Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.25 Peace On Earth???
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13-14
Who was this Jesus, whose birth we celebrate during this time of year? Many around us know He was a baby, but they leave Him in the manger, and don’t acknowledge His deity and work for the salvation of “whosoever believeth in Him”! So let’s take a look today and for the next few weeks at who this baby was and who He IS. It is not only a matter for celebration, but it’s also a matter of life and death—eternal life or eternal death.
As we see in the account from Luke, the angels came to the shepherds to announce the birth of the Savior and Messiah, the arrival of “Emmanuel”-God with us, and the arrival of the “One” way to God the Father! And what did these angels proclaim?
“Glory to God in the highest”—heaven knew who this child was, but mankind had yet to find out, that this baby in the manger would bring absolute glory to His Father! He did bring glory to His Father, and He will bring glory to His Father yet! But can we bring glory to God? Yes we can, first of all by trusting in this precious gift of salvation that Jesus is, and then to live life in and through His power, provision, love and grace through the direction of His Holy Spirit.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
We are to do all to God’s glory, living in a way that points people to Jesus; we are to be a reflection of the glory of Jesus to a lost and dying world. A world in need of a Savior!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
And I can only bring glory to God as I walk in His Spirit, and allow Jesus to live through my hands, my feet, my tongue and heart and my life! But I can only do that through His power and the recognition that without Him I can’t accomplish much of eternal value.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
I must abide in Jesus in all my ways—up or down, in or out, happy or sad, strong or weak, I must rest in the power and wisdom of God, that the light that He puts within the redeemed may shine brightly through me. And I can only do that as I yield to the Holy Spirit that Jesus has given to dwell within me, within all who come to Jesus in repentance and faith.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh……… 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16, 24-26
We must walk in the Spirit’s control, for just as Jesus said, “without me ye can do nothing”, Paul reiterated in his letter to the Romans:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18
But Paul tells us where to find it in chapter 8!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:1-6
You see it’s that “peace” with God, the “new birth” that produces a life that reflects the glory and peace of God. What we must understand is that without the work of Jesus in our lives, we cannot accomplish anything of eternal value in the Kingdom of God. I think Jesus meant more than we often understand in John 14:6, when He said He was “the way…the truth….and the life…”. While we know He was specifically (and contextually) referring to the salvation that He was about to provide at Calvary, I think we can also understand that He is the only “way” that we can live for God, through the power of the Holy Spirit; we can also rely upon Him for being the “truth” that we are to live by—not just facts, but the very person of Jesus Christ abiding within us, and leading us unto “all truth”; and we can also have the real “abundant life” that He came to provide as we walk in His Spirit’s power and direction in our everyday lives.
When we come to Jesus in saving faith, and learn to walk in His ‘way’, His ‘truth’, and His ‘life’ then we can truly experience “peace, good will toward men”! In fact Jesus is the only way that we can have real peace. Not the absence of conflict, confusion or stormy days, but the power to walk through them victoriously IN Jesus, because Jesus is restores us to a relationship of “peace” with God, so that we are no longer His enemy but His child! Praise God Almighty!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
“Born…of God” because Jesus gives us “new birth” wherein we are restored to a personal relationship with God, because Jesus paid the price for the “treaty” of peace, if you would. He paid the “sin” debt, which we could only pay with our lives—either by yielding our lives to Jesus in repentance and faith, or our lives destroyed in hell for eternity. And God has no desire that people perish, but that they come to repentance and faith in Jesus. God loves us so much that HE paid our price with the life, death, burial and resurrection of HIS SON!!! All that we might restored to “peace” with Him—peace on earth, good will toward men=Jesus! And without Jesus there is no real peace.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience;
and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.
6 For when we were yet without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified
by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so,
but we also joy in God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
we have now
received the atonement.” Romans 5:1-11
True peace on earth comes in the person of Jesus Christ and the “atonement” (Making amends for wrongs done!) that He made for us through His blood shed for us on the cross. And that my friends, is the beauty of the message of Christmas—Jesus– His love and His atoning death for us. He came that we might have life, eternal life with Him. He came into humanity via a virgin birth. He lived a sinless, perfect life. He died a death for sin He hadn’t committed so that we who have sinned could have life that we don’t deserve. That my friends, is the mercy, love and grace of God, which Christmas represents. He loved ME—He loved YOU enough to leave heaven’s glory to walk streets of dirt, live among sinful men and die in our place. Will you come to Him if you haven’t? Will you live for Him if you have?
“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name
which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
of things in heaven,
and things in earth,
and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved,
as ye have always obeyed,
not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you
both to will
and to do
of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:5-13
So my question in closing is, “Are you working out what God has put within you?” Or are you living your life, your way for your ends? As Jesus so aptly put it:
“No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
Who are you serving? The God who gives “peace that passeth all understanding”, or are you serving something else that can never give or produce real life-changing peace. As my friend Bro. Scott says, “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!!!” Choose wisely dear ones, and Merry Christmas to you all—the Real CHRISTmas! The peace of God and glory to God!!!