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The Beauty of Christmas

I love Christmas.  I really do.  I was listening to an interview with Dr. John MacArthur in which he stated that he has a love/hate relationship with Christmas.  On the one hand, MacArthur said that he loves that December is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ especially by the Church.  The Church celebrates the birth of our Lord but we also recognize that the Word became flesh (John 1:14).  We recognize the mystery of the incarnation of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; 1 Timothy 3:16).

Yet, like MacArthur, I also share in his hatred of Christmas because how this celebration has become associated with getting stuff.  I enjoy giving and receiving presents but the world has made Christmas synonymous with stuff.  Where is the joy of the birth of Christ?  Where is the realization that Christmas is about God giving His Son (John 3:16) and not about our greed and desire for stuff.

When I was a boy, I loved Christmas because of the stuff.  My parents raised me to believe in Santa Claus and I believed that I could ask him for anything I wanted and he and his elves would work hard in the north pole to grant me my wishes.  In the midst of this, my dad would read the Christmas story to my sister and I on Christmas morning while I sat starring at my stuff that I would forget about in a week or two.  While I understood that Christmas was vaguely about Christ and His birth, I believed it to be more about Santa Claus and getting kids more toys (and mainly toys that were too expensive to ask for throughout the year before).  Christmas was about Christ but more about my greed than about His birth.  Santa Claus made sure of that.

When I became a Christian, this all changed.  I sit here now having been a Christian for over 20 years.  Through the years my love for Christmas grows.  I love the theology behind Christmas.  I love that we celebrate our Lord’s birth despite my own judgments that He was not born on December 25.  I love that twice in a year (this and Resurrection Sunday or Easter as it is commonly known) we celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ like no other times.  The world despises both holy days.  The world wants to rob Christ of Christmas but they can’t.  Christmas remains with Christ in Christmas. The fact that Christ was born of the virgin, that He lived a sinless life, that He did great miracles, that He taught the people, and that He suffered, was crucified, killed, buried, and then rose again flies in the face of the lost world that would like to keep Christ out of Christmas.

The mystery of Christmas is not that it endures despite the world trying so hard to take Christ away from this day.  The mystery is the incarnation of God.  While people will forget about Jesus after December 25, for the child of God, the mystery remains and one that I rejoice in all year.  I remember someone wrote a song called “Like Christmas All Year Round” and for the disciple of Christ, it is just that.  For me, the joy that I have at my Lord’s birth is not just felt on December 25 but all year long.  I rejoice that Jesus has come.  I rejoice that Jesus is coming again (Acts 1:11).  I rejoice that Jesus is now praying for me before my Father in heaven (Hebrews 7:25).  I marvel at His perfect life that He lived for me (2 Corinthians 5:21).

For me, Christmas is the mystery of the God of glory coming down to His people.  The light of the world (John 8:12) has come to bring us who are in darkness the true light (Matthew 4:16; John 1:9).  The Shepherd who will shepherd His sheep has come (Matthew 2:6; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20).  God has become a man (John 1:14, 18).  This is the joy of Christmas.  This is the mystery of Christmas and one that I gladly rejoice in.

Merry Christmas to all and may the God of glory fill you with His love by His grace this Christmas season.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/24/2015 at 12:40 PM

How Did Famous Arminians Celebrate Christmas?

Christmas brings up different emotions for me.  On the one hand, I have fond memories of Christmas as both a boy and an adult.  I have appreciated Christmas over the years.  Yet on the negative side is watching my own boys grow up in a culture where Christmas means one thing: presents.  Lost is the focus of the incarnation of God.

As a history buff, I am also torn on Christmas itself.  The practice of Christmas, as we know it now, is really the product of 19th and 18th century practices coming from Germany and England to the United States and because of the economic power of the United States, the practice of Christmas as focused on gifts and stuff is by in large an American edition to the holiday.  While both Germans and Brits did give gifts to each other in the late 19th century, the excessive nature of gift giving is a largely American focus.  Santa Claus, as we know him today, is the product of advertisement from 1931.  The really St. Nicholas was a bishop who was at the council of Nicaea and tradition tells us that he punched Arias for his blasphemy toward the deity of Jesus Christ.  Not the picture of Santa Claus we think of today!

