JESUS! In Word and Song

WEEK 6

JESUS IS FULLY GOD, FULLY MAN

Christ possesses the fullness of the divine nature and attributes (Col 1:19). In Greek philosophical thought, matter was evil; spirit was good. Thus, it was unthinkable that God would ever take on a human body. [The Apostle] Paul refutes that false teaching by stressing the reality of Christ’s incarnation. Jesus was not only fully God, but fully human as well.1

“Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:5-7 ESV).

“Our Lord emptied Himself, but the Father gave to His self-emptied Son the fullness of His Spirit. He did not cease to be God, but He became in all things human and was subject to such conditions as were possible to human nature possessed of His Spirit.”2

Fully GOD: “Jesus did not give up any of his divine attributes at the incarnation. He remained in full possession of all of them. For if he were to ever give up any of his divine attributes, he would cease being God.”3

Fully man: “He was not only a man in appearance and likeness, but in reality, having the same common nature, distinguished by the same specific differences, but united to his own eternally divine nature.”4 “Jesus did not cease to be fully human after the resurrection. He will be a man forever as he represents redeemed humanity for all of eternity.”5

[A]ll proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is by the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit who formed Christ’s human nature, and directed the whole tenor of His earthly life. Nothing was undertaken but by the Spirit’s directing. The right use of the faculties of His soul owed their exercise to the Holy Spirit who fully controlled Him.6

Just as JESUS, the Son of Man navigated life on earth, so must I. “Jesus’ humanity means he is a true example and pattern for human character and conduct. ‘For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps’ (1 Per 2:21; cf. 1 John 2:6).”7

The two mysteries which exist in the manhood of Christ exist also in the ransomed soul; the presence of the Spirit, and the union with the Son of God. Each soul in grace is a partaker of the Divine Nature. The pure nature of Christ is the instrument of the Spirit in the soul. [T]ransformation of our nature is being accomplished, and His character gradually impressed.8

“The full flood of my life is in the perfect understanding of God and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had.”9

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ENDNOTES

(6) Fully GOD Fully Man

            1. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 18.

            2. Samuel Chadwick, The Way to Pentecost (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 2000, 2014) 79.

            3. Matt Perman, “How Can Jesus be Both God and Man?” 5 October 2006, desiringGod, 28 January 2021 https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-can-jesus-be-god-and-man.

            4. Thomas Coke, “Philippians 2:7,” 1801-1803, Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 18 January 2021 https://pro.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/philippians-2.html.

            5. The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition, 2011) 2517.

            6. A. W. Pink, The Holy Spirit (Pensacola, FL: Mt. Zion Publications), http://www.mountzion.org, 32.

            7. The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition, 2011) 2518.

            8. W. H. Hutchings, “Commentary on Ephesians 1:17,” 1905-1909, The Biblical Illustrator, 28 January 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tbi/ephesians-1.html.

            9. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1935, Fifty-fifth printing) August 31st.

            10. “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10 ESV).

11. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 302. Oliver Holden, Hymn tune: Coronation, 1792.

            12. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect . . .” (Hebrews 2:17 ESV).

            13. “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,” (Hebrews 2:11 ESV).

            14. “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things . . .” Hebrews 2:14 ESV).

15. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts, Book 1, Hymn XVI, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 302. Oliver Holden, Hymn tune: Coronation, 1792.

JESUS! In Word and Song

WEEK 5

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

“Christmas is the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church. The traditional date goes back as far as A.D. 273.”1

When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the moment in history when prophecy was fulfilled. God came to be with us. It was the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. An act He didn’t have to take part in but He chose to out of love.2

The central truth of the Christmas story is this: the Child of Christmas is God; Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity, He was born into our world as a tiny infant. He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to us all. Yet He was also fully God—all wise and all powerful.3

It was only in the Babe of Bethlehem that the whole of God’s character shone forth, that men might not merely find Him and bow before Him, but trust in Him and love Him, as one who could be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. A God in need! A God weak! A God fed by mortal woman! A God wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger! God has been through the pains of infancy from the nature of the babe on its mother’s bosom, to the nature of the full-grown and full-souled man, fighting with all his powers against the evil of the world. All this is His, and He is all; that no human being, from the strongest to the weakest, from the oldest to the youngest, but may be able to say, “What I am, Christ has been!4

Christmas is not about pretending that everything is great and we don’t struggle or suffer. Christmas is about acknowledging that sometimes things are not great and we do struggle and suffer, even at Christmas—and that God knows this, God hears us, and God has got involved for us. You live in a world that has been visited by its Maker. God showed up. God didn’t send Moses. God came himself. That’s how committed he is to your good.5

[W]e are all poor and desperate, so we all need the promise bound up in that baby. We are in need of a way out of our poverty of soul and the desperate state of our human condition. We find it in this child lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus Christ, the long-promised Messiah, Seed, Redeemer, and King.6

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Cor 1:20 ESV).

