Seeking the Gift of Christmas (Part 3)

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

During these weeks of Advent, we are considering the gifts God offers us through Jesus Christ, the Savior whose birth we are celebrating.  Last week we considered the gift of forgiveness which comes freely to us through faith in Christ.

Another wonderful gift we receive is the gift of peace.  On the night Jesus was born, a great company of the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds and declared, (Lk. 2:14), “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  The gift of peace was made available in the coming of the Savior.

There are two aspects to this peace: peace with God and then the peace of God.  First, peace with God.  Because of our sin, there is not peace between God and us.  Our rebellion against God leads to God’s judgment of us.  However, as we saw last week, through faith in Christ we are forgiven, and so we are justified; our relationship with God has been made right.

Rom. 5:1 puts it like this: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  There are no barriers between God and us, no coming judgement, for we can live in peace with God.

And when we know we have been made right with God and we know we belong to God, we can experience the same inner peace that always characterizes God.  God is never worried or anxious, for He is God, He is sovereign and in control of His creation.  That same peace of God is ours through the work of Christ.  No matter what we are facing, we can be confident that God holds us in His hands.  He will never leave us.  He will never stop loving us.  He will be our source of strength.

Through Christ, God offers us the gift of peace – peace with God and the peace of God in our hearts.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

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