jesus does not follow the truth in the slightest.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has fallen to the side in our day and appears to be virtually unknown in most religious circles. Yes, that sounds arrogant, but that does not falsify the claim. Where is the true Gospel of God (a sovereign God at that) be found in our day? Where is the true doctrine of free-grace found? There are all forms and ways for people to preach and talk about grace and Christ without speaking of the biblical Christ and the true biblical grace. In the New Testament times the professing Church was plagued with Pharisees and then Judaizers. In the modern day there are all sorts of heresies that have virtually engulfed the professing Church and it seems as if the Gospel of the sovereign God in and through the true Christ has been hidden.

The practice of religion keeps on and the practice of holidays keep on, but the Gospel of our sovereign God is being hidden. The world rejoices today (December 25, 2016) and the professing Church rejoices today. Some, however, grieve at the state of the professing Church in a day such as this. May God grant us a sight of Himself shining forth in the true Christ and His true Gospel by His sovereign mercy and grace. There is no other Gospel and no other way. It could be said that all the attention on baby Jesus is one way that people are blinded and so they do “not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” If people do not behold the glory of God in Christ, they do not see the true Christ nor the true God. The ways of religion and tradition do a good job of hiding His glory.

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Holiday Thoughts 8

December 23, 2016

Romans 1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH “.”

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

2 Timothy 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

We live in a day of great spiritual famine and that is a truth without much controversy at all if we simply compare what is going on in our day with the times when God poured out His Spirit upon His people. We have people taking loud and very strong stands against certain sins and certain positions. We have people being very strong for certain doctrines and certain practices. We have people who will stand strong for moral positions and for doctrinal creeds. There are many people like that in our day.

However, some of those same people cannot be found preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His free-grace. It is almost bizarre (in my opinion) to find people who will rant on moral issues and leave the Gospel virtually unmentioned much less preached. Oh how people will make much of the birth of baby Jesus and at best one here or one there may mention that He came to love God with all of His being and give His life as a sacrifice for sin. The birth of Christ should show us how vile and wretched we are and how helpless we are in our spiritual death and bondage to sin, but that is not mentioned either. We are so vile in our sin that the second Person of the Trinity had to take human flesh in order to earn a perfect righteousness and be a perfect sacrifice. The birth of Christ does not declare to us how wonderful we are, it declares to us how sinful we are.

Christ did not come to give useless toys to people and He did not come to show us how we are to give gifts to others. He came to glorify God by saving sinners. We have no record of the Lord Jesus Christ giving a gift to anyone, but what we see is that He Himself is the best and greatest gift. When we give gifts we can give things that turn the hearts of people from Christ, yet He have Himself and turned people to Himself. He is the greatest gift and He will turn hearts back to the Father.

It is still a puzzle and grief when the professing churches in our day will spend so much time on the baby Jesus theme and spend time on the sentimentality of it all, yet the true Christ is not preached. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ appears to be well hidden in our day and this time of year it is hidden quite well behind the curtains of sentimentality and a Jesus that as a baby is helpless and harmless (we think). While it is true that Jesus was not born on December 25 and it is a Roman Catholic holiday that Protestants have swallowed whole, if only the ministers of the day would stay away from all the trappings of this time of year and seek and preach Christ, even and especially the whole Christ.

As stated above, we are in a terrible spiritual famine. Following the calendar as to stated holy days will not help. The only thing that will help is if God Himself will put rods in the backs of His ministers and they will preach the whole Christ week after week. We need the whole Christ and we need the whole Gospel. We need the whole Gospel preached from men who have hearts full of Christ and a conviction of Christ and His Gospel of free-grace. We don’t really need to hear nice little sermons about the facts of Christ; our hearts must be confronted with the Lord of glory. We don’t need to hear nice sermons on the birth of Christ, we need to hear the full Christ declared from hearts who are bowed before this Lord and who are full of the life of this resurrected Christ.

Holiday Thoughts 7

December 22, 2016

Romans 1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH “.”

II Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

2 Timothy 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Luther stated that the Church (and each person) did in fact rise or fall with the Gospel. It is the Gospel of Christ and the Gospel of God and the Gospel of the glory of God that we are speaking of. The Gospel is not some simple message that we unload on people in a couple of minutes here and there, but the Gospel of the glory of God is the very heart of the Old and New Testaments. The Gospel is not just some facts that we tell people and it is not just some information given, it is the good news of who God is and what He has accomplished in and through Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not limited to what we can know by our intellects, it is about the acts of God and God Himself. This is to say that we must change our thinking about the Gospel.

The Gospel is also a Gospel of life. The Gospel of Christ is also the Gospel of life because Christ is life Himself. I John 5:20 is quite clear that eternal life is Christ, which shows us why we must have Christ in order to have life. The Gospel is the living God bringing life to dead sinners by the death of Christ and His resurrection to life. Christ Himself is the way, the truth, and the life. It is Christ Himself who is the way itself and not just that Christ tells us of a way. It is Christ Himself who is the truth as opposed to just telling us about the truth. It is Christ Himself who is the life and it is not just something He tells people about.

The holiday season, as practiced in our day, is really all about the birth of baby Jesus and not about the shining forth of the glory of God. The holiday season focuses on the baby Jesus and not about how He was the very tabernacle of God on this planet. The holiday season has forgotten about the real and true Gospel of Christ and instead focuses on a baby in the manger. Not one person can ever be saved by a preaching of the baby Jesus, but instead it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hands of the living God that saves sinners.

Acts 17:18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”– because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about the resurrected Savior and not about a baby in the manger. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about the resurrected and living Savior who is sovereign over all men. The Gospel is a living Gospel because it is about the living God and the living Christ. The Gospel is not about a baby in the manger, it is about the Lord Jesus Christ before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. The holiday season does not move hearts to awe, it moves them to sentimentalism. The Gospel of life looks to Christ who was sacrificed and rose again in the place of sinners. It is the crucified and resurrected Savior that we should preach as it is the Gospel of the crucified and resurrected Savior that is the power of God unto salvation.

Holiday Thoughts 6

December 21, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

There is no day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued. (Westminster Confession of Faith, Directory of Public Worship)

The Westminster divines, as they have been called, were quite clear on this subject. They were quite aware of what they were saying and why they were saying it. Roman Catholicism had brought in many superstitions and holy days (as they called them) and the Westminster divines saw the damage that those things had done. The Westminster divines longed for a pure worship and a worship that was strictly according to Scripture. Some men from Scotland were there as advisors for the writers of the Westminster Confession and in Scotland during those days keeping a holy-day (like Christ-Mass) that was not the Sabbath was something they saw as worthy of church discipline. It was not a small thing in their way of thinking.

In the modern day, things like keeping the church calendar and keeping certain days are thought of as normal. If one does not keep them then one is thought of as odd at best and perhaps even non-Christian. The vast majority of people have followed Rome into keeping their special days. It was Rome that set up a special mass in celebration of the birth of Christ, which is why it is called Christ-mass. It was Rome who made this a special day when in fact the New Testament does no such thing. We must learn to look past our own sentimentality and look to Scripture as our guide.

Is it wrong to preach on the birth of Christ? Perhaps not, but why do people choose this day rather than others? It seems to be clear that Rome started this unbiblical celebration and if we continue it we are following Rome in what they do rather than the Bible. We follow Rome in terms of the dating of the day. We follow Rome in setting this day out as a special day when the Bible does not. We follow Rome in what we call the day, that is, Christ-mass which is a special mass for the birth of Christ.

