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May You Have A Blessed Christmas!
May You All Have A Blessed Christmas Enjoying It’s Wonder!
(Before we begin our study, let me quickly explain that, although I agree with the main thrust of Phil Robertson’s message, I am sorrowful that he presented his message using some crude language that was unnecessary to say the least and harmful to the cause of Christ.
Without knowing the man and his personal life, it is impossible for me to make a judgment about the intent and motivation behind the inappropriate phrases. Based upon his personal testimony, I am trusting that they are the result of his upbringing and environment and not an indication of any malice in his heart towards those of whom he spoke.
Who among us can say that we have never said things that have harmed the cause of Christ and brought sorrow to our hearts? However I do want to take a look at the Biblical principles he was presenting in the interview and the importance of recognizing their application to our nation and world today.)
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) – To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;… He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
The past few days has given us living proof of the truthfulness of this wonderful text of Scripture. How true it is that our Sovereign Lord is in control of the events that take place among men and that He brings these events to pass in His perfect timing, while accomplishing the goals for which they were determined.
The Bible also speaks of this principle in…
(Daniel 2:20-23) – Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what [is] in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast [now] made known unto us the king’s matter.
Here, we see that our Lord uses the timing of the events of mankind to teach us many of the deep, secret things about Himself and our condition before Him. In other words, He shows us, through His control of the events of mankind, many truths that are very difficult for us to understand and accept as truth.
This principle has come to light this past week as our nation, in the midst of the Christmas season, has witnessed the events surrounding Phil Robertson, A & E network and the world’s response to both of them. I would like us to take a few moments and try to take a Scriptural look at what we can learn from this week’s series of events, and come to understand that these events were perfectly timed by the Lord.
First, the Lord has clearly presented to us the truth of the existence and results of sin in our world.
The most controversial of Robertson’s statements involved various types of sin that exist in our world today. The teachings of the Bible confirm the existence of sin, and give us a list of the individual sins that were mentioned by Robertson….
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Secondly, we have clearly displayed the lost world’s blindness to their own sin and the truths of the Word.
As Robertson gave his listing of sins, the appropriate response was for the world to acknowledge that sin exists and be motivated from a Godly sorrow to confess and repent of their sins. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Instead, we find them denying the existence of some of those sins, justifying their commission and, in doing so, rising up in opposition to these truths of the Word.
(Isaiah 5:20-24) – Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!… Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
(2 Timothy 3:13-15) – But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(Just a side note: this very principle should bring out a spirit of gratitude and praise from the heart of all who have been brought to a Scriptural repentance and trust in Christ. We were all in this condition of spiritual blindness and apart from the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives, we would also be in denial of these truths of God.)
Thirdly, we have presented to us the solution to sin and its effects in the world.
Here is where we begin to see the wonderful timing of our Lord. Although Phil Robertson presented the need for repentance and faith in Christ, it was not included in most of the news accounts of the interview with him. But the Lord has a way of overcoming any obstacle that opposes His will.
What better time for our nation to be presented with its sinfulness and need of repentance than the Christmas season when all mankind have their thoughts pointed towards the coming of Christ to the earth to save lost mankind from the very sins of which Robertson had spoken.
In direct response to the sin of this world we read that ….
(Matthew 1:20-25) – But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 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. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
(1 John 4:14) – And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.
(John 3:16-17) – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
It is only during the Christmas season that the lost world has their minds pointed to the truth that God sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins. Just as the new reports of Robertson’s interview reveal to the world their sinful condition, so too, the Christmas season is placing on display the One who was given by God to save the world from their sins.
How is this salvation received? It is by placing faith in the person and work of the One who was born in Bethlehem. It is by placing our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus is the One who came to this world and died on the cross bearing the sins of His people. His body was buried for three days and three nights in the tomb and then He rose again the third day, proving to us all that His payment for sin on the cross was accepted by His Father in heaven…
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4) – Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
As a matter of fact, Christ came and died on the cross to save people from the exact same sins that Robertson was talking about. Notice in the 1 Corinthians 6: passage that gave us a list of the sins Robertson mentioned, we find the concluding verse that says .. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Christ came to save those who have committed homosexual acts, adulterous acts, and other immoral, perverse acts…. There is no sin so great for which the grace of God cannot grant forgiveness and cleansing.
