Christmas Eve


In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin 1 John 4:10

This is my favorite scene in my favorite Christmas movie:

In it Scrooge says that he doesn’t deserve to be this happy but he can’t help himself.

Consider for a moment Christmas. We don’t deserve Christmas. We deserve wrath. We are enemies of God. Haters of Him, in joyful rebellion against everything He stands for. (Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:3)

Yet God loved us enough to give us His Son while we were hating Him!

Think about it, repeat it aloud, God loved us to give us His Son while we were busily hating God.

We don’t deserve Christmas. Yet we get it all the same. We get Christmas!

If this doesn’t make you incredibly happy you are missing the point. We get Christmas, we get a savior, we get our sins forgiven, we become children of God. We don’t deserve it but we get it.

We get Christmas.

Third Sunday in Advent


The third Sunday in Advent is dedicated to Joy.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

This week we will meditate on the joy of Christ’s coming

Alternate readings: Psalm 146:5-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 2:8-14

He has Risen Indeed!


Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where helay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Matthew 28:1-9

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Frenetic Good Friday


Well it has been awhile since I have done a Frenetic Friday post but let’s get to it.

In case you’re living under a rock or in denial this is what is referred to as Holy Week. And today is Good Friday, and more on that later. But I hope that you did notice that as is the norm the various “shows” on Christianity has appeared on various streaming services. The newest one that I noticed is Jesus: Countdown to Calvary made in 2018 and starring Hugh Bonneville. This is playing on Netflixs. And yes I watched and as expected the idea that Jesus was the divine Son of God or the fulfillment of prophecy was completely played down or not mentioned at all. What I did notice was how it was claimed that Jesus came proclaiming a message of, wait for it, “social justice”. I am not really surprised at this an neither should you be if you’ve been keeping up with any of the “social justice” debates that have been going on in Twitter and elsewhere. Just be aware that this and other messages of the same sort will be playing this time especially since Easter or the Sunday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus however you wish to refer to it draws near.

And speaking of heretical things have you heard about PreachersNSneakers? It is an Instagram account that has pictures of various “hipster” preachers and the expensive sneakers they are wearing. I am not talking about some $150 dollar Nikes here. No, how about $3000 for an off white pair of Jordan 1 from Europe. Or $1100 “Gucci” slippers?

I don’t mind a pastor being well dressed but I have to call into question exactly why do they need that expensive foot wear. What do you think where should this money have gone to?

And keeping with the Good Friday theme, as well as heretical notions a female Roman Catholic theologian has written a book called “Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril” In it Elizabeth Johnson maintains that Anselm‘s satisfaction theory of atonement was completely wrong. Johnson maintains that Anselm based it upon “the political system of the day” and that God’s mercy doesn’t call for a bloody and violent death for our sins. Basically atonement needs to be removed from what Christ did. <source>

Rather than have me bumble through why the atonement is necessary I shall point you to these resources:




And here is a list of resources from Monergism: Penal Substitutionary Atonement

And a list of resources from The Highway: TThe Atonement of Christ

Finally something from Toplady:

Goodnight.

Catechism


Q. Alas! what shall we little children do?

A. Either go on in your sins, or remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come (Eccl 12:1).

Q. Why do you mock us, to bid us go on in our sins? you had need pray for us that God would save us.

A. I do not mock you, but as the wise man does; and besides, I pray for you

and wish your salvation.

Q. How does the wise man mock us?

A. Thus; ‘Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment’

(Eccl 11:9).

Q. What a kind of mocking is this?

A. Such an one as is mixed with the greatest seriousness; as if he should say, yes, do, sinners, go on in your sins if you dare; do, live in your vanities,
but God will have a time to judge you for them.

Q. Is not this just as when my father bids me be naught if I will: but if I be naught he will beat me for it?

A. Yes; or like that saying of
Joshua, ‘If it seem evil unto you to serve the

Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve’;

serve your sins at your peril (Josh 24:15).

Q. Is it not best then for me to serve God?

A. Yes; for they that serve the devil must be where he is, and they that serve God and

Christ, must be where they are (John 12:26;
Matt 25:41).

Q. But when had I best begin to serve God?

A. Just now: ‘Remember NOW your Creator,’
NOW you have the gospel before you, NOW
your heart is tender and will be soon be broken.

Q. But if I follow my play and sports a little
longer, may I not come time enough?

A. I cannot promise thee that, for there be little graves in the churchyard; and who can tell but that thy young life is short; or if thou does live,

perhaps your day of grace may be as short as was Ishmael’s of old: read also Proverbs 1:24-26.

Q. But if I stay a little longer before I turn, I may have more wit to serve God than now I have, may I not?

A. If you stayest longer, you will have more sin, and perhaps less wit: for the

bigger sinner, the bigger fool (Prov 1:22).

Q. If I serve God sometimes, and my sin sometimes, how then?

A. ‘No man can serve two masters.’ You cannot serve God and your

sins (Matt 6:24). God saith, ‘My Son, give me your heart’ (Prov 23:26). Also your soul and
body are his; but the double-minded man is
forbidden to think that he shall receive any
thing of the Lord (1 Cor 6:20; James 1:7,8).