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ENDNOTES

(5) Shepherds Rejoice

            1. Rachel Dawson, “What is Christmas: Understanding the History and Origin,” 03 November 2020, Crosswalk, 06 April 2021 https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/what-is-christmas-understanding-the-history-and-origin.html.

            2. Brittany Rust, “What is the Meaning of Christmas?” 01 December 2020, Crosswalk, 06 April 2021 https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/what-is-the-true-meaning-of-christmas.html.

            3. “What is the Real Meaning of Christmas?” Grace To You, 06 April 2021 https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA70/what-is-the-real-meaning-of-christmas.

            4. C. Kingsley, “Commentary on Luke 2:7,” 1905-1909, StudyLight, 06 April 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tbi/luke-2.html.

            5. Matt Chandler, An Even Better Christmas (thegoodbook company, The Village Church, 2018) 25.

            6. Stephen Nichols, “The Real Meaning of Christmas,” 04 December 2020, Ligonier, 06 April 2021 https://www.ligonier.org/blog/real-meaning-christmas/.

            7. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 292.

            8. Watts, 497.

            9. John W. Work, adapter, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Hymnary, 06 April 2021 https://hymnary.org/text/while_shepherds_kept_their_watching.

            10. Nahum Tate, “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks,” 1700, Hymnary, 06 April 2021 https://hymnary.org/text/while_shepherds_watched_their_flocks_by.

            11. Isaac Watts, The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997) 497.

            12. “The Spirit of the LORD GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV);

            13. John Gill, “Commentary on Isaiah 9:6,” The New John gill Exposition of the Entire Bible, 06 April 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/isaiah/9-6.html#verse-geb.

JESUS! In Word and Song

WEEK 4

ADVENT WEEK 4 – LOVE

Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth. Christ connects all the Advent candles. Through him, we can have hope, peace, joy, and love.1

“It was a holy night. God’s glory came to earth and wrote a love letter to the world in the form of a newborn baby.”2 “God made His love visible.”3

And certainly the greatest truth about Christmas is that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. Christmas is really the effect of which God’s love is the cause. God’s love for mankind then is evident in the offer of the gospel to all people. And the path to the gospel has been given to everybody.4

This was the most loving act ever performed in history, for there has never been and can never be a gift greater than the life of the Son of God given for the “sins of the whole world.” Without God’s Spirit indwelling them, people cannot look to the love they have for others or even the “love” they have for God as an example to be emulated for we are born self-centered and remain so unless the Holy Spirit changes our hearts.5

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son” (1 John 4:10 ESV).

Christian love comes from God Himself. This love is not natural to fallen humanity. It originates in God and is a divine gift to His people. When we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are given a capacity for this supernatural love that has God as its source and foundation. [N]ot every human being who loves another is born of God. The kind of love of which he speaks comes only from regeneration. Without the Holy Spirit’s transformation of the human heart, no one has this capacity for love. No unregenerate person has this kind of love, and no regenerate person lacks such love. Therefore, a person who does not have the ability to love in the way John describes has not been born again. “Anyone who does not love [in this manner] does not know God.”6

The Father sent his Son to make his worst enemies into beloved children, and yet he’s crowded out by other, more earthly details — the kind of details that can be finely painted on ornaments. [W]e have an almighty Father of infinite wisdom and relentless love, a Father who authored that first Christmas and every one since. Nothing compares to the Creator of the universe sending the radiance of his own glory, the exact imprint of his nature, into his creation. Let Christmas remind you that the Son was sent, in love, from heaven, and that you are sent, in love, on earth.7

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ENDNOTES

(4) GOD Came to Us

            1. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Love and the Christ Candle for Advent. Week 4,” 21 October 2020, Christianity, 26 March 2021 https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/what-is-the-candle-of-love-and-the-christ-candle-for-advent-week-4.html.

