The season of images – representations of Jesus, part 2


As a Catholic child I loved the large ornate crèche that our parish church always placed in front of Mary’s altar at the beginning of Advent. Around and above it, fir trees stood. We had our own small nativity set at home – its figures were small enough to place by hand in a little stable. 

If the Lord wanted us to worship using things like this, why did Jesus teach us,

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God  is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

John 4

A Nativity Scene isn’t a teaching tool or a seasonal decoration but a focus for our idolatry.

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland

Exodus 32:3-4

So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”


Christmas Series: Are Nativity Sets Biblical III? The Opinion of John Calvin

Pulpit & Pen, News DIVISION

John Calvin:

“. . . We must hold it as a first principle, that as often as any form is assigned to God, his glory is corrupted by an impious lie.” (Institutes, 1.11)

Pulpit & Pen:

“The Reformers weren’t having it. The early church fathers weren’t having it. We not only tolerate these images of Jesus, however, we put them on display.”


The Second Commandment, Westminster, and Images of Christ

Brian Cosby

Westminster’s Rationale

“By creating an image of Jesus (e.g., in a painting or a stained-glass window), a person is inserting his or her own ideas of what Jesus looked like. Because we do not know what he looked like, this image would not be a true image or representation of Christ. Rather, it would simply be an image of a man from the imagination of the artist that he or she has called ‘Jesus.’

“If these images, then, do not truly represent Christ, then they are put in the place of the true Christ. Evoking any sense of worship of that which is not Christ, but rather inserted in the place of Christ, is – by definition – idolatry. If an observer were to gaze upon that image with the intent to worship, by thoughts or emotions, then that observer would be worshipping a man-made image and not the true God-man, Jesus Christ. The same principle would also apply for images of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.”


Photo credit: Bronner’s


 

8 implications of calling Jesus “Lord” by Jesse Johnson

“It is good to be reminded that ‘Lord’ is more than a title, and more than a name. It reveals the identity of Jesus, and compels a response from us that is more than simply a phrase we say – ie., there is more at stake here than saying ‘Jesus is Lord.’ That phrase implies so much, that when rightly understood it alters our worldview.”

The Battle Cry

image

I recently preached 2 Corinthians 4:5 (“We do not breach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord”), and in preparation I came across this powerful list of 8 implications of preaching Jesus as Lord. These are from Murray Harris’s New International Greek Testament Commentary (p 332), where he writes:

Whenever worshiping Christians repeat the church’s confession “Jesus is Lord,” they are:

1. Implying that the Christ of faith was none other than the Jesus of history (Acts 2:34–36),

2. acknowledging the deity of Christ (John 20:28; Phil. 2:6, 9–11),

3. admitting the Lord’s personal rights to absolute supremacy in the universe, the church, and individual lives (Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12; 14:8; 1 Cor. 8:6; Jas. 4:15),

4. affirming the triumph of Christ over death and hostile cosmic powers when God raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9;

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A watchman urges us to speak in love


In closing I want to say that whatever your calling is in the Body of Christ I pray that you would take what is written in this tract to heart, and speak out at a time when it is not popular to do so. Those who have done so have reaped a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God.

“I encourage you to do this especially if you are a pastor, evangelist, or in any position of leadership and have the God given opportunity to reach many. Speak not only to the Catholic people who are lost and need to hear the true gospel, but speak also on their behalf, speak for them who cannot speak for themselves. Tell your congregation that Roman Catholics need to be evangelized, and then teach your congregation how to evangelize the Roman Catholics.”

Proverbs 31:8,9

Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Ezekiel 3:17-18

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.


HT: Sherry, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

HT: Beth, “The Jesus of the Roman Catholic Church is not the Jesus proclaimed in God’s Word but rather, as Paul said, another Jesus.”

 


 

I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love!


Psalm 48:10

NKJV

According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.

˜

Matthew 1:21

“. . .And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”


In the short time I spent participating on Facebook, I learned a lot and grew. Facebook is a harvest field and a battlefield. 

This lovely hymn is being sung by Peter Jouhoon Lim, a young pastor who is ministering in a Presbyterian church in Adelaide. I met Peter while participating in a FB group focused on the Puritans. Please pray for Peter’s ministry and his family! 

 

 


 

Why it’s “Happy Reformation Day” – why we should care


Because the Lord made this day, and all others, because He is in Heaven and does whatsoever He pleases and all that He does is good!

Thank you, Lord, for the Bible in our own language! For the men whose studies You guided!

Thank you for worship that is more Biblical and that we aren’t compelled to offer false worship to bread and wine!

Thank you for brothers and sisters who went before us, having grown strong in the faith and having overcome! For Tyndale and others who loved not their lives unto the death! All this is of You, Father in Heaven!

Thank you for the so-called Magisterial and Radical Reformers who served you with an upright spirit! For their strengths and weaknesses! And for forgiving their sins and our own!

Thank you for the events recorded in Bible history, Old and New, and the unfolding history of Your Church, for its inspiration and lessons to take to heart!

For the great cloud of witnesses, from Adam to Abraham to the Apostle John, to the Reformers, martyrs, and confessors of that age – and all ages!

For sending Your Son, for His patient endurance of such contradiction of sinners against Himself!

For His costly saving blood!

For the Holy Spirit Who came to live in us and teach us and guide us!

For one another!

For prayer, for praise, for hymns and psalms, for Your great goodness in all You are and do!

For answered prayer and joy made complete!

Happy Reformation Day, happy 500th year! Its victories belong to each of us who are believing Jesus Christ! 


1 Timothy 1:17

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.