Now the Birth of Jesus Christ Was on This Wise . . .

Written by the Apostles, Luke and Matthew

Luke 1:26-38:
26: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27: To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28: And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29: And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30: And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31: And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32: He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36: And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38: And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 1:18-25:
18: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19: Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20: But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22: Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24: Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke 2:1-20:
AND it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2: (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3: And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9: And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12: And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15: And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16: And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17: And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18: And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19: But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20: And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Matthew 2:1-15:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2: Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3: When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4: And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5: And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6: And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7: Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8: And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9: When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11: And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12: And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13: And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14: When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

No Shame in Hope

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us– Romans 5:5. Where shame or doubt once lived in one’s soul, hope now can occupy that space, for where shame would have festered in one’s heart ― hope now permeates with the joy of experiencing the love of God. As the Apostle Paul wrote, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed– Philippians 1:20.” ~LMJ~

Abounding Hope

“Is not God quite awesome to have given us promises to believe in for our immediate needs, and as well, other promises for our future that we may hope in and look forward to their fruition? And as we learn of these, our hope will continue to grow while we, with excited anticipation, look forward to these lovely things God has prepared for us. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing {for our immediate needs}, that ye may abound in hope {for our future}, through the power of the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} Romans 15:13. Hope is not an elusive concept of speculation about our future, but something that can powerfully abound in our inner souls, for abounding hope allows the believer to enjoy this life without a doubt about their eternal destiny.” ~LMJ~

The Service of Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistles of Romans, I and II Corinthians, and Galatians complete a cycle of understanding and are the spiritual foundation to continue on into the Epistle of Ephesians in complete righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. The Epistle of Galatians shows that we are saved by grace, and that we can be inspired in service of love to enjoy the completed work of Christ on our behalf. We have been made completely free from our sins and raised back up to the graces of God wherein we may walk before our heavenly Father in the completeness of the service of love that He through Christ gives to us and made available.

Galatians 5:13-14:
-13:  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh {to be lazy or stingy with God’s love}, but by love serve one another.
-14:  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

For all of the Law (Old Testament Law) is completely fulfilled in one word, and that one word is love! God’s divinely given love has completely fulfilled all of the requirements that the Law had ever commanded.  Let us consider the last phrase of verse 14, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” We are loved completely by our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ without any strings attached because they are love in its fullness, and now we are also loved in their fullness. The true spiritual essence to the phrase, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is loved by God in Christ in you.” How God loves us is how we can love one another, and we learn about the tremendous love God has for us in the Scriptures. Is not this an incredible insight into the love of God and His service of love that He has commissioned and freely given to us?

The love of God is the true spiritual backbone of the Christian family, the spiritual foundation for true believing unity, and the true spiritual uplifting for the believer’s lifeline back up to the tremendous blessings contained in God’s loving Word. If we were to love others contingent solely upon how much love that we have for ourselves, then I assure you that someone would be getting the shorter end of the stick because some people love themselves more, and some much less than others. However, God has given us a constant standard, for He has made it available for each of us to love equally proportionately to the same love with which He loves us, and thank God for giving us this wonderful reality and understanding about the genuine spiritual service of love.

Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given unto us.

The hope is the return of Christ and our anticipation of that glorious day. As we come to an understanding of the hope, we will know with inner believing conviction that there is no shame to ever be given us, but rather glory immersed in the favorable graces of our God. The thing that can make the hope so alive in our hearts is that we have the love of God. When we live within the framework of love (and the magnificent seven Church Epistles detailing how the love of God functions), then we can equally share God’s love with one another.

Behold, I Show You a Mystery

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

I can understand why Paul said that this is a mystery, as even today, nearly two thousand years later, this subject is still misunderstood, although it has been recorded here in Corinthians for centuries. “We shall not all sleep” means that not every “Christian” will die before Christ returns, some of us will be living at the return of Christ, and this is indeed our lively hope. Yet when Christ does return, we all (believers in Christ) shall be changed, and receive new spiritual bodies.

I Corinthians 15:52-53:
-52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead {sleeping} shall be raised incorruptible, and we {who are alive} shall be changed.
-53: For this corruptible {those who are asleep} must put on incorruption, and this mortal {the living} must put on immortality.

I know that the common belief today is that all those who have died are actually up there having the time of their lives living in Paradise, Heaven, and some who are less fortunate are in purgatory or hell. However, the Scriptures do not entertain these ideas! If the dead are living and these unbiblical notions were really true, then we should get out a pair of scissors and start cutting out verses from our Bibles starting with those above. If everyone who has died is really living, then what is the purpose of the resurrections, and our gathering together (I Thessalonians 4:13ff)?

Romans 5:5 – And hope {the hope of Christ’s return to gather the dead and the living} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us.

Having the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him “maketh not ashamed” meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something indeed to be proud of. On the other hand, without hope of our gathering together the Christian does indeed have shame. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The context here is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together and he does not return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet. However, Christ indeed is returning, so we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time God has given to us His own love to sustain our lives as we continue in His Word, believing in our hope.