            2. Matt Tullos, “Advent Devotional (Week 5): Christ,” 25 November 2015, Lifeway, 26 March 2021 https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/devotions-christmas-advent-week-five-christ.

            3. Mary Brack, “Advent Week 4: Love,” 18 December 2016, Grace Church, 26 March 2021 http://gracetoledo.org/2016/12/advent-week-4-love/.

            4. John MacArthur, “The Love of God, Part 1” 4 Dec 1994, Grace to You, 22 October 2021 https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-77/the-love-of-god-part-1.

            5. “The True Love of God” 2 June 2010, Grace to You, 22 October 2021 https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/true-love-god.

            6. R.C. Sproul, “The Holy Love of God” 25 June 2014, Ligonier, 22 October 2021 https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/holy-love-god.

            7. Marshall Segal, “The Forgotten Giver of Christmas” 5 December 2020, Desiring God, 22 October 2021 https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-forgotten-giver-of-christmas.

            8. Quina Aragon, “Advent Week 4: A Savior is Born,” 16 December 2020, Christianity Today, 31 March 2021 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/november-web-only/advent-week-4-savior-is-born.html.

            9. Frederick M. Lehman, “The Love of God,” 1917, Hymnary, 31 March 2021 https://hymnary.org/text/the_love_of_god_is_greater_far.

JESUS! In Word and Song

WEEK 3

ADVENT WEEK THREE – JOY

“Advent is a journey to joy, but it is not we who are traveling. Joy is coming to us.”1

This third week in Advent, let us remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth has the power to bring us great joy this Christmas season. [J]oy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.2

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10 ESV).

“The words are expressed in the same kind of language that was used by kings and emperors when a new heir was born. It was the Birth Announcement of a King.”3

“The angel opens his discourse by saying, that he announces great joy. By calling it great joy, he shows us that this blessing is so great and boundless, as fully to compensate for all the pains, distresses, and anxieties of the present life.”4

“We find joy in the truth of what God has already done and in the anticipation of what is to come, in the expectancy of God’s faithfulness. Joy overtakes uncertainty when we see how God works in unexpected ways to fulfill promises.”5

[T]he distinguishing nuance of joy is that it lasts beyond the moments of happiness. It can be present when the shine of Christmas cheer dulls or even tarnishes. Biblical joy is an attitude that God’s people adopt, not because of happy circumstances, but because of our hope in God’s love and promises.6

“We find joy in our current circumstances by choosing to remember the joy that Jesus’ redemption of our lives brings, redemption that is only possible through his birth, death, and resurrection.”7

“Let us learn to be so delighted with Christ alone, that the perception of his grace may overcome, and at length remove from us, all the distresses of the flesh.”8

In our present challenges, we anticipate the returning King, who with ‘salvation and power and glory’ will bring the hope of the fulfilled kingdom into being. We look around us at the brokenness of our world, and in the power of Jesus’ life and love, choose joy anyway.9

“You made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11 ESV).

ENDNOTES

(3) Earth Receives Her CHRIST

            1. John Piper

            2. Hope Bolinger, “What is the Candle of Joy for Advent? Week 3,” 16 December 2019, Christianity, 23 March 2021 https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/what-is-the-candle-of-joy-for-advent-week-3.html.

            3. Peter Pett, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 2013, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/2-10.html#verse-pet.

            4. John Calvin, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 1840-57, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/2-10.html#verse-cal.

            5. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021 https://millcitychurch.com/advent-week-3-the-candle-of-joy/.

            6. Kala, “Advent Week 3: Joy,” 13 December 2020, The Porch Followers of Jesus, 23 March 2021 https://www.porchsf.com/devotionals/2020/12/13/advent-week-3-joy.

            7. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021 https://millcitychurch.com/advent-week-3-the-candle-of-joy/.

            8. John Calvin, “Commentary on Luke 2:10,” 1840-57, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, 23 March 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/luke/2-10.html#verse-cal.

            9. “Advent Week 3 – The Candle of Joy,” 13 December 2020, Mill City Church, 23 March 2021 https://millcitychurch.com/advent-week-3-the-candle-of-joy/.

            10. Hymn tune, “ST. PETER.”

            11. Hymn tune, “WINCHESTER OLD,” modified.