Christmas is full of wonderful things. Time with family & friends. Delicious cookies. Beautiful lights. And, of course, gifts. For many people, Christmas is a time to gather with others to give and receive gifts of all kinds—from toy trucks to gift cards to t-shirts that we’ll never wear—no doubt; this Christmas will be full of gifts.
The Apostle Paul knew a thing or two about gifts. In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is urging the church at Corinth to be a generous people for the sake of the gospel by reminding them of the generosity of God’s grace towards us in Christ. And as he is reminding them of God’s grace in the gospel, he writes, v.15, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” It’s as if Paul, upon reflecting on Jesus coming to save sinners, sat back in his chair and said in amazement: Thank You, God, for this gift!
To say that God’s love for us in Christ is inexpressible is to say that there will never be a day when it will cease to amaze those who know it.
How great is this gift, you ask? It is “inexpressible,” which tells us two things about God’s love for us in Christ:
1. It never runs out.
The word “inexpressible” literally means, “beyond comprehension.” He uses this language again when he writes to the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:19 prays that they might know, “the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” In other words, if the gospel were a body of water, Paul says, “You can swim as far down as you can, but you’ll never reach the bottom.” That is how great God’s love for us is. And that is the very gift that those of us in Christ have received—God’s inexpressible love.
2. It never grows old.
To say that God’s love for us in Christ is inexpressible is to say that there will never be a day when it will cease to amaze those who know it. This isn’t true of any gift you and I have ever received. Food eventually expires. Clothes shrink and fade over time. Toys get dull and boring. But those in Christ have God’s love—a gift that will never grow old. Such that ten thousand years we will still be saying with the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
This Christmas, celebrate the only gift that never runs out and never grows old. The very gift that we will be talking about for all eternity—that Jesus saves sinners. So, may God bless you this Christmas season as you reflect on God’s inexpressible gift. Merry Christmas!
One of my favorite verses on marriage for husbands is Proverbs 5:19, "... be intoxicated always in her love." Nowhere in the Bible do we find any command to be intoxicated except in Proverbs 5:19. I love that. Husbands are to be so in love with their wives that from the outside it appears that they are intoxicated. Make note: this does not happen naturally. Day-by-day, ever Husband is called to take intentional action to develop a deeper, more intimate romance in their marriage. So, here are thirty ways Husbands can love their wives:
*I've adapted a few of these ideas from Justin Buzzard's excellent book, Date Your Wife. I highly recommend it.
The Christmas season is a beautiful time of the year. Full of lights, Christmas cookies, family gatherings, and for some people, egg-nog. In the midst of all of the beauty of this season, there tends to be a tendency for our souls to slip into neutral; going through the motions and slowly losing the affection for God we once had.
So, as we enter this Christmas season let me encourage you to ask yourself six questions on a weekly (or daily!) basis:
R.C. Sproul is known for saying that everyone is a theologian because every person has a view of God. The question, then, is not do you have a view of God? But rather, is your view of God, right? All people have one of four views of God.
1. No view.
These are the people that claim God is non-existent—that He isn’t real. People that have no view of God believe that He is a made-up celestial being that, frankly, seems ridiculous to believe in.
2. Wrong view.
These are the people that believe a variety of things about God: He’s not loving, He is simply the Creator—not Lord, He is one with His creation, and on and on we can go. Friends, let me remind you that it is through His Word that we learn the truth about who God is. The quickest way to avoid error is by embracing truth. So, let me encourage you: read the Bible. Memorize the Bible. Meditate on the Bible. Talk about the Bible. Sing the Bible. Study the Bible. Because it is through the Bible that we learn about who God truly is.
Many of us often view God as being just a bigger version of ourselves.
3. Small view.
These are the people that believe God does exist, but that He isn’t sovereign or all-powerful. I seem to encounter more and more people who view God as nothing more than the man upstairs, ready to help you (if He can) whenever you *might* need Him to. And, let’s be honest, the reason why many of us often view God in this way is because we tend to think of God as being just a bigger version of ourselves. In his book, Radical, David Platt expounds on this when he writes the following:
“We Americans tend to mold God into our own image. He’s beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is who we are most comfortable with. The danger now is when we gather in our church buildings to sing, and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the God of the Bible. Instead, we may be worshipping ourselves.”
If God is just a slightly bigger version of us we have no hope for freedom from our sin, justice in the age to come, or eradication of all wickedness because we have no power to do such things. And this is why we must seek to have the fourth view of God.
4. Biblical view.
We need to know and teach others that God is a holy, powerful, sovereign God. He stretches the heavens like a curtain and is seated enthroned above the heavens. He does all He pleases, as He pleases, as He pleases. He takes no counsel from man because He is, in and of Himself all-wise. He is sustaining all things, orchestrates all things, and knows all things. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. The King of all kings, the owner of all things. Our God is a consuming fire. That is who God is.
This article is an excerpt from a sermon I preached at College Park Church. You can view the sermon here:
"Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1). At the end of the age, every teacher of the Bible will give an account for every word spoken on His behalf.
In his book, The Preacher's Catechism, Lewis Allen gives every Bible teacher six questions to assess whether they are being faithful and obedient in their teaching and/or preaching. If you are blessed to be a teacher of the Bible, read and reflect: