Peace Series: Peace and Goodwill Toward Men!

The Dayspring on high has visited us… to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).

The Dayspring refers to the rising of the sun.  The prophets depicted the coming Messiah as a coming light (Isaiah 9:1-2 cf. Matthew 4:16; Isaiah 60:1-3; Malachi 4:2).  Jesus is the true light (John 1:4-5; 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 12:46-48; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Timothy 1:10).  J.W. McGarvey comments, “Travelers in the Judean mountains often waited patiently for the morning light, lest they should lose their lives by a false step taken in the darkness” (McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel, p. 22).  Burt Groves comments, “As the sun blesses man with physical light, the gospel brings enlightenment to guide him to heaven” (Groves, The Gospel According to Luke Commentary, p. 12).

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!‘” (Luke 2:13-14).

Jesus’ first coming was not to condemn the lost.  “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).

Many did not, and do not, receive this message of peace.  (a) “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).  (b) “This condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Some did, and do.  (a) “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God” (John 1:12-13).  Those who believe have the right to become children of God. Man’s response starts with belief.  Let us point out that there is a difference between having the right to become something, and actually being something.  A man may have the right to become a member of a certain credit union, but that does not mean that he is a member.  A man may have the right to become a citizen of a certain country, but that does not mean that he is a citizen.  God’s children are born of God (John 1:13 cf. 3:3; Galatians 3:26-28).  They are not born of blood (literally plural ‘bloods’ – mother and fathers; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, etc.  It is not a fleshly birth).  They are born of God.  (b) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).  Belief, as used here, refers to an obedient belief which accepts and responds to His authority for salvation (cf. John 3:3, 5, 21; Hebrews 5:9). Have you?

“Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word;  Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard; Tell how the angels in chorus, sang as they welcomed His birth: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings on earth'” (song: Tell me the story of Jesus by Fanny Crosby).

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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