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Alpha and Omega

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev. 22:13) To understand these words, we go to John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

In these verses “the Word” is a translation of the Greek word Logos [Strong’s #G3004], and signifies mouthpiece or special messenger. This was Jesus’ name while he was a spirit being in heaven prior to being made flesh. Additionally, the phrase “was with God” in John 1:1 should read “was with the God,” and the phrase “was God” should read “a god was the Logos.”—vs. 1 Emphatic Diaglott

While Jesus was a human being on earth, he was holy and perfect, sinless, separate and peculiar from all others. (Heb. 7:26) As a result, “he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matt. 7:29) “The officers to the chief priests … said … never man spake like this man.”—Matt. 7:45-46

Whatever others thought or said of him, he claimed to be sent of God. “I came down from heaven.” (John 6:38) “I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” (John 6:51) Before the Pharisees, he declared, “I know whence I came and whither I go. … I am from above … I am not of this world … for I proceeded forth and came from God … he sent me.” (John 8:14,23,42) In John 8:58 he adds, “Before Abraham was, I am!”

These scriptures confirm for us the pre-human existence and glory of our Lord, as he expressed it in John 17:5, “O Father glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Additionally, the Apostle John writes regarding Jesus, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”—John 1:10

The only way we can understand Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end, is to recognize that he was the first, only and last direct creation of God. (Rev. 1:8; 3:14; 21:6; 22:13) “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [created before the rest of creation]; For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible … And he is before all things and by him all things consist.”—Col. 1:15-17

Jesus had left his spiritual wealth behind by humbling himself to be made flesh and taking the form of a servant. As a man Jesus had none of the world’s possessions. “The Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20) Jesus further humbled himself becoming obedient unto the death of the cross. Because of his faithfulness unto death, “God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 2:7-11

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God Shows Mercy

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he deligteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) Certainly, after reading our theme verse we should immediately conclude that there is no God greater than the true and living God. We know him as “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Matt. 22:32) He is the author of the wonderful “plan of the ages,” and the giver of “every good gift and every perfect gift.” (Eph. 3:11 Emphatic Diaglott; James 1:17) He is so great, that even one of the scribes to whom Jesus spoke, responded after hearing about the majesty of God, “Well, master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God, and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength … is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:32,33) Truly, no god of man’s imagination can compare with the one God of love, compassion, mercy, wisdom, power, and justice.

Even when man fell in the Garden of Eden, we know that the penalty for disobeying God was a just one. (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3:17-19) Through his mercy God provided a way of escape from the penalty of sin and death that came upon all of mankind because of Adam’s transgression. In Genesis 3:15, he promised that the seed of the woman [Christ], shall crush the serpent’s [Satan] head. This is further shown to us in the words, “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.” (John 3:16,17; Luke 1:50) Similarly, “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) … through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith, it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2:4,5,7,8) Thus, we should see that “God our savior” makes our salvation from sin and death possible “through Jesus Christ.”—Titus 3:4-7

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Sacrifice of Praise

David associates the altar in the Tabernacle of God—symbolic of sacrifice—with the voice of thanksgiving. This indicates that wholehearted thanksgiving calls for sacrifice. (Ps. 27:6) Nothing short of this should be considered an adequate response to the Lord in return for all that he has done for us. The Apostle Paul expresses this thought, saying, “By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb. 13:15) Here, Paul may have had in mind the statement of Hosea 14:2, where the prophet speaks of rendering to God the “calves of our lips.” In any case, the thought is that true Christian thanksgiving involves sacrifice, as foreshadowed by the typical sacrifices of the Tabernacle.

There are various ways by which we can offer the sacrifice of praise to God. We can sing hymns of praise which, without doubt, is pleasing to him. We should also express our thanks to God by means of prayer. It is a blessed privilege to pour out our hearts to him in praise and adoration, telling him how much we love and appreciate him. (Ps. 22:25; 34:1; 109:1) Such incense of praise is a sweet-smelling savor to our Heavenly Father. It is this form of praise that is pictured more particularly by the offering of incense at the Golden Altar in the Holy of the Tabernacle.—Exod. 30:1-8,34-38

Although prayers, adorations and praises might be considered the most direct offerings of incense to the Lord, he has so arranged matters that we cannot offer these sincerely and acceptably except as we have his spirit. That Christ might be formed within you—his mind and principles—you are to “live according to God in the spirit.” (I Pet. 4:6) If we have his spirit, while we offer incense on the Golden Altar, we will also be offering upon the Brazen Altar in the court good works. “As we have therefore opportunity,” we will seek to “do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”—Gal. 6:10

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“Good Tidings of Great Joy”

Concerning the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people,” (Luke 2:10), these pertained to the birth of Jesus. We also recall the words that pertained to our Lord Jesus and found in Isa. 61:1-3: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison house to them that are bound, … to comfort all who mourn. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, … the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the footstep followers of the Lord are ordained or commissioned to preach the Gospel. (Luke 4:17-21; I John 2:27; I Peter 2:9) Paul said in I Cor. 2:2 and 9:16, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” and “woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.” Similarly, we read in II Tim. 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season (both when it is convenient and when it is not) … exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”

