7 Marks of a False Teacher

taken from challies.com

No one enriches hell more than false teachers. No one finds greater joy in drawing people away from truth and leading them into error. False teachers have been present in every era of human history, they have always been a plague and have always been in the business of providing counterfeit truth. While their circumstances may change, their methods remain consistent.

Here are seven marks of false teachers.

1False teachers are man pleasers. What they teach is meant to please the ear more than profit the heart. They tickle the ears of their followers with flattery and all the while they treat holy things with wit and carelessness rather than reverence and awe. This contrasts sharply with a true teacher of the Word who knows that he is answerable to God and who is therefore far more eager to please God than men. As Paul would say, “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thes. 2:4).

2False teachers save their harshest criticism for God’s most faithful servants. False teachers criticize those who teach the truth, and save their sharpest criticism for those who hold most steadfastly to what is true. We see this in many places in the Bible, such as when Korah and his friends rose up against Moses and Aaron (Num. 16:3) and when Paul’s ministry was threatened and undermined by those critics who said that while his words were strong, he himself was weak and unimportant (2 Cor. 10:10). We see it most notably in the vicious attacks of the religious authorities against Jesus. False teachers continue to rebuke and belittle God’s faithful servants today. Yet, as Augustine declared, “He that willingly takes from my good name, unwillingly adds to my reward.”

False teachers teach their own wisdom and vision. This was certainly true in the days of Jeremiah when God would say, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds” (Jer. 14:14). And today, too, false teachers teach the foolishness of mere men instead of teaching the deeper, richer wisdom of God. Paul knew, “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3).

4False teachers miss what is of central importance and focus instead on the small details. Jesus diagnosed this very tendency in the false teachers of his day, warning them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Matt. 23:23). False teachers place great emphasis on their adherence to the smaller commands even as they ignore the greater ones. Paul warned Timothy of the one who “is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6:4-5).

5False teachers obscure their false doctrine behind eloquent speech and what appears to be impressive logic. Just as a prostitute paints and perfumes herself to appear more attractive and more alluring, the false teacher hides his blasphemies and dangerous doctrine behind powerful arguments and eloquent use of language. He offers to his listeners the spiritual equivalent of a poisonous pill coated in gold; though it may appear beautiful and valuable, it is still deadly.

6False teachers are more concerned with winning others to their opinions than in helping and bettering them. This was another of Jesus’ diagnoses as he considered the religious rulers of his day. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves” (Matt 23:15). False teachers are ultimately not in the business of bettering lives and saving souls, but of convincing minds and winning followers.

7False teachers exploit their followers. Peter would warn of this danger, saying: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. … And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (1 Peter 2:1-3). The false teachers exploit those who follow them because they are greedy and desire the riches of this world. This being true, will always teach principles that indulge the flesh. False teachers are concerned with your goods, not your good; they want to serve themselves more than save the lost; they are content for Satan to have your soul as long as they can have your stuff.

Tim Challies

Inspired by Shai Linne and Appendix II of Thomas Brook’s Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.

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Redeem Your Time

taken from challies.com

Is there anything more tragic than time? Is there anything that brings about deeper grief than seeing time pass us by, than acknowledging how much has already elapsed and how little remains? We who were made to live forever are now given a mere “threescore years and ten” (Psalm 90:10) before we are gone. “If a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all,” says wise old Solomon, “but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:8).

Christian men, you have been given a race to run, and you have been called to run to win. At times this race will seem like a marathon and at times a sprint. During times of sorrow or adversity, the days may seem to drag, each one bearing the weight of a lifetime, grueling days giving way to long, sleepless nights. But during times of joy the days will fly by, and you will marvel at how quickly time has passed. An Olympic sprinter spends years in training to prepare for an event that is over in 10 seconds. At times it will seem like your life has gone by just as quickly, that the child you were only just cradling in your arms is now holding your arm as you escort her down the aisle. Whether life plods by or speeds by, you are responsible for each moment. If you are going to run to win, you must redeem your time.

