Three Crucifixions

crosses“One died in sin, one died to sin, and One died for our sins.” -John Murray


Christian Music

“The main direction of our music is vertical (man to God) with the audience of our music being God Himself….True Christian music has something behind it that the world will never know: the power of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we try to substitute the Holy Spirit’s power with special effects, we may impress a crowd, but in the spiritual realm we have failed miserably.”

Tim Fisher, “Our Greatest Threat” in “Church Music Dynamics” November/December 1995, Sacred Music Services (Greenville, SC: Sacred Music Services), Vol. 5, No. 6, p 1, 3.

The Virgin Birth of Jesus

Among the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus was born to Mary while she was a virgin. Matthew 1:20 tells us “that which is conceived in her (Jesus) is of the Holy Ghost.”

Martin Luther says it well:
“It is a great, unspeakable endowment that we have in faith to regard this as God’s consummate wisdom that he, who created heaven and earth, is born of a virgin. Among Jews and Gentiles this has been judged as a particularly foolish proclamation, when first it was preached to the world. It was considered to be absurd, just as today still so very many regard it to be ridiculous that sublime, divine majesty, God himself, should lower himself so deeply, not only to create, nourish, and sustain mankind, but also himself to become a man. To sum up, human reason does not understand it; the devil, the world, and human reason object to it, exclaiming, ‘Nothing more foolish has ever been foisted on people int he world!’ For this reason we must diligently preach and study this article, so that we become well versed in and strengthened by it, in no way entertaining any doubts about it, but becoming ever more sure that God sent his Son into the world, to become man and be born of a woman. For this is solely the gift and wisdom belonging to us who are Christians, that we are able to say that no greater wisdom, no more sublime truth, has appeared in the world than that God, who created heaven and earth, was born of a virgin, that he, therefore, has such members as eyes, ears, hands, and feet, body and soul, just like any other human being.”

Martin Luther, Preached Christmas Eve, 1532: The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther (Grand Rapids: Baker Books), Vol. 7, p 210.

God knows us, loves us

“God’s omniscience is all-knowing love, and is brought closer to our hearts and clothed in gracious tenderness in Christ whose ‘eyes were as a flame of fire,’ but whose love is more ardent still, who knows us altogether, and pities and loves as perfectly as He knows.”

Alexander MacLaren, 19–: Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, George H. Doran Company), Vol. 1, p 120.

Attuned to the Voice of God

“Note that when God called Abraham, Abraham obeyed the call. He answered, “…Behold, here I am.” Abraham was a man whose ear was in tune with the Voice of God. No character in the Old Testament or in all of history is more interesting than Abraham. He is reverenced by the Jews as their father through Isaac, and by the Arabs as their father through the son of Hagar. He is also called the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:7).”

Bob Jones, 1973: Old Testament Sermons: The Pentateuch (Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, Unusual Publications), p 24.

Advice for speakers

“There is advantage in giving a preview. If you are a teacher your class will keep up with you. To use a simple farm illustration, don’t hitch your horses too far from the wagon, but get them close to the “double-tree” if you want them to pull a heavy load. A lot of us get up beating away, and the deacons go to sleep. I never preach until I know I have my congregation. I have sense enough to know that they are not going to quit thinking immediately about their income tax, or a family row. A lot of people will sit and look at you but that doesn’t mean that they are paying attention. So be sure you have your audience.”

J. Frank Norris, 1945?: Practical Lectures on Daniel (Plano, Texas: Calvary Baptist Publications), p 7.

God is to us…

“God is to us what we most need at the moment, whether it be comfort, or wisdom, or guidance, or strength. The manna tasted to each man, as the rabbis say, what he most desired. God’s gifts take the shape of man’s necessity.”

Alexander MacLaren, 19–: Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, George H. Doran Company), Vol. 1, p 102.