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I bring you good tidings of great joy

This great joy that the angels proclaimed so long ago changed everything about life, and it can still transform our lives today.

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“Then the angels said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11.

During the Christmas season much is written about this great joy that was proclaimed to the shepherds in the field. However, this great joy includes infinitely more than what is usually written and spoken about. Usually people only write about Jesus’ birth and that He came to forgive us our sins.

A much greater work

However, Jesus came to do a much greater work. He came to destroy the works of the devil in our lives. (1 John 3:8) Everyone who commits sin is a slave of the devil, but Jesus came to set us free, so that we are free indeed from all conscious sin. (John 8:34-36) He made possible what was impossible in the old covenant. (Romans 8:3) Because of the glorious work that took place in Christ, that sin in the fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More was condemned to death, we are no longer debtors to the flesh to live according to its lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More. (Romans 8:12) Now Jesus’ glorious life can be manifested in us daily if we follow His example. (2 Corinthians 4:10)

By faith in Jesus we are born againBeing born again is an event that takes place in every true Christian’s life at some point. You “put off” your previous way of living and thinking, living according to the lust to sin in your flesh. You are born anew into a life with Christ; you become a new creation that is Spiritual and eternal. “Therefore, if anyone is... More to be a new creation with a new, redeemed mind and a pure heartHaving a pure heart means that you do not agree with any sinful or impure thoughts that come up in you, but rather you deny these thoughts and put them to death. It means that you are not affected or tainted by sin on the inside. (Psalm 51:10); Matthew 5:8; Proverbs 4:23)... More that, out of joy and thankfulness, can live according to new, glorious laws that are being written within. (Hebrews 10:16) These are the same laws that Jesus received from His Heavenly Father and that contain all God’s fullness of wisdom and glory.

The “great joy” is that we can be transformed into Jesus image, from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) We can be transformed from having a carnal mind to receiving the mind of Christ that is filled with love and goodness. Before, our mind was one with our sinful and impure nature; now our mind is one with the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

Eternal, unshakeable joy

Sin (for example, unrighteousness, lying, envy, jealousy, anger, strife, fornication, etc.) does not produce true joy. However, there is an eternal, unshakable joy in being redeemed from all these sins and by walking in the new life in the virtues of Christ. It is Jesus’ wish that we experience this great joy. This joy is firmly anchored in the blessed hope that is within the veil in heaven itself. It is not the result of fluctuations in our external circumstances, but it is rooted and grounded in the invisible—in our love for Jesus Christ.

Just as the angel was a messenger of joy to the shepherds in the field, so we shall be messengers of joy in our days concerning everything that we can obtain by faith in the new covenant. Among other things, it is possible to be a member of the body of ChristThe body of Christ is made up of all of those who give their lives to serve God in order to come to the fullness of Christ. They work in the ministry that He has appointed them, which differs from person to person, for the edification of themselves and others to bring all to unity. It is made up of... More in perfect oneness with the Father, the Son, and with each other as we walk in the lightWalking in the light is the state of being obedient to do all that God reveals to you through the Holy Spirit. For example, when He shows you that you need to overcome laziness, or lying, or any other lust. This means both that you put to death all of the sin you are shown (get light over) and obey... More. If we have entered into this oneness and have tasted genuine, unfailing brotherly love, we can also with great joy invite others to it. Then we can truly invite them to something. There is hope for all sinners, if only they will repentRepentance is the act of regretting sincerely the sin in your past with the goal to never do it again. It is making a decision to turn away from evil and to serve God. Repentance is one of the requirements for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 2:17; Luke 15:10; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter... More and hate everything that has to do with sin. We have been promised all grace and strength in the battleAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More against sin.

Jesus is born in my heart by faith

The good tidings are that we can be perfectly set free from the slavery of sin, and that we can serve God in liberty and with joy and thankfulness in sincere fellowship with the host of saints who are being cleansed and purified and made ready for Jesus’ imminent 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 dwells in it and rules my life by His good Spirit! Then I will always have a feast and can sing: “Hear how the storms are raging; within it is peaceful and still.”

This is an adapted version of an article that was first published in BCC’s periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden treasures”) in December 1967.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag

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Christ Manifested in the Flesh

For our sakes Jesus bore our sin in His fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More so that all sin might be condemned there. He was willing to do it and He did do it! The significance that this has for us is immeasurable. Read more here about all that this means for all those who truly believe in Christ Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man.

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