Q. Do you find many such little children as I am, serve God?

A. Not many; yet some I do, Samuel served him being a child (1 Sam 3:1).

When Josiah was young he began to seek after the God of his father David (2 Chron 34:3).
And how kindly did our Lord Jesus take it, to
see the little children run tripping before him, and crying, Hosannah to the Son of David?
(Matt 21:15,16).

Catechism


Q. When do I sin against preaching of the
Word?

A. When you refuse to hear God’s ministers, or hearing them, refuse to follow their wholesome doctrine (2 Chron 36:16; Jer
25:4-7, 35:15).

Q. When else do I sin against preaching of the Word?

A. When you mock, or despise, or reproach the ministers; also when you raise lies and scandals of them, or receive such lies or scandals raised; you then also sin against the preaching of the Word, when you persecute them that preach it, or are secretly glad to see them so used (2 Chron 30:1,10; Rom 3:8; Jer
20:10; 1 Thess 2:15,16).

Q. How will godly acquaintance greaten my sin?

A. When you sin against their counsels, warnings, or persuasions to the contrary; also when their lives and conversations are a reproof to you, and yet against all you will sin. Thus sinned Ishmael, Esau, Eli’s sons, Absalom and Judas, they had good company, good counsels, and a good life set before them by their godly acquaintance, but they sinned against all, and their judgment was the greater. Ishmael was cast away (Gen 21:10), Esau hated (Gal 4:30), Eli’s sons died suddenly (Mal 1:2; 1 Sam
2:25,34, 4:11), Absalom and Judas were both strangely hanged (2 Sam 18; Matt 27).

Q. Are sins thus heightened, distinguished from others by any special name?

A. Yes; they are called rebellion, and are compared to the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam 15:23), they are called willful sins (Heb 10:26), they are called briars and thorns, and they that bring them forth are ‘nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned’ ( Heb 6:7,8).

Q. Are there any other things that can make little sins great ones?

A. Yes; as when you sin against the judgments of God. As for example, you see the judgments of God come upon some for their transgressions, and you go on in their
iniquities; as also when you sin against the patience, long-suffering, and forbearance of God, this will make little sins great ones (Dan 5:21-24; Rom 2:4,5).

Q. Did ever God punish little children for sin against him?

A. Yes; when the flood came, he drowned all the little children that were in the old world: he also burned up all the little children which were in Sodom; and because upon a time the little children at Bethel mocked the prophet as hewas a going to worship God, God let loose two she-bears upon them, which tore forty and two of them to pieces (2 Kings 2:23,24)

Catechism


Q. What kind of sins are the greatest?

A. Adultery, fornication, murder, theft, swearing,
lying, covetousness, witchcraft, sedition, heresies, or any the like (1 Cor 6:9,10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5,6; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 21:8).

Q. What do you mean by circumstances that attend sin?

A. I mean light, knowledge, the preaching of the Word, godly acquaintance, timely caution, &c.

Q. Will these make an alteration in the sin?

A. These things attending sinners, will make little sins great, yea greater than greater sins that are committed in grossest ignorance.

Q. How do you prove that?

A. Sodom and Gomorrah wallowed in all or most of those gross transgressions above mentioned: yea, they were said to be sinners exceedingly, they lived in such sins as may not be spoken of without blushing, and yet God swears that Israel, his church, had done worse than they (Eze 16:48), and the Lord Jesus also seconds it in that threatening of his, ‘I say unto you, That it shall
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the
day of judgment than for thee’ (Matt 11:24; Luke 10:12).

Q. And was this the reason, namely, because they had such circumstances attending them as Sodom had not?

A. Yes, as will plainly appear, if you read the three chapters above mentioned.

Q. When do I sin against light and knowledge?

A. When you sin against convictions of conscience, when you sin against a known law of God, when you sin against counsels, and dissuasion of friends, then you sin against light and knowledge (Rom 1:32).

Catechism


Q. But why might not the ungodly be
punished with this punishment in this world,that we might have seen it and believe?
A. Ifthe ungodly should with punishment have been rewarded in this world, it would in all probability have overthrown the whole order
that God hath settled here among men. For who could have endured here to have seen the flames of fire, to have heard the groans, and to have seen the tears, perhaps, of damned
relations, as parents or children? Therefore as Tophet of old was without the city, and as the
gallows and gibbets are built without the towns; so Christ hath ordered that they who are to be punished with this kind of torment, shall be taken away: ‘Take him away,’ saith he (out of this world) ‘and cast him into outer
darkness,’ and let him have his punishment there ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt 22:13). Besides, faith is not to be
wrought by looking into hell, and seeing thedamned tormented before our eyes, but by ‘hearing the word of God’ (Rom 10:17). For he that shall not believe Moses and the prophets, will not be persuaded should one come from the dead, yea should one come to them in flames to persuade them (Luke 16:27-31).

Q. Are there degrees of torments in hell?
A. Yes, for God will reward every one according to their works. ‘Wo unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall
be given him’ (Isa 3:11).

Q. Who are like to be most punished there, men or children?
A. The punishment in hell comes not upon sinners according to age, but sin; so that whether they be men or children, the greater sin, the greater punishment; ‘For there is no respect of persons with God’ (Rom2:11).

Q. How do you distinguish between great sins and little ones?

A. By their nature, and by the circumstances that attend them.

Q. What do you mean by their nature?

A. I mean when they are very gross in themselves (2 Chron 33:2; Eze 16:42).