Wrestling with Truth — December 16, 2012

angelsToday in Wrestling with Truth, we addressed the theological themes in the great hymn: Angels from the Realms of Glory.  The text was written by James Montgomery (1771-1854) and the tune, Regent Square, by Henry Smart (1813-1879).

The themes of each stanza and associated scriptures are as follows:

1.         PROCLAMATION and CREATION

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.

(Luke 2:13-14 NIV)  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, {14} “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

(Job 38:6-7 NIV)  On what were its [Creation’s] footings set, or who laid its cornerstone– {7} while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

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

2.         INCARNATION, RESIDENCE, and ABIDING (Remaining)

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

(Isa 7:14 NIV)  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

(Mat 1:23 NIV)  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.”

(John 15:9 NIV)  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

3.         CONTEMPLATION, DESIRE OF NATIONS

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

(Hag 2:7 NIV)  I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty.

(Mal 3:1 NIV)  “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

(Heb 12:26-29 NIV)  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” {27} The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. {28} Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, {29} for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Puritan sermon on the “Desire of Nations”  (John Flavel)

  • God appointed Jesus  as a common remedy for sin
  • Sufficient for all needs — Isa 45:22, “Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth.”
  • Desire of godliness works in all people; not an imagination—See Romans 1
  • Vast extent of his kingdom —  Matt 8:11 “Many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Nothing else but Christ can give all people satisfaction

4.         FAITHFULNESS

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

(Mal 3:1 NIV)  “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

Anna and Simeon as examples of faithfulness

(Luke 2:25 NIV)  Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

(Luke 2:38 NIV)  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

5.         RESPONSE TO CALL – ACTION, RESPONSIBILITY

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

(Isa 59:7-9 NIV)  Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. {8} The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace. {9} So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.

(Isa 59:20-21 NIV)  “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. {21} “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.

(Isa 60:1-2 NIV)  “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. {2} See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.

(Psa 85:9-11 NIV)  Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. {10} Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. {11} Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.

6.         INCARNATION, THRONE

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:

(Luke 1:32-33 NIV)  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, {33} and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

(Phil 2:5-11 NIV)  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. {8} And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! {9} Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, {10} that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, {11} and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Rev 15:2-4 NIV)  And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God {3} and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. {4} Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

7.        TRINITY

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

8.         TRINITY, THRONE

Lord of Heaven, we adore Thee,
God the Father, God the Son,
God the Spirit, One in glory,
On the same eternal throne.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Lord of Heaven, Three in One

(Heb 12:1-2 NIV)  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. {2} Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

TLT

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