7-13-2017 The Bible Is From God

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 NKJV). This prophecy, given some 700 years before it happened, was not “dually fulfilled;” did not apply to Isaiah’s own son or the serious situation at the time; but was only one-time fulfilled in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, so said God’s Holy-Spirit-inspired writer, Matthew, in Matthew 1:20-23. Only God could have prophesied such a unique, specific event, controlled its writing, preserved the prophecy for 700 years, and identified the event that completely fulfilled the original statement. The Bible does this hundreds of times, proving that it comes only from God, but no other religion’s book does: the Hindu Rig Veda; the Muslim Koran; or the Buddhist Tripitaka!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#dual-fulfillment, #virgin-birth

January 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (The Messiah in the Flesh)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The Word Became Flesh (B. J. Clarke)
  • The Suffering Saviour (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Effective Ministry of the Incarnate Son (Rick Brumback)
  • Jesus: The Master Teacher (Ken Hope)
  • Jesus: The Humble Servant (Ross Haffner)
  • Jesus: A Friend of Sinners (Michael Light)
  • He Hath Done All Things Well (Robert Stapleton)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-worker, #death-of-christ, #incarnation, #jesus-and-him-crucified, #jesus-and-the-scriptures, #jesus-as-example, #jesus-as-friend, #jesus-birth, #messianic-prophecy, #nature-of-jesus, #perfection-of-jesus, #suffering-servant, #virgin-birth

November 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (The Messiah in Prophecy)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (Don Walker)
  • Genesis 3:15 (Cody Westbrook)
  • Isaiah 7:14 (Wayne Jackson)
  • Micah 5:2 (Carl McCann)
  • Isaiah 53 (Clay Bond)
  • Daniel 7:13-14 (Kevin Rhodes)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bethlehem, #birth-of-christ, #christian-worker, #jesus-and-the-scriptures, #jesus-christ, #king-jesus, #kingdom-of-christ, #lineage-of-jesus, #messianic-prophecy, #old-testament-lessons, #suffering-servant, #virgin-birth

An Explanation of Belief

In a small town (village) was a young woman, the age of which is unknown, but perhaps as young as her early to mid-teen years. She had a character that stood before all who paid any attention, and certainly the Lord did (Luke 1:30). Her name was Mary, and Mary did not have to be the way the Holy Spirit described her to be, but she chose a path in life that was above the paths many lived.

About 6 months after the grand (and divine) visit with Zacharias, Gabriel visited Mary in the small town of Nazareth. No doubt, Mary was startled by such a visit and, presumably, in a location that had privacy all around “he” visits with her. Frightened, perplexed, and confused, the angel reassured her because she was “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28). “What manner of visit could this be?” she asked.

What the Lord’s messenger said was humbly received with the grace by which she lived her life. That which the angel told her was fantastic to be sure. She would carry a child in her womb, a son; more than that, the child would sit on the throne of David, the great patriarch and loved servant of the Lord (Luke 1:33-34). Though she did not know how this could be, she not once expressed doubt but that it could be!

The angel explained to her how this would come about, and just as she did not understand the “mechanics” of it then, we do not now understand today. She accepted this, and moreover, the angel gave her a sign, telling her about her relative Elizabeth now being six months pregnant. Can you imagine the joy at such news! Yet, there was a natural, physical problem. Joseph.

For three months she stayed with Elizabeth (Luke 1:56). I wonder if they talked about how to handle that situation (among the great many things a grandmotherly aged woman would teach to a very young woman). Mary knew, being raised in a strict Jewish environment, that people would note her pregnancy and that she and Joseph were not “officially” married, having consummated that union. Imagine her apprehension; yet, Joseph came to know (Matthew 1:18-19), but how he came to know is untold to us. Perhaps Mary broke the news to him, but the fantastic nature of such a thing seemed much too extraordinary to believe, much less accept.

Not only was Mary a young woman of great virtue, but there was something in Joseph that was equally the same, for the Holy Spirit called him a “righteous man” (Mt. 1:19), and because both were righteous in the Lord’s eyes, to these two the Savior was brought into the world.

Truly, a time for thanksgiving.

#belief, #gabriel, #mary, #virgin-birth, #virtue

Too Smart?

There are some out there who consider themselves too smart to believe in the doctrine of the virgin birth. The “enlightened” say modern science says it can’t happen and no doctor in the world would ever agree with the idea.