When it comes to Church History, how did early Arminians celebrate Christmas?  I am only speculating based off information from that era and not off direct statements from Arminians themselves.

Let us begin with Arminius and the early Remonstrants.  No doubt they would have followed the Calvinist tradition of rejecting Christmas.  John Calvin had made Christmas illegal to celebrate in Geneva and Calvin viewed the day as more pagan than divine.  Calvin, like all the Reformers, viewed the Catholic Church as corrupt and vile. Calvin viewed the popery as the antichrist.  Calvin viewed the various Catholic holidays as having nothing to do with the gospel.  Calvin then rejected the Catholic celebration of Christ’s Mass (or Christmas).  Arminius, who studied under Calvin’s son-in-law and successor, Theodore Beza, would have likely rejected Christmas for the same reasons.  Arminius wrote much like Calvin on the popery and he too viewed the Catholic church as corrupt and he called her “the great whore of Babylon” (Revelation 17:5-6).  I suspect that Arminius would not have celebrated any Catholic holidays and neither would the Remonstrants.

By the time of John Wesley, England was a mixed bag when it came to Christmas.  The Puritans had sought to end the day called Christmas and even sought to officially change the name to Christtide.  The name didn’t stick.  The Puritans, like the Reformers, viewed themselves as Protestants and not Catholic and wanted nothing to do with the Catholic holidays.  The Puritan in 18th century America made it illegal to celebrate Christmas in many of their towns in New England.  They allowed “the strangers” (non-Puritan immigrants) to practice Christmas but only in their own homes.  The Puritans made sure to work on Christmas as to show they were not resting or celebrating with the Catholics.  In this environment, John Wesley came.  Wesley likely would have been in-between having strong love for the Church of England and his love for the Puritans.  Wesley never condemns the holiday but we find no record of him practicing it either.  Yet his brother Charles wrote Hark! The Herald Angels Sing which would become a theologically accurate hymn for Christmas that is sung even today by Catholics.

I suppose that we could bring up other Arminians in the past and show their views on the day.  What would Adam Clarke say?  Clarke opposed Charles Wesley’s organ playing in church so I suppose he would oppose Christmas in the church.  In his Bible Commentary Clarke notes in passing that Jesus was not born on December 25th and reasons that He was born possibly around late September since the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks (Luke 2:8).  Clarke makes no mention of Christmas.

Richard Watson likewise makes no mention of Christmas in his Theological Dictionary.  Watson does mention that Catholicism is heretical and unbiblical so it is safe to say that he would not have regarded Christmas with fondness.  Watson also takes aim at the heretical Catholic mass.

Today all Arminians that I know of have no trouble with Christmas.  The day has become a day to remember and ponder the birth of the Son of God.  I agree with Arminius and with others before me that the day is likely the day that Jesus was born on nor is a Christian less a Christian if they don’t celebrate Christmas.  In our day the birth of the Lord Jesus has largely become a day of giving of gifts, commercialism, Santa Claus and his flying reindeer.  The glory of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus has been either completely ignored by the secular or watered down by the Church.  I have often joked with my wife that it is the one time of the year that secular radio plays Christian songs and Christian radio plays secular Christmas songs.  It is the one time of the year that Christian radio will play Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” and secular radio will play a secular artist singing “Silent Night.”

The reality is that Christmas does cause us, no matter who we are, to atlases acknowledge Jesus.  Militant atheists want to deny that Jesus even existed yet Christmas points to the biblical reality that Jesus did in fact live and the world continues to acknowledge this.  Secularist want to remove Jesus from Christmas and, like Easter before it, make it about children and about more stuff (greed).  Yet the incarnation of God (John 1:14) is still there.  While December 25th was probably not His birthdate, the reality of the birth of the Son of God drives unbelievers and sinners mad.

In my estimation, Christmas is neither good nor evil.  It is not biblical but it does point to a biblical reality: that Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34-35).  Jesus was born to die (Matthew 1:21).  He came to shed His blood for our salvation.  This is the miracle of Christmas.  The incarnation of Jesus should cause us to worship and adore Him for what He did for our salvation (Philippians 2:5-11).

