Thursday, December 03, 2009

Matthew 1:19-25:
Just Wow

Jared Wilson at The Gospel-Driven Church saw an amazing metaphor in this passage:

Matthew 1:19 Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately. 20 When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, 25 but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.

The post really isn't long enough to excerpt it - so I am going to post it whole:
The Gospel as Marital Union,
by Jared Wilson

Was reading Matthew 1:18-25 this morning and it struck me for the first time ever to see a little shade of the gospel in Joseph's "acceptance" of Mary. Learning she was with child, he was going to divorce her quietly in order to spare her public disgrace. But the angel told him Mary was pregnant with the Christ-child, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and so Joseph gladly took her to himself. Where he saw reason for divorce, he now saw the presence of Christ and pursued oneness.

It's not a perfect analogy (Mary hadn't sinned in this instance, of course), but it just made me think of all the reasons God has to divorce himself from me, from his people. Yet he is appeased by Christ in us, appealed to by the new life the Spirit has conceived in us. And we are approved by God -- perpetually, finally, eternally -- because of Christ in us, the hope of glory. He render us a spotless Bride.

This, from J.C. Ryle:
“Let us take comfort in the thought that the Lord Jesus does not cast off His believing people because of failures and imperfections.

He knows what they are.

He takes them, as the husband takes the wife, with all their blemishes and defects, and, once joined to Him by faith, will never leave them. He is a merciful and compassionate High priest. It is His glory to pass over the transgressions of His people, and to cover their many sins.”
I really suggest you pay some attention to Jared Wilson.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly