google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2015 December

Archive for December 2015

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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


6. How Do You Become A Christian - a follower of Jesus?




If you want to turn to God there is no need for delay. God is ready and willing to take you as his own right now. You only have to ask him to forgive you and to give you help on the journey ahead which he will do by giving you the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a nurturing and personal partnership between God and yourself.

The act of deciding to change course in mid-life, is what is called conversion. You may also know it as being born again, or deciding to be a Christian. When you place your faith in Jesus, becoming utterly dependent upon Him, you turn to God. That means that you have changed your intentions in the way you are going to live in future.

However once you have made that decision, you leave behind your spiritual isolation and rebellion against him. As you live each day, becoming more involved with Jesus day by day, you will discover you are changing. You will find yourself doing things that please Jesus and developing your relationship with him. How is that relations developed

Until you enter into a personal relationship with God, sin (all that which alienates you from God), controls your rebellion against him. This sin is seen in your attitudes and your activities. God asks you to accept his management and guidance of your life. When you do that, God’s point of view and his strength become your point of view and your source of strength. You turn your mind, will and heart to him for all you do.

If you want to become a Christian there are three simple steps to take:

  • Admit that you have done wrong against God and his ways and turn away from those attitudes.
  • Believe and trust in Jesus as your Saviour from the consequences of the anger of God towards you and your tendency to sin. Call on Him, receive, trust, obey and worship Him, recognizing him for who he is and what he has done.
  • Accept the Holy Spirit of God into your life as the major motivating force for what you do. Once sin has been confessed, Jesus is believed in and trusted as Saviour and the Holy Spirit has entered your life, then you are a Christian.


All these things happen together instantly as you turn to God, being ready to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus! More about this in Part 7 tomorrow. if
Two questions for you to ponder:

  1. Why is guidance from God needed?
  2. What is stopping me from becoming a Christian?

If you have made this decision to become a Christian, please to make a comment below or use the contact us form on this website! It will be great to hear your news!

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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


5. Was Jesus Christ Simply Just A Good Moral Teacher?


Today we have another question? Was Jesus Christ simply a good moral teacher, and nothing more? It is often a statement often associated with Jesus Christ, that he was simply a good moral teacher. Nothing more. Nothing less. This thinking is also untenable and unworkable. How so? We start by asking ourselves, if Jesus’ teaching reflects a good way to live, and if they do, what did he teach?

Jesus’ moral code, revolving around the part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, can be summarized as “do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12). Some people refer to this as the “Golden Rule“.

However, Jesus with greater insight went further than anybody else. He goes on to say that it is not only the outward actions of a person that makes them morally good, it is also the internal attitude behind it (Matthew 15:17–20).

People often think Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the most wonderful teaching and therefore think Jesus was a great teacher (Matthew 5-7). But they have not understood what he was saying, and why he said it.

Therefore, while this may indeed be the best-known teaching of Jesus, it is quite possibly also the most misunderstood. It is most certainly the least obeyed of all his teaching. Again, how is that so?

Quite often today Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is seen as mostly a call not to react violently even when faced with direct provocation. However this was never Jesus intention. It was never meant to be a group of general guidelines for our comfort to wallow in. Nor was it designed to give us boundless joy in how good we are being! Upon reading this teaching of Jesus, we see that Jesus’ original intention for this teaching was that it was to reflect the values, standards and priorities of God’s Kingdom. This is what Jesus was talking about when he gave the “Sermon on the Mount”.

Certainly Jesus was a good moral teacher! Moreover, was he simply a good moral teacher or was he more than this simple claim? To assert that Jesus was merely a good moral teacher, nothing more and nothing less, is a foolish thing to think or express. Nobody could do or say the things that Jesus did, and not be who he said and showed he was: Almighty God.


Two Questions To Ponder:

1. Why do you think that Jesus would be more than just a good moral teacher?

2. Have I ever failed my own moral code?

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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


4. Why Would God Become Human?


A natural question now follows. Why would God become human? God Himself has taken on the responsibility for our sins. Jesus when he died on the cross bore our sins. Although he was sinless, he therefore became sin for us. By doing this, we are drawn to him in a personal way. God has shown that he loves us and wants us in a relationship with himself.

