JESUS! In Word and Song

WEEK 11

JESUS GREW IN WISDOM

“And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom” (Isa 11:2 ESV).“And Jesus increased in wisdom”(Luke 2:52 ESV). “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him”(Luke 2:40 ESV).

“The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught” (Isa 50:4 ESV).

“Christ was filled with the Spirit from the womb and received his gifts and graces from [God] without measure.”1

“From birth to baptism the Spirit directed His mental and moral development, and strengthened and kept Him through all the years of preparation and toil. He was in the Carpenter as truly as in the Messiah, and the work at the bench was as perfect as the sacrifice on the Cross” (S. Chadwick).2

As CHRIST was able to perform the will of His FATHER by relying on the HOLY SPIRIT, so I, too, can perform the will of my FATHER. All I have to do is ask.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13 ESV)!

“As Jesus was entirely dependent on the Father for all His words and all His works, so the believer can do nothing of himself. He must cease entirely from his own doing, and wait for the working of God in him”3

Octavius Winslow, in his comments below speaks of the HOLY SPIRIT and how He works in man. It is by the same process and progression He worked in JESUS, as the Son of Man.

It is a work of time. The soul is placed in the school of deep experience and is led step by step, stage by stage. The knowledge of self and of Christ increases, deeper views of indwelling sin are discovered, the heart’s treachery is more acutely felt, the devices of Satan are better known, the mystery of God’s gracious and providential dealings are more clearly unfolded and better understood.4

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ENDNOTES

(11) STOP. ASK. For the SPIRIT

1. John Gill, “Commentary of Isaiah 11:2,” 1999, The New John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible, 29 January 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentaires/eng/geb/isaiah-11.html.

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

            3. Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1979) 118.

            4. Octavius Winslow, Evening Thoughts (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2005) 188.

            5. Robert Hawker, “Commentary of Isaiah 11:2,” 1828, Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary, 30 January 2021, https://www.studylight.org/commentary/isaiah/11-2.html#verse-pmc.

            6. Albert Barnes, “Commentary on Isaiah 11:2,” 1870, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible, 30 January 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/isaiah/11-2.html#verse-bnb.

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.

TRUE CHRISTIANS OR FAUX?

DEFINING TERMS

In 1 Corinthians Paul addresses the saints in Corinth – “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Cor 1:2 ESV).  He speaks to the entire church but later he calls some ‘babes” and some “spiritual” saints.

“…in the church of Christ there are two classes of Christians: (1) Those who have lived many years as believers and yet always remain babes; (2) Those who are spiritual men because they have given themselves up to the power and the leading of the Holy Spirit…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p8).

“The SPIRITUAL were those who, after conversion, had continued to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, no longer continuing as ‘babes in Christ.’”  James Burton Coffman (ref#298).  Babes “were in Christ, and so were new creatures…though babes and weaklings in it” John Gill (ref#300).  Babes were carnal “…those who were continuing to live like the unconverted…” James Burton Coffman (ref#298).

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.…For while there is jealously and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way” (1 Cor 3:1,3 ESV)?

Backsliders: “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you:…” (Jer 3:14 KJV).  “…we do not speak of the destruction of the root principle in your soul, but of the decline of its power…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 22nd).

The terms “backslider,” “people of the flesh,” “carnal,” “babes” can depict a Christian (a not-advancing Christian) or a non-Christian since no one but GOD knows the condition of the heart, but in 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul uses these terms to address Christians.

REDEMPTION

NOW UNDER GRACE

“…a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6 ESV).

“…the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator and surety; called “new”, not because newly made, for it was made with Christ from everlasting; nor newly revealed, for it was made known to Adam after his fall, and to all the Old Testament patriarchs, and was exhibited under the legal dispensation, though but darkly, in types, shadows, sacrifices, &c. which therefore waxing old is vanished away; and the covenant of grace is now more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation, free from all the obscurity it before laboured under; and therefore is called “new”, as well as because it will always continue so, and never give way to another covenant: now the Gospel, and the ministry of it, is nothing else but an exhibition of the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises…” John Gill (ref#283).

“You are ‘not under the law,’ Paul says, ‘but under grace’ (Rom 6:14)….you are in an entirely new position.  You are under grace, and grace is unmerited favor.  It is kindness shown to people who deserve nothing but punishment. Grace means that God, because He is God, looks upon us with favor when we do not deserve anything at all.  That is what ‘under grace’ means” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

“God is no longer just a lawgiver to you—He is your Father….It is the difference between being in a relationship of law and a relationship of love.  You are in an entirely new position….You know that He is determined to bring you back to the perfection in which He originally made you, and that all the forces of His love and grace and compassion are working in your favor” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

FATHER, through Your grace of unmerited favor I have become new.  You have removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh—“…the recovery of a fully sensitive, fully functioning moral conscience…” Doug Newton (ref#166, p108).  Hallelujah!