Archive for December, 2011

His Image

Posted: December 31, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in The Christian Life

“I have put my soul, as a blank, into the hands of Jesus Christ my Redeemer, and desired him to write upon it what he pleases. I know it will be his own image.”

George Whitefield, quoted in Christian History, Issue 38, page 28.

(HT:Ray Ortlund)

Thinking of the Trinity

Posted: December 28, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

Gregory Nazianzen:

No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One.

When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me.

I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest.

When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light.

—Gregory of Nazianzen, Orationes, 40:41


“The supreme mystery with which the gospel confronts us . . . lies not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of incarnation.  The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man – that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that He took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human.

Here are two mysteries for the price of one ­- the plurality of persons within the unity of God, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus.  It is here, the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the profoundest and most unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie.  ’The Word was made flesh’ (John 1:14); God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.  And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality.  The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets.”

J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, 1973), pages 45-46.

(HT:Ray Ortlund)

Delighting in Jesus, a Healthy New Years Resolution

Posted: December 27, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

“Delight in God is the health of your souls.”

Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory (Ligonier, 1990), page 142

(HT:Ray Ortlund)

Awakening Grace is Moving!

Posted: December 26, 2011 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

Awakening Grace is moving!  You can visit the new site at  All of the old content will be made available on the new site over the coming weeks, as well as a lot of new content.   From this new site you can continue to view and read teachings and sermons by Rob Sturdy delivered at St. Andrew’s Mount Pleasant as well as access the same devotional and educational material that we like to post here.  The current web address, will be taken over by Trinity’s new (and improved!) Lead Pastor, Rev. Iain Boyd.

If you currently subscribe to AwakeningGrace,  go on over now and sign up to the new site by clicking the “follow” button near the top of the page on the right hand side.  You can also click here for the latest post, which details a little known fact about Buzz Aldrin reading from John’s Gospel and taking communion on the moon!

See you over at the new site.

Glory of Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

by Stephen Altrogge

Christ, the Lord from eternity past

Did not clutch tightly to his glory – his brilliant, blazing, baffling glory that forces angels to cover their eyes

As if it were a thing a to be clutched and grasped

But took on the fragile clay of humanity

A body, formed inside a woman

A body that would be racked by hunger and headaches and heaving sickness

The World Maker, who keeps Jupiter and Saturn from colliding, who declares supernovas, who breathes forth the snow and the rain

Became a baby – a helpless baby, clutching and grasping at his mother

The Light of the World took form in the darkness of a womb

Was born into the darkness of a stable

Into the darkness of a world at war with God

A rescue mission, redeeming mission, sacrificial mission, servant mission

Jesus, the Christ, the Lord, the King, and the Conqueror at birth

Born beneath the specter of the cross, haunted by the shadow of death

Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give us second birth

Lift your hearts in grateful praise, Christ the Lord is born today

Fountain of Love

Posted: December 22, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“There, in heaven, this infinite fountain of love — this eternal Three in One — is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it, as it flows forever.  There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love.  And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love!”

Jonathan Edwards, “Heaven is a world of love,” in Charity and its Fruits (London, 1969), pages 327-328.


God’s Glory in Faith

Posted: December 19, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

– George Muller

Immanuel is God with us

Posted: December 19, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”—Matthew 1:23

Immanuel is God with us. We here ascend infinitely above the human. It is not merely an angel that is with us- a man that is with us; it is Deity who is with us, none less than Jehovah Himself, Israel’s covenant God and Keeper. We cannot do with anything short of Deity. If Deity does not come to our aid, if Deity does not stoop to our low estate, if Deity does not save us, we are lost to all eternity. When we fell in the first Adam, our humanity lost all its original righteousness and strength. If Deity did not interpose on our behalf, if God did not Himself embark in our rescue, the inevitable consequence must have been the shades of endless death. But a plan of deliverance had been conceived from everlasting. God, in the infinite counsels of His own mind, resolved upon the salvation of His eternally chosen and loved people. He saw that there was no eye to pity them, and no arm to save them. He resolved upon our salvation, embarked in it, accomplished it; and eternity, as it rolls upon its axis, will magnify His name, and show forth His praise.

