Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas is a time for reflection on Jesus Christ, God's indescribable Gift to this world. It is the time to receive Him into the manger of your heart. Let Him be born in you this Christmas Day! (John 3: 3. 7) - Pastor Max Solbrekken

 ~ Between God & Man ~
                                                 By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
He came unto His Own and His Own received Him not. But, as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1: 11, 12)

THE STORY of God - the Creator - reaching out to fallen man in love and compassion is the greatest and most fascinating in the annals of human history. Never has there been such compassion, mercy and grace shown by a Father to a son, a King to a slave and the Creator to His creation, as Almighty God showered upon mankind!

And never has there been such heartbreak, deception and treason with eternal consequences and loss connected to the sin and eternal fall of the archangel Lucifer!

When Adam and Eve were confronted by their Heavenly Father in Eden's Garden, the Man blamed his wife, but Eve pointed her finger at the SNAKE, saying, “The Serpent beguiled me. And I did eat.” (Gen.3:13). She Was Right: The Devil (gr. Liar) is to Blame. The Liar entered into the Serpent and deceived Eve, and Adam - who was not deceived - sinned with his eyes open, not wanting to lose his wife!

O' the enormous consequences of that tragic and momentous decision, which plunged the entire world into turmoil, fear and eternal death! The Greek Tragedies of mythology cannot be compared with the enormity of the chaos Satan so cleverly organized against God and His greatest creation, man!

Adam, where art thou?” queried Almighty God, Creator of Heaven, Earth, the Cosmos and all things animate and inanimate. “I heard Thy voice in the Garden and I was afraid, because I was naked”, answered the Man!

And since that awful hour, man has been AFRAID and hiding from God, trying desperately to somehow regain the loss of love, trust and belonging that was lost by his damnable actions. And we have all failed miserably by doing our own thing, trying to find peace in a wretched world of our own making.

MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE, celebrated writer and broadcaster, wrote: “Christ is the only answer to an insane world. They will not understand that the trouble with the western world civilization is not economics, but more - good and evil. They are thinking they can make things work by policies, inventions, but man will never live on this planet without God!”

BLAISE PASCAL warns, “If they turn away from God, one of two things can happen. They will think they are gods and go mad or turn to carnality and become animals”.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW stated, “I am ready to admit after contemplating the world and human nature for sixty years, that I see no way out of the world’s miseries but by the way that would be found by Christ’s will”.

WILLIAM GLADSTONE, Prime Minister, statesman and one of Great Britain’s greatest legal minds during the 19th Century, said: “Talk about the questions of the day! There is but one question, and that is the Gospel. That can and will correct everything! I am glad to say that about all the men at the top in Great Britain are Christians.


Almighty God had instituted the Sacrificial System to save Adam and Eve and their progeny until such time as He would redeem fallen man through the sacrifice of His Own dear SON!

To cover man's terrible sin of treason, an innocent animal was slain to provide skin for their clothing and BLOOD to atone for their sins! Cain and Abel both knew the rules. Cain, however, being a type of mankind's rejection of the blood of Christ and relying only on their own efforts to attain salvation, did not obey God's precise injunction regarding the BLOOD covering!

Adam's sin infected the human race and brought forth its EVIL FRUIT in the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Our loving Heavenly Father had tried to warn Cain of the slippery slope he was treading.

The Bible says: “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. But unto Cain and his offering, he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? ... Sin lieth at the door... And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass that, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Gen.3-8). The power of Satan prevailed upon Cain and he killed his brother, becoming the world's first murderer!

For four thousand years, God dealt with SIN and its forgiveness through the SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM until one day, like Abraham, the Eternal, Ever Living God took His only begotten Son to Mount Calvary to die on an old rugged cross to redeem fallen man by the sacrifice of Himself, thereby meeting the demands of God's Righteous Justice!

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice His ONLY Son Isaac on Mount Moriah, it was a type of what He Himself would do. As Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering, JESUS carried the WOOD for His crucifixion.


Isaac, however, escaped death through the substitute ram which God provided. JESUS, however, suffered the shame, reproach and agony of dying as a common criminal on the Garbage Dump of Jerusalem so that a world of last sinners could be FREE from sin, sickness, fear and enslavement to the World, the Flesh and the Devil!

 It was not the Romans or the Jews who killed Jesus of Nazareth. He died as our SUBSTITUTE, the Holy for the unholy, the Righteous for the unrighteous, the Living God for dying men! There was no other way that God could rescue His own creation, the man whom He had created in His own image and likeness. By giving His “Only Begotten Son, Who is in the Bosom of the Father”, He was giving Himself for us, thereby meeting His Own Demands of Divine Judgement for Sin!

