Daily Archives: December 19, 2013

History: The Twelve Days of Christmas

Many historians believe the well-known song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is actually a Christian hymn in disguise. During the reign of England’s Queen Elizabeth I, a staunch Protestant, English Catholics were oppressed and persecuted. Priests met secretly with small groups of Catholics, risking their lives to conduct worship and observe mass.

Under such circumstances, it was difficult to train or catechize Catholic children. But an unknown, clever priest found a unique way of teaching the Gospel to children, using the theme of the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany, when the Wise Men, according to tradition, arrived with their gifts for the Christchild.

The priest hid biblical truth in the symbols he used in his carol, beginning with the words On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me.… The “True Love” referred to God the Father, and the “Me” represents the Christian who receives the gifts. The “Partridge in the Pear Tree” is Jesus. Why a partridge? Mother partridges are known for feigning injury to decoy predators from their babies. The children were thereby taught about Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

The two turtle doves represented the Old and New Testaments.

The three French hens symbolized faith, hope, and love—the three great virtues we should display as we come to know Christ as Lord and read the Old and New Testaments. The other symbols:

•     Four calling birds—the four Gospels

•     Five golden rings—the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch

•     Six geese a laying—the six days of creation

•     Seven swans a-swimming—the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

•     Eight maids a-milking—the eight Beatitudes of Matthew 5

•     Nine ladies dancing—nine choirs of angels

•     Ten lords a-leaping—the Ten Commandments

•     Eleven pipers piping—the eleven faithful apostles

•     Twelve drummers drumming—the twelve articles of the Apostles’ Creed[1]

 


[1] Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed., p. 112). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

My Christmas Wish

 

I’ve wished a very special wish

For you this Christmas-tide;

It reaches far beyond today,

’Tis high and deep, and wide.

 

I wish for you the angels’ song

That tells of hope and love;

I wish the radiance of the Star

To guide your thoughts above.

 

I wish for you the sturdy faith

That led the Wise Men three

Through cold of night, o’er desert drear,

The Holy Child to see.

 

I wish for you a humble heart,

With purpose strong and true—

The blessing of the Christ, our Lord—

This is my wish for you.

—Edward Bos[1]

 


[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Christmas: Wondering at the Baby (study guide)

 

In this lesson we narrow our focus to the Baby born at Bethlehem, examining the miraculous and wonder-inspiring factors surrounding Jesus’ birth.

Outline

During the hectic weeks and days of the holiday season, we may talk about the merchandising, and the caroling, and the festivities and the programs and the pageants, and in the process sometimes, even of all the good things—but we lose the wonder of the season. And to lose the wonder of the season is to lose our wonder at the Baby whose birth is commemorated at this time of year.

I.  Let Us Wonder at His Birth

II.  Let Us Wonder at His Human Family

II.  Let Us Wonder at His Hostile Rejection

III.  Let Us Wonder at His Hated Worshipers

IV.  Let Us Wonder at His Holy Mission

Overview

From Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the New Testament Scriptures, The Message, Luke 2 reads:

About that time, Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide. A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you are to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights. Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.”

As the angel choir withdrew to heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s go over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

The King James says it this way: “And all they that heard it wondered.” They wondered at the story.

The date was December 17, 1903. The place was Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Orville and Wilbur Wright had just made history by keeping their flying invention in the air for a total of 59 seconds. Elated, they rushed to the telegraph office and wired their sister in Dayton, Ohio. Here was the telegram: “First sustained flight today for 59 seconds,” the message read. “Hope to be home by Christmas.” Their sister was thrilled, and she hurried to the local newspaper with the great news and the telegram. And sure enough, the next day there was an article about the Wrights in the Dayton Daily News. The headline read, “Local Bicycle Merchants to be Home for the Holidays.” Not one thing was mentioned about the first airplane flight that anyone ever took.

When I read that story earlier this year I thought, “Isn’t that like Christmas?” We give all the details and we forget the wonder, the most important message of all. For just a little while this year, I have captured that wonder in a way that I cannot remember for a long time. I cannot tell you why it is, but I know that what I have sensed in my heart about all of this, I wish I could package up and convey.

