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.

OVERWHELMED WITH GRIEF

Safety in God

“When, overwhelmed with grief,

My heart within me dies,

Helpless and far from all relief,

To heaven I lift my eyes.

O lead me to the Rock

That’s high above my head.

And make the covert of thy wings

My shelter and my shade!

Within thy presence, Lord,

For ever I’d abide;

Thou art the Tower of my defense,

The Refuge where I hide.          Isaac Watts (ref#224, song #140).

“Turn every loss of creature-good into an occasion for greater nearness to Christ. The dearest and liveliest creature is only a cistern of inferior and limited good. If it contains any sweetness, the Lord put it there. If, instead of leading you to, it draws you from the Fountain, the Lord will, in unerring wisdom, tender mercy, and faithful love, break it so that you can learn that, while no creature can substitute for Him, He Himself can substitute for all creatures. Thus His friendship, His love, and His presence are frequently the sweetest and most fully enjoyed when He has taken everything else away. Jesus loves you far too much to allow another, however dear, to eclipse and rival Him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 21st).

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him” (Nahum 1:7 ESV).

“When you pass through the waters, [He] will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For [He is] the LORD your God” (Isa 43:2-3 ESV).

REPENTANCE AND MY HEART

“Do not let my heart incline to any evil” (Ps 141:4 ESV).

“We pray, ‘Lord, forgive me my sins’ without getting specific and thus deceive ourselves into thinking we have ‘confessed and been forgiven’ when we have not. True confession of sin follows heart-felt repentance of specifically identified sins. And because the problem is in us, that can’t be done without the Spirit’s help” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p82).

“[W]e must not only correct outward actions but that those must begin with the heart; for though in the opinion of men we appear to change our life for the better, yet we will make little progress if our heart is not changed” John Calvin (ref#164, April 20th).

“[T]he natural product of the heart is changed by the Holy Ghost, when this natural love of sin is cast out, then takes place that change that the Word of God calls ‘repentance’” J.C. Ryle (ref#363, p35).

“The heart of a saint that comes near to God is pained at the memory of old sins; and together with a present sweetness of Divine love, there is a sort of anguish at the thoughts of past iniquities” Isaac Watts (ref#333, p257).

“As every sin has the more need of pardon by how much the greater it is, so God will have the more glory in pardoning it by how much the greater it is” Joseph Caryl (ref#333, p171).

ASSURANCES

THE HIGHEST JOY

“The richest, the most celestial, the most transporting joy that mortal mind can know is a full assurance of the love of God” C.H. Spurgeon (ref#255, p27).

How can we be assured GOD loves us?  It will do us no good to assure ourselves that we love GOD.

“The picture of the Bible is not that people are ever seeking for God because they love Him. That is the popular theology—that men and women are seeking God and that God responds to their request.  Not at all (ref#255, p23)!  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us…”(1 John 4:10 ESV).

GOD convinces us that He loves us through His written Word and through His Word lived out in His Son: To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins”(1 John 4:9-10 Phillips)

“The more thy glories strike my eyes

The humbler I shall lie;

Thus, while I sink, my joys shall rise

Unmeasurably high” Isaac Watts (ref#224, song, 475).

THANKSGIVING

Chord Progression:  (C6  F#dim  C/G  G)  (Cmaj  Dm7  Fmaj  G)

PSALM 8

…“O LORD,…how wondrous great

Is thine exalted name!

The glories of thy heav’nly state

Let men and babes proclaim” Isaac Watts (ref#102, p14 [Ps 8:1]).

 

“Yea, in the smallest works of Thy creation

A mighty voice for who can hear is put.

So shall Thy foes who hate Thy revelation

Be stilled, their mouths be shut” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p265 [Ps 8:2]).

 

You, the Babe of Bethlehem and the Mighty GOD,

Still the enemy and the avenger

Not by Your almighty power,

But by the weakness of infants (ref#17, [Ps 8:2]).

 

“O Lord…Thy name is writ in glory

O’er all Thy works for who have eyes to see.

Stars unto stars rehearse Creation’s story,

Their Maker’s majesty” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p265 [Ps 8:1]).

 

“O LORD,…heav’nly King,

Thy name is all divine;

Thy glories round the earth are spread,

And o’er the heav’ns they shine” Isaac Watts (ref#102, p13 [Ps 8:1]).

ADORATION

Chord Progression: (C A7 Dm Bdim) (C F C G)

YOU SET YOUR GLORY ABOVE THE HEAVENS (PSALM 8)

“O Lord our God,

Thy name is writ in glory

O’er countless worlds

that tell Creation’s story” Arthur S. Way (ref#38, p265, [Ps 8]).

 

To You, “Adonai…Director, Ruler

Judge, Supporter of men” (ref#15, [Ps 8:1]).

“…the majesty and glory of your name

fills all the earth and” (Ps 8:1 TLB) heav’n.

 

O LORD, brilliant LORD,

how excellent is Your name,

Your majestic name fills the earth!

Your greatness is Your fame (Ps 8:1)!

 

“O LORD, our heav’nly King,

Thy name is all divine;

Thy glories round the earth are spread,

And o’er the heav’ns they shine” Isaac Watts (ref#102, p13, [Ps 8]).

 

FATHER, You have displayed Your splendor;

In the heavens You establish Your faithfulness (Ps 8:1).

Your unfailing love will last forever;

In it I will always be blest.