Redeem the Time

There is nothing you have that has not been given to you, no good thing you possess that is not a gift of God’s grace. You who deserve nothing but wrath and condemnation have been given innumerable blessings. You are responsible before God to faithfully steward each one of them. If God has given you the blessing of marriage, you must always keep in mind that your wife is first God’s daughter, his creation. Your foremost responsibility is to care for her in a way that honors and pleases the Father. If God has given you children, they are first his children, created in his image and for his glory. The call of the father is to discipline and instruct his children on behalf of God. If God has given you money, it is his money, and you are meant to use it as if God is going to require an accounting for every penny. What is true of a wife and children and money is true of time. Yet, as Donald Whitney says, “If people threw away their money as thoughtlessly as they throw away their time, we would think them insane.”

God has given you the gift of time, and he has given it to you in trust with the expectation that you will use it wisely and that you will diligently commit it to the highest of purposes. When Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, he calls them to live lives of extraordinary holiness, then says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). “Making the best use of time” is, more literally, “redeeming the time.” Time must be redeemed by liberating it from useless pursuits and dedicating it to the highest purposes. Time is laid out before you, and it must be grasped, it must be seized from all the ignoble purposes that could otherwise steal and waste it. You relate to time well when you understand it as a precious gift to be used, not a valueless possession to be squandered.

God knows the number of years, months, and days he has allocated to you. You cannot add to or take away from them. But what you can do in greater or lesser measure is put that time to use. While still a young man, Jonathan Edwards resolved “never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.” He understood that time had been given to him in trust, and he meant to use it well. He, like the wise and loyal servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents, longed to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).

Time Wasted, Time Redeemed

Time is a gift you are meant to accept and treasure. Yet there are many things competing for your time, many temptations to misuse it. Let’s consider a few common ways time can be wasted.

You waste time in laziness. If Solomon so regularly warned of laziness in his day, how much more do we need to guard against it in a world of endless entertainment and ubiquitous social media? The lazy man is the one who makes any excuse not to work, the one who lies in bed or on the sofa when there is work that needs to be done, the one who begins projects but never brings them to completion, the one who cannot learn because he considers himself surpassingly wise (Proverbs 26:13-16). Your mother may have warned you that “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Behind the cliché is a sober warning, for those who pass their days in idleness are those who practically beg Satan to tempt them to sin.

You waste time in busyness. Busyness is a cousin to laziness and no more noble than its relative. It is a modern-day plague. Even if you reject laziness, you may swing to the opposite pole of busyness, filling your every moment with activity and judging yourself by the number of tasks completed. Today you practically expect that when you ask a friend how he is doing he will reply, “Busy! So busy!” Yet busyness must not be confused with diligence, the number of activities with meaningful accomplishments. God has given you a short little life and expects that, of all the great things you could do, you will identify and pursue the few that matter most. Because there is only so much you can do, diligence and redeeming the time involves saying “no” to a million good opportunities to focus fully on a few excellent ones.

You waste time in spiritual carelessness. It was Martin Luther who famously said his busiest times also needed to be his most prayerful. When responsibilities threatened to overwhelm him, he knew that he was too busy not to pray. You fail to redeem your time when you fail to prioritize your spiritual growth and health. If life is too busy for you to read God’s Word, to spend time in prayer, and to attend the local church, it is far too busy. If you are too unmotivated to commit to such basic disciplines, you are in spiritual peril. Before you do anything else, take a step out from the whirlwind of busyness and reassess your priorities in light of eternity.

You waste time when you do not rest. God himself chose to work for six days, then to rest for one. He did this not because he was worn out, but to set a pattern that we would follow. We are weak and limited creatures who need to rest. Our need for rest requires that we commit enough of our time to sleep and to activities that will refresh our minds and spirits. Rest and recreation are necessary to renew us and to prepare us to diligently carry out the tasks God has assigned to us.

Do It Now

Right now is the time to redeem your time! Consider how you can commit to diligently steward your moments and your days.

  • Pursue and grasp a biblical understanding of productivity. Properly understood, productivity is not “getting lots done” or “getting more done than the other guy.” Productivity is using your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. A biblical understanding of productivity will free you from lesser pursuits and help you focus on the ones that matter most.
  • Plan to be disciplined. It is very telling that when we are busy or lazy, the spiritual disciplines tend to be among the first things we neglect. Be sure you plan the time, place, and context in which you will read God’s Word and pray every day. Be sure you prioritize worshipping with the local church and never allow anything to supplant it. And then, once you have put first things first, plan how and when you will do your most meaningful work throughout the week.
  • Resolve to constrain or cut out enemies of your diligence. In our day, there is no shortage of distractions eager to bring you from meaningful labor into meaningless sloth. What needs to be cut out or significantly restricted from your life in order for you to redeem the time? Do you need to limit Netflix time so that you can spend more time connecting with your wife and children? Do you need to delete social media apps that lure you away from diligence throughout the day? If you are going to run to win, you need to remove whatever is slowing you down.
  • Speak to someone who does it well. We have all encountered people who model the faithful use of time. Find one of these people and ask him how and why he does it. Ask for practical pointers on using time diligently.

Run to Win!

You came into this world with nothing and will leave this world with nothing. All that you have between the beginning and the end is a gift of God’s grace, and that includes the little dash on your tombstone. That simple line will represent the time given to you. It was given in trust with the expectation that you would take hold of it and put it to the best and highest use. If you are going to run to win, you must redeem your time.

Tim Challies

see more great content from challies.com

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7 WAYS TO DO POLITICAL PUNDITRY WRONG IN A POLARIZED WORLD

by Kevin DeYoung

It’s all political. All the time.

At least that’s what it feels like. Whether you voted for Trump or loathe him with every last bit of plasma in every drop of blood in your body, it seems like the promise of “moving past this contentious election season,” is not going to materialize. No doubt, your Twitter feed and your Facebook page are as full as ever with political punditry–much of it well intentioned, only some of it well considered. What are we to do as Christians when there is so much we might want to say, and yet, we’d like to say it in a way that makes a difference instead of just making noise?

Perhaps a look at the negative will point us in a positive direction. Let’s briefly consider seven ways to do political punditry wrong in a polarized world.

(And for the record, I started this post last week, so don’t read the executive order on immigration into every point. This post isn’t about one thing, but about everything that grabs our attention in a social culture built on perpetual outrage.)

1. Always defend your side, no matter what. I have no problem with people who don’t feel the need to comment on every twist and turn of American politics (in fact, may your tribe increase!). But if you are in the habit of making your opinions known, and you never find yourself out of step with your party or your preferred President, then you likely aren’t looking closely enough at the issues–theirs and yours.

We have to be honest with ourselves and ask some hard questions: Is my passion to see the kingdom come and the church grow or is it mainly to see my side win elections? Do I think revival and spiritual renewal come mainly through political victories? Am I blinded by disgust for the bad guys (whether that’s Fox News, MSNBC, The New York Times, National Review, Hollywood, flyover country, or whatever) that I’ll defend to the death whatever they seem to be against?

2. Be quick to demonize opponents on the other side. We don’t have disagreements anymore; we only have devils. This means that nominee we oppose or that Senator standing in the way of our position is not simply mistaken (according to our principles) but some toxic combination of ignorant, conniving, and fiendish–a mortal threat to everything that is decent in this world.

3. Make no distinction between prudence and principle. Christians are not very good at this one. Let’s assume for a moment that most people reading this blog think abortion is wrong, racism is wrong, terrorism is wrong, hating Muslims is wrong, and being cold-hearted toward immigrants and refugees is wrong. Those are principles. The vast majority of conservative Christians will at least pay lip service to all of these things; most actually believe them with sincere earnestness. But what does this mean in terms of policies, executive orders, and legislation? Here there may be honest disagreement–not about what is good and true and beautiful for Christians to do and think, but about what is the best way forward, in light of these convictions, in a constitutional republic of 330 million people.