God is one and therefore there could only be one incarnation - that is God taking on a human form – fully God and fully human. By doing away with the incarnation, could God’s salvation plan be fulfilled? No way! If Jesus was not fully God, then he would be part of the problem and therefore need to be redeemed himself! That would not work as there then would be no possibility of redeeming humanity so that they could have relationship and fellowship with God.

God Himself has bridged the gap between the supernatural and the natural, the infinite and the finite. God did this to show humanity what he is like. Jesus as God in person gives us a focal point to respond to.

God does not force people to love Him, for that would not be love. His love is compelling but it is not coercive. God does invite all into a dynamic relationship with him. Clarification can be seen through reading the Bible.

For example, Jesus, the Son of God came as a man to:

  • humble Himself (Philippians 2:8)

  • reveal God the Father (John 1:18, 14:9)

  • become our advocate before God (1 John 2:1)

  • destroy satan’s work (Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:8)

  • give an example of a perfect life (1 Peter 2:21)

  • prepare for creation’s redemption (1 John 2:2)

We also know Jesus’ full glory was hidden during his time on earth (John 17:6) and that he lived on the resources of his Father (John 5:19-20 & 30, 14:10). Jesus emptied Himself (Philippians 2:5-7) and was made like us (Philippians 2:7) when he became human (John 1:4).

If Jesus Christ was not fully God and fully human, then he would be part of the problem. Therefore he would need to be redeemed himself! Simply put, that is untenable and unworkable! Jesus whilst being fully God, didn’t lose any of his divinity when he became human. Instead Jesus Christ gained humanity and we call this divine and human nature unity - a ‘hypostatic union‘.

Two Questions To Ponder:

1. Why would Jesus need to be have been simultaneously both fully God and fully human?

2. What does having a dynamic relationship with Jesus mean?

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3. No Longer A Baby - Fully Human

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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


3. Jesus is fully Human



We looked very briefly yesterday about Jesus being fully God. Today we go further and investigate very briefly at Jesus being fully human. That Jesus was a man who existed is not really disputable. There are a large variety of documents from that period of time about Him, including many and various sources outside the Bible.

The primary historical documents about Him, the Bible, state Jesus Christ was born of a woman, which in itself tells us that before he was born he was nurtured and formed as any other male baby was and is. His genealogical line is given and he grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did. These documents we know today as the Bible books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

We know from these four ‘biographies’, or gospels, written about him, that in line with his humanity, Jesus exhibited normal human emotions. Emotions such as love, sorrow, joy, anger and anguish. Jesus ate and drank. He had a body and a soul. Jesus grew tired. He slept & perspired. He wept. Jesus died just as all mortal people do. Religiously, Jesus worshipped as a Jew.

It is quite clear that the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, considered Jesus to be human in the ordinary every day sense of the word. Particularly Matthew and John, who were two of Jesus’ closest friends. Jesus Christ was human in every way that we are – physically, mentally and emotionally. The only possible exception to this is that Jesus was sinless.

How do we know that for certain? Because if Jesus was not without sin, if he had sinned, he too would have been in need of a Saviour! God’s salvation plan for humanity would have been scuppered. Remember that is why Jesus Christ was sent – to fulfil and enact God’s salvation plan for humanity. It is the very clear testimony of all the New Testament writers that Jesus was the Saviour, and not in need of one Himself. So why does Jesus need to be fully human?

Firstly, so Jesus could align Himself with us by being our representative before God, so that his death could turn aside God’s anger at our sinfulness. Secondly so that Jesus can be in sympathy with us and pray for us. Thirdly, so Jesus could exhibit true and perfect humanity. Fourthly, so that as a consequence of his perfect humanity, Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow.

In Jesus Christ, the God-man, we see that God is a personal God. A God who wants to interact with us and communicate to us! WOW! Tomorrow we will go on to see the reason for God needing to become a human.


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2. No Longer A Baby - Fully God

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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


2. Jesus Christ - Fully God


Yesterday we looked at what the name Jesus meant and how it was appropriate that he was called that. Today we are looking briefly at Jesus being fully God!

God’s salvation plan for humans’ involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However no person could be found who was eligible or capable enough to do this. So God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.

This God-man would be fully human, so as to live every feature of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so as to be big enough and powerful enough to defeat sin, death and the grave. A human could only die for their own sins. However God could die for the sins of all humanity. Jesus, being sinless, was this God-man, consisting as he did of two complete natures, the God nature and the human nature.

Throughout the Bible, Jesus is acknowledged as God. His good friend, John expressly calls Jesus, ‘the Word’ or God (John 1). Later on in John’s life, he states that Jesus was truly God and also eternal life! (1 John 5:20)

Jesus Himself claimed equality with God when he forgave people their sins (Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:9; Luke 7:48). The Jewish rulers reckoned this was a God alone thing and dependant on the involvement of the temple authorities. They therefore accused Him, at least in their minds, of blasphemy against God!

During the questioning when Jesus was on trial for this supposed act of blasphemy, Jesus equated Himself with being God (Matthew 26:64). John, reports many times where Jesus used the ancient name of God. “I AM”. in reference to Himself. (John 6:35, 48 & 51; John 8:12; John 10:7-11; John 10:14-15; John 11:25; John 14:6 and John 15:1)

That Jesus is both human and divine is what makes Christianity unique amongst the religions of the world. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God, are true. Of course this is only a brief synopsis of what the Bible affirms about Jesus being fully God! Be encouraged to study this exciting topic for yourself! Come back tomorrow to see how we go on to discover together, much more about this most amazing of men - the full humanity of Jesus Christ!


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Jesus Christ - No longer a baby


1. What's in a name?


I wonder what your name means. Parents often name their children after the hopes and aspirations they have for that child. For example, I know somebody called Grace, and her nature is full of grace.

My name, David, means “beloved”. When my parents named me, it was meant to symbolize the love they had for me. Although when I put the cricket ball through the kitchen window or the time I crushed the vegetable patch whilst running after a football, I did not feel very beloved afterwards!

When Jesus was born, his name expressed the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. Do you think that his parents ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed he is”! They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which he was born. Did Jesus ever think of how misnamed he was? Certainly not! For Jesus’ name means ‘the one who saves’ or ‘a rescuer’. In light of this, Jesus knew his purpose and his mission (Luke 4:42-44). Jesus Christ’ whole birth, life and death were centered on saving all those who would follow him. He is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about him. Jesus Christ was born to fulfill the promises God had made over many years. You can read them for yourself in the part of the Bible we call the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ came to reveal God as a Father, to die instead of us for the punishment we deserve, in order that he may stand before God on our behalf and also to show us what it means to live a holy and perfect life here on earth. The life of Jesus Christ was a life totally dedicated to obediently following God and revealing God to the world. Such was the impact of the person Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was not merely a man who received some special power. Jesus Christ was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. Jesus Christ was much more than these suggestions! Come back tomorrow to see how we go on to discover together, much more about this most amazing of men!


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Merry Christmas to you – where ever you are in the world - from Partakers! It is our prayer for you, that the God who revealed Himself at the birth of Christ, will reveal Himself to you this Christmas and into the New Year of 2016 and beyond!

Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Christ, Redeemer of All
A 6th Century Christmas Hymn of the church



Jesus, the Father's only Son,
whose death for all redemption won,
before the worlds, of God most high,
begotten all ineffably.

The Father's Light and Splendour
You’re the endless Hope to all that bow:
accept the prayers and praise today
that through the world Your servants pay.

Salvation's author, call to mind
how, taking the form of humankind,
born of a Virgin undefiled,
You in man's flesh became a Child.

Thus testifies the present day
Through every year in long array,
that You, salvation's source alone
proceeded from the Father's Throne.

From the sky, and stars, and sea's abyss,
and earth, and all that within there is,
shall still, with praise and carol meet,
the Author of Your Advent greet.

And we who by Your precious Blood
from sin redeemed, are marked for God,
on this, the day that saw your Birth,
sing the new song of ransomed earth.

All honour, praise, and glory be,
O Jesus, Virgin-born, to You;
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Ghost forevermore.
Amen.