The world has no problem with the Baby in the manger.  They have a problem with their sins and with the Judge of all the earth (Romans 1:18-21).  While the unbelieving world will celebrate the birth of the Messiah this December 25th, we disciples are looking to Hebrews 9:27-28 and we declare the Jesus is Lord!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/23/2014 at 4:30 PM

Arminius on the Divinity of the Son of God

X. The divinity of the person of the Son is evident, from the names which are attributed to him in the scriptures.

(1.) Because he is called God, and this not only attributively, as “the Word was God,” (John i, 1.) “Who is over all, God blessed forever;” (Rom. ix, 5;) but likewise subjectively: “God manifested in the flesh.” (1 Tim. iii, 16.) “O God, thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness.” (Heb. i, 9.) Nay, he is likewise called “the great God.” (Tit. ii, 13.)

(2.) The word “Son” stands in proof of the same truth, especially so far as this name belongs to him properly and solely, according to which he is called “God’s own Son,” (Rom. viii, 32,) and “his only begotten Son,” (John i, 18,) which expressions, we affirm, are tantamount to his being called by nature, the Son of God.

(3.) Because he is called “King of kings and Lord of lords;” (Rev. xvii, 14; xix, 16;) and “the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. ii, 8.) These appellations prove much more strongly what we wish to establish, if they be compared with the scriptures of the Old Testament, in which the same names are ascribed to him who is called Jehovah. (Psalm xcv, 3; xxiv, 8-10.)

(4.) Pious antiquitity established the same truth from the name, of Logos, “the Word;” which cannot signify the outward word that is devoid of a proper subsistence, on account of those things which are attributed to it in the Scriptures. For it is said to have been “in the beginning, to have been with God, and to be God,” and to have “created all things,” &c.

XI. The essential attributes of the Deity which are in the Scriptures ascribed to the Son of God, likewise declare this in the plainest manner.

(1.) Immensity: “My Father and I will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John xiv, 23.) “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” (Ephes. iii, 17.) “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. xxviii, 20.)

(2.) Eternity: “In the beginning was the Word.” (John i, 1.) “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” (Rev. i, 11; ii, 8.)

(3.) Immutability: “But thou, O Lord, remainest; thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Heb. i, 11, 12.)

(4.) Omniscience is also attributed to him: For he searches the reins and hearts;” (Rev. ii, 93.) He “knows all things.” (John xxi, 17.) And he perceived the thoughts of the Pharisees. (Matt. xii, 25.)

(5.) Omnipotence: “According to the efficacy whereby the Lord Jesus Christ is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. iii, 21.) But the Divine nature cannot, without a contradiction, be taken away from him to whom the proper essentials of God are ascribed.

(6.) Lastly. Majesty and glory belong to Him equally with the Father: “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” (John v, 23.) “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.” (Rev. v, 13.)

XII. The divine works which are attributed to Him, establish the same truth.

(1.) The creation of all things: “All things were made by Him.” (John i, 3.) “By whom also, he made the worlds,” or the ages. (Heb. i, 2.) “One Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” (1 Cor. viii, 6.) But what are these “all things?” Exactly the same as those which are said, in the same verse, to be “of the Father.”

(2.) The preservation of all things: all things by the word of his power.” (Heb. i, 3.) “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John v, 17.)

(3.) The performing of miracles: “Which He works by the Holy Spirit, who is said to “have received of the things of Christ, by which he will glorify Christ.” (John xvi, 14.) “By which, also, he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Pet. iii, 19.) This Spirit is so peculiar to Christ, that the Apostles are said to perform miracles in the name and power of Christ.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/20/2013 at 10:58 AM

The Wonder of the Christmas Story

I can still remember how my salvation brought Christmas back to my heart again.  After I found out there was no Santa Claus at the age of about 7 or 8, Christmas lost much of its wonder.  I still looked forward to getting presents but the wonder was gone.  The lights, the magic, the wonder of it all was not the same once I saw that my dad was Santa and had been for all those years.  It wasn’t until I was born again at the age of 17 that Christmas became a true joy to me again as I begin to study the importance of the incarnation of God.