4. Never acknowledge real world trade-offs. In our virtual worlds, there are always clear-cut decisions with obvious goods and obvious evils. Hence, every political issue is a matter of absolute right and absolute wrong. In the real world–and especially in the real world of governing–there are always trade-offs. We have to judge between competing goods, which means we usually have to give something to gain something. It would go a long way toward a more civilized discourse–and we may actually convince a few people on the other side–if we acknowledged that our views are usually not without some difficulties, even if we consider our “losses” superior to the “losses” we would endure with a different policy or opinion.

5. Only speak and write in the highest rhetorical gear. At some point in the future, you may need the Hitler analogy. Don’t waste it on arcane procedures regarding cloture in the Senate. Not all errors are created equal. Break out the diabolical thesaurus only when the time is right.

6. Don’t bother reading up on complex issues. Most of the problems plaguing our country or our world will not be solved by 90 seconds of reflection. We don’t all have to be experts. Sometimes the knee jerk reaction comes from a place of seasoned wisdom and moral formation. But if there were an easy solution to every problem it would have been tried by now–not because we are all saints striving to love one another, but because we love to be first or would enjoy being famous. Go ahead and read a few articles before posting. Check out the actual statement or text of legislation. And when in doubt, let’s all feel free not to say anything at all (!) about a complicated issue that we’ve been thinking about in between Dude Perfect videos.

7. Go public with your thoughts when you are most hurt and most angry. Be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to get angry. That’s still in the Bible (James 1:19), and it still counts, even in the internet age. Waiting is often the better part of wisdom.

by Kevin DeYoung – see more at The Gospel Coalition

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Keeping Short Accounts

My family moved to St. Simons Island, GA in 1989. I was 12 years old. One of the first things that I distinctly remember about that beautiful, little secluded Island was the fact that we could walk into a store, write our name on a ledger and walk out with just about whatever we wanted in the store. I remember my dad and mom talking about needing to pay off their account at the hardware store every month. The owners and my parents both wanted to keep “short accounts.” It was a peculiar and fascinating experience for a boy who moved there from a major city in which that would have never happened. The population of the Island was small enough at that time for store owners to feel as if they could offer that service. Needless to say, it didn’t last long. Within a year or two, you could no longer do so. It is somewhat tragic that this practice isn’t part of our culture anymore, because it serves as an illustration of an important aspect of our spiritual life. In the Christian life, we are–as the Puritans used to say–to “keep short accounts with God and men.” So, what do short accounts look like in the Christian life? Here are a few thoughts:

1. Confess Your Sins. Believers are people who confess their sin. That is part and parcel of what it means to be a Christian. If a man or woman, boy or girl, never confesses their sin, they reveal that they do not believe that they are sinners in need of a Savior. A true believer is one who has learned, by the work of the Holy Spirit, to say, “Will you please forgive me?” This is true in the vertical dimension of our relationship with God, first and foremost; and, it is true in the horizontal relationships we have with others. If we don’t confess our sin, we evidence that we are not sincere in our profession of faith in Christ. We must first confess our sins to the Lord. We learn this from Psalm 51, where David prays, “Against You and You only have I sinned” (Ps. 51:4). Even though David had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, both of their families, his family and all of Israel, he viewed his sin, first and foremost, as that which he committed against the Lord. It was sin because he broke God’s law. We too must first go to the Lord and then to others. When we go to others, but not to the Lord, we functionally act like the man or woman who goes to the priest in the confessional but not to God in heaven.

