Good news that will bring great joy!
“’Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!’” Luke 2:10-11 (NLT).
During the Christmas season we talk a lot about this happy news that the shepherds in the field received. But this happy news is about much, much more than what is usually written and spoken about. Usually, people only talk and write about Jesus’ birth and that He came to forgive us our sins.
A much greater work
But Jesus came to do much more. He came to destroy the works of the devil in our lives. (1 John 3:8.) Everyone who does sin is a slave of the devil, but Jesus came to make us free, so that we are free from knowingly sinning. (John 8:34-36.) He made possible what was impossible in the old covenant. (Romans 8:3.) Jesus made it possible that we no longer need to satisfy the sinful desires that live in our human nature. Now we can resist these desires.
“My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires. If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God's Spirit you say “No” to your desires.” Romans 8:12 (CEV). This is possible because the sin in human nature was condemned to death, in Christ. (Romans 8:3). Now the life of Jesus can be seen in us daily if we follow His example. (2 Corinthians 4:10.)
By faith in Jesus we are born again and become a new creation with a new mind and a pure heart. (Galatians 6:15-16.) Out of joy and thankfulness, we can now live according to new, wonderful laws that are being written in our hearts and minds. (Hebrews 10:16.) These are the same laws that Jesus received from His Heavenly Father and that are full of God’s wisdom and glory.
The “great joy” is that we can change to become like Jesus, from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18.) We can change from having an earthly mind to receiving the mind of Christ that is filled with love and goodness. We can learn to think as Christ thinks. Before, our mind agreed with our sinful and impure nature. Now our mind agrees with the godly nature, after having escaped the world’s corruption that is caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:4.)
Eternal, unshakeable joy
Sins like unrighteousness, lying, jealousy, anger, conflict, sexual immorality, etc., do not bring true joy. But we get an eternal, unshakeable joy if we are saved from all these sins and live a new life where we get the fruits of the Spirit like patience, kindness, goodness etc. Jesus wants us to have this great joy. It’s not the result of changes in our outward circumstances, but it comes because we love Jesus Christ, and all our hope is in Him.
Just as the angel brought joyful news to the shepherds in the field, so we shall bring joyful news in our days about everything that we by faith can get in the new covenant.
We will tell others that it is now possible, among other things, to be a member of the body of Christ and be perfectly one with the Father, the Son and each other, living with a pure conscience as far as we understand. If we have become one like this and have tasted true, brotherly love, we can also tell others about it with great joy. Then we can truly invite them to something joyful! There is hope for all sinners, if only they will repent and hate everything that has to do with sin. God has promised to give us all the grace and power we need in our battle against sin.
Jesus is born in my heart by faith
The good news is that we can become completely free from sin, and that we can serve God with joy and thankfulness and have true fellowship with all those who are getting more and more of these fruits of the Spirit and are making themselves ready for Jesus’ return!
It is a great joy that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, but it is a far greater joy that I can say that He was born in my heart by faith, and that He lives in me and rules my life by His good Spirit! Then things will always be really good, and even if I come into difficult circumstances, I will have peace and rest inside me.