Let Us Wonder at His Birth

Born in Bethlehem. Jesus was born in the meekest and most unobtrusive of places.

History tells us that early in the nineteenth century, the whole world was watching the campaigns of Napoleon. There was talk everywhere of marches, invasions, battles, and bloodshed as the French dictator pushed his way through Europe. Of course, babies were born during that time. But who had time to think about babies or to care about cradles or nurseries when the international scene was as tumultuous as it was? Nevertheless, between Trafalgar and Waterloo there stole into this world a veritable host of heroes whose lives were destined to shape all of humanity.

Take, for example, William Gladstone, born in 1809. Gladstone was destined to become one of the finest statesmen England produced.

Also in 1809, Alfred Tennyson was born to an obscure minister and his wife. Tennyson would one day greatly affect the literary world in a marked manner.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1809.

Not far away in Boston, Edgar Allen Poe began his eventful but tragic life.

It was also in that same year that a physician named Darwin and his wife named their child Charles Robert.

And it was that same year that the cries of a newborn infant could be heard from a rugged log cabin in Harlan County, Kentucky. The baby’s name was Abraham Lincoln.

If there had been news broadcasts at that time, I am certain these words would have been heard. “The destiny of the world is being shaped on an Austrian battlefield today.” But today, only a handful of history buffs can name even two of the three Austrian campaigns. Looking back, history was actually being shaped in the cradles of England and America as young mothers held in their arms the movers and shakers of the future.

It was that way with Jesus. No one heralded His coming. The shepherds, the angels, the Magi, a few would-be worshipers. Had you written the story of that year, you would have said, “Nothing really important happened this year.” But that year, the Savior of the world was born, in that humble place called Bethlehem, where Deity would invade eternity, where eternity would invade time, and where royalty would come dressed up as poverty. Only God could have written such a script! Who could have thought of such a humble story for the entrance of our Lord?

Let Us Wonder at His Human Family

I say that advisedly because His family was really a human mother and one who was a stand-in father, for Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. But consider his human family: Mary, 15 or 16 years of age; Joseph no more than 19; a young, unassuming couple. Yet into their family was to be born the Savior of the world.

The most significant event of the centuries took place in a stable in an insignificant city called Bethlehem. I cannot help but wonder what Mary thought. What went through her mind as she saw that little One? The most significant thing in the history of the world did not happen in Caesar’s court, or in the palace, or in the plans of the Jewish zealots. The most significant thing happened in a manger. As Mary held that Baby, I wonder if she heard ringing in her ears the words of Isaiah the Prophet: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Mary held Immanuel in her arms. Do we wonder at that? Is that not an awesome thing, that the Savior of the world would be born in such a way?

Let Us Wonder at His Hostile Rejection

The Scriptures record that when they came to Bethlehem, it was an unheralded arrival. There were no signs pointing to the coming of the Messiah. There was no welcome party there to receive Him. In fact, since it was the time of census, there was no place for anyone to stay. Roman soldiers had come to occupy the town to administer the census, so when Mary and Joseph came (while the record does not tell us), it is quite probable that they had tried all of the places along the way. And finally there was nowhere else for them to go. So the innkeeper simply had to say, “We have no place.” Perhaps they could clean out a corner of the stable and at least provide a shelter for this birth.

Let Us Wonder at His Hated Worshipers

The Scriptures tell us that those who gathered to worship Him first were shepherds. In our culture, that loses some of its meaning, and therefore some of its wonder. In that time and culture, however, shepherds would be the last and least to expect the Prince of Peace to come to them. They were shepherds. They were ceremonially unclean. They were not allowed to go into the temple area to worship. They were unaccepted. They were nobodies. They could not be called as witnesses in court, for somebody had written that no one could believe the testimony of a shepherd. They were despised. They were looked down upon and often hated. The Jewish Talmud says of them, “Give no help to a heathen or to a shepherd.” That’s how they were appreciated. What a wonder, that God would choose them to witness the birth of His Son, to be there first to worship the coming of the Messiah. The shepherds!

