Category Archives: Gospel
I recently came across a creative writing assignment that asks the writer to compose a 26 word story utilizing each letter in the alphabet in order. No extra words are allowed and it must make sense. I thought I would give it a go with Christmas in mind. Feel free to try your own, but this is what I came up with:
(I cheated on the “x”)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Arriving bundled, Christ descended, entered futility – God himself incarnate. Jesus, knowing love makes new obedience possible, quietly reaped sins transfer ushering victory with x-alted, yielded zeal.
As the lights of Christmas trees begin to glow and wish lists are being finalized, the lure of materialism grows. “Newer, faster, bigger, better!” It’s a daring tactic by the enemy to flaunt his earthly wares at a time when Christians celebrate the arrival of our Savior–the very Savior who came to die, that we might die to worldliness. So it is appropriate that we not let our guard down this season (or any other time of the year for that matter).
The world’s offerings are but empty boxes of rust and dirt compared to what we have been given in Christ. Seeking fulfillment in and through these things is like straining to quench a dying thirst from a bone-dry, dusty, cracked flowerpot. Keeping us distracted and hurried, even with activities that in and of themselves can be good, edifying, and joy-filled, is the world’s aim. But anything that takes our hearts and minds away from experiencing the all-satisfying joy that is to be found in Christ alone means we settle for less than what God intends.
So let us enjoy the blessings we’ve been given this Christmas. Let us be thankful for God’s kindness in our lives. Let us appreciate family and friends being together in this busy world. Let us even give gifts in honor of the great gift we’ve been given. But let us do all of these things, being ever mindful of what this “holiday” is truly about.
Christ came. He died. He rose again. He fulfilled God’s plan of redemption. And He will, one day, come again.
He is our hope–He is our joy–He is our peace. He is Immanuel–God with us.
Surreal glow in western sky
Appeared as though to draw us nigh
What wonder does this starlight call
On such as we to leave our all
And journey forth to unknown lands
‘Twas the star’s summoning hand
Should we tarry to find its source
No, ’tis but One with such force
To steer the heavens against their will
His power deserves our lowest kneel
Thus we go, unknowing much
But having felt a majestic touch
Expecting crowds of searchers here
Unknowing faces and silence near
Where is he, the King of Jews
God himself hath brought us news
Do you not know of this great deed
Sir, ma’am – do you not take heed
The Babe’s been born from virgin womb
Awaken from your sleeping doom
The star goes on and thus we do
But plead with all to follow too
We reach the Child and thus bow down
Our gifts we give for His renown
Gazing upon His divine face
Knowing then, ’twas sheer grace
The star He sent across the land
A call that created its demand
In light of the recent decision by the PCUSA to remove “In Christ Alone” from their hymnal because of its reference to God’s wrath (and the ensuing national conversation this sparked), I thought it would be good to review why this attribute of God is and should be central to how we view God. I’ve written previously about being able to answer the question “Saved From What?” here. The following is an excerpt from A.W. Pink’s The Attributes of God.
It is sad to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or at least they wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far from regarding it with delight, they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even with those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath which is too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts.
Yes, many there are who turn away from a vision of God’s wrath as though they were called to look upon some blotch in the Divine character, or some blot upon the Divine government. But what saith the Scriptures? As we turn to them we find that God has made no attempt to conceal the fact of His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury belong unto Him. His own challenge is, “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me” (Deut. 32:39-41). A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; And because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner: Psalm 7:11.
Now the wrath of God is as much a Divine perfection as is His faithfulness, power, or mercy. It must be so, for there is no blemish whatever, not the slightest defect in the character of God; yet there would be if “wrath” were absent from Him! Indifference to sin is a moral blemish, and he who hates it not is a moral leper. How could He who is the Sum of all excellency look with equal satisfaction upon virtue and vice, wisdom and folly? How could He who is infinitely holy disregard sin and refuse to manifest His “severity” (Rom. 9:12) toward it? How could He who delights only in that which is pure and lovely, loathe and hate not that which is impure and vile? The very nature of God makes Hell as real a necessity, as imperatively and eternally requisite as Heaven is. Not only is there no imperfection in God, but there is no perfection in Him that is less perfect than another.
The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evil-doers. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against His authority, a wrong done to His inviolable sovereignty. Insurrectionists against God’s government shall be made to know that God is the Lord. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how dreadful is that threatened wrath which they so little regarded. Not that God’s anger is a malignant and malicious retaliation, inflicting injury for the sake of it, or in return for injury received. No; while God will vindicate His dominion as the Governor of the universe, He will not be vindictive.