**translation: John Mason Neale (with updated English)

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Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day 1530
Martin Luther
Part 4 of 4


You can see what our papists and Junkers, who have chosen innumerable Saviours, have felt about this faith. Indeed, the papists still want to retain the mass, the invocation of saints, and their invented works by which we are to be saved. This is as much as to say, I do not believe in the Saviour and Lord whom Mary bore; and yet they sing the words of the angel, hold their triple masses [at Christmas] and play their organs. They speak the words with their tongues but their heart has another Saviour.

The same is true in the monasteries: if you want to be saved, remember to keep the rule and regulations of Francis and you will have a gracious God! And at the Diet of Augsburg they decided to stick to this. In the name of all of the devils, let them stick there! It has been said sufficiently that this Saviour lies in the manger.

But if there is any other thing that saves me, then I rightly call it my Saviour. If the sun, moon, and stars save, I can call them Saviours. If St. Bartholomew or St Anthony or a pilgrimage to St. James or good works save, then they surely are my Saviour. If St. Francis, then he is my Saviour. But then what is left of the honor of the child who was born this day, whom the angel calls Lord and Saviour, and who wants to keep his name, which is Saviour and Christ the Lord. If I set up any Saviour except this child, no matter who or what it is or is called, then he is not the Saviour. But the text says that he is the Saviour. And if this is true—and it is the truth—then let everything else go.

One who hears the message of the angel and believes it will be filled with fear, like the shepherds. True, it is too high for me to believe that I should come into this treasure without any merit on my part. And yet, so it must be. In the papacy this message was not preached in the pulpit, and I am afraid that it will disappear again. It was the other message that the devil initiated and has allowed to remain in the papacy. All their hymns are to this effect. Among the Turks the devil has completely wiped it out. Therefore, remember it, sing it, and learn it, while there is still time! I fear that the time will come when we shall not be allowed to hear, believe, and sing this message in public, and the time has already come when it is no longer understood; though Satan does not allow it to be spoken with the mouth, as the papists do.

But when it comes to declaring that he is born for you and to singing:

In dulci jubilo

Now sing with hearts aglow!
Our delight and pleasure
Lies in praesepio
Like sunshine is our treasure
Matris in gremio
Alpha est et O!
—this he is unwilling to allow.


What we have said, then, has been about that second faith, which is not only to believe in Mary’s Son, but rather that he who lies in the virgin’s lap is our Saviour, that you accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Saviour who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel from heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Saviour and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Saviour in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen.


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Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day 1530
Martin Luther
Part 3 of 4


This, then, is the faith we preach, of which the Turks and the pope and all the sectarians know nothing. The fanatics do, it is true, snatch to themselves the words of the angels, but how earnest they are is plain to see. For they receive the Word only as a piece of paper, as the cup and corporal receive the body and blood of Christ. The paper does no more than contain something and pass it on to others, but yet it remains paper. Thus you copy something from one paper on another paper; from my tongue the Word sounds in your ear, but it does not go to the heart. So they receive this greatest of treasures to their great harm and still think they are Christians, just as though the paper were to say: I certainly have in me the written words, “to you is born this day the Saviour”; therefore I shall be saved. But then the fire comes and burns up the paper.

Therefore this is the chief article, which separates us from all the heathen, that you, O man, may not only learn that Christ, born of the virgin, is the Lord and Saviour, but also accept the fact that he is your Lord and Saviour, that you may be able to boast in your heart: I hear the Word that sounds from heaven and says: This child who is born of the virgin is not only his mother’s son. I have more than the mother’s estate; he is more mine than Mary’s, for he was born for me, for the angel said, “To you” is born the Saviour. Then ought you to say, Amen, I thank you, dear Lord.

But then reason says: Who knows? I believe that Christ, born of the virgin, is the Lord and Saviour and he may perhaps help Peter and Paul, but for me, a sinner, he was not born. But even if you believed that much, it would still not be enough, unless there were added to it the faith that he was born for you. For he was not born merely in order that I should honor the mother, that she should be praised because he was born of the virgin mother. This honor belongs to none except her and it is not to be despised, for the angel said, “Blessed are you among women!” [Luke 1:28].

