Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
Peace on Earth? "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."--Luke 2:14 Introduction: Madelyn Albright told a group of schoolchildren that there would never be world peace. Then what is the nature of the peace proclaimed at the birth of Christ? Main idea: Christ's advent offers the God's true path to peace for those who will seek after him. I. Glory to God in the highest--the prerequisite for peace. A. What is the glory of God? It is his brightness, splendor, or radiance. B. How is God glorified? In heaven ("the highest"), his glory is visibly manifest. On earth, when we praise him and let him be seen for who he is, then he is glorified. II. Peace on earth--the result of seeking after God and his Son, Christ. A. Peace with God--offered through the salvation Christ brings. Christ came to be a Savior and deliver people from sin. His name, "Jesus" or "Yeshua" means "salvation" or "deliverance." B. Peace among people--offered in the church to Christ's followers. Christ came to be our Lord and lead us as a community. Ephesians 2 says that he broke down the wall of partition that divided us, thus making peace. C. Peace on earth--offered to the world when Christ reigns. Christ came to be a king and to rule in a kingdom. His kingdom is at work behind the naked eye today, working through the church. One day this kingdom will grow into the mountain foreseen by the prophet Daniel and John in Revelation, and he will descend to take his throne. III. Divine favor resting--the attitude of God toward people who seek. A. Christ's advent marks the beginning of the age of grace. God loves mankind enough to become one of us. He not only loves us, but he takes delight in his relationship with us, and he would go to any length to win our affection and praise. In Christ God overlooks the massive rebellion of our sin and opens his arms in unconditional forgiveness and unnecessary mercy. He offers to not only accept us in our damage, but to repair it and fit us to be what we were meant to be from Eden. B. Christ's advent embodies the nature of God in a human being. The incarnation is an immense mystery, a stumblingblock for multitudes. How could an infinite God take human shape? God had absolutely forbid the making of idols or representations of himself so that he could represent himself totally and perfectly in the person of Jesus. C. Christ's advent divides seekers from scorners, those resting in divine favor and those recoiling from the divine presence. Mary and Joseph welcomed his invasion into the most intimate corner of their lives, but there was no room for them in the inn. Shepherds ran to the manger to witness the event, but the shepherds of the nation would turn a blind eye to his identity. Wise men from distant foreign lands would come to pay tribute, but King Herod would slaughter the innocent out of greed for his own power. Saints in the temple would herald him as their salvation, but one day the high priests of that temple would condemn him to death. Conclusion: 1. Let us give glory to God in the highest. 2. Let us receive, demonstrate and offer peace on earth. 3. Let us rest in divine favor by seeking his rule.