But if we read this verse closely we find that those of us who have been saved were guilty of these same offenses as well… “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Therefore there is no room for feeling of superiority on our part, nor is there room for boasting. Folks, we were in the very same “boat” as the unsaved that are around us. Apart from God’s grace, we would still be facing an eternity of separation from Him in the Lake of Fire having committed the same sins as they.
That is why we are to use this holiday season (and every season of the year) to humbly share Christ and the forgiveness He offers to the sinful world around us. Let us put down the carnal aspects of the Christmas season and use it as the perfect opportunity to share Christ with those who are in desperate need of Him.
The Lord has graciously given to each one of us the perfect opportunity to address the sinful state of the world and their need of Christ through the use of the news stories about Robertson’s interview and the Christmas season that is upon us.
May we all use these events to bring honor and glory to His name.
For more information about the Bible’s teachings on homosexual relationships: http://wp.me/pU88A-nE
Since this issue always comes up this time of year, I thought I would share Bro MacArthur’s take on the subject. I do basically agree with his stand on this. If you would like to read my posting on this subject please click the following link:
I’ll be taking a break from the SIH blog for a few weeks for Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The daily devotions and other weekend postings will be auto-posted for each day. During my time away, I will obviously, be unable to answer your comments or questions.
However, I will be checking my email daily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also as a quick reminder, our Proverbs devotional series will continue beginning December 26th and will finish on December 30th. Our new devotional series “Reflections Of His Grace”, a verse by verse look at Ephesians will begin on January 2nd of 2014.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness in following, commenting and reblogging SIH materials. I am hoping that this year’s postings have been a blessing for you. I am trusting the Lord He will use SIH in the coming year for His honor and glory and to be a blessing to each one of us.
Once again, may the Lord bless each one of you and your families this Christmas season. May Jesus Christ Be Praised In All Things!
Luke 2:10-11 (KJV) 10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
The news given to the shepherds by the angels of God, was news that would change the course of all mankind. This news was a declaration of the long awaited Messiah’s entrance into the world resulting in His work which accomplished the redemption of sinners and His reign in the hearts of men.
In our continuing look at Jesus’ first coming to the earth, let’s take this morning to complete our look at this wonderful announcement of the birth that forever changed the world….
For unto you is born this day in the city of David
The angel’s message was of a personal nature to the shepherds. The angel did not say “Born this day ….”, but said “For UNTO YOU is born this day…”. The Messiah’s coming was done on a personal level for each and every one of us. His sacrifice was not performed as a general act of benevolence for “mankind”. Not at all. He came specifically to save HIS PEOPLE from their sins…. Matt 1:21 – “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
The angel goes further by telling of the location of His birthplace, the city of David, Bethlehem (“the house of bread”) Luke 2:4. What better town for the “bread of life” in which to be born! (John 6:35,48)
The angel, then, describes the Messiah (or the Christ), giving Him titles that explain both the mission and results of His first coming (salvation of sinners and rulership of world)…
The promised Messiah, Jesus, would save His people from their sins and the effects of their sins (in time – spiritual death, spiritual enslavement, God’s punishment for sin….. in eternity – deliverance from sickness, sorrow, and the presence of sin… the list of blessings of salvation is endless!)
which is Christ the Lord.
The promised Christ is also described here as “Lord” or “Ruler”. At His first coming He secured His rulership over all by obtaining victory over Satan, sin and death (Heb 2:14, Roms 8:1-4). Based upon His faithfulness to the Father, He has received the sovereign authority to rule over all the world (Eph 1:21-22). He obtains the willful submission of His people as He rules in their hearts (Luke 17:20-21) while He Sovereignly controls those who do not recognize, nor seek to submit to, His commands (Col 2:8-15). He truly is Lord over all.
It is the first coming of the Messiah that we will be celebrating in the days ahead. As we enjoy our Christmas exchanging gifts with our family, friends and acquaintances, let’s remember that this is the world’s day to commemorate the greatest gift that was ever given. It was the Messiah, the very Son of God, given by God the Father, for the salvation and rulership over all the world. Let’s keep Jesus in the forefront of our minds as we celebrate His birth on Christmas Day.
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.
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