Out of the whole of Jewish society, He chose shepherds. Out of the entire population of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, these outcasts were the only ones who came to see the Messiah and to spread the news of His coming.

Let Us Wonder at His Holy Mission

This is really the only thing that brings wonder to the rest of the story. Apart from His mission, this is just a good seasonal tale. But when we put all of these things together, and then understand that the purpose for all of this was that He might come to be our Redeemer, we cannot help but be in awe. His purpose in coming was to die—to die for you and for me.

We can sum it up this way:

The Creator in a cradle.

The Savior in a stable.

The Messiah of the world in a mother’s womb.

The Sovereign of history welcomed by shepherds on a hillside.

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah as Mary’s little Lamb.

The Lord of Glory lying upon the straw.

I cannot get my arms around it. It is too wonderful.

He was the Savior of the world, the most awesome person who ever walked on this earth. This is the wonder of Christ.

So how do we express our wonder? It’s not fair to inspire such wonder without talking about how we do it.

We need to discipline ourselves to do it. It won’t happen unless we say, “This is my time with the Lord. This is my time to wonder at Christmas and what He has done for me.” And if we will do that, this will not be just another Christmas season. The wonder of this incredible message will explode upon our hearts. It may cause the irrigation of our eyes. But it will certainly put warmth in our breast and hope in our heart.

Application

1.  Read all of Luke, chapters 1–2, adding up the total number of people who apparently recognized who Jesus really was. Do you think this kind of inconspicuous arrival is what the Jews were expecting?

Why do you think God did it this way?

2.   From a purely human standpoint, what kinds of things might have been said about Joseph and Mary’s little family as Jesus was growing up?

What most certainly would not have been said about them, particularly in light of Israel’s hope for a Messiah?

3.   From what we know about the Herods who ruled over Judea during Jesus’ birth and childhood, what would they have done to a child proclaimed to be the future King of Kings?

What does this help us understand?

4.   Why do you think so little of Jesus’ childhood is recorded?

How does John 1:11 help explain this?

5.   How do the following passages add to our wonderment at the birth of Jesus?

a.   John 1:1–3, 14

b.   Colossians 1:9

c.   Philippians 2:6–11

d.   Isaiah 9:6–7

Did You Know?

Though the genealogical requirements of the coming Messiah were specifically outlined in the Old Testament and carefully documented in the Temple archives, teachers in the years leading up to Jesus’ birth had a problem. While 2 Samuel 7:12–17 clearly indicated that the Messiah must (1) come from David’s own body, and (2) inherit the throne of Israel through Solomon’s line, God’s curse on wicked King Jeconiah (also called Jehoiachin and Coniah) in Jeremiah 22:30 seemed to indicate that no one in the royal line of David through Solomon actually could rule as Messiah over Israel.

That’s why God provides for us two genealogies of Jesus. The one in Luke 3 traces Jesus’ physical line through Heli (Mary’s father) back to David’s own body, not through Solomon, but through David’s son, Nathan. And the one in Matthew 1 traces Jesus’ legal right to the throne through his legal adoptive father Joseph, who was in the legal line of Solomon—but who, by virtue of the virgin birth of Jesus, did not father Jesus, and thus did not violate God’s curse on Jeconiah’s physical descendants.

Complicated? A little—but (wonder of wonders!) it shows that Jesus was the only Person in all of human history who could fulfill the genealogical requirements of Messiahship!

A Place for Baby Jesus

Establish the priority of Jesus’ birthday as the focus of this season of celebration by making your first holiday activity the placement of a nativity scene in your home. It may be as simple as a paper fold-out—or as elaborate as life-size figures on your front lawn. Determine a place for the Holy Family and make it a family event to usher in the Christmas season. Young children learn priorities by what you do, not what you say.[1]

 


[1] Jeremiah, D. (1999). Celebrate his love: Study guide (pp. 50–61). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Muslim Questions: Muslim Bible Study—Christmas Story—Day 4

4. Do Christians worship Mary?

Some people give special honor to Mary since she was the mother of the Savior. Some even think she was perfect. But the Bible says all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and the Bible forbids worshipping mere humans or praying to them. Jesus said, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10).

