In His love and pity God came to us as Christ. This has been the consistent position of the Church from the days of the apostles. It is fixed for Christian belief in the doctrine of the incarnation of the Eternal Son. In recent times, however, this has come to mean something different from, and less than, what it meant to the early church. The Man Jesus as He appeared in the flesh has been equated with the Godhead and all His human weaknesses and limitations attributed to the Deity. The truth is that the Man who walked among us was a demonstration, not of unveiled deity but of perfect humanity.
– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 30
A popular belief among Christians divide the work of God between the three Persons, giving a specific part to each, as, for instance, creation to the Father, redemption to the Son and regeneration to the Holy Spirit. This is partly true but not wholly so, for God cannot so divide Himself that one Person works while another is inactive. In the Scriptures the three Persons are shown to act in harmonious unity in all the mighty works that are wrought throughout the universe.
In the Holy Scriptures the work of creation is attributed to the Father (Genesis 1:1), to the Son (Colossians 1:16), and to the Holy Spirit (Job 26:13 and Psalms 104:30). The incarnation is shown to have been accomplished by the three Persons in full accord (Luke 1:35), though only the Son became flesh to dwell among us. At Christ’s baptism the Son came up out of the water, the Spirit descended upon Him and the Father’s voice spoke from heaven (Matthew 3:16-17). Probably the most beautiful description of the work of atonement is found in Hebrews 9:14, where it is stated that Christ, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God; and there we behold the three persons operating together.
– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 19-20
Everyone has a creed. Even those Christians who claim that their “only creed is Christ” have a creed, because the very moment they begin to explain what they believe about Christ, they are in fact reciting their creed about Christ. In truth, its impossible not to have a creed. So the question is this: Is our creed carefully formulated and written down, biblically and doctrinally orthodox, and attested to by faithful forefathers of the church? Or is it based on our own authority and clever invention, always changing according to the last internet post we read or according to our own doctrinal whim?
Parson, Burk; “Five New Points of Old Heresy”; Tabletalk; January, 2019; p. 2
One of Satan’s most effective weapons, I believe, is making us forget the identity the Father has declared over us in Christ and basing our sense of approval on how well we’ve done.
– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 48
Through this gospel, the Holy Spirit creates the faith to embrace Christ with all of his benefits. We are delivered from condemnation and are made part of the new creation in Christ. Filled with grateful hearts, we look for ways to glorify God and to love and serve our neighbors. We are eager to grow. Fueled by gratitude, we look for opportunities to glorify God and to love and serve others. Yet it is easy to take the gospel for granted. Then we find ourselves running out that high-octane fuel, running out of gas in the middle of the busy highway of myriad calls to get in the fast lane. In the zeal created by the gospel itself, we can leave the gospel behind as we gravitate toward various calls to “something more.”
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page124-125
“The diversity of expressions to describe being in Christ in this one long sentence (Ephesians 1:3-14) is astonishing, and the sheer repetition of the formula indicates that it is crucial.”
– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 45
Because Christ is Lord, there is a church in exile, receiving everything from heaven, and on earth witnessing to, loving and serving their neighbors. For a new reformation in the church and renewed witness in the world, we need not only to re-arm ourselves with drama and the doctrine, but allow the greatest story ever told to shape us into a cross-cultural community – a light set upon a hill.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 264
Let us, in Heaven’s name, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious – others will pass into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him? We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His Personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.
It is the dogma that is the drama – not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and moral uplift,nor the promise of something nice after death – but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that one might be glad to believe.
– Dorothy Sayers
as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 252-253
Christ’s bodily absence in this time between his two advents is neither unproductive nor indefinite. He is right now doing something in heaven that is more important than anything that the church could conceive or do by its own clever machinations. And he has sent his Spirit to communicate the riches of his reign to a world in bondage to sin and death. It is that same Spirit who engenders within us the longing cry for Christ’s return.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 257
Like a cross that is worn around one’s neck, Christ has become an accessory. Rather than being commanded at gunpoint to deny Christ, we are led by the devil into the wilderness of consumerism, shopping for identities. Far from being harried and harassed, we are shown the kingdoms of this world that can be ours if we will only turn away from Golgotha. We don’t have to become atheists. We do not even have to renounce Jesus Christ.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 115