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Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Content |

Christ’s Humanity

Christ's Humanity.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

The story of Christ’s birth is nothing short of remarkable. From the fulfillment of prophecy to the virgin birth, the journey to Bethlehem, and the escape from Herod, the accounts given in the gospels are truly incredible! But even beyond the wise men traveling from the East and the host of angels appearing to the shepherds, something amazing had happened. Something mankind had never experienced before. The Living God, the Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords, took on humanity – coming to live among men as a human being.

During His time on Earth, the Lord Jesus was a person just like you and me. He grew up in the small town of Nazareth, an isolated village. As a child He lived in obedience to His parents, Joseph and Mary, just like we obey our parents while we live in their home. And, like you and me, the Lord had a physical body with physical needs. He grew hungry. After fasting in the desert for 40 days, Satan tempted the Lord to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger. He even grew tired. While the disciples feared for their lives aboard a ship near capsizing in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, the Lord was sleeping in the stern. But above all these things, as a person, Jesus was tempted in every way that we are. However, unlike us, He was without sin. Although He was found in human form, the Lord Jesus was obedient to the Father, even to death.

Christ came into this world as a man so that His body could be broken to satisfy God’s wrath, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It is amazing that God the Son came into this world as a baby. What is even more amazing is that He loved us so much that He became a human to be the one perfect sacrifice to make us holy. We should be so thankful that, on that day 2000 years ago, the Word became flesh. The Lord of all creation came to Earth as a human being to take our place and pay the debt that we owed.

-Josh Wiley

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Posted on Jan 4, 2014 in Content |

Born to Reign

Born to Reign
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-3, 14

…You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
Psalm 138:2

In contrast to all the other times God had entered time and space to visit Earth, on this one night Jesus Christ became a man to live with men. In becoming a man, Jesus is called “the last Adam”, comparing the first man with the first God-man. This comparison reveals an attribute of the incarnation of Christ well-worth consideration.

The Likeness

Man was made in God’s image and after His likeness. (Gen. 1:26) Many have tried to determine what this actually means, but let’s focus on the change that we see in the coming of Christ. Romans says that He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. (Rom. 8:3) Men had destroyed themselves, their sin separating them from the Most High. So Adam was created in the likeness of God, but Christ had to enter into a fallen world and became the likeness of sinful flesh.

The Men

When Adam was created, he was by all consideration “perfect”. However, on that fateful day when man first sinned against God, all of creation fell. In contrast, we look at the God-man Jesus Christ. He not only lived a perfect life, but He was able to redeem the fallen world. Not only did He undo the actions of the first Adam, but He also lifted us higher than the angels in heaven through salvation. How could this be done? How could we be lifted to such a high throne as the one described for all those who believe?

The Destiny

But one testified in a certain place, saying,
“What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
Hebrews 2:6-8

When looking at the book of Hebrews, we see the deity of Christ in chapter one and the humanity of Christ in chapter two. Christ rules as the God of Heaven and Earth, but these verses emphasize that He also rules as man because it is man’s destiny to rule God’s creation. Back in Genesis, it says that man is to have dominion and rule the creation God had given rule to him. But man could not rule because he failed and fell. This inheritance was left unclaimed for thousands of years as God waited for a perfect man to take it up and rule as a man – to fulfill the destiny of a man. This is why it mentions that Jesus became lower than the angels. He had to become man. It is not until we hear the cries of a baby in a manger outside of Bethlehem and the cries from the cross outside of Jerusalem that we see the perfect man! Now we see Jesus ascended to His throne as a ruling man and He bids us to come with Him in His victory to reign.

-David Nicholson

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Posted on Jan 1, 2014 in Content |

Why He Came

Why He Came.

Mark 10:45; Luke 5:32; Matthew 10:34; John 12:47

The Savior revealed why He came to this earth
Attended by strangers and the poor at His birth:
He came not to be served, but to serve you and me,
And to give, as a ransom, His life on the tree;
He came not to call those who thought they were good
But for sinners who longed for His soul-cleansing blood.
And the lesson is clear for His people to see:
If the Master’s a servant, then what should we be?

But the Lord also said, “I came not to send peace”
Though His sword with two edges may captives release,
He will also divide between husband and wife
If one chooses death and one chooses life.
And the cross, like the pillar of fire, we know,
Will be light to His friends but night to His foe;
And still Jesus weeps over all those who choose
His death to despise and His life to refuse.

And how grateful we are that the first time He came
It was not as the Judge to condemn or to blame;
Not our death but His, not a throne but a tree,
Not for glory but grief, not for Him but for me!
A reed for a scepter, a thorn-woven crown,
Anointed with spittle, an old coat for His gown;
Lifted up not in honor but in sorrow and shame—
The Savior! My Savior! O blest be His name!