Too often what gets lost in the Christmas season is the wonder of the incarnation.  I have been a disciple of Jesus now for nearly 20 years and yet every Christmas I go back to read Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2 and the many prophetic scriptures concerning the incarnation of our Lord and I never cease to step away from the pages of the Bible and simply say, “God You are amazing to me.  Your ways cause me to stand in awe of You and Your wisdom.”  How is it that the very God who created all things in Genesis 1-2 can now stoop down and become a tiny baby inside the womb of the virgin Mary?  How is it that the very God who told David, “Heaven is my throne and the earth is My footstool” could now become a baby who would be totally dependent upon His earthly mother?  How is it that the God who was so holy and pure that no eyes could even behold Him in His glory would now take on flesh and blood for all to see Him?  The God who raises up kings and puts down kings would now be in the care of a young girl and young man for His needs.

The incarnation is beyond me.  It’s not that I don’t get it theologically.  It’s that I still am amazed that the Word became flesh (John 1:14).  I am amazed that God came down to us (Isaiah 9:6-7).  I stand in awe of the grace of God to allow His perfect Son to come to die for my sins (2 Corinthians 5:21).  I am in awe of God’s great love for me (John 3:16).  I am amazed at the faith of Mary (Luke 1:38).  I am amazed at the faith and trust of Joseph (Matthew 1:20-25; 2:12).  I am amazed at the proclamation by the angel Gabriel where he seems to simply stand in awe of God by saying, after telling Mary how she will conceive the Christ-child, that “nothing will be impossible for God” (Luke 1:37) almost as if to say, “I don’t understand the ways of God but I know that He can do whatever He likes.”  I stand in awe of the miracle called Christmas.

And that has restored my joy.  That has renewed my passion for Christmas.  I don’t enjoy the presents like I did when I was younger.  I get frustrated with the commercialism that has become Christmas.  I grow weary with the Christmas songs on the radio all the time.  But I love the incarnation.  I love the story of Jesus’ wonderful birth.  I love that He came to save this sinner and to do so, He became just like I am but without sin (1 Peter 2:21-24).  Jesus, the perfect Son of God, the Lamb of God (John 1:29), came down and humble Himself to the cross (Philippians 2:5-11).  The incarnation keeps me realizing that God loves me and that He desires to save me and clothe me in His righteousness (Romans 3:21-25).

Praise God for Christmas!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/01/2011 at 10:00 AM

The One True and Living God

Christianity is a monotheistic religion.  We believe that there is one God.  We reject the Muslim view of Christianity that says that we are polytheistic or tritheistic and they say that we add Mary to the Godhead.  This, of course, is simply false.  Christianity has always been a monotheistic faith.  We believe that we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The same God who called His people out of Egypt through His servant Moses is the same God who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.  We believe the same God of Genesis 1 is the same God of Revelation 22 and all in-between.  We believe the same God who was the God of David is the God of Paul the Apostle of Jesus.

So how do we then understand the doctrine of the Trinity in regard to the monotheism that is taught in the Bible?  How can it be that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God yet there is only one God?  The mystery of the Trinity is indeed a profound doctrine.  Yet despite the mystery of the Trinity, I don’t believe that we should reject the Trinity because our minds cannot grasp it.  To me, the doctrine of the Trinity proves that our God is the one true and living God because we can’t grasp Him.  If you can figure your god out, how are they God?  Isaiah mentions the foolishness of false gods made in our image in Isaiah 40:18-20.  A false god is a god who can be understood by our minds.  But not the true God.  Even Paul said in Romans 11:33-36 that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are beyond our understanding.  Who can fathom a God as we find in the Bible?  This God who created all things.  This God who does miracles.  This God who saves sinners.  This God who loves us with an undying love.  This God who hears our prayers and answers them for His own glory and purposes.  This God who sovereignly controls all things by His power and even upholds the universe by His word (Hebrews 1:3).

Yet as we begin to study the doctrine of the Trinity it is important to first establish the reality of God and the oneness of God.  The Bible makes a basis assumption about God and His existence and that is that God does exist.  Genesis 1:1 simply opens with God creating the world.  The Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to give evidences for the existence of God.  In fact, Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASB).  Faith in the existence of God is by no means a “blind faith” meaning that God has not given us evidence of His existence but certainly we do need faith (and God requires faith) in order to approach God.  I believe that this applies to studying God as well.  An atheist might begin to read the Bible but until faith begins to build and the person begins to look for the living God (who does exist), they will always read and study God with a notion that He does not exist.  But when a person says honestly before God, “I don’t know if You exist but I want to find You if You do”, I believe God responds to such a heart.

