Christmas in Light of the Cross, Day 14 (Sanctification in Christmas Carols)

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy-Published by William B. Sandys in 1833. Author unknown.

There is some good theology in these older Christmas carols as well as some of the new.

The writer of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” knew the power of the gospel when he (or she) wrote, “To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”  By coming to live and die for us, Jesus did way more than just save us from the penalty of sin. He saves us from the power of sin.

The author of “Away in a Manger” (Author unknown) Speaks of sanctification as well as justification.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

That’s what sanctification is, fitting us for heaven and saving us from Satan’s power. (Some newer versions of this song say “take us to heaven” instead of “fit us for heaven.” Why the change? Conspiracy? LOL!) Today as Seventh-day Adventists study and share the sanctuary message, many scoff at us when it comes to the holy place and most holy place, where sanctification takes place. They want the sanctuary to end in the courtyard where justification takes place, and not go any farther. Yet years before the Adventists ever discovered the “cleansing of the sanctuary” message, these and many other Christmas hymns had an understanding of the complete gospel, and a comprehension of all that Jesus accomplished by His life and death on the cross, and what He can accomplish in our hearts today!

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from [From not in!] their sins.” Matthew 1:21 NKJV

This Christmas Season let’s take some time to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful Christmas hymns, celebrating everything Jesus accomplished for us from the manger to the cross!

John 20; The Bible Was not Written for Debate

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

John 20:31   But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. 

I meet many people who love to debate the gospels and even the whole Word of God. Others love to speculate as to what it certain symbols mean. However they do this with no conviction of the truth but just out of curiosity as though the Bible were some fiction mystery book. I do not like to waste my time with debates. I want to share the things that are written in God’s Word with a world that is feels its need of a Savior, and not waste my time debating it with fiction and novel lovers.

We need far less controversy, and far more presentation of Christ. Our Redeemer is the center of all our faith and hope. Those who can present His matchless love, and inspire hearts to give Him their best and holiest affections, are doing work that is great and holy.–Colporteur Evangelist, pp. 60, 61.

-In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, preachers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never cut. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls, and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not defy ministers of other denominations, and seek to provoke a debate. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath but Goliath made his proud boasts against God and His people. The defying, the boasting, and the railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath. But none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world. . . .  } 

     If they, like David, are brought into a position where God’s cause really calls for them to meet a defier of Israel, and if they go forth in the strength of God, relying wholly upon Him, He will carry them through, and cause His truth to triumph gloriously. Christ has given us an example. “Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”–Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 218-220.

Luke 6; Rock or Earth

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 
 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 
 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 
 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. 

 This passage reminds us that, The Bible must change how we live our lives. Too often though we let the way we live our lives change how we interpret the Bible.

 

Often on my day off I go somewhere where I can spend some time alone with God. A while back I went to Siesta Beach in Sarasota . I waded into the water and as a wave rushed to shore it moved the sand right out from under my feet. The sand quickly shifted to conform to its surroundings. I realized that was what Jesus was talking about when He said to not build your house on the sand. Our theology and Christian walk should not be like the sand that conforms to our surroundings.

 

Jesus wants us our experience to be like the rock. Instead of the rock conforming to its environment, the environment conforms to the rock. Chitons are rock-clinging marine mollusks that are found on rocky coasts all over the world. These shells cling to the rock and conform themselves to the rock. Otherwise they get washed out to sea. In order to survive we must conform to the rock which is God’s Word.  In order to survive we must let the Bible change us and not our surroundings and environment.  We must let the Bible change how we look at the world and not let the world change how we look at the Bible.