The greatest Christmas present.

 

 

 

It’s Christmas time again, it comes around every year, shops are packed with people, Christmas music playing everywhere and TV channels taken up mostly with Christmas films. Then someone comes along and makes a video or writes a blog saying:

Put Christ back into Christmas.

Save Christmas!

In this post I am, in a way, asking for those things… but I am not here to attack the commercialisation of Christmas. Instead, I will try to make clear some truths about Christmas. That, yes indeed we want Christ back in Christmas, but not just little baby Jesus meek and mild. We need to think of Jesus as Lord and saviour, King of kings.

I will base a lot of this post around the verse:

 
 
1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV)

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost

 

Yes Jesus did come as a baby but we cannot and should not stray away or dwell on that which will take us from the real reason of Jesus’ coming and that he was to be a sacrifice, as a sacrifice for our sins, so that in his coming he would save all those who trust in him. We must remember this “oh so familiar story” of a child being born in Bethlehem but see it as the coming of a king, The King of Kings, the coming of The Lord of the Earth, the one who would come and save all those who believe in him. We must stick to this, we must not stray or focus for too long on little baby Jesus, but see what this whole event points to…

It points to the child who is a king.

It points to a child who will become a sacrifice.

If you are reading this and you are a non believer you may be sat there wondering, “What is this guy going on about?” But I am saying that to a non -believer Christmas is a time of a hope, that because we are all sinners and we all mess up, that God did not just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves but instead gave us hope.

Hope in Christ…

 

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This child mentioned in this passage is the hope of our salvation, this child is Jesus, prophesised 400 years before Jesus was born. At Christmas time, at the time of Jesus’ birth he had the expectation of being the messiah/ the saviour resting on his shoulders. 33 years later at the cross Jesus has the sins of the whole world upon his shoulders. So that all those who trust in him will be saved. God gave this the greatest Christmas present, this amazing gift of mercy and forgiveness out of love for us.

 

John 3:16 (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

So to sum up if you are a believer reading this, stay steadfast and firm to this truth, that Jesus’ coming was the beginning on the steps towards salvation. But don’t sit back this Christmas, tell people about God’s greatest gift, this Christmas share this gift with others, tell others of the love that Christ has for them. If you are a non-believer reading this, please trust in the hope found in Jesus, trust that in him your sins are forgiven. In Jesus you are saved.

Trust the hope of Christ this Christmas.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Gareth

 

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Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Is it out dated?

Over the past 30 years or so, there has been an increase in radical feminism that has grown out of an outrageous time of male chauvinism, this changed with more women choosing to concentrate on their work life, getting higher up the ladder, and one influence of this in England was with Margaret Thatcher being elected Prime Minister. We now seem to have reached a stage in culture where men are trying to one up women and women one up the men. It seems to be the agenda of the day is more I have to prove I am better than that of the opposite sex. This is not helped with programs like loose women on ITV where a group of women moan about life and their husbands, which is not the best place in which to do that.

The sad thing about all of this is that the biblical view of Manhood and Womanhood is seen as ancient, oppressive and almost like slavery especially in the context of marriage.

I believe this to be an incredible shame. I hope in this post to go through why we should return to these ways, a way which many Christians seem to drift from. Sadly.

So to begin we are going to look at where it all began, where Manhood and Womanhood where first found in The Bible. Genesis.

Genesis 2: 15-18

15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

This is a fantastic passage before God creates Eve, where he realises that Adam the first Man, needs a partner, God says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” We were created to love, out of love from God. God did not need our love, but we needed something to love. God notices Adam will need someone with him. Now the word God uses is “helper.” DO NOT BE PUT OF BY THIS! It does not mean God created Eve to be Adam’s slave, but someone to aid Adam in his task which God has given him to do, which is to tend the Garden of Eden. So the role of the woman is to help the man in his tasks.

So a woman should seek to support and help the man in her life, she should seek to be his helper. For those who are single should seek in a man someone she should feel she can help and support. All of this desire to help and support should spring out of love.

