Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The gospel is about love.

God loved His children so much that He sent His Son, His perfect, sinless Son, to earth to live a perfect life. His life was not to be an easy one, for He experienced fatigue and pain, mocking and derision, rejection and outright hatred, then betrayal by one of those who walked beside him daily. He took all of the sins of His people upon Himself, and satisfied the wrath of God against sin by shedding His blood - for without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

So what is the good news, anyway?

To get how good it is, you have to start with the bad news. If you draw breath, you are a sinner. You are under the wrath of God, because you can never measure up to His perfect standard. You have broken His laws, and what you deserve is death. The wages of sin is death. There is nothing you can do to save yourself from the wrath to come. You are without hope.

That's why Jesus had to come. In just over three weeks we will be celebrating His birth, and people will be wishing each other "Merry Christmas", without even realizing how wonderful it is.

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.

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy. Good news. Jesus came to live for us, and to die for us. The gospel is that good news that He paid the price for sin. All of our sin, past, present and future. If we look to Him and believe that He died in our place, we are saved.

That doesn't mean we don't have to repent. We live before the face of a God Who IS HOLY - perfectly holy. He cannot look on sin.

We repent daily, but not out of fear. We repent out of love and joy for what God has done for us. We acknowledge our sin, and we thank God that He did everything necessary to pay the price for it.

“In fear-based repentance, we don’t learn to hate the sin for itself, and it doesn’t lose its attractive power. We learn only to refrain from it for our own sake. But when we rejoice over God’s sacrificial, suffering love for us – seeing what it cost him to save us from sin – we learn to hate the sin for what it is. We see what the sin cost God. What most assures us of God’s unconditional love (Jesus’s costly death) is what most convicts us of the evil of sin. Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves. Joy-based repentance makes us hate the sin.”

- Timothy Keller

The following song paints a beautiful picture of the Uncontainable God contained within a stable. I have been blessed listening to it this week.

The incarnation is full of seeming paradoxes and contradictions - the uncontainable God contained within a stable, the eternal God being born to a young girl, and so on. This song is an attempt to paint a picture of the amazing truth that "God is with us" through various Christmas images, and to respond to that in worship.

On Christmas Day

By Matt Osgood
Added: 10th November 2008
Luke 2:16; Luke 2:7; Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23;

1. On Christmas day, a humble girl
gives birth to hope for all the world,
this is Immanuel.
How awesome and mysterious,
the Lord of heaven draws near to us,
this is Immanuel.

2. The hands that once split night from day
now feebly clutch a blade of hay,
this is Immanuel.
Majestic king, now small and weak,
the Word of God must learn to speak,
this is Immanuel.

This is our God, seen by our eyes,
the love of the Father made known in Jesus Christ.
This is our God, worthy of praise,
the love of the Father revealed on Christmas day.

3. The shepherds come and bow to him,
the Lamb who takes away our sin,
this is Immanuel.
For God has entered time and space
to show the world his endless grace,
this is Immanuel.

Immanuel, Immanuel. Our God is with us now.
Immanuel, Immanuel. Our God is with us now.


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