MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS
“For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” [Colossians 2:9].
The ability to package immense Bible truths within very few words was a gift given to Paul by the Holy Spirit. And probably no greater example is found than this, that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. At this Christmas season how few grasp even a little of the magnitude of the miracle that occurred when, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” [John 1:14].
“God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.” [Shorter Catechism #4]. All that God is, was somehow miraculously funneled down into that earthly body. The One with whom we have to do is not, therefore, merely a man, a good man, or even a prophet, but He is the God-Man. He is perfect God and perfect Man, and He alone can save us.
His life is infinitely holy. His justice is infinitely right. His Word is infinitely true. His wisdom to understand our needs is infinite. His power to save us is infinite. His goodness toward them that love Him is also infinite.
Today, when remembering the Babe in Bethlehem, let us not forget the Sovereign on the throne.
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail the incarnate Deity! Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. [Charles Wesley]
In South Africa, some boys were discovered playing marbles with large diamonds, totally unaware of their value. Like those boys, many in our society are sadly oblivious to the incalculable value of the shed blood of Christ.
A particular painting can impress art lovers, considering it to be a great example of the artist’s outstanding creativity and skill. But others fail to appreciate the same masterpiece and wonder at the price tag.
In the same way, many fail to appreciate God’s masterpiece of Christ’s work on the cross. Art appreciation may be a matter of opinion and taste, but there is no reason for despising the cross except wilful and sinful blindness.
The cross is God’s masterpiece because of its cost. In creation, God just spoke the word, and everything was made out of nothing. But the cross cost God the Father because He gave His own beloved Son. It also cost God the Son to leave the glories of heaven and come to the grief of this earth to suffer and die.
The cross is God’s masterpiece because there, we see so clearly God’s character displayed. In the shedding of Christ’s blood, we view God’s wisdom, power, holiness, wrath, love, mercy, and grace.
The cross is His masterpiece because of its consequences. Those that truly view the work of Christ on Calvary are never the same again. Their lives are changed forever. Through the blood of Christ, there is redemption, justification, and many other eternal blessings. How foolish it is for someone to attempt to touch up and improve a masterpiece of art. And how blasphemous it is for anyone to add to Christ’s finished masterpiece. Do not add to the Gospel message. Do not divert people’s attention from Christ’s finished work. Like Paul, let us “peach Christ crucified” [Rev. Ron Johnstone].
MICAH AND CHRISTMAS
Micah is one of the twelve Bible books known as the Minor Prophets. They may be minor in size but not in content. Micah means, “Who is like Jehovah?” He was a contemporary of Isaiah. To Micah was given the honour of identifying the birthplace of the Messiah [Micah 5:2], and this about 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. No mere mortal could predict such a thing without the help of God. Most of Micah is poetical, and he concludes with a literary gem [Micah 7:18.19]:
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion on us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Read carefully these words from scripture. They make up a literary gem that will enrich your spiritual experience.
Dr. Arthur T. Pierson (1837–1911) was an outstanding preacher and writer. He described this section in Micah as, “A little poem of twelve lines in the Hebrew – one of the most exquisite things to be found in the entire Old Testament . . . . .There is nothing like it in all the literature of men.”