When a woman pronounced a blessing a Mary, Jesus pronounced a different blessing: “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it’ ” (Luke 11:27–28).

Those who worship or pray to Mary disobey God’s commands. Mary herself worshipped God after she found out she was to give birth to God’s Son:

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever’ ” (Luke 1:46–55).

While the virgin birth doesn’t mean Mary was perfect, it does point to Jesus’ perfection. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed, every person has inherited the same guilt and sin nature: “… sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Every one of us has sinned, breaking God’s laws such as these:

•     Loving God above all (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)

•     Loving neighbor as oneself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39)

•     Honoring parents (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4)

•     Not committing adultery or lust (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28)

Jesus, however, was born of a virgin and didn’t inherit the sin nature. Although He was tempted to sin, He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Instead, He displayed God His Father’s perfect righteousness.

Just as Adam’s sin affected all born after him, Jesus Christ’s righteousness affects those who are born again and cry in faith to Jesus: “For as by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s [Christ’s] obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

How can we be “made righteous”? We cannot make ourselves righteous. We are “made righteous” by God through the righteous Jesus. According to God’s Word the Bible, Jesus lived as the perfect God-Man, died on the cross to take the punishment for believing sinners, and rose from the dead as living Lord and Savior.

God awakens the sinner’s heart, who responds by turning from sin to trust in Jesus alone for salvation from sin and hell. God pardons the sinner and declares the sinner righteous based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1–4). Because God made the believer’s sin Christ’s when He bore sin on the cross, God makes Christ’s righteousness the believer’s. A matchless exchange!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

“However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

A man once opposed these truths, throwing Christians in jail and watching as a Christian was stoned to death. This man thought he could please God by following God’s law perfectly. But when Jesus called and saved him (Acts 9), Paul testified of righteousness by faith in Christ:

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7–11).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Christmas: How should Christians respond to the “War on Christmas”?

Many people perceive that there is a concerted effort to eliminate the word “Christmas” from public discourse—sort of a “war on Christmas.” The stories seem to be coming more frequently: a grade-school choir sings “We Wish You a Happy Holiday” instead of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for their “Winter Concert.” A library invites “holiday displays” from the community provided the displays have no religious connotation—the stable may have animals in it, but no people. It is possible to do all one’s Christmas shopping and never see or hear the word “Christmas” in the stores.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” But if someone says “Happy Holidays” for the sole purpose of not saying “Merry Christmas,” then we are right to question what’s going on. “Why is the word Christmas censored?” we wonder as we wander through the malls. Why do some public schools celebrate everything from Kwanzaa to Labafana the Christmas witch, and ban the Nativity, all in the name of “inclusion” and “tolerance”?

One reason put forward by those seeking to avoid the word Christmas is that it would offend non-Christians. But, according to a recent Gallup poll, only 3 percent of adults in America say it bothers them when a store makes specific reference to Christmas. The exclusion of Christmas, then, is not really a way to “adapt” to a more diverse culture, but a way to engineer a more secular culture.

Many times, the arguments against Christmas programs and displays are couched in political terms, but the bias against Christmas goes much deeper than that. This is primarily a spiritual battle, not a political one.

How should Christians respond to the ubiquitous use of “Happy Holidays” and the exclusion of Christmas? Here are some suggestions:

1) Celebrate Christmas! Let the joy of the season show in your life. Teach your family the significance of Jesus’ birth and make the Christmas traditions meaningful in your home.

2) Wish others a Merry Christmas. When confronted with a “Happy Holidays,” get specific, and wish the greeter a “Merry Christmas!” You may be surprised at how many respond in kind. Even if you’re met with resistance, don’t let it dampen your cheer. Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew was rebuffed year after year, but it never stopped him from wishing his humbug of an uncle a Merry Christmas and inviting him to Christmas dinner.

3) Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). The Christmas season is a wonderful opportunity to share Christ’s love and the gospel message. He is the reason for the season!

