The Essence Of Christmas: Joy, Peace And Goodwill To All Men!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

Mainstream Christianity has adopted the 25th of December every year to commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Although no one knows for sure when the Saviour was born, the fact that the Son of God was immaculately conceived by the Virgin Mary (through the power of the Holy Spirit) and was born some 2000 years ago in Bethlehem is worth celebrating, whatever the day we choose to do that. The birth of the Lord Jesus, in his human incarnation, was announced by angels with great fanfare, and was prophesied to bring joy, peace and goodwill to all men. The commemoration of that day should reflect the message of the angels who announced the Messiah’s birth.

Luke 2:8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2:17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

Luke 2:18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

The birth of the Saviour is such good news that it should bring joy to all mankind, for without a saviour, all men would end in hell, as all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and all deserve to perish, for the wages of sin is death. Thus, the news of the birth of the Saviour, who alone could rescue mankind from hell, should bring joy to all mankind. Joy that we now have a worthy and able kinsman redeemer. Joy that God loves us so much that he had to send his only begotten Son to take our place in death and give his life to us. Joy that there is hope of escaping death and receiving eternal life. The birth of the Saviour should bring joy to all men, because he came to bring salvation to all men. Only Jesus gives joy that’s inexpressible and full of glory!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18 “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.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Peter 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,

1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

The birth of the Messiah was to also bring peace to all men who would accept God’s gift of grace in Christ Jesus. These are those who will believe and receive the Messiah as Lord and Saviour. To those believers in the Messiah, peace beyond what the world can give is promised and guaranteed. First, he makes peace between us and God, as the mediator between God and men, following his atoning sacrifice on Calvary. Apart from brokering peace between God and humanity, Jesus gives inner peace to his people. The peace that the Messiah gives is the type that calms the troubled heart and removes all fear and anxiety. It is the peace that comes from knowing that God has your back. And not just your back, he’s got the whole of you in his hands! No wonder he’s called the Prince of Peace, for he calms the storms of life and and brings refreshing healing and wholeness to every broken heart that turns to him.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

Ephesians 2:16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Ephesians 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Mark 4:35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”

Mark 4:36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

Mark 4:38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

After announcing the Messiah’s birth to the shepherds, the multitude of angels began to praise and glorify God for this wonderful event! Let’s ponder on this for a moment. Angels are not beneficiaries of this salvation that Christ brings to mankind. There was no room for redemption for the angels that fell and left their first estate; they’re reserved in everlasting chains in hell for the judgment of the great day. Angels cannot sing the song of salvation (Amazing Grace), because those that sinned among them cannot be redeemed, and the ones who remained sinless cannot understand what redemption means. Yet, even though they’re not beneficiaries of God’s salvation that would come through the Messiah that had just been born, they erupted in glorious praise and celebration, on behalf of mankind! Now, how should humanity, the beneficiaries of this great salvation, respond? We should shout ourselves hoarse while praising God! We should be eternally grateful! We should continually and ceaselessly offer the fruits of our lips, from sanctified and grateful hearts, as our eternal sacrifice to God. And, we should not just honour him with our lips, but our hearts and lives should be consecrated to him also, as we serve and worship him all the days of our life, and for all eternity. That’s what’s expected of us, especially those who are already heirs of this salvation that angels desire so much to understand.

1 Peter 1:10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

1 Peter 1:11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

1 Peter 1:12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Finally, let’s all do what the shepherds did after confirming the message of the angels. When they had gone and seen the child Jesus as foretold by the angels, the shepherds didn’t keep the good news to themselves: “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child”(Luke 2:17). That’s what all of us who’ve encountered the Messiah should do- spread the word concerning him. Go into the world and preach the good news to every creature. Now that we’ve been saved and have been reconciled back to God, we’ve been commissioned as ambassadors of Christ to help reconcile others to God. We can’t keep still with this good news which alone can set men free and keep them from hell. To keep from telling lost sinners the good news is to be an accomplice in their journey to hell. Their blood will be on our hands if our neighbours should die in their sins without hearing the good news from us. That’s what the Scripture says.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:

Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Ezekiel 3:19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Ezekiel 3:20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Ezekiel 3:21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

In conclusion, the commemoration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ as celebrated on Christmas day is a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of the message of peace, joy and goodwill to all mankind brought by the angels who heralded his birth. Our words and our actions this season should reflect this angelic message. We should also be grateful for the coming of the Lord to pay for our sins and reconcile us back to God. Our hearts and our mouths should be continually filled with God’s praise as a sign of gratitude for a salvation that cost us nothing, but that required the life of the only begotten Son of God. Finally, the recipients of the salvation procured by the the Messiah should become heralds of this message of good news, and should make sure that every man and every woman hears of the salvation available in Christ, and have the opportunity to benefit from the joy, peace and goodwill God has shown to all men by giving us his only begotten Son. That’s the only way to make Christmas meaningful, for that is the essence of Christmas!

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, drop a comment and share with others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Published by Dr. Ndubuisi Emmanuel Ojo

Dr Ojo is a Biblical scholar and teacher who believes firmly in the original Apostolic faith as the only authentic version of Christianity, and the only legitimate basis for Christian doctrine and conduct.

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