But it must not be too highly esteemed lest one deny what is written here: “To you is born this day the Saviour.” He was not merely concerned to be born of a virgin; it was infinitely more than that. It was this, as she herself sings in the Magnificat: “He has helped his servant Israel” [Luke 1:54]; not that he was born of me and my virginity but born for you and for your benefit, not only for my honor.

Take yourself in hand, examine yourself and see whether you are a Christian! If you can sing: The Son, who is proclaimed to be a Lord and Saviour, is my Saviour; and if you can confirm the message of the angel and say yes to it and believe it in your heart, then your heart will be filled with such assurance and joy and confidence, and you will not worry much about even the costliest and best that this world has to offer.

For when I can speak to the virgin from the bottom of my heart and say: O Mary, noble, tender virgin, you have borne a child; this I want more than robes and guldens, yea, more than my body and life; then you are closer to the treasure than everything else in heaven and earth, as Ps. 73 [:25] says, “There is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.” You see how a person rejoices when he receives a robe or ten guldens. But how many are there who shout and jump for joy when they hear the message of the angel: “To you is born this day the Saviour?”

Indeed, the majority look upon it as a sermon that must be preached, and when they have heard it, consider it a trifling thing, and go away just as they were before. This shows that we have neither the first nor the second faith. We do not believe that the virgin mother bore a son and that he is the Lord and Saviour unless, added to this, I believe the second thing, namely, that he is my Saviour and Lord.

When I can say: This I accept as my own, because the angel meant it for me, then, if I believe it in my heart, I shall not fail to love the mother Mary, and even more then child, and especially the Father. For, if it is true that the child was born of the virgin and is mine, then I have no angry God and I must know the feel that there is nothing but laughter and joy in the heart of the Father and no sadness in my heart. For, if what the angel says is true, that he is our Lord and Saviour, what can sin do against us? “If God is for us, who is against us?” [Rom. 8:31]. Greater words than these I cannot speak, nor all the angels and even the Holy Spirit, as is sufficiently testified by the beautiful and devout songs that have been made about it. I do not trust myself to express it. I most gladly hear you sing and speak of it, but as long as no joy is there, so long is faith still weak or even nonexistent, and you still do not believe the angel.

Part 4 of this 4 part sermon issued tomorrow.


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Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day 1530
Martin Luther
Part 2 of 4


Who, then, are those to whom this joyful news is to be proclaimed? Those who are faint-hearted and feel the burden of their sins, like the shepherds, to whom the angels proclaim the message, letting the great lords in Jerusalem, who do not accept it, go on sleeping. Beyond the first faith there must be the second faith, that Christ is not only the virgin’s Son, but also the Lord of angels and the Saviour of men. The words anyone can understand, antisacramentarians, fanatics, sectarians, and Turks; but they do not proceed from the heart they come only from hearing and go no farther than hearing. This is not faith, however, but only a memory of what has been heard, that one knows that he has heard it. Nobody ventures upon it, so as to stake goods, life, and honor upon it. And yet we must preach it for the sake of those who are in the multitude to whom the angel preached.

This is our theology, which we preach in order that we may understand what the angel wants. Mary bore the child, took it to her breast and nursed it, and the Father in heaven has his Son, lying in the manger and the mother’s lap. Why did God do all this? Why does Mary guard the child as a mother should? And reason answers: in order that we may make an idol of her, that honor may be paid to the mother. Mary becomes all this without her knowledge and consent, and all the songs and glory and honor are addressed to the mother. And yet the text does not sound forth the honor of the mother, for the angel says, “I bring to you good news of great joy; for to you is born this day the Saviour” [Luke 2:10-11].

I am to accept the child and his birth and forget the mother, as far as this is possible, although her part cannot be forgotten, for where there is a birth there must also be a mother. Nevertheless, we dare not put our faith in the mother but only in the fact that the child was born. And the angel desired that we should see nothing but the child which is born, just as the angels themselves, as though they were blind, saw nothing but the child born of the virgin, and desired that all created things should be as nothing compared with this child, that we should see nothing, be it harps, gold, goods, honor, power, and the like which we would prefer before their message.

