by Dr Gregory Magruder | December 9, 2018
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 12/09/18
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas season is the time of Advent. Advent means “coming.” The prophets of old predicted that the Messiah would come. They said that he would bring peace. We lit the second Advent candle, the Peace Candle, this morning. Jesus promised that he would give us peace. He told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Christmas is the time to celebrate the peace that Jesus Christ gives to us.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATES THE WAY OF PEACE.
*Zachariah praised God for restoring his voice and for the birth of his son, John. Zachariah’s song praises God for providing salvation to his people (Luke 1:68-75) and for sending his son to prepare the way of the Lord (1:76-79). He says that the Messiah would guide “our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).
*The angels at the birth of Jesus announced peace on earth to people of good will. The favor of God is upon those who follow him.
“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:12-14).
God provides the way of peace through his Son Jesus.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATES THE MAN OF PEACE.
*Isaiah prophesied that a Prince of Peace would come and his government would bring lasting peace and justice. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore (Isaiah 9:6-7).
*Jesus fulfilled the prophecy and was born a savior. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
*Jesus died in our place and forgave our sins. We have peace with God
because of Jesus. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed
for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
*Jesus can give us peace because he has conquered sin and death. He rose from the grave and gives us access to God. On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord (John 20:19-20).
Jesus proved he is the man of peace by his life, death and resurrection.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATES THE GOOD NEWS OF PEACE.
*The angel announced that the birth of Jesus was Good News. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11).
*The Good News that Jesus brings is the free gift of salvation for all.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:21-24).
*We are made right with God and find peace with God by faith in Jesus. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
*Jesus reconciles us to God by giving his life for us on the cross. We have forgiveness of sins through his sacrifice. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
*The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds as we trust in him. Let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:5-7). Claim the Good News of peace this Christmas!