As we think of the origin of this day and the meaning of the word (Christ-mass), surely we should take pause and think of what we are doing. There is no command or example in Scripture to do this, but there are commands and examples of how we should revere Him and treat His name as holy. We can also simply look at the virtual insanity that does with this time of year with the shopping, debt, and enormous greed that seems to permeate what drives the day. There is a lot of worship that takes place during this time of year, but it is the worship of profit, of self, and of greed. We do what we please while ignoring the broader biblical teaching on all of life. We give ourselves to all sorts of idolatry and yet excuse it saying it is for “Christ-mass” and all of that. We have followed Rome into using religion as a way of excusing our selfishness and our sinful hearts.

Holiday Thoughts 5

December 20, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

One of the most obvious things in the Bible is the attitude that God has toward His own name. He treats His own name as holy and commands human beings to treat His name as holy. In the Old Testament we see that out of all the ideas and concepts in the world one of the Ten Commandments was given to the Israelites by God to treat His name with reverence. If we are not going to use His name in vain, then we must treat it with reverence. It cannot be denied (by any serious reader of Scripture) that God has manifested His name in and through Christ. It is Christ who is the shining forth of His glory and the exact representation of His nature. It is Christ who has told us that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Therefore, we must realize that we are to speak the name of Christ and we are to treat Christ with reverence and awe.

The very word “Christ-mass” is taking the word “Christ” and joining it with the blasphemous activity of the mass. The mass is in some sense a supposed re-sacrificing of Christ and offering Him to the people to eat, which is to say that they say that they eat His very flesh. In other words, this is a very blasphemous activity. However, Protestants have taken up this time of year with utter abandonment and they also use the name of Christ and join the word “mass” to it so glibly and easily. How is this anything but a taking His name in vain or an irreverent use of the name of Christ? How can we take the name of Christ whom we are to revere and speak His name with awe and then join the blasphemous word “mass” to it and then celebrate this time of the year?

How can Protestants use this word as if it is nothing but a joyous time? Have we forgotten that out of love for Christ we should revere His holy name? Have we forgotten how blasphemous the mass really is? Have we not remembered that the name of Christ is to be set apart and used only in a reverent way and yet in “Christ-mass” we are joining His name to a blasphemous activity? This is simply inexcusable and yet no one seems to have the slightest concern with it. We have Reformed and Protestant people (in name) who seem to be quite unconcerned with using the name of Christ in such a casual manner even if they don’t think of it as joining His holy name to a blasphemous activity as represented by the word “mass.”

How far have we fallen from the basic principles of the Protestant Reformation! Not only will we use the name of Christ with such irreverence in our word for this season, but we join the world in worship and in this we should know that it is false worship because the world hates the true God and the true Christ. We also have a false idea of the Lord Jesus Christ when we worship the baby Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ is to be worshipped with reverence and awe and that can only be done by the Divine Person and in accordance with the cross of the adult Jesus and the imputed righteousness of the adult Jesus and of Christ as the only Mediator. The baby Jesus is not something that the Bible speaks of in a way that moves us to worship. It is the life of Christ in His people purchased by His blood that should move them to worship.

Holiday Thoughts 4

December 19, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

One of the most obvious ways that we should see with great clarity that the professing Church has gone so wrong in the way it approaches December 25th is that it joins the world in a celebration of baby Jesus or at least some form of turning that time into something other than true worship. It should give us great pause when we consider that the liberals and very worldly people will join us in this time of celebration of something. If the liberals and worldly people are willing to worship this “Jesus”, then this is not the biblical Jesus. The baby Jesus that the liberals and the world love and are willing to worship in some way is not the biblical teaching of Jesus.

The world hates Jesus, so how can it join in the true celebration of the true Jesus? The truth of the matter is that the world is not joining in the true celebration of the true Christ. But if the world has joined in something called worship with the professing Church, then what does that say about the professing Church? When will the professing Church wake up and realize this? The world and the liberals hate the true Jesus and so they cannot and will not worship the true Jesus. When will the true Church wake up and realize this? When will the true Church recognize that it cannot blend the truth of who Christ really is with that which is acceptable to the world? The baby Jesus that the world is so willing to be part of is not the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, as long as the professing Church is willing to be part of this, the world and the liberals will continue to think that they worship the true Jesus.

