Monthly Archives: December 2013

Waiting for Christmas…

For many, Christmas is a time to look back at a historic event — the birth of a child named Jesus who brought salvation to the world.

But did you know that before he was born, believers looked forward to his coming?

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. About 700 years before he was born, the prophet Micah said that a ruler and shepherd for Israel would come from Bethlehem.

A group of wise men knelt before this baby in Bethlehem and presented gifts to him. Nearly 1000 years before this happened, King Solomon said, “…may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.” (Psalm 72:10-12; English Standard Version)

Jesus was a descendant of King David. About 650 years before Jesus came to establish righteousness, a lonely prophet in Judah named Jeremiah said, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5)

When he arrived, the believers in Jerusalem were already waiting for redemption.

Christianity, then, is not a couple thousand years old. It is much, much older.

This Christmas, consider the testimony of believers past and present; and consider the claim Christ has on the universe and on your life.

C. H. Spurgeon on Calvinism

calvinist

The late lamented Mr. Denham has put, at the foot of his portrait, a most admirable text, “Salvation is of the Lord.” That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it.

If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, “He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this.

It is the essence of the Bible. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.”

What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification?

And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer?

Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here.

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism.

It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.

I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.

—C. H. Spurgeon