So now, like the shepherds, we worship God’s Lamb,
Like the angels, we praise the eternal I AM;
Like wise men, we yield to Him all that we have
And herald the news of One mighty to save;
Some day in His palace we’ll bow at His feet,
Remember that night and the story repeat
When the rich became poor, when God became man,
When Giver was gift, and Lion was Lamb.

—J.B. Nicholson

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Posted on Dec 30, 2013 in Content |

The Glorious Word

The Glorious Word
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In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. And the Word created all things. The one who bears this title “the Word”, is the baby who was born in Bethlehem – and He was called Jesus.

This Word that was in the beginning was the Son of God. He created all things. He is heir of all things. He is the very brightness of God’s glory. The Word was actually born and lived with His people, and everyone missed who He really was. Everyone missed His glory!

Glories Before

Years before His coming, the Word showed His glory to the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah saw Him on a throne high and lifted up. The train of His robe filled the temple. He was attended to by seraphim angels who cried out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The entire earth is full of His glory.” This Lord of hosts is the same one who was born in Bethlehem – Jesus.

Hidden Glories

When Jesus was born, the Word lived among us. Some people saw glimpses of His glory, but what they saw wasn’t anything compared to the glory which He had before He was born that night! His glory was not seen by the world He created, “they knew Him not”. Nor was it seen by many of His own people, “they did not receive Him”.

Jesus laid aside His own glory and walked a lowly path with men. The One who was on the throne, high and lifted up, who holds all things together by the word of His power, who created all things for Himself, who is the All and In All, who is the brightness of God’s glory – He was born in Bethlehem, placed in a manger, and nailed to a cross. He was not known by the very world He formed and held together, not received by the very people that He loved and cared for through the wilderness and beyond.

Future Glories

Near the end of His life, Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven, asking to be glorified “with the glory which I had with You before the world had begun”. He went on to pray, “Father I desire that they (His disciples) be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory.” Jesus wanted His disciples to see His glory!

The baby born in Bethlehem brought God to us. In a coming day, His desire will be fulfilled. We will be with Him where He is, and His glory will be shown to us in a greater way than we have ever experienced. Greater than what Isaiah ever experienced. We will behold His glory. And as we begin to understand His glory, we will look back to the night when the Word was born in Bethlehem, and we will marvel at the unsearchable riches of His grace towards us. That He was born in Bethlehem.

-Nathanael Pena

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Posted on Dec 24, 2013 in Content |

God With Us: Promises Fulfilled

God With Us

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God is a God of promises. Let’s consider God’s desires that flow from some of the promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Fellowship Restored: A Promise to Adam

Ever since the relationship between God and man was damaged, seemingly beyond repair, God’s desire has been to be with us once again.

God made His first promise after He had to seek out Adam & Eve in the garden after they had sinned. Fellowship between God and man had been broken. God promised that a Savior would come and bruise the head of the serpent, but would pay a price for His victory. Fellowship would be restored through His sacrifice.

God desired so greatly to renew His fellowship with mankind that He was willing to make this promise; and so He made Himself lower than the very angels who would herald His coming. He was willing to be born and laid in a feed trough. He became the lowest so He could once again have fellowship with His people.

Salvation from Separation: A Promise to Abraham

The next promise that we will look at is one God made to a childless elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah. God made a promise that He would give Abraham a child, and through that child the whole world would be blessed. He promised Abraham that he would eventually have a family that could not be counted, a family of every tongue, creed, and nation.

Years later, Abraham may have wondered how this would come to pass as he led his beloved son, Isaac who carried the wood for his own sacrifice, up Mount Moriah. But it was to be a picture of how God’s own beloved Son would carry a cross up a hillside, ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice to bring salvation. Through His sacrifice, we are no longer separated from God by sin.

King of Kings: A Promise to David

God also made a covenant with King David. He promised that David’s throne would be established forever. Born in squalor, yet a descendant of David, Jesus was in line to be the King of Israel. It was no wonder that Herod sent soldiers to slaughter Him. He was a threat to the throne. Years later, God allowed His Son to be killed, hung on a shameful tree. Above His thorn crowned head hung His sentence – This is Jesus, King of the Jews. Now Christ is raised from the dead and set on the right hand of God. It is written on His thigh “King of kings and Lord of lords”! He is Ruler not just over Israel, but also over all creation. Not only did God want restored fellowship with man, He wanted to make us His family, kings and priests to be co-rulers with His Son.

As we remember Christ’s birth this season, remember His name foretold in Isaiah – Immanuel: God With Us. Jesus came to Earth to fulfill God’s promises to mankind. He came to make us His people, and once again be our God.

-Sharon Sax

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