Our situation with God was intolerable – so he sent Jesus!
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
I was 21 years old and I was having an argument with my best friend and brother-in-Christ. I think we were have a “battle royal” about including a song in our music group’s repertoire. At one point the argument got so heated that we had “squared off” with each other and were about to come to physical blows!
Then the other guys in the group stepped in and re-established peace between the two of us and with the entire group.
How could this happen? My brother-in-Christ and I loved each other – we still do. But the peace between us was broken by sinful egos (mostly on my part). But our other brothers also loved us and did everything they could to bring us back to peace.
They were successful because they loved us and that love was more important than anything else.
Jesus gives peace – peace between God and us. We were estranged from God due to our sin. More than that, we were at war with God. Many people don’t even realize it. But it was an intolerable situation to God so Jesus came to bring peace.
This peace comes by grace. Grace alone. We don’t do anything to earn this peace. We don’t move ourselves closer to God. God comes the complete and total way to us in his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is. He is living, he is all-powerful, and he is loving all of us right now. When I ask kindergarten students where Jesus is I get two answers all the time.
One, Jesus is in heaven.
Two, Jesus is in our hearts.
Both answers are correct. Jesus ascended into heaven and “sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty,” as the Apostles’ Creed succinctly says.
But Jesus is also in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace (God’s Word and the Sacraments). The Bible puts it this way: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
When I say that “Jesus lives in my heart” I mean that I have faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I mean that Jesus is an intimate part of my entire life. I mean that all that I say, all that I do, all that I write, and everything I do is with the goal to tell the entire world about Jesus and his salvation. I don’t always succeed in doing this, but I try.
When I fail, Jesus forgives me completely and freely by grace. And in so doing, Jesus restores my peace.
Jesus also was. Jesus is a historical figure. As a Christian, all I need to know about Jesus is found in the 66 books of the Bible – Genesis to Revelation.
But Jesus existed in history. There is written evidence from the First Century AD that Jesus lived and breathed and spoke and walked this earth.
The Jewish historian Josephus gives accounts of Jesus and his followers. The Roman historian Tacitus also records the influence of Jesus in his account of the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Nero.
Jesus is also to come. It has been promised to us that Jesus Christ will return.
This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).
Yes, Jesus lives in our hearts and yes, Jesus is in heaven and will come again.
In the meantime, you and I – Christians – are to share the Good News of Jesus. We proclaim the Gospel of the one who is, was and is to come.
We live and breath the truth of the Gospel. We share our belief with the people we see every day by loving them, helping them, and pointing them to God.
As you and I prepare for the celebration of the First Coming of Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem, let us also remember that we are to share the Good News of Jesus until he comes again.
Heavenly Father, I pray that Jesus – who is, was, and is to come – will continue to forgive my sins. As he has established peace between me and you, I pray that I can share the love of Jesus with everyone I meet as I prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
©2017 True Men Ministries