Genesis 2: 23-25

23Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

This is shortly after Eve has been created, this is Adam’s reaction to the blessing of Eve’s creation. He rejoices at the fact they came from one. One became two. This fantastic way of creation that God chooses to do, is symbolically put back together in verse 24-25. These verses are marriage based, this shows firstly Marriage is between a man and a woman. But that marriage means more than is sometimes seen in the 21st century. Marriage is the reconnection of a man and a woman together as one.

This is the way men and women were meant to be.

But then the fall…

This is the moment where sin entered the world, it infected it and made everything fallen, as in no longer perfect and how it was created and meant to be.

Genesis 3:16

16To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

in pain you shall bring forth children.

Your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall rule over you.”

Verse 16 of Genesis, just after the snake has got Eve, then later Adam, to eat of the tree they were not to eat of, Eve is told that she will desire to be for her husband. This means it will be to dominate and try to overpower his rule. To outdo him. This sounds familiar to the state that we find the world in now. Man and woman trying to one up or overpower the other. This is not how Biblical manhood and womanhood should look like.

In the context of a Christian couple trying to live in this way, as with all things it should point people to Jesus. Always to Jesus. The reason why they should choose to live as a couple according to how the Bible says, is so that in that people see Jesus. In a previous post called Marriage is not for me: it’s for Jesus, I gave the argument from Ephesians 5 for the way a Christian marriage should be with a wife showing biblical submission out of Love and the husband loving self sacrificially. The reason why they do that. Well as it says wife submit like the church does for Christ, and husband love your wife as Christ loved the church. If both parties which in marriage are one work together like this, Jesus will be seen in how you live.

As for all Christians even down to the topic of Biblical manhood and womanhood, which yes may not be like preaching or street evangelism is still an effective tool to help people find Christ, because people watch and see how Christians behave and act with God and with each other and through that they could see Christ, and find salvation through him.

To summarize Biblical manhood and womanhood is not outdated, it should not be cast to the side as “the old ways of doing things” but instead should be seen as a glorious way we can point and show people to Jesus. How people can come to know of his love and his grace through the way we are with each other, people can come to know the love of Christ through our love for each other.

God bless,

Gareth.

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V Festival: A tired Pastor returns.

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Hello there, as some of you will have seen from my previous post (V Festival: The Challange) I recently went to V festival, not as a punter but to work there, as something that became known as a Festival Pastor. This is a great experience where we give out water to all those who are thirsty or just drunk senseless. But as well as that we have a Marquee which is set out as a place of calm where we can have the conversations that really matter. The conversations about Jesus.

We each had a shirt to wear and on our shirts we had the line of scripture:

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Which is a great line because it fit in well with what we were doing, in the giving out of free cups of water, but also because we knew they would get thirsty again and that we were also there to quench the thirst that really matters, and that is the spiritual thirst. The need for Christ in their life. A thirst that nothing can quench other than Christ. This for me was a real drive to want to use the oppurtunities to discuss with people about Jesus. By God’s Grace, I was able to have a few conversations with people, the great thing is that you get these amazing conversations sepreated by drunk conversations where you find yourself discussing the Omnipitence of God, which was sprung up by a drunk man not me. But you get the conversations where actually you find that there is more beneath the exterior that they may have walked in to the marquee with. There they find that Christ is the only way. We get to have the great starter conversations, where we discuss the questions they have, but we get the oppurtunity to tell these people the Gospel, which for some of them will be the first time they will have heard it. Then we get to pray with them, for them. Which is a great privalege especially in the enviroment of V festival. My prayer for all the people we met, and everyone who recieved a cup of water from us, that a seed was planted and that God will  by his Holy Spirit make that seed grow, so that they will know the Love of Christ.

Please if you would like to know more about what the festival Pastors do, feel free to get in touch with me.

Please do also check out my Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruoHiYWWvYIdVK6a260xIQ

Please follow me on Twitter: @evans_gaz

Thanks and God bless.

Gareth