For if I received even the costliest and the best in the world, it still does not have the name of Saviour. And if the Turk were ten times stronger than he is, he could not for one moment save me from my infirmity, to say nothing of the peril of death, and even less from the smallest sin or from death itself. In my sin, my death, I must take leave of all created things. No, sun, moon, stars, all creatures, physicians, emperors, kings, wise men and potentates cannot help me. When I die, I shall see nothing but black darkness, and yet that light, “To you is born this day the Saviour” [Luke 2:11], remains in my eyes and fills all heaven and earth. The Saviour will help me when all have forsaken me. And when the heavens and the stars and all creatures stare at me with horrible appearance, I see nothing in heaven and earth but this child. So great should that light which declares that he is my Saviour become in my eyes that I can say: Mary, you did not bear this child for yourself alone. The child is not yours; you did not bring him forth for yourself, but for me, even though you are his mother, even though you held him in your arms and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and picked him up and laid him down. But I have a greater honor than your honor as his mother. For your honor pertains to your motherhood of the body of the child, but my honor is this, that you have my treasure, so that I know none, neither men nor angels, who can help me except this child whom you, O Mary, hold in your arms.

If a man could put out of his mind all that he is and has except this child, and if for him everything—money, goods, power, or honor—fades into darkness and he despises everything on earth compared with this child, so that heaven with its stars and earth with all its power and all its treasures becomes nothing to him, that man would have the true gain and fruit of this message of the angel. And for us the time must come when suddenly all will be darkness and we shall know nothing but this message of the angel: “I bring to you good news of great joy; for to you is born this day the Saviour” [Luke 2:10-11].

Part 3 of this 4 part sermon issued tomorrow.


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Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day 1530
By Martin Luther
Part 1 of 4


You have heard today the story from the Gospel of St. Luke of how it came to pass that our Lord Christ was born and then also the message of the angel, who announced who the boy was who was born. Now we shall go on and take up the message of the angel. So for today you have heard only that the child was born and that he is the Lord and Saviour. Thus we spoke of the story, how it unfolded, and who the persons in it were. This article is so high that even today it is believed by only a few.

Nevertheless, God has preserved it even through those who have not believed it. For at all times in the monasteries and universities there have been disputations and lectures which dealt with the fact that Christ the Lord, born of Mary, is true man and God.

But it went no further than saying and hearing it. But this belief is held by the devil too and the Turks and all the godless among Christians, and is the kind of belief which everybody believes that it is true but would not die for it, as Eck and many others show today.

If they had as much from Christ and the teaching of the gospel as from the devil, they would also think as much of Christ. The Turk too admits that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, that Mary was an immaculate virgin, and that Christ was more than a man; but the Word of God, as it is given in the gospel, he denies, and yet I fear that the Turk believes more of this article than does the pope.



Therefore it is a high article to believe that this infant, born of Mary, is true God; for nobody’s reason can ever accept the fact that he who created heaven and earth and is adored by angels was born of a virgin. That is the article. Nobody believes it except he who also knows this faith, namely, that this child is the Lord and Saviour.

But for whom was he born and whose Lord and Saviour is he? The angels declare that he was born Lord and Saviour. The Turks, the pope, and the scholars say the same thing, but only to the extent that it brings in money and honour.

But that anyone could say, “to you is born,” as the angel says, this is the faith which we must preach about. But we cannot preach about it as we would like to do. Indeed, who could ever grasp [the full meaning of] these words of the evangelist: “a Saviour, who is the Lord,” and, “to you”! I know well enough how to talk about it and what to believe about it, just as others do.

So there are many who have this belief and do it, just as others do. So there are many who have this belief and do not doubt this first belief that Christ is the Lord, the Saviour, and the virgin’s Son. This I too have never doubted. But if these words are planted no higher than my thoughts, then they have no firm roots. We are certain that this was proclaimed by the angel, but the firm faith does not follow. For the reason does not understand both sides of this faith, first that Christ is a man, but also the Saviour and Lord or King. This needs to be revealed from heaven. One who really has the first faith also has the other.



Part 2 of this 4 part sermon issued tomorrow.

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Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

A Christmas Thought (Part 3 of 3)
By John “Golden Mouth” Chrysostom (AD 349–407)


Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ‘in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.

Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things arc nourished, may receive an infant’s food from His Virgin Mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen.



Tomorrow - Martin Luther!

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