A Mighty Fortress is Our God
‘“The Word became flesh.” The statement is appalling, overwhelming. Out of the infinite distances, into the infinite nearness; from the unknowable, to the knowable; from the method of self-expression appreciable by Deity alone, to a method of self-expression understandable of the human’.
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Think on these Things
In a day of constant bad news and misinformation giving heed to the words of the apostle Paul is so very important:
‘Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things’.
"Many bulls have surrounded Me;
The Eternal Word
The gospel of John is written with plain language to communicate profound truth concerning the Son of God. The opening words of the gospel are simply majestic and majestically simple: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God’ – John 1:1-2.
The Word is an eternal title of our Lord Jesus Christ. As such He is the one who expresses, reveals, and communicates the glory of God.
He did so by creation: ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made’ – John 1:3.
He has done so by incarnation: ‘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 hymn writer said it well:
O the glory of the grace,
Shining in the Saviour's face!
Telling sinners from above,
"God is light" and "God is love".
Yet, the wonder and tragedy is: ‘He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him’ – John 1:10.
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven".
Christian at the Cross
Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Isaiah 26:1. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.
He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.
Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.” Then he stood still a while, to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Zech. 12:10. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold, three Shining Ones came to him, and saluted him with, “Peace be to thee.” So the first said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” Mark 2:5; the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment, Zech. 3:4; the third also set a mark on his forehead, Eph. 1:13, and gave him a roll with a seal
upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the celestial gate: so they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing,
“Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!”
Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan (1628-1688)
My Grace is Sufficient
'The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is'.
'It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh'.
Time governs, measures and limits our existence. Remember you have only so much of it to spend, so spend it wisely.
Final authority for the Christian is the Bible, the word of God. It governs belief, life and practice. Therefore, on every subject the believer refers to scripture, and accepts its teaching as absolute. The Bible, however, is not only relevant in its truth to Christians, what it says speaks to the world. God reveals Himself as Creator, moral lawgiver and Judge of all. He is the Supreme ruler of the universe and His word is final.
'For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: For all are Thy servants'.
We live in a time when final authority for so many people is themselves or whoever or whatever is influencing them. Sadly, being arrogant, self-opinionated and demeaning to others with whom you disagree appears to be an increasingly prevailing attitude. People feel free to express their opinion in the most aggressive and dismissive manner to the widest possible audience by means of the many communication channels available today. The result is that society is becoming more hostile and intolerant while nothing is sacred anymore and respect for others diminishes.
The abandonment of the Bible as final authority and the rejection of an ultimate standard to which all can appeal and by which all can live is detrimental to any people for it means that the once universally accepted moral and social values that restrain sin and enhance life are lost. The result is that values are determined by the ‘shifting sands’ and madness of political correctness.
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away".
‘The question is not, who uses faith and who uses reason? Everyone uses both. The question instead should be, who has the most reasonable faith?’
J. F. Baldwin