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A Christmas Gift Centuries in the Making

This is the fifth in the series, Gospel in the Carols. Today we look at Come, Thou Long  Expected Jesus. 

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
1

Joy to those who long to see thee,
Dayspring from on high, appear;
come, thou promised Rod of Jesse,
of thy birth we long to hear!
O’er the hills the angels singing news,
glad tidings of a birth;
“Go to him, your praises bringing;
Christ the Lord has come to earth.”

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
he whose glories knew no end;
by his life he brings us gladness,
our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
born within a cattle stall;
this the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
2

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

  1. See Simeon waiting in the Temple. – Luke 2:25
  2. We have been raised with Christ and are now seated with Him in Heaven. – Ephesians 2:6

Join In The Song of The Angels

This is the fourth in our series “Gospel in the Carols“. Today we take a look at Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. I’ve highlighted the distilled gospel.

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled” 1
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell 2
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!” 3

  1. With the birth of Jesus (who was believed to be not only the King of the Jews sent by the deity, but also the savior of all human beings from eternal damnation), peace was restored to Earth. According to Christian teachings, the Earth had not been at peace since the days of the Garden of Eden. The story of original sin holds that with Adam and Eve’s willingness to give in to temptation came the separation of God from his children: Jesus was born to restore that relationship back to original goodness!
  2. Pleased
 – If I’ve learned one thing from John Piper’s books, articles, and sermons, it is that God pursues His own joy. The incarnation was not a bit of drudgery that the Son was obligated to perform. He did it willingly, joyfully, for our sake and ultimately for His glory. The self-humiliation of God in the incarnation was merely a precursor to the self-humiliation of God on the cross. At the onset, the outset was understood, yet Christ still went through with it all.
    The author of Hebrews tells us in 12:2 that Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him.” And Isaiah tells us in 53:10, according to the NASB, that “the Lord was pleased to crush Him.”
    As Man
 – “In the beginning was the Word… and the Word became flesh.” The eternal Son condescended to become man. Galatians 4:4-5 tells us “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Christ was born as a man at just the right time in history to complete the righteous requirements of the Law for us and thus make our adoption possible. Paul gives an even greater emphasis on the lowliness of Christ’s condescension in Romans 8:3-4, which says, “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us…” Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh.
    With Men to Dwell
 – The incarnation is made even more wonderful by the fact that the Son was pleased to dwell with men. The holiness of God requires that sin be punished. It was precisely for that reason that Christ came. But in order to bear our punishment, He chose to live among us—sinners wallowing in our own wretched filth. His indignation at sin was apparent from His interactions with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, but He summarized His mission early on: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:7).
  3. This verse is just chocked full of the gospel!
    1. Light and life to all He brings! – John 10:10
    2. Born that men no more may die! – John 11:26
    3. Born to raise the sons of earth! – Ephesians 2:6
    4. Born to give them second birth! – 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Mercy Is The Greatest Locksmith

Mercy calls you; break your chains.

Today in our series of the Gospel in the Carols we look at “Angels From the Realms of Glory.” I love this carol even though it’s one of the lesser sung carols. Enjoy the distilled gospel inside!

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.
1

He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:
2

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.

  1. Romans 5:8 – “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
    Galatians 5:1 – “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
  2. Matthew 19:28-30 – “Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.

How Do You Kill Sin and Sorrow?

How Do You Kill Sin and Sorrow?

He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found

This is the second in our series “The Gospel in the Carols.” This week we take a look at the favorite Joy To The World. I’ve highlighted the distilled gospel.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
1

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
2

  1. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”—Galatians 3:13. For more information check out this post from Charles Spurgeon.
  2. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” — John 1:17.

Gospel in the Carols – O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.

We are doing a new blog series on The Gospel in the Carols. This week we take look at O Holy Night. I’ve highlighted the portions that are the distilled gospel. I hope this Christmas brings the gospel fuller and brighter as you remember Christ’s finished work!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.1
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.2
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!3

  1. A thrill of hope makes a weary world rejoice because the birth of Jesus brought God’s kingdom to our world and things changed radically. The Bible tells us that the way things are in our world is not the way they are supposed to be. God created a good creation, a joyful world that declared the glory of God and skies that proclaimed the work of his hands (Psalm 19:1). But this joy was decimated as God’s good creation was infected with sin and the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirthuntil now (Rom. 8:22). Now—a weary world rejoices because the birth of Jesus is much more than the beginning of hope, it is the end of a long period of waiting for comfort to come to a hurting world.

  2. “He was numbered with the transgressors; he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”— Isaiah 53:12

3. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by laying His life down for us, and we are called to do likewise for others. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 5:1-2) The law He has given us for the new covenant is love- love that reflects the peace the gospel brings between God and man.

This commandment was given another way in the Gospel According to John: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus issued a standard by which all people can judge whether or not we follow Jesus; whether or not we are truly Christians. If we do not show love for one another, the world has a right to judge that we are not believers.

School: 3 Things I Unlearned When I Found Grace

It’s amazing how simple and straightforward the naked gospel really is. In fact, most of my exposure to the New has involved more unlearning than learning. Once we remove the clutter from our theological closet, the gospel shines brightly again.

Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel

The tricky thing about the true gospel is that it does not play well with others. I don’t mean the gospel gets mad and decides to take it’s ball and go home. When the true gospel shows up at the playground the bullies take off and if one of them tries to hang around the gospel makes them some uncomfortable that they choose to leave.

The day I finally gave up and accepted grace was the day my unlearning started. I wanted to receive rest and I received rest and an un-education. This journey of unlearning has been the best thing I’ve ever experienced. Let me tell you what I’ve learned.

Read More

Different | BobbyShirley.com

Different: Three Things We Get Wrong about the Gospel

This is a guest post by my friend, Blaise Foret. You can learn more about him and all that he’s involved with at the end of this post.


Religion and Jesus are often confused for one another. And I don’t blame people for making this mistake because so often the most religiously minded people use the name of Jesus to justify their ideas.

But the truth is Jesus Christ and ole’ time religion are very different.

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Relax | BobbyShirley.com

Relax: How To Break Down and Talk To Yourself

We can’t make it happen. It has already happened. God has raised Jesus from the dead in a sovereign act of sheer, powerful grace. So what we have to do is live in the light of His resurrection. That means living out of gratitude rather than grasping.

N.T. Wright, Relevant Magazine

Gone are the days of living in a clawing and striving for salvation mindset. We live in the days of resting in His victory.

The gospel is not advice, recommendations, or suggestions. It’s a declaration! It’s Good News!

We live in His victory. We live in His grace. We live in His pleasure.

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Defiant | BobbyShirley.com

Defiant or How To Get A Full Strength Life

It’s time to enjoy grace anew – not the decaffeinated grace that pats us on the hand, ignores our deepest rebellions and doesn’t change us, but the high-octane grace that takes our conscience by the scruff of the neck and breathes new life into us with a pardon so scandalous that we cannot help but be changed. It’s time to blow aside the hazy cloud of condemnation that hangs over us throughout the day with the strong wind of gospel grace. Jesus is real; grace is defiant; life is short; risk is good. For many of us the time has come to abandon once and for all play-it-safe, toe dabbling Christianity and dive in.

Dane Ortland

Welcome to the new world! Welcome to the new day! Welcome to the new life!

Here are some rules for your new life.

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Because | BobbyShirley.com

Because

The gospel is not an if-then statement.
The gospel is a because-therefore pronouncement.

Gerhard Forde

This is point blank truth.

This is bare metal good.

This is truth. And thank God it’s true.

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