Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.26 Good Will To Whom???
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
We look today at our second of the proclamations of the angels to the shepherds at the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, “good will toward men”. Just what did the angles mean by this statement? What did God mean when He sent these greetings to us—we who are in need of the “good will” of God.
Well, to answer those questions we must first of all understand what precipitates the need for God’s “good will”, that all men are at enmity with God. We are born sinners (due to Adam’s choice to sin), and we all choose to sin. So we are sinners by birth and sinners by choice. There has only been on “sinless” person that walked on this earth, and He is that baby whose birth we celebrate at this time of year, Jesus, Emmanuel, The Son of God. The one who came to bring “peace on earth”—not necessarily the absence of conflict at this present time (For there is a time coming when HE will do away with sin, and establish His perfect, sinless kingdom, of which there will be no end!) but the impartation of God’s peace to those who believe, reconciliation from the enmity that sin brought. Peace that sustains us through the storm, regardless of its intensity! Our God is the God of all peace, and the peace that He imparts stills hearts and lives in the midst of the tempest—He is the One who is working His “good will toward men”—and YOU can know and experience that peace. We can possess that peace all because of Jesus—this baby who came to live a sinless life, and die a substitutionary (in our place), sacrifice for the sin of all who will believe in Him.
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,
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:
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,
we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so,
but we also joy in God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received
the atonement.” Romans 5:1-11
Because of God’s “good will toward men” He sent Jesus to be our Savior, Redeemer and Lord! And when we come to Him we have not only eternal life and deliverance from the wrath of God, but we also have hope in the glory that Jesus bestows upon us. The glory and “good will” that God restored us to “Son-ship” and “fellowship” after the separation that sin brought to man. Adam and Eve experienced spiritual death when they sinned and disobeyed God, and passed it on to all mankind, yet God already had a plan to send Jesus to restore us to not only “life” but to “abundant life”.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
We can have life with, in and through Jesus Christ, and He enables us to “live” for Him in all we do. But how does that work out? Simple but not easy, we must devote ourselves to the One who has given us life!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me,
to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly
than he ought to think;
but to think soberly,
according as God hath dealt to every man
the measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3
So beginning at the end of the passage, let us consider that Paul is telling us that it is all about GOD—not just ME! It is God who convicts our hearts to recognize our lost and sinful condition! It is God who bestows His grace into our hearts that we might have the faith to believe –“the measure of faith”. The “measure of faith” to trust in Jesus for salvation, and the “measure of faith” to obey in whatever things God places before us, God always gives us the “measure” that’s required as He appoints our opportunities. Opportunities of service, challenges of great or small import, needs that only by His power and grace are we enabled to meet and be a reflection of The “light of the world” to a lost and dying world! And what are we to do as we serve of the King of Kings? Simple (Doable through Jesus, but oh so NOT easy!), we must “present your bodies a living sacrifice”. The same thing that Paul refers to in another great verse from his letter to the Galatians.
“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
Can you see that the “good will” of God toward men, is that we can have the life of Christ within us!!! We can have Jesus’ life within us in the here and now—not just in the heavenly ‘by and by’!!! We can have the abundant, glorious life of Jesus within us—that is “good will” of God toward men, women, boys and girls all over the world!!! Jesus is alive and well and coming again, all because of God’s love for us, and His desire that we experience His “good will” through His Son Jesus Christ. What greater hope and joy could we have?
“…I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it
more abundantly” Amen and Amen!!!
Jesus, the “good will” of God sent to earth to be our Savior. Won’t you rejoice with me in this next week, in fact always, as we celebrate the coming of The Light of the World? What joy we can have in our hearts and what light and love we should spread in our goings and comings. Let His light be seen in you and me—may we be that reminder to people that Jesus came to “BE” that “good will toward men” straight from heaven for us, for all who will believe and receive! What a miracle of “Joy To The World” the shepherds must have experienced that night—and we can experience it as well, when we yield ourselves to be filled by His Spirit, His love and His power and shine His “Light” to the world.
In closing I have the same desire that Paul had for the Philippians toward you. I take His words as my own to you as you go throughout this Christmas week. Know you are loved and prayed for always.
“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.
14 Do all things without murmurings
15 That ye may be
the sons of God,
in the midst of a crooked
and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine
as lights in the world;” Philippians 2:12-15
And may we all “BE” a reflection of the “good will” of God within us, before the world:
“And above all these things
put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God
rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called
in one body;
and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
in all wisdom;
and spiritual songs,
singing with grace
in your hearts
to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do
in the name of the Lord Jesus,
to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:14-17
This IS the “Good Will” toward men—
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27
May we shine forth the “Good Will” within us every where we go!