Bits and Pieces – 93rd Edition – December 19, 2021
Dr. Larry Saunders arranged a Canada-wide session of prayer on Sunday, December 12. Using the modern Zoom technology people from the Canadian Free Presbyterian churches joined at 4.00 pm for an hour and a half’s special prayer for Canada. After a short word of exhortation from the Rev. Cranston, about seventy gathered for prayer and, although divided by many miles, there was a good spirit of prayer. Canada is a great country, but it is bedevilled by the pandemic as well as political “Balaams” whose objective is to enact laws that are the antithesis of Biblical Christianity. Christians have a great resource in prayer, but sadly it is not used as much as it should be.
It is hoped to hold more of these special times of prayer in the New Year. We will send information on them when available.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST
The incarnation of the Son of God is the mightiest miracle ever wrought on earth. No words can describe it. No mind but God’s can comprehend the depths of the mystery of the union of God and man in two distinct natures and one person. It was a miracle of love, for it was for our salvation. Athanasius, the great defender of orthodoxy against Arianism, said, “Christ became what we are that He might make us what He is.” What wondrous love!
The incarnation was effected by the virgin birth. All the attempts to lessen the Bible truth that Jesus was virgin-born have utterly failed. By the supernatural action of the Holy Spirit, the humanity of Jesus was made of the substance of the Virgin Mary. Our Lord had no biological father. His body was specially prepared by God [Hebrews 10:5]. Thus He did not inherit Adam’s sin. But His humanity was a real humanity. Though without sin He was not without feeling. He was a real man who was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” [ Hebrews 4:15] (Alan Cairns).
“The God who took a motherless woman out of the side of a man, took a fatherless man out of the body of a woman.” [M. Henry]
A CUP FULL AND RUNNING OVER
“Blessed…..with all spiritual blessings” [Eph. 1:3]
Writers are encouraged these days to write in short sentences so their productions will be concise and to the point. Paul, in his epistles, was not concerned about the niceties of modern writing, but about getting his message out. That Gospel message was so great that often Paul’s heart overflowed.
In Ephesians chapter 1 Paul begins to list the spiritual blessings the Christian enjoys in Christ Jesus and is so taken up with the subject that he cannot bring himself to close the sentence. From the third to the fourteenth verse is one unbroken sentence of 269 words in English (205 in Greek). Periods have been placed after the sixth and twelfth verses, but in reality, they are not necessary.
That enormous sentence is crammed with the immense spiritual blessings the believer enjoys in Christ Jesus – election, pre-destination, adoption, redemption through the blood, the forgiveness of sins, the revelation of God’s will, and the sealing of the Spirit, to name the most obvious ones.
These blessings come to us, not because we have earned them but because God, through the riches of His grace, has given them to us according to the good pleasure of His will. A sovereign God dispenses sovereign blessings.
Faced with such great spiritual privileges, we should learn each day to count our blessings. So often we focus on what we have not, and become depressed and despondent. Centre rather on the things you do have in Christ, and you will enter each day with a song. This new day holds great promise. Commence it, not with grumbling and complaining, but with prayer and rejoicing.
This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell closed. Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. [Source unknown].