Truth for Life - November 22, 2016

November 22

The Cornerstone of the Building

The power of his resurrection. - Philippians 3:10

The doctrine of a risen Savior is exceedingly precious. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the entire building of Christianity. It is the keystone of the arch of our salvation. It would take a volume to set out all the streams of living water that flow from this one sacred source, the resurrection of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But to know that He has risen, and to have fellowship with Him as such—communing with the risen Savior by possessing a risen life, seeing Him leave the tomb by leaving the tomb of worldliness ourselves—this is even more precious still. The doctrine is the basis of the experience, but as the flower is more lovely than the root, so is the experience of fellowship with the risen Savior more lovely than the doctrine itself.

I would have you believe that Christ rose from the dead so as to sing of it and derive all the consolation that it is possible for you to extract from this well-affirmed and well-witnessed fact; but I beseech you, do not rest contented even there. Though you cannot, like the disciples, see Him visibly, yet I urge you to aspire to see Christ Jesus by the eye of faith; and though, like Mary Magdalene, you may not touch Him, yet you may be privileged to converse with Him and to know that He is risen, you yourselves being risen in Him to newness of life.

To know a crucified Savior as having crucified all my sins is a high degree of knowledge; but to know a risen Savior as having justified me, and to realize that He has bestowed upon me new life, having made me a new creature through His own newness of life—this is a noble style of experience. Short of it, none should rest satisfied. May you both "know him and the power of his resurrection." Why should souls who are made alive with Jesus wear the grave—clothes of worldliness and unbelief? Rise, for the Lord is risen.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Jonah 1

verse 2 Luke 6

Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas

What is Christmas? For many it is a time for holidays, parties, family gatherings, gifts, meals together, music, and special events. For others it can mean unwanted pressure, an increased sense of loneliness, family squabbles, and crowded shops. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas takes place at the onset of winter with its cold weather and short days. There are more incidents of depression at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is the best of times for some, but the worst of times for others, to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.

The birth of Jesus divided history into two major epochs. Until the dawn of our hyper-sensitive age, even the way we dated events underscored this. From time immemorial, every day, week, month, and year has been described as either “B.C.” (“Before Christ”) or “A.D.” (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”). Even the modern, pluralistic style abbreviations, B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) and C.E. (“Common Era”) cannot obliterate the indelible impress of Jesus birth. For what makes the “Common Era” so “common”? And what explains the dividing line date? The answer is the same: the birth of Jesus. At the very center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And He does so because He is at the center of God’s story.

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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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