The world and the liberals hate God and so when they see the true Jesus they will hate Him. The true Jesus came and was the very shining forth of the glory of God and as such was hated by those who were at enmity with Him by birth. As long as the world and the liberals do not hate the Jesus the professing Church is willing to join in some form of celebration with, we can know that the true God who shines forth in Christ is not being declared. But if the true God is not being declared in Christ, then we can know that it is not the true Christ that is being celebrated.

As said above, if the professing church is in worship of the same Jesus as the world and the liberals are celebrating, then the professing church is not celebrating the true Jesus. The professing church is never more like the world than when it celebrates the same Jesus that the world and the liberals do. This must be something that opens the eyes of the true Church. We must take it to heart and wake up. When we are joining with the liberals and the world in something of God, we must know that their hatred of God will not allow them to adore the true Christ. This means that we have descended to their level and we are involved in false worship. Oh how we must be awakened by the true and living God and be granted repentance from our false worship of Him.

Holiday Thoughts 3

December 15, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

The time of Jesus on earth was the time the second Person of the Trinity took human flesh and walked on this planet. To some He manifested the glory of the Father and to some He blinded them to who He really was. One of the basic points that this little series is trying to do is to show that baby Jesus is not an accurate picture of the true God. There are teachings, yes, but we are not to make final deductions from the narrative sections about the birth of Christ regarding the Father, but instead we are to behold Jesus in His words and works. Yes, His humility and condescension are seen. Yes, we can behold sovereignty at this point as well. But we are not to worship baby Jesus as such, we are to worship the living God as revealed by Christ and we are to worship with reverence and awe.

John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Once again the passage from John 14 is so instructive. Jesus Himself is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus Himself is the only way to the Father. It is Jesus Himself that if the disciples would have known Him they would have known the Father. It was in the adult Jesus that Jesus said that to know Him (Jesus) was to know the Father. It was the adult Jesus that spoke to Philip who wanted Jesus to show them the Father. The words of Jesus to Philip were this: “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” This is simply a stunning passage of Scripture.

The ministry of Jesus was three years or less, so this was the time He was speaking of to Philip. He was not speaking of His birth and early years. One could make a sharp distinction between the time before Jesus was baptized with the Spirit without measure and the time after. This was the time He began His ministry. It is the adult Jesus that it is said that the Father was with the disciples when Jesus was with them. It was the adult Jesus that the glory of God shown through in His ministry. Nothing like this was ever said about the baby Jesus.

What we must see, however, is that the humanity of Jesus was nothing apart from the Divine. In the adult Jesus as He went about teaching, living, and doing miracles that the Father was seen. Regarding the baby Jesus, in and of Himself, we have no command to worship and we are never told that the Father did His works in and through Him. If we are to worship Christ in truth as the Truth, we are not to worship Him as baby Jesus. If we are to worship Christ as the Way, we must worship Him as Divine. If we are to worship Christ as the life, we are to worship Him as eternal life in human flesh, that is, the Divine life. The practices surrounding baby Jesus in our day are far, far from the truth of who He really was, though they are not far from the practices of Rome and Mary.

Holiday Thoughts 2

December 14, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

There are many texts in the New Testament that teach us the proper worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, though they may not be thought of in that way. The first passage that we will deal with is that of John 12 (the text just below). Our usual thought is to think of Isaiah 6 as speaking of the Father or of God in a general way. However, what John teaches us is something a lot different. Read Isaiah 6 and then the passage below and imagine speaking to the God of Isaiah 6 as most people speak of the baby Jesus and ask yourself if that is treating His holy name reverently.

John 12:37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 40 “HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM.” 41 These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.

