December, 2009

Reflections on Christ’s Coming

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  – Galatians 4:4-7

 Man’s bondage under the law continued for about 1,300 years…. But at last the fullness of time arrived (Mark 1:15) – the date set by the Father when the children should attain their majority, be freed from their guardians and inherit the promise. 

 Why is the period of Christ’s coming termed ‘the fullness of time’?  Various factors combined to make it such.  For instance, it was the time when Rome had conquered and subdued the known inhabited earth, when Roman roads had been built to facilitate travel and Roman legions had been stationed to guard them. 

 It was also the time when the Greek language and culture had given a certain cohesion to society.  At the same time, the old mythological gods of Greece and Rome were losing their hold on the common people, so that the hearts and minds of men everywhere were hungry for a religion that was real and satisfying. 

 Further, it was the time when the law of Moses had done its work of preparing men for Christ, holding them under its tutelage and in its prison, so that they longed ardently for the freedom with which Christ could make them free.

 – John R. W. Stott

Reflections on Repentance and Joy

God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.   -Romans 2:4b (NIV)

 When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said, ‘Repent,’ he called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.  – Martin Luther 

When we have understood, trusted, and received the freeing grace of repentance, rejoicing fills our hearts.  Without this joy that is our strength, the new obedience that should be the fruit of true repentance is impossible. … Knowing his pardon, we delight to serve him with a childlike love and a willing mind.  Repentance renews our joy.  – Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary

 When men neglect the offer of salvation and freeze in sin, this delights the devils, but when a soul is brought home to Christ by repentance this makes joy among the angels.  – Thomas Watson 

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.  – Jesus, Luke 15:10