Jason Fritz - December 15, 2019

Glory - Peace To Those With God’s Favor

For the last two weeks we’ve been seeing God’s glory revealed through the birth of Jesus. We learned that a Christian's joy is not tied to circumstances, rather it is tied to Jesus our savior who loves us unconditionally. He is Immanuel, always with us. The Christmas story holds yet another revelation of God’s glory. This revelation is often misunderstood because we’ve heard it misquoted many times, “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” Not quite. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14 Christmas peace is not primarily between man, it is between God and man. Paul gives clarity in his letter to the Romans. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 It’s interesting to notice here that Paul didn’t say we have “peace of God” nor even “God’s peace in us”—though both those things are also true. Instead Paul said we have peace with God. That tiny word makes all the difference. You see, when there’s hostility between you and God, it’s a one-way battle. We sin and make ourselves enemies of God, but because of Christ, God refuses to make himself our enemy in return. You and I lash out in defiance and disobedience and selfishness and pride and hurtfulness. We miss the mark and we misunderstand how our own sin hurts us and those around us. Theologian William Newell reframes it this way, “Our peace with God is not as between two nations before at war; but as between a king and rebellious and guilty subjects.” Think of a child who screams to a parent, “I hate you!” and then runs off and slams the door. The kid is angry, but the parent is heartbroken. They don’t want to be close to you but you still want to be close to them. This is how it is with God. We’re that stubborn child shouting, “I hate you!” as we stomp off and slam the bedroom door. Meanwhile, our Heavenly Father refuses to retaliate, waiting instead for us to return again to His presence in peace. Why? Because, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

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