2. Confess Your Sins Particularly. The Westminster Confession of Faith has an intriguing statement about this in its chapter on repentance, where we read, “Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly” (WCF 15.5). In short, we must never conclude that it is sufficient to confess that we are generally sinners or that we have generally sinned. When we confess our sin to God and men, we are to confess our sins specifically. We are to own the guilt of the particular sins that we have done. We are to examine our actions against the Law of God (i.e. the Ten Commandments) and confess the particular ways in which we have broken His law. My wife and I try to teach our boys to do this when they have sinned against one another. We teach them not to say, “I’m sorry.” Instead, we seek to teach them to say, “Will you please forgive me for doing x, y or z.” We also try to do so in our marriage. It is good for husbands to ask their wives to forgive them for sinful anger, for lack of gentleness, for lack of understanding, for pride, for laziness, for indifference, etc. Likewise, it is good for a wife to ask her husband to forgive her for all the ways that she has specifically failed to obey the Lord in her relation to him. Likewise, members of the church need to learn to confess particular sins to one another. When one member of the church has sinned against another, he or she needs to go to the offended party and seek out their forgiveness for what they have specifically done wrong. Sadly, this occurs quite infrequently in the family, in marriages and in the church.

3. Confess Your Sins Quickly. One of the sure signs that there is something out of alignment in your soul is that you do not go to the Lord and confess your sins as soon as you recognize that you have sinned against Him. Pride keeps us from uninhibited confession of sin. The same is true with regard to our relation to others. Like the disciples in the Garden, our flesh would rather sleep than engage in the spiritual work of prayer…especially when we have sinned. The Apostle Paul warned believers not to “let the sun go down” on sinful anger, because Satan will most certainly get a foothold in our relationships when we do so. We must learn to confess our sins quickly.

4. Confess Your Sins Continually. We must continually go to God and men in confession and contrition. We must resist the temptation to give into sin and stop confessing it. Confessing and seeking to forsake sin is one of the means of Christian growth in grace. When we stop doing so, we have begun the first step toward backsliding or apostasy. It doesn’t matter how many times we may fall into the same sin, we must go back to the Lord and back to those against whom we have sinned in order to seek our forgiveness. The Proverbs tell us, “The righteous falls seven times and rises again” (Prov. 24:16). When Simon Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive his brother seven times, Jesus told him to do so seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22) This means that we should repeatedly confess our sins to God and men–no matter how many times we have sinned.

5. Approach Others When Sinned Against. Part of keeping short accounts with others is going to them when you believe that they have sinned against you. Jesus taught us to do so when he said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matt. 18:15). It is just as much our responsibility to humbly and forthrightly address what we believe to be the spiritual debt of others to us as it is for them to come to us and confess their sin. This has got to be one of the least practiced, yet most important, parts of the Christian life. In a culture that essentially says, “Live and let live,” believers need to learn what it means to go to and lovingly confront a brother or sister when they believe that he or she has personally sinned against them. Often, one believer is obvlivious to the fact that he or she has sinned against another. Telling a brother or sister your fault is part of helping them keep short accounts with God and men.

6. Forgive Others Indiscriminately. We must guard against only forgiving those we like. To do so would be to show affinity not forgiveness. No matter who comes to us and asks us to forgive them, we are to stand ready to extend the forgiveness for which they are coming. We have no right to hold faults over the heads of those who have come to us because we don’t like their personality. I have seen some of the roughest of persons come to a place of deep brokenness over their sins–only to hear those they have sinned against criticize them for that roughness. We are not called to only forgive our friends. We are called to forgive any who repent and seek that forgiveness from us.

7. Forgive Others Continually.  As noted above, Jesus taught us to forgive and unlimited number of times (i.e. the sense of “seventy times seven”). We are all ready to write others off when they sin against us a certain number of times. One of my friends often reminds me that most relationships–because of the self-righteousness in our hearts–can only handle one or two offenses. However, when we remember how much God has forgiven us, how can we not repeatedly forgive others. If we set a certain limit on how much we forgive others, we are in danger of having God hold our offenses against us. The parable of the two debtors (Luke 7:36-50) is a frightening indictment against those who do so. This does not mean that there will not be consequences for those who continually sin against another. A husband who continually cheats on his wife is most certainly subject to her executing her God-given right to divorce him. However, she must repeatedly and continually forgive him of his sin if he repents, just as God does for us in Christ.

