Depending on family tradition, the tree brought into the house is now festively decorated and referred to as the “jultree,” “light tree,” “Christmas tree,” or “Christ tree.” How many people are aware that this practise was long reviled by the church? Numerous sources in folk literature mention the fact that the
The Philocalian Calendar or Chronograph of 354 lists Rome’s consuls from 255 to 352, Roman bishops from 255 to 352, and martyrs’ anniversaries. It is the first document to mention Christmas. The list of martyrs begins with the birth of Christ on December 25, whereas the list of consuls begins on Friday, the fifteenth day of the new moon. The list of Roman bishops concludes with the two most recent bishops out of order, indicating that it was compiled in 336, before these additions, and that the city was already celebrating Christ’s birth as a festival at the time.
Scripture becomes, as Martin Luther put it, a wax nose that can be shaped into whatever form the interpreter likes. When this happens, the interpreter cannot be corrected by the text; rather, the interpreter becomes lord over the text.” Therefore, when we seek to discover the meaning of scripture we are seeking the plain meaning as the original author intended.
This question of whether a person can lose his salvation is not an abstract question. It touches us at the very core of our Christian lives, not only with regard to our concerns for our own perseverance, but also with regard to our concern for our family and friends, particularly those who seemed, for all outward appearances, to have made a genuine profession of faith.
At Council of Chalcedon in 433. The assembled bishops declared Christ was two natures in one person. “We all with one voice confess our Lord Jesus Christ one and the same Son, at once complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, of one substance with us as regards his manhood, like us in all things, apart from sin…”
Apollinarianism granted Christ a human body but not a complete human soul. But if Christ was to have a real incarnation it was necessary that He add to His divine nature not merely a human body but also a human mind or soul; for humanity consists not merely in the possession of a body but of a body and soul.
Arian theology holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father with the difference that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father, therefore Jesus was not co-eternal with God the Father.
Docetism is an ancient heresy that says Jesus was not fully human. According to Docetism, he seemed to be human, but because Jesus was fully divine, he had no physical body. The form people saw was essentially a ghost.
They believed in one God and taught that Jesus was the Messiah and was the true “prophet” mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15. They rejected the Virgin Birth of Jesus, instead holding that he was the natural son of Joseph and Mary. The Ebionites believed Jesus became the Messiah because he obeyed the Jewish Law.
After Jesus’ Farewell Discourse and final prayer, Jesus was arrested. But even though He knew He was going to be crucified, Jesus made no effort to avoid arrest. He allowed himself to be taken, beaten, and executed.
We have canonical evidence. We have extra-canonical evidence. We have evidence from Josephus. We have evidence from other early Christian sources that are not in the New Testament. We have evidence from the Roman historian Tacitus. We have evidence from Suetonius, and other roman historians, so we have both biblical and extra biblical evidence that Jesus existed. In addition to that, we have epigraphic evidence; we have archeological evidence.
When Christians become disciples, become sons of God in that sense there is, of course, a kind of transformation, a kind of likeness with God that happens to us, but that of course is true with Christ in His capacity as Son in ways that go far beyond what any disciple of Christ can claim.
The divinity of Christ says, because He is Lord, because He is God, what He says about himself and about who we are and what the way of salvation is, is authoritative and final. Christianity is definitely Jesus. Without Jesus it would not exist.
He gives us the strength to say “no” to sin, and so, “yes” to God — say “yes” to God — and to say “yes” to obedience. And only God can do that. The Holy Spirit is God, and he does those mighty works in our lives and in our world. He rules over every event. He saves us, literally. He brings salvation that Jesus Christ earned into our lives and makes it ours. And He continues to change us until we meet Jesus someday.
Even though Christians insist that the Holy Spirit is fully divine, and that his works and personhood benefit us in many ways, we often don’t praise Him for these things in our worship, or even petition Him in our prayers.
There should be no question that the doctrine of the Trinity is true to Scripture. But there should also be no question that it’s a difficult doctrine that took the church hundreds of years to define clearly.
Today’s mentoring processes have been largely replaced by the classroom experience. Instead of a stamp of approval by a mentor, the person receives final grades and a diploma. Knowledge has become more important than wisdom and character. The essence of mentoring is relationship. For the Christian leader, mentoring is the process of developing a man or woman to his or her maximum potential in Jesus Christ in every vocation.
A biblical view of spiritual warfare points to the final establishment of the kingdom of God throughout the whole universe. When we focus too much on the current battle, we lose sight of the cosmic picture in which the real story is not the battle, but the eternal reign of Christ. That vision transformed the early church, and it should be our focus in ministry today.
If Jesus is in the form of God, then He has all the essential attributes of deity, or all those characterising qualities that make God. Thereby, Jesus is in the form of God is God. Paul is merely stating that Jesus did not surrender His divine attributes but chose voluntarily not to use them or to set them aside. Hence surrendering the glory, majesty, and the prerogatives of deity, but not the deity itself.
The issue of the relationship between God as Father and human fathers is very important in our culture, especially because we of course so often experience in the brokenness of modern families-father models who are problematic
The Apostle John in affirming the deity of Jesus Christ in John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known”. Thus showing oneness of essence between Father and Son. In addition, Apostle John mentions in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” Thereby bearing upon the essential unity. It is interesting that whether the word “one” is neuter in gender, or literally, one thing.
So when the apostle Matthew mentions a prophecy in Matthew 1:21-23, he is quoting from the prophet Isaiah written in 700BC (before Christ incarnate). Is that not mind blowing? The prophecy states in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
People are still answering the question by conveniently “packaging” the Messiah so to conceal their true heart’s condition – trying to bind-up the revelation of the Messiah just like those religious leaders of Jesus’ day. For to acknowledge the Messiah as Jesus – would result in revealing who they are! As in the words of Jesus stated in Matthew 23:33, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”
So now, you are in God’s work but lost, no feelings and you can’t feel your faith so what do you do? You have to depend on gimmicks and amusements to keep your “employers” (the church board) believing in you, for many of them are using you like Micah from the book of Judges – replacing the works of Christ as the mediator.