My answer to such an “educated” stance is 1) science deals with the natural and God (who created the natural) knows how to deal in the supernatural which overrules the previous, and 2) one of the writers who recorded one of the gospels which contains the account of the virgin birth was a doctor (Colossians 4:4)! It’s true there were no MRI machines or even thermometers some 2,000 years ago, but doctors have understood for a very long time where babies come from. Doctor Luke believed in the evidence presented and in the sign promised by God so long ago, so there’s no reason that some “educated” mind can’t do the same today.

If we want to receive the benefit of knowing that God is with us and that He’ll deliver us (the very purpose of the virgin birth – Immanuel/Jesus) then we’ll have to show our faith in the gospel…including the way it begins. If one can believe that water was turned to wine, that people were healed by touch and great distances, that thousands were fed by a few pieces of food, that people were raised from the dead and that the very child who was born of a virgin, grew up, was betrayed, was crucified, was buried and was risen again the third day, then why should one wonder about and stumble His birth?

If we don’t have the faith that it takes to believe God and His word then we’ll give into all the skeptics, critics, naysayers, joke makers and unbelievers who will try to drain us of our faith; because at the end of the day, unless we believe in the sign revealed at Bethlehem we won’t believe in the One who the rest of the signs point toward (John 20:30-31).

There may be some out there who are too smart – but they’re too smart for their own good.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – NKJV)

#christmas, #doctrine, #jesus, #virgin-birth

The virgin birth on ‘good’ Friday

In his Christian Evidences column today on Forthright Magazine, our good brother John Henson writes,

Modernists wish to make Christ an ordinary man and not God our Savior (Titus 1:3, 4). To do this, they preach that while Jesus was a genius, he is just an ordinary man. In order to solidify their doctrine, the virgin birth is the first casualty.

John does a good job in few words of showing the importance of this essential doctrine. Without it, we’re all just a bunch of moralists, as was Dr. Barclay.

The virgin birth gives the lie to progressives who love to use 1 Cor. 15 to affirm that only the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are the core of the gospel. Even though the passage itself does not lend itself to such a “core” interpretation, the absence of mention of the incarnation destroys their affirmation. Unless, of course, they deny the virgin birth, which is another ball of wax.

The incarnation is also the basis for mission. If Jesus became one of us, in order to save, he sends us in the same manner. “Even so,” he said, or as the NET puts it, “Just as” (John 20:21). We see it in Paul’s principle of becoming “all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some” (1 Cor. 9:19-22).

A friend of mine, who’s now a powerful evangelist used by the Lord, once told me that he had talked with one of the brotherhood’s well known figures in the US, who didn’t realize that Jesus was divine. I was speechless. We need more teaching about Jesus and the major facts and doctrines about his life. So John’s article is a welcome contribution, and recommended for careful study.

#incarnation, #jesus-christ, #virgin-birth

The Birth of Christ

Let me first of all say: I do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. I think of this time of year as a family celebration and reunion.

But I do want to stir up your mind about the birth of Christ. Think of it! Other than the crucifixion and resurrection, no single past event is so important.

Isaiah prophesied it in 7:14 as a unique “virgin” birth. Daniel told the time of the coming of the Messiah in 2:44. Micah prophesied the exact location (Bethlehem Ephrathah) in Micah 5:2.

An angel announced the birth to both Joseph and Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; also Luke 1:26-38).
Maji spent months following a special star and traveling to observe the child and present gifts (Mt. 2:1-12). Who else in all of history had a star to proclaim his birth?

Herod was so envious and angry about it he destroyed many children to stop it (2:16-18).

Elizabeth called Mary the “mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43). In response Mary sang what has come to be called the Magnificat (1:46-55).

Though Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, a special census called for them to return to Bethlehem, even though Mary was large with child (Luke 2:1-7).

An angel of the Lord announced the birth to shepherds in the field with the sign of a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (Luke 2:8-20).

The Scriptures tell much about this birth. No other birth in ancient history has so much prophesied and recorded about it. This is an amazing miracle and blessing of God.

This is a marvelous event! And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Say as little about the human tradition of Christmas as you wish, but do not neglect to tell what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus Christ–God’s great gift to the world!!!

#angels, #bethlehem, #birth-of-christ, #magi, #star, #virgin-birth