So much more could and should be said on this subject. However, what has been said should encourage us to make sure that our ledger is cleared. We need to be diligent to keep short accounts with God and men. In doing so, we will experience more of what it is to live by the grace of God in Christ, to live in gracious relationships with one another and to be agents of grace in extending forgiveness to others.

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The Unbelievable

 

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What We Celebrate at Christmas

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The Real Meaning of Christmas

One of the most remarkable stories of Christmas comes from one of the darkest moments of modern history. World War I ravaged a continent, leaving destruction and debris in its wake. The human cost, well in the millions, staggers us. But from the midst of this dark conflict comes the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. The Western Front, only a few months into the war, was a deplorable scene of devastation. Perhaps as if to give the combatants one day to breathe again, a truce was called from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.

As darkness settled over the front like a blanket, the sound of exploding shells and the rat-tat-tat of gunfire faded. Faint carols, in French or English voices on one side and in German voices on the other, rose to fill the silence of the night.

By morning, soldiers, at first hesitantly, began filing out of the maze of trenches into the dreaded and parched soil of No Man’s Land. There was more singing. Gifts of rations and cigarettes were exchanged. Family photos were passed around. Soccer balls appeared. Up and down the Western Front, soldiers, who only hours before had been locked in deathly combat, now faced off in soccer games.

For one brief but entirely remarkable day, there was peace on earth. Some have called the Christmas Truce of 1914 “the Miracle on the Western Front.”

Anxious to print some good news, The Times of London reported on the events of the Christmas Truce. Soldiers recorded the day in letters home and in diaries. Some of those lines made it to newspapers, while others remained unknown until later brought to light. Here’s one such line from the diary of a German infantryman:

The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.

Friends for a time,” “the celebration of love,” “peace on earth”—this is the meaning of Christmas. But these celebrations, these truces, don’t last. After Christmas Day, the soccer balls and the soldiers went back into the trenches. The Christmas carols subsided and the war carried on. And even though World War I eventually ended, a few decades later, Europe’s countryside and cities became the field of battle once again, as did Africa and the Pacific, during World War II.

Events like the Christmas Truce are worth celebrating. But they lack something. They lack permanence. Such impermanent peace is what we often find in our quest for the real meaning of Christmas. If we are looking for permanent and ultimate goodwill, love, and peace, we must look beyond our gift-giving, get-togethers, and office parties. We must look to no other place than to a manger.

We must look to a baby born not with fanfare, pomp, and circumstance, but to poor parents in desperate times. Joseph and Mary, and the Baby Jesus for that matter, were real historical figures. But in a way, Joseph and Mary extend beyond themselves, beyond their particular place and time. They represent all of us. We are all poor and living in desperate times. Some of us are better than others at camouflaging it. Nevertheless, we are all poor and desperate, so we all need the promise bound up in that baby.

We are in need of a way out of our poverty of soul and the desperate state of our human condition. We find it in this child lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus Christ, the long-promised Messiah, Seed, Redeemer, and King.

The birth of Jesus so many centuries ago might have been a slightly-out-of-the-ordinary birth. Even in ancient times, stalls didn’t typically double as birthing rooms and mangers didn’t typically double as cribs for new-born babies. And that newborn baby was very much out of the ordinary. Of course, in some respects, He was perfectly ordinary. He was a human being, a baby. He got hungry. He got thirsty. He got tired. When He was born, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes—the ancient equivalent of Pampers.

An infant. Helpless, hungry, cold, and tired.

Yet, this child was the Son of God incarnate. He was Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” According to the Apostle Paul’s account, this infant created all things. This infant created His own manger. And this infant, this King, brings peace on earth, ultimate and permanent peace.

An excerpt from Peace: Classic Readings for Christmas by Stephen Nichols.

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