God warned Adam: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt NOT eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2: 15-17)

The original Hebrews says, “In dying thou shalt die.” In other words, “You will begin to die; the process of death will begin in you and you will eventually die”! Adam and Eve died spiritually the moment they disobeyed God and the process of death began in their perfectly healthy bodies and from that moment forward every baby is born with death in its body!

Interestingly, one day with God is as a thousand years with us (2 Peter 3:8), and the oldest human was Methuselah, the son of Enoch and grandfather of Noah who lived 969 years! (Gen. 5:25-27)

The Bible says: “The Soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18: 4);“Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Lev. 17: 11); “It is the BLOOD that maketh atonement (covering) for the soul.” (Heb. 9: 22).

St. John gives us the FINAL SOLUTION: “But if we walk in the Light as He (Jesus Christ) is in the Light (God the Father), we have fellowship one with another and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1: 7)


As a boy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (when they still ordained only godly pastors) we used to sing this hymn with gusto. I often wondered what the phrase meant, 'till my trophies at last I lay down'. I knew trophies were given for great accomplishments in sports, music, drama and other achievements.

Then, it dawned on me what Evangelist GEORGE BENNARD meant by these words he wrote in 1912: Our trophies are the souls we have brought to Christ! Bennard had been meditating deeply on the sacrificial death of our Saviour. He testified: “I saw the Christ of the Cross as if I were seeing John 3:16 leave the printed page and take form and act out the meaning of redemption.” It was at that time that God gave him the lyrics to this amazing hymn!

The Bible says: “Surely He hath borne our sicknesses (heb. kholee) and carried our pains (heb. makob): yet we we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. ” (Isa. 53: 3-6)

It was our Heavenly Father Who laid our sins, sicknesses, diseases, fears and torments on His Son Jesus Christ. He carried our guilt and condemnation. Our Lord Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried our pains and by His stripes we are healed. All glory, honour and praise be unto Him forever and ever!


DON FRANSISCO wrote a powerful song that puts the Gospel in perspective, called 'When God became a Man'. It helps explain the great Mystery of our Reconciliation with God the Creator and Liberator of the Human Race. Here it is:

In the center of the ages, the Lord talks with a girl
And by the words He speaks He gives a Savior to the world
Time draws to its fullness, and Mary’s Son is born
The Promise’s fulfilment lies asleep there in her arms

He didn’t come to terrify, to judge, or condescend
To call us all His servants, but to lift us as His friends
To save us all from Satan’s power to reign at His right hand
When once for all eternity, God became a man

Today the God of Majesty has given to the earth
A gift of such magnificence, we could never plumb its worth
And the rudeness of the setting just ignites the Jewel’s fire
A pearl beyond the greatest price, the joy of man’s desire

Today the God of Majesty has given to the earth
A gift of such magnificence, we could never plumb its worth
And the rudeness of the setting just ignites the Jewel’s fire
A pearl beyond the greatest price, the joy of man’s desire

He didn’t come to terrify, to judge, or condescend
To call us all His servants, but to lift us as His friends
To save us all from Satan’s power to reign at His right hand
When once for all eternity, God became a man

Once for all eternity, God became a man

St. Paul is the only New Testament writer who used the words reconcile and reconciliation in His discourse on the great Redemptive work that happened on Calvary's Cross on Mount Golgatha. As the anointed words of the song, “Once for all eternity, God became a man”, testifies to the amazing miracle of the Incarnation that brought God and man together at the CROSS!

Can we understand it? Certainly not. If a human being with our finite mind could understand it, it wouldn't be a miracle. It it inconceivable and that is why St. Paul writes: “Thank God for His unspeakable Gift.” (2 Cor. 9: 15)

The reason that it was His gift to us is that He gave of Himself because, although there are three persons in the Divine Godhead, yet there is only one GOD. The blessed Holy Spirit was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself at the very hour when God the Father had to judge His Son in our place!

And all things are of God Who hath RECONCILED us to HIMSELF by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of RECONCILIATION; to wit (that is) that GOD WAS IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of Reconciliation. Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

For He (God the Father) hath made Him sin (A Sin Offering) for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5: 18-21)

Jesus Christ is the indescribable and unspeakable Gift, and yet, we must never stop speaking about Him and speaking to Him in prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving! Hallelujah! Amen.