- God so Loved the World, that He Gave His Only Begotten Son – One of the most marvelous truths of Scripture is the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “incarnation” means “in the flesh”. Of course, the greatest demonstration of love is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what it means that God is a God of love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”. The mission of the Lord Jesus is crystallized in Mat 1:21-23. The name “Jesus” comes from the Hebrew name yehowshuwa’ (H3091), which is translated as “Joshua” in Old Testament of the KJV, and it conveys the meaning of “Jehovah is salvation”. Lord Jesus is born into this world for the express purpose to die, to die for the sins of His people, as seen in John 12:7: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour”. We read these words in the old hymn, “Out of the Ivory Palaces”: “Out of the ivory palaces, into a world of woe. Only His great eternal love, made my Savior go”. There is no greater love than for God to become sin on behalf of His people, the elect, and to suffer the equivalent of eternity in Hell for them. The good news of the Gospel, “good tidings of great joy”, is that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation in Hell.
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Luke.2:10-11 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Matt 1:21-23 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
- Whosoever Believeth in Him should NOT perish, but have Everlasting Life – To love ones neighbor is to desire that which is most beneficial – the highest possible good – for them. And what could that be that is more beneficial to anyone? The world would tell us we need a new house, a new car, a new job, a wife, a family, more money, a healthy lifestyle, religion, etc. Are these material things really going to provide that which is of utmost importance to anyone? The Bible informs us in Mark 8, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”. “Eternal Life” is the greatest gift anybody can receive because no human being deserves it. In fact, we deserve the opposite, which is eternal damnation. The good tidings that the “angel”, or messenger, announced in the verse Luke 2:10-11, is referring to the spreading of the Gospel of salvation. Once again we need to be reminded that this was Jesus’ mission, as He Himself declared in Luke 4:18-19 and 21: “…he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…”. The responsibility of preaching the Gospel did not fall on Christ alone, but on every one of His followers thereafter. God commands all of His saints to “go ye into all the world” and to “shew mercy” to the lost by being “ambassadors for Christ” and proclaiming the “Gospel of Christ”. Isa 52:7 attests, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”. The KJV terms “bringeth good tidings” and “publisheth” are from two different Hebrew words (basar:H1319 and shama’:H8085) that have several meanings, including that of “evangelize” in English. We know this because God translated both Hebrew words into the Greek of the New Testament as euanggelizo (G2097) in Rom 10:15. The KJV translators then converted that Greek word into English as “bring glad tidings” and “preach the gospel”. The greatest Christmas gift anyone can give is to announce the greatest demonstration of God’s Love as found in the Gospel – to share the Gospel of Grace, which has the power to produce “everlasting life”.
Luke 4:18-19, 21 (Isa 61:1-2) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [Lord Jesus], because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord… And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Rom 10:13-15 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel [euanggelizo] of peace, and bring glad tidings [euanggelizo] of good things!”
John 21:15-17 “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [phileo] thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest [phileo] thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.