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Good Will Toward Men  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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"God With Us Is God For Us."

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Text: Luke 2.8-20
Intro:
There is something beautiful about this time of year. It makes you want to go out and spread some cheer one of the great ways of doing this is Caroling.
Opening: The TEXT from Luke chapter 2 is a very familiar passage. Even people who never crack open the Bible had a chance to hear it in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special where Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas by reading those verses.
Main Point of the Text:
God is great enough for Glory
- “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace Good will toward men.”
God Deserves Glory for his Position
God Deserves Glory for his Peace
God Deserves Glory for his Person
Notice with me the source of our Peace… It is God’s Good Will toward you and I.
People who lack peace need God’s Good Will
The Shepherds sure lacked Peace...
When I think about this story of the Shepherds on a hillside I can’t help but laugh. Of all the times in history not to have a video camera on hand this was the wrong night. I can't help but thinking about how much this one evening put a kink in the rest of the lives. I mean you have to know that these men never rested on a hillside the same way again. Can you see these shepherds like half awake on the hillside ready to drift to sleep with nothing but lowing of sheep and the twinkling stars. Just as your feeling the soft breeze blows over your face. Boom your being starred at by a beam of light. There's a man in the sky big enough to be seen and loud enough to be heard from whatever distance he chooses to stop.
The most comical statement to me is that he says "Fear Not". Now its at this point in the play that some little kid like two feet off the ground comes on to the platform stumbles through the lines "fear not". You think.
But the night the shepherds mundane small existence was shattered it was shattered with a vital message. "Glory to God” (believe that if there is one core idea that will keep our ministries, preaching and daily lives from the mundane it will be the message burning in our heart "Glory to God”.
Jerusalem lacked Peace...
Can I remind you that this is all taking place inside the occupation of the Roman Empire. Our little Christmas card Bethlehem was all wrong. How much peace do you have on April 15th. That is the setting for this moment in time. How much more when an alien nation is the one exacting your taxes. This is all is beautiful and wonderful but the land that Jesus was born on did not belong to the Jews it belonged to Rome.
Jesus was not born in a peaceful time. In two years Herod will order the killing of every boy 2 years and younger and event so horrible when spoken about it is generational.
Matthew 2:18 KJV 1900
In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
But this is why we love the story of Jesus. God’s glory is that Jesus can produce something out of nothing. And he can produce something out of its opposition.
Jesus is that peace that we cannot see right now.
According to Michele Lian on her website says there are eight things that are stealing your inner peace.
“It’s easy to tell when your peace of mind is slipping away.
You’re anything but present. You’re constantly reliving events of the past, worrying about a future that hasn’t happened, and letting your dissatisfaction with life as it is, eat away at you.
When you look at other people, you feel empty and jealous because they seem to have it all together. In fact, the grass is looking very green on the other side of the fence. You feel like you’re dying a little bit inside every single day.
There’s no one specific thing that’s causing this negative mental and emotional state you seem to be stuck in; instead, it’s a combination of things — things like these:
Among the things on this list are:
1. YOU’RE SPENDING MORE THAN YOU SAVE.
2. YOU DON’T LIKE WHO YOU ARE.
3. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES.
4. YOU’RE NOT TREATING YOUR BODY RIGHT.
5. YOU’RE NOT BEING REAL WITH YOURSELF.
6. YOU’RE REACTING, NOT RESPONDING.
7. YOU CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK.
8. YOU’RE WORKING AT THE WRONG JOB.
Here’s the Problem According to Scripture Man was at peace once...
It was in the Garden
Man was at peace with God.
Man was at peace with himself.
Man was at peace with those around him.
We will address this later in the series but suffice it to say that we should not be shocked that when man is
Man is at odds with God
Man is at odds with himself
Man is at odds with those around him.
This is why the declaration of Peace is so essential. God has brought Good will to men and in so doing is bringing the restoration of our Peace.
What form is that peace found.
His name is Jesus...
This is incredibly important our peace and God’s good will is found in the incarnation.
Consider this morning that Luke 2 is a collection of stories with the Incarnation as their center piece.
The context and setting of the incarnation vs 1-7
Bethlehem a Carpenter and his betrothed wife and a baby in a manger.
The Announcement also the definition of Incarnation vs 8-20
The Confirmation from Simeon/ the Holy Spirit vs 21-35
(think of this event has important as the baptism and spirit as a dove moment.)
The Proclamation from Anna vs 36-39
The Demonstration of Jesus’ Knowledge and Purpose vs 40-52
(about my father’s business)
This morning our focus is this announcement
1. Glory to God
2. Peace Good will toward men.
here is the definition of Incarnation...
INCARNA'TION, noun The act of clothing with flesh.
The act of assuming flesh, or of taking a human body and the nature of man; as the incarnation of the Son of God.
Websters 1828
Born this day a Savior, Christ, the Lord.
There is no doubt whatsoever, that the angels are announcing the greatest extreme ever known to man.
GOD WITH US...
Charles Wesley said it this way...
“Christ by highest heaven adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of the virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail, the incarnate deity.
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.”
Consider the actors on this hillside...
The Shepherds were mere common people. Even the forgotten.
The angels were borderline worthy of worship.
just like…
Jesus was the personification of the two extremes.
This is why we resemble God’s plan. We are saints in sinners skin. We were meant to be declaring his goodness, but we don’t have a horn.
Balance…
His Deity
John 1:14 KJV 1900
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
vs
His HUMANITY
Hebrews 4:15 KJV 1900
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
GOD WITH US
There is no doubt that this night in history marks both Jesus and
the King of Heaven entering the world at the same time. There is no
doubt to anyone here that Christ and God are one in the same. Jesus
came into this world, but to do so Christ had to put on man. Php 2:7
Philippians 2:7 KJV 1900
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
However, it cannot be missed that every thing that Christ was doing
here was for the sole purpose of pleasing and glorifying his Father in
Heaven.
Matthew 12:50 KJV 1900
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
This is God’s Will
Joh 3:16
John 3:16 KJV 1900
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.
There are some (and all modern versions) which change this
phrase "good will toward men" to something like "peace among men
in whom he is pleased." (By the way leads to a Calvinistic
understanding of this passage.)
I really have no problem with this phrase "good will toward men".
Probably mostly because I don't believe God to be bad at English.
Understand the drought of Peace can only be solved in God’s plan for your Peace...
“God with us” is God for us.
By that what we mean is that we often think that shifting our life to fit a better balance is where peace is found. I’m submitting that if you are off center you will always lack the balance you desire. SO who should I center on. GOD WITH US.
Over the next several week we are going to deal with this Biblical reality that God has delievered to us his GOOD WILL. But we will not get ahold of this until we settle a fact… God With Us is God For US.
I’m not waiting for some new thing to come. He is my thing. Where my thoughts fall. Where my focus lands. Where my trust is found. That from which everything else is simply distracting me.
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