And, O beloved! what an assuring and comforting truth is this- God with us! Now we feel equal to every service, prepared for every trial, armed for every assault. Deity is our shield, Deity is our arm, Deity is our Father and our Friend. We deal with the Divine. Deity has died for us, has atoned for us, has saved us, and will bring us safely to the realms of bliss. “This God is our God, forever and ever, and will be our Father even unto death.” Oh, see, my reader, that your hope is built upon nothing more and upon nothing less than Christ. The “Rock of Ages” must be your only foundation if saved. If you stand not in the “righteousness of God” when you appear in His presence, He will say to you, “How did you get in here, not having on the wedding garment?” Speechless will then be the tongue now so fluent and ingenious in its many and vain excuses, or so loud and earnest in its heartless responses in religious worship. I solemnly repeat that, if you have no better righteousness to appear before God in than your religious duties, or rites, or doings, when summoned to His dread tribunal, it had been better for you never to have been born. Oh, cast from you the leprous garment you so long and so fondly have clutched, as though it were a white and beautiful robe fit to appear in the presence of the holy, holy, holy Lord God; and accept in penitence and faith the “righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all those who believe.” Deadly doings are deadly things, sinking you as a nether millstone down to the shades of the bottomless pit. But one believing look at the crucified Savior is life and immortality, raising you above the curse, above your sins, out of the horrible pit and the miry clay of your present condemnation, into the sun-lit regions of forgiveness, peace, and hope.

Octavius Winslow, Emmanuel, or The TItles of Christ, as published in The Works of Octavius Winslow(Monergism Books, Kindle Edition)


Whose holding who?

Posted: December 16, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

Jn 10

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”

“It is not your hold of Christ that saves, but his hold of you!” – C.H. Spurgeon

Sweet & Lively Bread

Posted: December 13, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity

“Before Christ’s coming into the world, all men universally in Adam were nothing else but a wicked and crooked generation, rotten and corrupt trees, stony ground, full of brambles and briars, lost sheep, prodigal sons, naughty unprofitable servants, unrighteous stewards, workers of iniquity, the brood of adders, blind guides, sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death: to be short nothing else but children of perdition, and inheritors of hell fire.

But after [Christ] was once come down from heaven, and had taken our frail nature upon him, he made all them that would receive him truly, and believe his word, good trees, and good ground, fruitful and pleasant branches, children of light, citizens of heaven, sheep of his fold, members of his body, heirs of his Kingdom, his true friends and brethren, sweet and lively bread, the elect and chosen people of God. ”

— Church of England
“Homily on the Nativity”


Some of the Unreached Peoples of the World

Posted: December 13, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized


from  Mike Riccardi at the Cripplegate

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…
– John 1:14 –

If we’re reading through this verse in our daily Bible reading, we’re likely to zip right by it with little fanfare. We read that Jesus “dwelt” among us, and when we think of the idea of “dwelling” we just think of “hanging out.” But there’s much more going on in what John is saying than it sounds to us English-speakers. He uses a peculiar word here. There are more common Greek words for “to dwell,” but he chooses skēnoō. Now, the word skēnē in Greek means “tent,” and skēnoō is the verb form. So we could render it, “to pitch a tent.” John tells us that this Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us.

…..And so when the Apostle John uses that peculiar word, when he tells his readers the incarnate Word dwelt among them, he is calling our attention here. John is telling us that the way Yahweh descended and dwelt among His people in the Tabernacle,—and spoke with them in communion and revealed Himself for worship—that very same thing is happening in Jesus Christ! In Jesus, the glory of Yahweh is descending and is pitching His tent to dwell among His people!

As we approach the Christmas season, and as you prepare your hearts to praise God for the gift of the incarnation, let this cause you to worship. Be affected, be moved to awe and adoration by the fact that the Word—the Eternal God Himself, the agent of the creation of all things, the life and the Light of the world—became flesh and tabernacled among us.

read all of this post here

Great Love in His Incarnation

Posted: December 9, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship, Uncategorized

These were the chief ends wherefore Christ became man, not for any profit that should come to himself thereby, but only for our sakes, that we might understand the will of GOD, be partakers of his heavenly light, be delivered out of the devil’s claws: released from the burden of sin, justified through faith in his blood, and finally, received up into everlasting glory, there to reign with him for ever. Was not this a great and singular love of Christ towards mankind, that being the express and lively image of GOD, he would notwithstanding humble himself, and take upon him the form of a servant, and that only to save and redeem us? O how much are wee bound to the goodness of GOD in this behalf? how many thanks and praises do we owe unto him for this our salvation wrought by his dear and only Son Christ? who became a pilgrim in earth to make us citizens in heaven, who became the son of man, to make us the sons of GOD, who became obedient to the Law, to deliver us from the curse of the Law, who became poor, to make us rich; vile, to make us precious; subject to death, to make us live for ever. What greater love could we silly creatures desire or wish to have at GODS hands?

“Homily on the Nativity”


12 Reasons for Christmas

Posted: December 8, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Biblical Studies, Christianity, Discipleship

from the Desiring God Blog:

  1. “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
  2. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15).
  3. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
  4. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
  5. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
  6. “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).
  7. “For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16).
  8. “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
  9. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
  10. “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (Luke 2:34ff).
  11. “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).
  12. “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:7–8; cf. John 12:27ff).

Adapted from the article, “12 Reasons for Christmas” (1991).

© 2011 Desiring God