Jesus performed many signs before the Israelites. However, they did not believe in Him which is to say that they did not believe that He was God in human flesh and He was not the Messiah. The failure of the Israelites to believe who this Jesus truly was seems unimaginable in some ways, but the following verses show us how this could be. When the Israelites did not respond to the words of Isaiah, it was clear that people did not believe because God had not revealed Himself to them. However, and to go even deeper, verses 39-40 tells us that God blinded them and hardened their eyes so that they could not see and could not perceive. Who was Isaiah speaking of? He was speaking of Christ and we can see this in verse 41. The text says that Isaiah said those things because he say His glory and spoke of Him. He is speaking of Christ.

In Matthew 13 Jesus was asked why He spoke in parables. He basically said that He spoke in parables to keep people from seeing and to harden their hearts. He also said that the prophecy of Isaiah (same as John 12) was being fulfilled on them. This is a hard teaching and yet it is a biblical teaching. Jesus did not just come to provide a way of salvation; He also came to bring judgment and to harden. When one thinks of the biblical Christ and what it takes to truly see and believe in who He truly is, it takes the Divine hand to open eyes and illuminate the understanding. However, we should not think that the hardening work of God is finished in regards to His Son.

The Lord Jesus Christ is holy, holy, holy and the whole earth is full of His glory. The Lord Jesus Christ was the One that all things were created through and all things created for. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. The Lord Jesus Christ is very God of very God. When the Lord Jesus Christ took human flesh and in that was the very tabernacle or dwelling place of the glory of God on earth that was nothing less than the glory of God veiled and hidden in human flesh. What is it that people do every year during the time of December 25th and days surrounding that? They appear to try to honor the baby Jesus rather than God in human flesh.

We never read of the birth of Christ once we get into the epistles and we never read of the New Testament Church having a day of worship regarding this. Why is that? Perhaps it was because we are commanded preach Christ and Him crucified and to preach the resurrection. Perhaps it is because people can get overly sentimental about baby Jesus and not realize that to worship the human nature of Christ is idolatry. Perhaps it is so easy for human beings to think that they love Jesus when what they love is a harmless baby. If we are going to worship Christ in spirit and truth, we must worship Him as Divine. When was the last time we saw true reverence and awe for baby Jesus around December 25th in our day? I never have.

Holiday Thoughts 1

December 13, 2016

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourthgenerations of those who hate Me… 7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

1 Timothy 6:16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

We live in a day and time where it is thought to be funny if we use God’s name as a curse word or as a way to curse others. It is thought to be no big deal for people to use God’s name in such a common way. However, the first four commandments (of the Ten) are built around the name of God and how we are to treat His name with reverence and awe. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us that our first priority in prayer is to pray for the name of God to be hallowed (treated with reverence and awe). Since God is holy, holy, holy, all human beings are to treat His name as holy and to be before Him with reverence.

When we think of the name of God we are to think of His name as standing for all He is and all that specifically has to do with Him. His name is holy, that is, He is holy and all that has to do with Him is holy and as such we are to treat Him and all that has to do with Him in a holy way as well. The Scriptures are a revelation of God and as such they are termed the “Holy Scriptures” and termed that correctly. The worship of God is to be done with reverence as well, though this is not the same thing as following a rote ritual with a bowed head. The very rejoicing we are to do before God is to be done with trembling. In fact, there is no acceptable service to God apart from reverence and awe.

When we think of worship we should always think of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no worship that can reach the Father (so to speak) that does not go to Him through Christ. He is the only acceptable way and the only possible way to the Father. As we learn in John 14, if we truly understand who Christ is only then do we understand anything of the Father. When Jesus said to Thomas, He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” everything should come to a stop and let us be careful how we think of Jesus. He is, after all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

In light of these verses and the powerful thoughts they contain, how are we to think of Jesus around December 25th each year? We must not just sing little songs and think of baby Jesus as the only acceptable worship of the living God is with reverence and awe. It is so easy and common to think of the humanity of Jesus this time of year as something apart from His full divinity. However, to do so is nothing less than idolatry and false worship. We do no worship because we pay attention to something on a religious holiday, but we only worship when we worship in truth, reverence, and awe. Jesus Christ was God in human flesh and He was and is to be treated as such at all times and in all ways.