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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
We're about to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. We speak of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh. We describe Him as the Messiah, the Mediator of a New Covenant, Surety of that Covenant, the sin-bearer, and the curse-bearer. We say He is a Divine Person with a divine nature who took on a human nature in a human body, the God-Man. But what did Jesus say about His coming?
Jesus stood before Pilate. He had already stood before the religious court and would soon stand before the people's court. Pilate questioned Jesus as to whether or not He was a king. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears My Voice." John 18:37
Isaiah tells us how God offered mercy. In looking ahead to the Messiah, we read, "Incline your ear and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people." (Isaiah 55:3, 4)
Jesus was born King. He was sent by the Father to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate wanted to know what we all want to know: what is truth?
John 14:6 says, Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but by Me. Again, Jesus says in John 17:3, 17: And this is eternal life, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent...Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth." 1 John 5:6 says, This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. According to John 15:26, He is the Comforter, the Paraclete, whom Jesus sends from the Father. The Spirit of truth proceeds from the Father and testifies of Christ. When the Spirit of truth is come, He guides the believer into all truth: for He does not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that is what He speaks. He shows things to come. He glorifies Christ. He receives of Christ and reveals things to the believer. (John 16:13-15) God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
Jesus was on trial for His life. He was at the end of His life being numbered with the transgressors as sin-bearer while at the same time having no personal sin. He stood in silence before His accusers as a Lamb led to the slaughter when in His role as Mediator/surety; but when questioned about who He was personally, He answered.
What this means is that there was a reason Christ came. There is more to Christmas than family, friends, food, presents, and glitter. Jesus came to bear witness to the truth. That means that there is truth, absolute truth, out there and Jesus bears witness to it. We need to discover that truth.
Today people opt for relativism; truth as a social construct. What is true for you may not be true for another. It all depends upon perception. To spin a story is commonplace and it's hard to get to the truth. We even have "virtual reality." But Jesus is saying that He bears witness to the truth, an absolute truth that stands apart from anything in our world. Today we want to reject absolutes and so we call for tolerance. But we cannot absolutely reject absolutes and we cannot say we absolutely won't tolerate intolerance. Something's wrong with that.
Jesus said that He came to bear witness to the truth. He said that every one that is of the truth hears His Voice. So are we of the truth? Do we hear His Voice? We would have to listen to His Voice first and consider the testimony of Jesus as recorded in the gospels. Then we would have to receive the witness and testimony of Jesus. The Spirit is truth, so we need the Holy Spirit in on this. How? Ask, seek, and knock.
In that witness, Jesus invites us to have fellowship with Him from day one. He has come as One sent by the Father. He came on a mission with a message. The message was that He came to fulfill all righteousness, to be a ransom for many, to always do those things that please the Father, to live and die as the suffering servant, to bear sin in the place of sinners and bear the curse and penalty for sin under the Law in order to free those given to Him by the Father. He came to offer Himself as the Lamb of God in order to bear the wrath of God, make peace through the Blood of the Cross and so reconcile sinners to God. He came to die, the just for the unjust, to redeem, to set those subject to the penalty of the Law free from the penalty of death, hell, and the grave. All of this overcame Satan and his kingdom as Jesus destroyed the power of the devil and the works of darkness.
The truth is, in Jesus is life, and we can have eternal life in Him by receiving Him as He witnesses to the truth. Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5)
It's Christmas. We like to think of Jesus as a baby in a manger. He was. It was part of His humiliation. He was born a king and He is King today, seated in glory as the Victorious Lamb.
While we're all running around to the mall, the grocery store, the post office, the bank, the airport, school plays, wherever, let's remember Jesus and why He came. I don't want to spoil the discovery; get right with God and then get it right with God. Find the Jesus who is, not the Jesus you want. Let's celebrate truth and marvel at the mystery of God.
Rev. Jim Craig and Kroy Ellis have just returned from Jerusalem. This reflects the sixth call of MCM to Jerusalem and Israel since 1999. Their report will be online at www.marycraig.org. We hope you will take a look and see all that God is doing through this ministry, not only in world missions, but also in evangelism, the Barnabas Project, Craighouse® Christian Fellowship, home visitation, Kinetic Koinonia, Bible study books available through the online Catalog, and more.
We have added a “download group” which receives recorded Bible studies and messages given at Craighouse®. These are emailed to subscribers as a link to a Dropbox-stored sound file which you can play or download by clicking on the link. Those who would like to avail themselves of this free outreach can e-mail email@example.com and ask to be added to the "download group."
May God grant you a beautiful Christmas. Thank you for your continued support and faithful giving. Your generous gifts gladly given enable us to continue serving you and are much appreciated. Use the envelope provided or give online as you wish.
Serving the Lord of Glory,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for the latest articles and words received. Order books from our catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. Mc Nab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1993. Federal ID 65-0429517.
be with you, mercy, and peace,
From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,
The Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2 John 3
and Happy New Year
Pastors Jim & Mary Craig
And the MCM Staff
Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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