Have you ever wondered why Scripture gives us four different accounts of Jesus' life? Wouldn't one Gospel have been enough? Chuck Swindoll answers this question in "That You May Believe."
We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
The fourth Gospel is considered a primer on the essential basics of Christianity. In the book of John, Christ is clearly and pre-eminently exalted as deity. In simple (yet profound) terms, Jesus is set forth so that all may believe He is indeed the Son of God. Hopefully, this lesson, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the 21 chapters in John, will help all of us realize eternal life begins with Christ.
Biblical narratives tell the ultimate story of rescue and redemption of fallen mankind through the coming of the Messiah. It’s important that we understand how to read and interpret the smaller narratives in light of the one grand narrative.
The writers selected stories portraying Jesus the best for their audience, and wrote in a way their readers would understand. While they were selective in what they revealed, what is written is everything they thought important for their readers to know.
The doctrine of the virgin birth, or perhaps more accurately the virgin conception, is important for many reasons. On it hang the doctrines of original sin, the inspiration of Scripture, who Jesus was, and what Jesus did in salvation.
Our sentimental approach to Christ’s birth sanitizes the event to the point where we re-cast the story for palatability, nostalgia, and commercial manipulation.
Keep this familiar story from losing its wonder by pondering the incredulity of the God of the universe arriving on earth as a newborn infant. Oh, what a glorious night!
Nostalgia. That abnormal yearning within us to step into the time tunnel and recover the irrecoverable. That wistful dream, that sentimental journey taken within the mind—always travelled alone and therefore seldom discussed.
Every Christmas we all receive two amazing gifts from the Creator. First, we receive a reminder of God’s astonishing, unconditional love. Second, we receive a reminder of Jesus Christ’s audacious grace. In this message, let’s focus on the grace Christ demonstrated on the first Christmas day so long ago.