The Glorious Incarnation ~ Theology

The Glorious Incarnation Logo

 “No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. How we fail to understand when we think that the task of theology is to solve the mystery of God, to drag it down to the flat, ordinary wisdom of human experience and reason! Its sole office is to preserve the miracle as miracle, to comprehend, defend, and glorify God’s mystery precisely as mystery. This and nothing else, therefore, is what the early church meant when, with never flagging zeal, it dealt with the mystery of the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ…. If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.”

Dietrich BonhoefferGod Is In the Manger

 

Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?

 

by Steve Rebus

 

 

Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?

(Frank Hall)

“What is man that You are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4

What is man that God should even look in his direction? Who am I that the infinite, glorious, triune God should glance my way–much less be mindful of me?

Beloved in Christ, understand that your God is without a doubt ever-mindful of you. He has . . .
numbered every hair on your precious head,
appointed the bounds of your habitation, and
determined the very second of your death.

He . . .
bottles your every tear,
knows your every sorrow,
records your every work, and
remembers every cup of cold water given in His name. He is deeply concerned for your immortal soul, has purposed to do you good, and has staked His glory on your everlasting salvation. Your God is more mindful of you, your soul, your life, and your welfare than you will ever understand in this life.

In the light of such staggering knowledge–who God is, and what you are–do you not ask yourself in utter astonishment, “Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?”

As mere creatures such a thought is beyond profound, but as guilty sinners the thought surpasses the unthinkable!

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated!” Romans 9:13 

God loved Jacob, and hated Esau. Who am I that I should be identified with the former, and not the latter? Christ died for His elect and put away their sins forever by the sacrifice of Himself–and the rest of humanity He leaves to themselves.

Who am I that my name should be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world? The Sovereign dispenser of all grace and all blessedness has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. Who am I that I should be a vessel of honor prepared for glory, and not a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction?

Who are we, brothers and sisters, that we should . . .
partake of the boundless provision of grace in Christ,
be redeemed, justified, and forgiven,
should live forever with Him in glory?

Who are we that the incomprehensibly glorious God would be so mindful of us, that He not only took on our nature, but . . .
lived a perfect life for us, that we could never live,
died a sin-atoning death for us, that we could never die, and
satisfied a Law for us, that we could never satisfy?

“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

The only difference between a saved sinner and a lost sinner–is the difference that God makes by His distinguishing grace! It is not our decisions, lives, prayers, or works that make the difference, but God and God alone.

Though all who read these lines deserve to be in Hell for their sin–God has been pleased to save some freely by His grace. Though all are equally sinful, equally guilty, and equally deserving of everlasting torment–God has been pleased to save some for no other reason than His own glory.

Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?

(Frank Hall)

“What is man that You are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4

What is man that God should even look in his direction? Who am I that the infinite, glorious, triune God should glance my way–much less be mindful of me?

Beloved in Christ, understand that your God is without a doubt ever-mindful of you. He has . . .
numbered every hair on your precious head,
appointed the bounds of your habitation, and
determined the very second of your death.

He . . .
bottles your every tear,
knows your every sorrow,
records your every work, and
remembers every cup of cold water given in His name. He is deeply concerned for your immortal soul, has purposed to do you good, and has staked His glory on your everlasting salvation. Your God is more mindful of you, your soul, your life, and your welfare than you will ever understand in this life.

In the light of such staggering knowledge–who God is, and what you are–do you not ask yourself in utter astonishment, “Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?”

As mere creatures such a thought is beyond profound, but as guilty sinners the thought surpasses the unthinkable!

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated!” Romans 9:13 

God loved Jacob, and hated Esau. Who am I that I should be identified with the former, and not the latter? Christ died for His elect and put away their sins forever by the sacrifice of Himself–and the rest of humanity He leaves to themselves.

Who am I that my name should be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world? The Sovereign dispenser of all grace and all blessedness has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. Who am I that I should be a vessel of honor prepared for glory, and not a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction?

Who are we, brothers and sisters, that we should . . .
partake of the boundless provision of grace in Christ,
be redeemed, justified, and forgiven,
should live forever with Him in glory?

Who are we that the incomprehensibly glorious God would be so mindful of us, that He not only took on our nature, but . . .
lived a perfect life for us, that we could never live,
died a sin-atoning death for us, that we could never die, and
satisfied a Law for us, that we could never satisfy?

“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

The only difference between a saved sinner and a lost sinner–is the difference that God makes by His distinguishing grace! It is not our decisions, lives, prayers, or works that make the difference, but God and God alone.

Though all who read these lines deserve to be in Hell for their sin–God has been pleased to save some freely by His grace. Though all are equally sinful, equally guilty, and equally deserving of everlasting torment–God has been pleased to save some for no other reason than His own glory.

The Scriptural view of sin!

https://steverebus.com/2020/07/04/the-scriptural-view-of-sin/

A worldly Christianity 

(Octavius Winslow)

“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2

Professor of the gospel! Guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . .
in your dress,
in your mode of living,
in the education of your children,
in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . .
any known inconsistency of conduct,
any sinful conformity to the world,
any inordinate pursuit of . . .
its wealth,
its honors,
its pleasures,
its friendships,
its great things.

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker-worm that feeds at the root of so many souls!

Read the rest: http://steverebus.com/2020/06/17/a-worldly-christianity/

Overcoming the world!

Grace logo

Overcoming the world!

(Arthur Pink, “Faith as an Overcomer“)

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated–but also the lying delusions and errors by which the professing world is fatally deceived.

The only thing which will or can “overcome the world” is a God-given–but self-exercised faith.

Read the rest: https://steverebus.com/category/gracegems/

Do we understand what love is?

By Steve Rebus 

(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)

Do we understand what love is? We like to be loved, that is, to have other people love us, and live for us, and do things for us. We like the gratifications of love. But that is only miserable selfishness, if it goes no further. It is a desecration of the sacred name, to think that love, at its heart, means getting, receiving. Nay, love gives.

That is what God’s love does — it finds its blessedness in giving. “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.” That is what Christ’s love does — it pours out its very lifeblood, to the last drop!

The essential meaning of loving must always be giving, not receiving.

“Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

Comment at: https://steverebus.com/2018/02/13/do-we-understand-what-love-is/

The Dirty Lane!

By Steve Rebus 

The dirty lane!

(Thomas Brooks, “Words of Counsel to a Dear Dying Friend”)

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is no gain compared to that which comes in by death. A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life. To be in Christ is very good–but to be with Christ is best of all, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23. It was a mighty blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth–but it was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ in Heaven! Seriously consider these things:

By death you shall gain incomparable crowns!

A crown of life, Revelation 2:10, James 1:12.
A crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8.
An incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
A crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4.

There are no crowns compared to these crowns!

Continue at: https://steverebus.com/2017/03/16/the-dirty-lane/