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.
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.
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.
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 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?”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Therefore, there are no impossibilities of time and space for what Jesus Christ was He is, and what He is, He was.
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.
Jesus Christ tells us, “Upon this rock will I build my Church.” What did the Lord Jesus Christ mean when He spoke of this foundation? Did He mean the Apostle Peter, to whom He was speaking?
It is impossible to conceive a Saviour more suited to the wants of man’s heart than our Lord Jesus Christ—suited not only by His power, but by His sympathy—suited not only by His divinity, but by His humanity.
The disciples had seen mighty signs and miracles. They had seen the dead raised with a word—and lepers healed with a touch —the blind receiving sight—the dumb made to speak—the lame made to walk. They had seen thousands fed with a few loaves and fishes. They had seen their Master walking on the water as on dry land.
How many clergymen work hard in their profession for a few years, and then become lazy and indolent from the love of this present world?
Are my affections dead toward the world and alive toward God? What engages my mind in seasons of recreation? Can I truthfully say, “How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103). Is communion with God my highest joy? Is the glory of God dearer to me than all the world contains?
The drive of man to establish himself by his own efforts, even when these efforts are religious in character, belongs to the sphere of the old man. Yet there is a place for good works.
The presence of God is a dreadful and a fearful thing; yes, his most gracious and merciful appearances; how much more then when he shows himself to us as one that dislikes our ways, as one that is offended with us for our sins?
In matters pertaining to his salvation, the unregenerate man is not at liberty to choose between good and evil, but only to choose between greater and lesser evil, which is not properly free will. The fact that fallen man still has ability to do certain acts morally good in themselves does not prove that he can do acts meriting salvation, for his motives may be wholly wrong.
We are dead! Dead is a strong word, but it is not my own coining and invention. I did not choose it. The Holy Spirit told Paul to write it down about the Ephesians: “You hath he quickened who were dead” (Eph 2:1).
It is our deep conviction that the vital question most requiring to be raised today is this: Is man a totally and thoroughly depraved creature by nature? Does he enter the world completely ruined and helpless, spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins?
So, I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city—for “the city was pure gold” (Rev 21:18)—was so extremely glorious that they could not, as yet, with open face behold it but through an instrument made for that purpose (2Co 3:18). So, I saw that as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold, and their faces shone as the light.
Reader, I want you to go to heaven after this life is over. I want heaven to be very full, and I want you to be one of its inhabitants.—J. C. Ryle
To the worldly and careless they may seem nothing at all. To all who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of God, they are full of unspeakable comfort. If we hope to be in heaven, it is pleasant to know what heaven is like.
Hell is a real place. It is not a metaphor or a symbol, not a description of our inner desolation or our present sufferings, no matter how agonising these may be. It is not a state of mind. It is a place with spatial dimensions.
It is a fearful thing to fall into a fire or to be shut up in a fiery furnace on earth. But the terror of these vanishes when we consider how fearful it is to fall into the hands of the living God, which is the lot of the damned. “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?