Scripture gives us three basic ways that we can know God exists.  First, creation.  Secondly, the Bible.  Third, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Creation – Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 both teach that nature itself speaks about the glory and existence of God.  The wonder of creation causes us to look behind the creation to the One who created it.  Even today scientists are always looking for the creator behind the creation.  How could one look at human DNA for example and believe that it happened merely by chance?  How can one look out at the vastness of space and believe that a “big bang” simply threw creation into order?  When one looks at a newborn baby in their arms, how can they ignore the fact that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)?  Creation cries out to us, as Psalm 19:1-3 points out, to the glory of God.  Creation causes us to stop and question, “Who created all this?”

Bible – The fact of creation should in turn lead us to the Bible.  The Bible reveals who created all things.  We can open the Bible to Genesis 1-2 and read how God created all things and how all that we see, including ourselves, came to be.  While we must accept Genesis 1-2 by faith, there is evidence that there is a creator in His creation.  How can one look at a glorious painting and ignore the painter who painted the painting?  Yet we do this all the time in secular science.  We ignore the fact that creation points to the existence of God.

Yet to just acknowledge a creator is not enough.  Some agnostics acknowledge that a creator is probably out there but they reject that the creator is the God of the Bible.  Most of the time, I have found, this rejection is not based on knowledge but upon the refusal of people to submit to the authority of God.  If God did create all things and if the Bible is true then we must submit to Him and do what He has said for us to do according to His Law (1 Timothy 1:8-11).  To simply say that we believe in God or in a creator is not enough.  There is a yearning within us to know this creator.  We don’t want to simply say that He is there but we want to know who He is and what He is like.  That is a basic human element.  To know our creator.  This mark, along with many others, raises us up above animals and plants.  We want to know our creator.  We want to learn about Him who created.

This happens in the special revelation of the Bible.  The Bible reveals God faithfully though not fully.  Nothing can fully capture who God is.  His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours.  But the Bible does reveal enough about God that we can know Him.  Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is found in knowing God.  Paul said in Acts 17:24-27 that God created all things but through His Son, we can know Him (Acts 17:30-31).

The Lord Jesus Christ – The reality of God becoming flesh (John 1:14) is found in Jesus.  The God who created all things in Genesis 1-2 was born of the Virgin Mary in Luke 2.  The God of Job, the unseen One, is now seen in the person of Jesus Christ walking in the land of Israel (John 14:9).  Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1).  He was fully God and fully Man.  How can this be?  Certainly there is mystery in the incarnation of God but the reality is that God came down and walked among us (Isaiah 9:6-7).  Jesus was God (Romans 9:5).  In Colossians 1:15-17 we read, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created , in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”   What a wonderful view of the Lord Jesus we get from Colossians 1:15-17.

In Philippians 2:5-11 we read of the incarnation of our Lord.  We read how He left eternity and equality with God the Father in order to become man.  We read in Philippians 2:7 how Jesus emptied Himself and became a man.  He became the suffering servant of Isaiah 53.  Jesus became a man fully dependent upon the Father (Hebrews 5:8-9).  Jesus lived fully to the glory of God and lived a sinless life so that He could bear our sins (1 Peter 2:21-24).

Jesus reveals God to us.  If you want to understand God, study Jesus.  In John 14:8-11 Jesus tells His disciples to look to Him for who God is and what God is like.  Some try to paint God in the image of man, that He is a harsh judge or an evil dictator.  But the reality is that God is best seen in Jesus who loved us and died for us (1 John 4:10).  The love of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is nothing else but God incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/15/2011 at 1:18 PM

>If Jesus Was God, How Can He Worship God?

>I recently was witnessing to some Jehovah’s Witnesses and they questioned me and another brother by asking a question that JW’s are taught to ask, “To whom did Jesus pray to?  To whom did Jesus worship?” The obvious answer is that Jesus prayed to His Father (John 11:41-42) and He taught His disciples to pray to His Father (Matthew 6:9).  Jesus likewise worshiped His Father (Matthew 4:10).

But the problem with the JW’s question is an age old question.  I was watching a National Geographic video online about Muslims visit to Mecca and one convert to Islam was a woman from Texas who was raised Catholic and converted to Islam while in college.  She said that what was the drawing point for her was when listening to call in show on the radio, a person asked, “If Jesus is God why did He worship God?”  This, she said, caused her to rethink Jesus and consider other religions in which she ultimately became a Muslim.

