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Tag: Christmas (page 1 of 6)

Advent signifies, the act of approaching, or of coming. The members of Christ’s mystic body, the church, however they may differ in external and non-essential points; yet, are they all firmly united in this faith, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and, consequently, very God, of very God:—that he came to visit us, in great humility:—that he will come again, in the last day, to judge both the quick and the dead:—and that life immortal is obtained for us, and shall be enjoyed by us, through him only.

—Augustus M. Toplady
The Works of Augustus M. Toplady, (London: Richard Baynes, 1825), 3:436.

In addition to explaining the Name of Jesus, and recording its God-given origin, the Holy Spirit, by the evangelist Matthew, has been pleased to refer us to the synonym of it, and so to give us still more of its meaning. “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” If, when our Lord was born, and named “Jesus,” the old prophecy which said that He should be called Emmanuel was fulfilled, it follows that the name “Jesus” bears a signification tantamount to that of “Emmanuel,” and that its virtual meaning is “God with us.” And, indeed, He is Jesus, the Saviour, because He is Emmanuel, God with us; and as soon as He was born, and so became Emmanuel, the incarnate God, He became by that very fact Jesus, the Saviour. By coming down from Heaven to this earth, and taking upon Himself our nature, He bridged the otherwise bridgeless gulf between God and man; by suffering in that human nature, and imparting, through His Divine nature, an infinite efficacy to His suffering, He removed that which would have destroyed us, and brought us everlasting life and salvation. O Jesus, dearest of all names in earth or in Heaven, I love thy music all the better because it is in such sweet harmony with another Name which rings melodiously in mine ears,—Emmanuel, God with us!

—Charles H. Spurgeon
Christ’s Incarnation (Passmore and Alabaster, 1901), 39.

Christ is come, but first to save, then to judge: to adjudge to punishment those who would not be saved; to bring them to life who, by believing, did not reject salvation. Accordingly, the first dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ is medicinal, not judicial; for if He had come to judge first, He would have found none on whom He might bestow the rewards of righteousness. Because, therefore, He saw that all were sinners, and that none was exempt from the death of sin, His mercy had first to be craved, and afterwards His judgment must be executed; for of Him the psalm had sung, “Mercy and judgment will I sing to Thee, O Lord” (Psalm 101:1).

Now, He says “not judgment and mercy,” for if judgment had been first, there would be no mercy; but it is mercy first, then judgment. What is the mercy first?

The Creator of man deigned to become man; was made what He had made, that the creature He had made might not perish. What can be added to this mercy? And yet He has added thereto. It was not enough for Him to be made man, He added to this that He was rejected of men; it was not enough to be rejected, He was dishonored; it was not enough to be dishonored, He was put to death; but even this was not enough, it was by the death of the cross.

For when the apostle was commending to us His obedience even unto death, it was not enough for him to say, “He became obedient unto death;” for it was not unto death of any kind whatever: but he added, “even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Among all kinds of death, there was nothing worse than that death.

—Augustine
NPNF, 7:209.

To the shepherds the angel said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people;” and, truly, the angelic message is still the source of joy to all who hear it aright: “Unto you is born . . . a Saviour.” Rejoice, then, ye who feel that ye are lost; for Christ Jesus the Saviour comes to seek and to save you. Be of good cheer, ye who are in the prison-house of sin, for He comes to set you free. Ye who are famished and ready to die, rejoice that Christ Jesus the Lord has consecrated for you a better Bethlehem, a true “house of bread,” and that He has Himself come to be the bread of life to your souls. Rejoice, O sinners, everywhere, for the Restorer of the castaways, the Saviour of the fallen, is born!

Join in the joy, ye saints, for He is also the Preserver of the saved ones, delivering them from innumerable perils, and He is the sure Perfecter of all whom He preserves. Jesus is no partial Saviour, beginning a work, and never completing it; but, saving and cleansing, restoring and upholding, He also perfects and presents the Saved ones, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, before His Father’s face. Rejoice, then, all ye people; let your hills and valleys ring with joy, for a Saviour, who is mighty to save, is born among you.

This joy began with the shepherds, for the angel said to them, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Reader, shall the joy begin with you to-day? It avails you little that Christ is born, or that Christ died, unless unto you a Child is born, and for you Jesus bled. A personal interest in the birth, life, and death of Christ is the main point for each one of us.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
Christ’s Incarnation (Passmore and Alabaster, 1901).

Dwell upon this thought for a moment; let it sink into your mind; he who was King of kings and Lord of lords, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, voluntarily, cheerfully descended that he might dwell among the sons of men, share their sorrows, and bear their sins, and yield himself up a sacrifice on their behalf, the innocent victim of their intolerable guilt. If the angels burst out in song on that first Christmas night, if they made heaven and earth ring with their sweet harmonies, much more may we who have a share in the redemptive work of the incarnate God burst out into song as the news greets us that heaven descends to earth, that God comes down to man, that the Infinite becomes an infant, that the Eternal, who hath life in himself, deigns to dwell amongst the dying sons of men. Surely a way from earth to heaven will now be opened up since there is a way from heaven to earth, so sacred yet so simple. The same golden ladder that brings the blessed Visitant down to our humanity will take us up also to the divinity of God, to see him as our reconciled Father.

—Charles H. Spurgeon,
The Present Truth (Passmore and Alabaster, 1883).

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