4) Pray for those in positions of power (1 Timothy 2:1–3). Pray for wisdom. Pray for revival so that Christmas, instead of being “offensive,” would be honored by all.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

The Taper Is On – 8 Ways That This Is Going To Affect You And Your Family

The unelected central planners at the Federal Reserve have decided that the time has come to slightly taper the amount of quantitative easing that it has been doing. On Wednesday, the Fed announced that monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds will be reduced from $45 billion to $40 billion, and monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities will be reduced from $35 billion to $30 billion. When this news came out, it sent shockwaves through financial markets all over the planet. But the truth is that not that much has really changed. The Federal Reserve will still be recklessly creating gigantic mountains of new money out of thin air and massively intervening in the financial marketplace. It will just be slightly less than before. However, this very well could represent a very important psychological turning point for investors. It is a signal that “the party is starting to end” and that the great bull market of the past four years is drawing to a close. So what is all of this going to mean for average Americans? The following are 8 ways that “the taper” is going to affect you and your family… (Read More….)

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat

Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time….[view article]

Nero in the White House – John R. Bolton

Nero “fiddled,” so they say, while Rome burned. Today, this epigram all too accurately describes President Obama’s approach to U.S. national security. For five years, he has resolutely consigned foreign and defense issues to the bottom of his policy agenda, resulting in increasing disarray both domestically and abroad. The United States needs strategic thinking internationally, and we are getting the opposite.

Mr. Obama’s personal Rome, the Affordable Care Act, is indeed self-immolating, and he responds by giving speeches (his version of playing Nero’s cithara) rather than taking command to save his eponymous program before the administration itself is consumed. Domestic troubles, however, in no way justify indifference to foreign affairs. If anything, political weakness at home only exposes a president to greater risks internationally, as adversaries take advantage of U.S. inattention, indecision and unpreparedness.

Read More Here

Jailed Pastor ‘Abandoned Because He’s Christian’

A growing number of U.S. analysts, human-rights activists and even a congressman, angered by the nuclear deal reached with Iran without demanding the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini jailed since September 2012, now believe President Obama neglected the prisoner for one reason – he’s a Christian.

One of those experts is William Murray, president of the Religious Freedom Coalition, who told WND the Obama administration doesn’t see religion the same way a Christian would. And that’s why the administration’s actions regarding pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year for being a Christian, are what they are.

Read More Here

Former Top NSA Official: “We Are Now In A Police State”

Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.
Binney has been interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others.

Last year, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together, and said:

We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.

But today, Binney told Washington’s Blog that the U.S. has already become a police state.

By way of background, the government is spying on virtually everything we do.

Read More Here

Albert Mohler Blog: “You Have Been Warned—The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy”

In his latest Blog Essay, “You Have Been Warned—The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the recent suspension of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of a popular A&E reality show.

Does a public figure risk public censure by speaking the gospel truth about homosexuality? In our cultural moment, it depends on whether you are Pope Francis I or the plainspoken patriarch of Duck Dynasty. But as Dr. Mohler explains, for most of us, “the controversy over Duck Dynasty sends a clear signal . . . Say nothing about the sinfulness of homosexual acts or risk sure and certain destruction by the revolutionaries of the new morality. You have been warned.”

Click here to read Dr. Mohler’s full commentary.

Question 50-Puritan Catechism

Reformedontheweb's Blog

CharlesSpurgeonQ. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself. (Leviticus 19:30; Deuteronomy 5:12)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

 

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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-9-The Sacrifice of Christ

Reformedontheweb's Blog

The Sacrifice of Christ

 

1. What was the sacrifice which Christ offered?

He offered up Himself for sin.

2. In what way did He become the sacrifice?

He took our sin upon Him and suffered the penalty in our place.

3. When did He suffer that penalty?

When He died on the cross.

4. Did He suffer in both natures?

No; in the human nature only. The Divine nature cannot suffer.

5. Was not the union of the Divine and the human nature necessary in the work of salvation?

It was necessary; otherwise the human nature could not have sustained the sufferings it endured.

6. For what else was that union necessary?

To give value and efficacy to sufferings which, but for that union, would have been those of a mere creature.

7. Why would not the sufferings of a mere creature have sufficed?

Because every creature is bound…

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