People have often wondered about many sayings about Jesus such as His teachings on praying to His Father or to passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 that seem to put Christ below the Father.  If Jesus is God, the question is asked, how could He become a man and still be God?

The problem with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslim understandings about Jesus is the mystery of the incarnation of God.  Philippians 2:5-11 speaks of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  Here Paul says that Jesus laid down certain attributes of God when He became a man.  He never ceased to be God but He did voluntarily lay down certain attributes.  For example, the New Testament says that Jesus was thirsty (John 19:28), He was weary (John 4:6), and He slept (Mark 4:38) yet the Bible says that none of these things are things that God does.  Yet as a man, Jesus did these things.  In fact, Jesus was tempted by sin yet the Bible says that God cannot be tempted by sin (James 1:13) but as a man Jesus was indeed tempted to sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Passages such as Matthew 6:9 or Matthew 24:36 or 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 must be seen in light of the incarnation of Jesus (Matthew 1:23).  When we enter into eternity, all enemies will be defeated and Christ will present the perfect kingdom to the Father (Matthew 28:18).  This doesn’t mean that Christ is not co-equal and co-eternal with the Father but it shows the beauty of the trinity involved in the plan of full redemption.  At this point, all of God’s creation will be laid at His feet.

Furthermore, Jesus said that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father (John 14:9).  Jesus never said not once in the New Testament that He was the Father but He did say that He and the Father are one (John 10:30).  Colossians 1:15-18 makes it clear that Jesus possesses all the divine attributes of God and Colossians 2:9 says that all of the fullness of God was in Christ Jesus.  John 1:1 says that Jesus has always been God and He remains God.  Romans 9:5 says that Jesus is God in the flesh of a Jew.

The JW’s went on to ask us, “To whom does the Father worship?”  My friend with me didn’t skip a beat and he said, “According to Hebrews 1:8-9, the Father calls the Son God so the Father praises the Son.”  The JW didn’t know what to say.  Even the poorly translated New World Translation has Hebrews 1:8-9 translated much the same.  The Father, who is God, calls the Son God in Hebrews 1:9.  That is incredible.  Even in the New World Translation calls Jesus God in John 20:28 which would be blasphemy if in fact Jesus were not God.

Jesus is God the Son and the wonderful truth is that He sits at the right hand of God the Father to make intercession for the saints of God (Hebrews 7:25).  Unlike the Muslims, we have one who sits at God’s right hand for us.  Hebrews 10:19-22 tells us that we can come before the Father because of the incarnation of God.  Jesus cries out before the Father for us (Romans 8:34).  I don’t have to earn God’s righteousness as the JW and Muslim does.  I have God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24; Philippians 3:9).  I don’t pray out of obligation nor do I offer vein prayers with the same words over and over again as many religions including Islam does (Matthew 6:7-8).  I come into God’s presence because of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 1:7).  I come before the Father not fearing that He hates me but knowing that He loves me in His Son (Romans 5:8-9).  I am able to worship God in spirit and in truth because of Jesus Christ (John 4:23-24).  I don’t have to fear death because of Jesus (Hebrews 2:9).

As I watched this video on Mecca and the Muslim pilgrimage, I am thankful to be a Christian.  I don’t have to go to Jerusalem to find God.  I don’t have to fear coming before God.  I don’t have to wonder if God knows me or if He is satisfied with me.  I don’t have to go through vein rituals to come into God’s presence.  I don’t have to spend my energy walking the streets of Mecca or Jerusalem or any other city for God came to me in the person of Jesus and I am saved through Him (John 3:3-7).  I urge you to pray for the nearly 1 billion Muslims to hear the gospel and repent and be saved (Acts 17:30-31).  Like the Jews whom Paul prayed for in Romans 10:1-4, I pray this for the Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other religions.  Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and these poor Muslims are seeking in vein for a god who doesn’t exist.  Unless they repent, they will die (Luke 13:5; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Revelation 21:7-8).  My prayer is that the gospel will bring eternal life through Christ into Saudi Arabia and to Jehovah Witnesses as well (Romans 6:23).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/27/2011 at 5:56 PM

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