O Holy Night

Christmas is upon us again, and it seems a shame not to look at a Christmas Hymn whilst we have the chance. 

Reading around O Holy Night we learn that it is a

“well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). In both the French original and the English version of the carol, as well as in many other languages, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity’s redemption.”

It begins like this,

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.

In the Word, ‘holy’ means to be set apart and was there ever a night like this, set apart as the night of Jesus’ birth, the day that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Luke 2.8, John 1.14)?

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
’Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

As a result of the fall in Genesis, the world was in sin and error, but the birth of Jesus offered a way for the world and everything and everyone in it to be restored to how things should be, to be restored to right relationship with God (Genesis 3, Romans 8.22, John 3.16).

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night divine!

The Word tells us that one day every knee will bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2.10-11). One day we will be confronted with the reality to which our faith and hope and trust are anchored, and we will bow before the Lord and hear the angels worshiping Him forevermore (Revelation 5.11-14).

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we;
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Enjoy this Christmas hymn today as we prepare to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour on that holy night!

Jude 1.22-23 – Save Others

Earlier in this short passage we focused on have mercy on those who doubt, now let’s look at the rest. 

22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Here Jude continues his instruction as to how we interact with those stuck under the false teaching of vv.8-13. To those who have doubts of the heart we are to have mercy, but some situations require a stronger response. Jude writes save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. The response is different to show mercy, and the response is stronger too. 

The crux of it all is that we should indeed be others-focused. Looking outwardly to others and the direction they are heading shows that we care and shows we are valuing our brothers and sisters in Christ. If people are being taught a different version of Jesus than is orthodox and shown in Scripture, we ought to be stepping in to lovingly correct them (Ephesians 4.14-16). 

I read recently that “Christians should not abandon a friend flirting with false teaching. They should help him through it in love.

So, if people are flirting with false teaching, be that from an individual pastor who teaches ever so slightly away from Scripture to tickle the ears of those who listen, or if an entire church and movement is founded on principles and teachings that are not explicitly demonstrated in the Bible, we should help them see the truth of the Word of God, but always in love. 

In doing so, as Jude writes, we will save others. Not in that we become their Saviour, but we will redirect them to the One who is. 

Point to ponder – Would I know how to lovingly give correction? Am I humble enough to receive correction?

Prayer – Father we thank you for your timeless and true Word to us that we carry in our Bibles, and we thank you that this Word became flesh and lived here among us temporarily to point us to you. Give us a spirit of humility and the right words if we need to be in this situation, and help us to always keep our eyes fixed on the message of your Word, not the words of those who deliver it. Amen. 

2 John 1.7-11 – Acceptance and Rejection

As believers, we are just as much defined by what we reject as what we accept. Sometimes, the line is so incredibly fine, isn’t it. A friend of mine discussed this in a podcast which is well worth a listen, you can do so here…


So, we are defined just as much by what we reject as what we accept, and here John is urging his readers, and us, to reject false teaching.

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

2 John 1.7-11

The idea that Jesus was not a real man is an ancient heresy called docetism and is being refuted in v.7.

“This heresy was coined from the Greek word, “dokesis” which means “to seem”. It taught Jesus only appeared to have a body and was not truly incarnate.”

John starts his first letter by saying that Jesus is the One who ‘…we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands…’. The heresies and false teachings surrounding Jesus are as vast as they are varied, and John boils it down to this – everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.

So, simply, if we reject what the Bible teaches about Jesus, if we reject what Jesus said about Himself, then we do not have God

v.10 is strong and we are told to not have anything to do with false teachers. This is not to say that those caught under false teaching are to be avoided, they need friends who will tell them the truth in love (Ephesians 4.5)However, those teaching falsehoods about Jesus are to be avoided. 

All too often the world will tells us that we need to be more open minded, but we must not let this become empty headed. We can be open minded whilst holding to the truth, but we cannot be empty headed and full of the truth of Jesus. 

We are defined as believers just as much by what we reject as what we accept, so let us be the kind of believer that is able to see the truth, discern the truth, and accept the truth. Let us be the kind of believers who see error, recognise error, and reject error. 

Point to ponder – Am I straying into error by what I allow into my life?

Prayer – Father, we thank you for your Word, we know your Word is truth, and we know that this truth will set us free. Help us to be saturated with your Word, give us the discipline to make time for your Word, and help us to see that, as Jesus said, that in your Word is the direction to the One in whom there is eternal life. Amen.