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Redemption and Salvation


By Alex, 2021-11-27

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The Foundation of God


By Alex, 2021-11-21

“…the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows those who are His“. II Tim. 2:19.

“…other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”. I Cor. 3:11.

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation”. Isa. 28:16. 

The foundation of the Church* is the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the foundation upon which we build. The hymn writer wrote…

The Church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ, our Lord

Jesus Christ is the Rock of Ages upon which the City of God (the Church) is built.

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken
formed thee for His own abode;
on the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded,
thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

“Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God…
Jesus answered and said unto him…and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:16&18.

We stand upon the divine revelation that Christ is the Rock and that He builds His Church. Of which He is both the foundation and the cornerstone.

“…you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22.

That which is not built upon the foundation that is Jesus Christ will fail and fall.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

See: Luke 6:48-49, 14:28.

*Assembly  The word “church” is of Saxon origin and means Lord’s house (Kirche. Hence the term “house of God”), it does not mean a gathering or assembly, which is the meaning of the Greek word ekklesia (ἐκκλησία), French Église, Welsh Eglwys. The Scottish word for church Kirk, is derived from Kirche. 

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I AM THAT I AM


By Alex, 2021-11-17

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (אהיה אשׁר אהיה): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you”. Exodus 3:14.

They were captive slaves in Egypt. I AM delivered them with an outstretched arm.

The significance of I AM.
Two small words upon which everything is stayed and sustained.
Two small words in which dwells life eternal and all authority.

I AM. The everlasting One, the Creator of all that is created and made.

His disciples despaired when the storm seemed as if it would swallow them. I AM stilled the storm and delivered them. “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matt.14. John 6) 

“…he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” John 14:17-20.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”.

I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last”.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”.

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The blood of Jesus Christ is able to cleanse us from all unrighteous and sin, that we become to Him as virgins, to Him who “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood”.

“Therefore, do the virgins love Thee.”
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A Weak Thing, A Foolish Thing


By Alex, 2021-11-07
A Weak Thing, A Foolish Thing

"There is but a little thing (like a grain of mustard-seed), a weak thing, a foolish thing, even that which is not (to man’s eye), to overcome all this; and yet in this is the power. And here is the great deceit of man; he looks for a great, manifest power in or upon him to begin with, and doth not see how the power is in the little weak stirrings of life in the heart…" Isaac Penington, 1616-1679

"..we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

I Corithians 1:23-31

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Make Room for Christ


By Alex, 2021-11-07

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Luke 2:4-7.

All things that are created were created through Him, yet there was no room for Him in the Inn. Yet He that created all things desires to dwell, not only with us (Emmanuel - “God with us”), but in us. “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23.

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NOËL


By Alex, 2021-11-05
NOËL

The Etymology and Meaning of NOËL

Noël is a term commonly synonymous with Christmas. But what does Noel really mean? Languages and input from around the globe have come into play in the context of what this famous word really means in carols, such as “The First Noel” forging a greeting from Bethlehem two thousand years ago to our modern age.

Root Meaning of the Word Noël

The word, “Noël” has multiple root meanings. The French wordnouvelles, means, “news”. The English root of the word comes from the word, nowel, which means “shout of joy.” The mother of Romance languages, Latin, also ushers forth a root in the word, natalis, meaning, ”birth.” These languages would prove to provide a solid foundation revolving around the context in which Noël  is used today.

The first common usage of the word began primarily in the Middle Ages in Europe. French and English carols began using the word within the context of songs referring to the birth of Christ. It is thought the melody for the famous Christmas song began in France in the 1200s, but it would not be until the 1800s that the song with lyrics would gain such popularity.

"The First Noël"

“The First Noël” carol was first published in 1823 by William B. Sandys in his book, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern. It is said that local townspeople would gather at Christmas time to sing such carols in worship and celebration of remembering the birth of Christ. During this time period many stories, songs, and traditions were carried down from generation to generation by the retelling of the story. Greater production of the Bible in multiple languages and by the printing press invented in the 1400s allowed for greater access to Scriptures for these truths to be passed on. Lyrics added over time resulted in the classic song still sung today.

Lyrics foundationally in the song reflect the story told throughout Luke 2:8-14, where the Angels came to share the good news of the birth of Christ with the shepherds:

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!"

The reflected root meanings of the variants of Noël all come into context of lyrics. “The first Noël the angels did sing was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.” Reflecting the Latin root of birth, the English root of joyous noise of the arrival, while embracing the French meaning of news, the roots of Noël work together to proclaim the sounds of praise to the Lord.

Repetition throughout the song with the hook, “Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël, born is the King of Israel” resounds in the call to spread and repeat the blessed Good News of the arrival of the promised Messiah on earth.  The final verse reflects the reminder of Christ’s sacrifice:

“Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind has bought.”

Knowing that the birth of Christ matters because of the death and resurrection of Christ, encourages us to sing in one accord of both His birth and resurrection.

“And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.”

Using the word Noël should be a way of life, not merely for a season. Jesus calls in Matthew 28:18-20,

…Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Repeating the joy of Noël throughout the season of Christmas reflects such a call. It is vital to not merely sing and share solely during the Christmas season, but graciously wear upon our hearts and speak with our lips the joyous truth behind what Noël represents. Noël represents the Good News of Christ Himself coming to earth to forgive and save us all.

Based on an article by Cally Logan

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1

I lift my heart to Thee,
    Saviour  Divine,
  For Thou art all to me,
    And I am Thine;
Is there on earth a closer bond than this,
That my Beloved’s mine, and I am His?

2

Thine am I by all ties,
    And chiefly Thine,
  For through Thy sacrifice
    Thou, Lord, art mine;
By Thine own cords of love, so sweetly wound
Around me, closely I to Thee am bound.

3

To Thee, Thou Bleeding Lamb,
    I all things owe,
  All that I have and am,
    And all I know;
All that I have is now no longer mine,
And I am not my own: Lord, I am Thine.

4

How can I, Lord, withhold
    Life’s brightest hour
  From Thee; or gathered gold,
    Or any power?
Why should I keep one precious thing from Thee,
When Thou hast given Thine own dear Self for me?

5
I pray Thee, Savior, keep
    Me in Thy love,
  Until the world Thou sweep
    And me remove
To that fair realm, where, sin and sorrow o’er,
Thou and Thine own are one for evermore.

Charles Mudie (1818-1890)

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