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Psalm 96

 

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity." Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness. (ESV)

 

 

 

 

New to Us

Tuesday after the Baptism of our Lord

13 January 2015

Some people claim that the gospel is a new teaching which Jesus Christ first introduced to the world during His earthly ministry. Of course, they presume that He came merely to supersede the teaching of the Old Testament with its laws and sacrifices. In other words, He gave the gospel in substitution for the law. There is just enough truth here to give us some idea why people think this. The gospel is a truly a "new" message. It is not new in age though, because it is as old as God, who had His gracious message in His heart from eternity and proclaimed to our primeval parents (Gn 3:15) following their disastrous fall into sinful self-will.

 

The gospel remains a new word because the old legalistic heart of every man will never be able to understand or know this message. This is why Paul tells us that it is a message that 'no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined' (1Co 2:9). Every time we are confronted by the gratuitous love of God, it is a miracle that presents to us as fresh, new, and totally astounding. We are so slow of heart and unwilling to believe the gospel that God must present it to us again and again in the pages of Holy Scripture. We act like the spiritual Alzheimer's patient, who has to be introduced to his own wife every day, because he has forgotten who she is. So God reintroduces us to the gospel through the preaching of the divine Word making it new every morning. That newness was celebrated by the Psalms and Prophets (Ps 96, 98, etc.) in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was full of the gospel promise and the saints of those days looked forward to its fulfillment in the days which were to come. The gospel throbbed through the heart of the Old Testament. The gospel is not a new teaching at all, but eternal (Rev 14:6). It's only new to us. Every day.

 

John Chrysostom

 

"'Which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures' (Rm 1:2). The Psalmist said, 'The Lord will give the word to those who preach the gospel with great power' (Ps 68:12, LXX). Isaiah said, 'How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news' (Is 52:7). See here both the express name of 'gospel' and the disposition of it laid down in the Old Testament. For, we do not proclaim it by words only, he means, but also by acts done; since neither was it human, but both divine and unspeakable, and transcending all nature.

 

"Now since they have laid against it the charge of novelty also, He shows it to be older than the Greeks, because it was described long ago in the Prophets. And if He did not give it from the beginning because some were unwilling to receive it, still, those who were willing did hear it. Jesus said, 'Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad' (Jn 8:56). How then could He say, 'I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it' (Mt 13:17)? He does not mean, as you see and hear, with the flesh itself, and the very miracles before your eyes. But let me beg you to look and see what a very long time ago these things were foretold. For when God is about to do openly some great thing, He announces it a long time before, to train men's hearing for the reception of them when it happens."

John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 1

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Your Word is new to us every morning. Give us Your Holy Spirit that we might find our true joy in what you have promised to us. Although we have in no way deserved it, keep sending us Your gospel that Your new Word would never be taken from us. Amen.

 

For Irene Schroeder, who is gravely ill, that the holy angels would surround her

 

For all those who traveled to India to participate in the seminars being offered, that they would be kept safe and built up in the divine truth through hearing the instruction

 

For the Lutheran Church in the Philippines, that pastors and people would faithfully proclaim Christ and His cross 
Art: RENI, Guido Baptism of Christ (c. 1623)

 

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