The birth of Jesus took place in Bethlehem of Judea.  The day of his birth is unknown and was not celebrated in the first century. The angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds watching over their flock at night (Luke 2:8).  The good news or "tidings of great joy" was the fact that a savior was born and that savior was Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

A savior is defined as, "a person who saves someone or something from danger or harm." As most know, or should know, Jesus of Nazareth came to save men (to be politically correct - and women) from the consequence of sin.  Sin is the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4) as revealed in the Gospel or New Testament (Romans 1:16-17).  Salvation is necessary because God has "appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31)."

The problem is that the Judgment Day is too often absent from both the pulpit and pew today.  Judging from the moral climate, as reflected in the popular media, America desperately needs a reformation as preached to the Jews in the first century by John the Baptist. His message was simple (Matthew 3:1-8), repent, and to the Pharisees and Sadducees, "who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance."

Also included in the announcement to the shepherds was that Jesus was "Christ the Lord." The use of Christ reveals that this was the Messiah prophesied throughout the Old Testament.  As the angel Gabriel announced to Mary, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32-33)."  During his ministry in Galilee Jesus said to his audience, "Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1)."  That kingdom came on Pentecost following his resurrection as indicated in Acts chapter two. 

The Prince of Peace gives peace to those that repent and obey the Gospel as Peter pointed out and Acts 2:38.  It is an inner peace that passes the understanding of the worldly (Philippians 4:7). It permits the faithful to face persecution and death without flinching.  It gives the child of God strength to bear whatever cross life has placed upon him.  God has extended his "good will" to mankind by revealing his will in the Gospel (i.e., New Testament).  It is His power to save the penitent from the fires of eternal Hell.  It reveals the righteousness of God.  It reveals the faith once delivered to the saints, by which the just shall live (Romans 1:16-17 and Jude 1:3).  Christ is God's peace and good will toward men.

Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK