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Showing posts from April, 2016

The Holy Spirit and Christ's Comfortable Presence

That comfort that we shall have in heaven, in the presence of God, and of Christ, and his holy angels, is understood in some little way by the comfortable presence of God to the soul of a Christian, when he finds the Spirit of God raising him, and cheering him up, and witnessing his presence; as ofttimes, to the comfort of God’s people, the Holy Ghost witnesseth a presence, that now the soul can say, God is present with me, he smiles on me, and strengtheneth me, and leads me along. This comfortable way God’s children have to understand the things of heaven, by the first fruits they have here. For God is so far in love with his children here on earth, and so tender over them, that he purposes not to reserve all for another world, but gives them some taste beforehand, to make them better in love with the things there, and better to bear the troubles of this world. Richard Sibbes, A Glance of Heaven (or, A Precious Taste of a Glorious Feast), Second Sermon, The Complete Works of Richard…

When Good Friday falls on the Feast of the Incarnation (which won't happen again until 2157!)

Something amazing happened this year. Good Friday fell on the 25th March. It won't happen again until the year 2157, but when it happens it's a fantastic collision of dates. Why? Well, think about it for a moment. What comes 9 months after 25th March? Why, Christmas of course: the feast of the birth of Christ. So, 9 months before Jesus was born, what happened? The Word became flesh! (The Incarnation didn't begin with Jesus' birth, but with His conception in the Virgin's womb.) So 25th March is the feast of the Annunciation, a day to celebrate the Incarnation of Christ.

And when Good Friday falls on 25th March, we get to celebrate the Incarnation and the Cross together. In fact, that's how it always should be, for the Incarnation and Cross go always go together. As Hebrews 2:17 tells us, Jesus took on our humanity and became like us in all things 'to make propitiation for the sins of the people.' Without the Incarnation there could be no crucifixion. An…