The message to the world from the Father through his people is to “fear not,” for God is both gracious to forgive, and has provided a ransom price to take away the sins of the world—his only begotten son Jesus. (John 1:29-34; I John 2:2) Therefore, we should give to the world the hope and encouragement of God’s word that there are indeed better times ahead for them. (Isa. 9:6) We are to plant the seeds of hope that will one day grow and bear fruit when in Christ’s earthly kingdom the eyes of all mankind will be opened to see the blessings God has promised. (Matt. 6:10; Isa. 35:5-10) “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”—Isa. 25:9

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Jesus and War in the Ukraine

To begin our discussion concerning the war raging in Ukraine, let us first look at the birth of our Lord Jesus who is the key to understanding what will follow. The circumstances associated with the birth of Jesus were unusual. Destined to be “The Prince of Peace” and the king of the whole earth, yet he was born in a stable. (Isa. 9:6,7) The world knew little or nothing of what was taking place. Nevertheless, the coming to earth of the Son of God was announced by an angel, who said to the shepherds on the hills of Judea, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Then the angel, together with a “multitude of the heavenly host,” praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”—Luke 2:10-14

There has hardly been a time since the birth of The Prince of Peace that the world, or some part of it, has not been plagued by war or the fear of war. Furthermore, the so-called advancement of civilization in recent centuries has not materially changed this picture. Mankind in general is not looking to God for help but is relying on its own methods for bringing peace to the world. Its methods have generally been unsuccessful. It is, as the prophet Jeremiah stated, “saying peace, peace when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14; 8:11) World conditions are rapidly deteriorating as the people that we have trusted in, and the things that we have come to know and enjoy are deteriorating. Many in the world today now live in a constant state of fear. (Luke 21:26) We see firsthand that world tensions are at an all-time high. Conflicts, wars, and acts of terrorism now fill our headlines and news reports as Jesus prophesied. (Matt. 24:6-13) Much of the world is caught up in a frenzy, which has led many to fear for their very existence. Even now, as the year 2022 draws to a close and many in the world commemorate the birth of Jesus, millions are wondering if, and when the angels’ announcement of peace and good will among mankind will ever come about.

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on February 24, 2022 sent shockwaves throughout the world. Tens of thousands of people have been killed or wounded and fourteen million people have been displaced because of the destruction of towns and cities. There continues to be much suffering, confusion, and fear. People and world leaders alike fear that Russia will expand its desire for conquest and expand its attacks into other neighboring countries. Then, there is the fear among more distant nations that they will somehow be drawn into the conflict on one side or the other. Considering the unpredictability of the Russian president, there is the ever-present possibility that he may choose to use nuclear weapons in a display of power and control. Certainly, the news coming out of this part of the world is far from being a message of peace and good will.

The foregoing description of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict is but one example of the world’s present situation in which “good tidings” are seldom part of the daily news. We should not conclude from this, however, that the purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth has failed, or that its accomplishment has in any way been delayed. The storm clouds of human passion hovering over the distraught and fear-filled world today are the result of human failure. This was foreknown by God and foretold in the Bible. He has permitted it so that the human race might come to realize that the only way out of its confusion and perplexity is to look to him.—Luke 21:25-28

Let us recall some of the promises by which God assures us that we have no need to fear. One is found in the prophecy of Isaiah, previously noted in part, pertaining to the birth of Jesus and to his future rulership as the world’s king. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”—Isa. 9:6,7

One day soon, God will use the returned Lord to fulfill the scripture, “He maketh wars to cease.” (Ps. 46:9) In Micah’s prophecy, we are assured that, “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain [kingdom] of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms], and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”Mic. 4:1-4

We should trust that the Heavenly Father is working out everything according to his plans and purposes. He is looking especially at how we are living up to the teachings that were revealed to us by his dear son. “The fire [of that day] shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (I Cor. 3:13) The trouble or ‘fire’ will reveal what type of character we have developed during our lives. Our faith and character should be built upon the precious promises of God which, we are told, are pictured by gold, silver, and precious stones. (I Cor. 3:12) The Heavenly Father is allowing all nations to deceive themselves into thinking that they can solve all the world’s problems. However, we have seen the contrary. Man’s peace has never been long lasting and new conflicts arise suddenly. However, these events of violence and war are helping to prepare the world of mankind to accept Christ’s coming kingdom of everlasting peace. We see by the conditions in this present evil world that mankind is far removed from the spirit of Christ. (Rom. 8:9)

Nevertheless, God’s grace is that glorious attribute by which He will triumph over the greatest evil that can be, sin, and the author of sin, Satan. (I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:7-9) By His grace God provided His son, the Lord Jesus, to die for sin, as he willingly did on the cross. (John 1:29; I John 2:2; Heb. 2:9) Jesus rejected the concepts of violence and war. Instead, he taught love both by his example, and by the commandments “to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:37-39) This new attitude toward our enemies rejects the use of force and killing. This type of character is based upon the principles of love and peace making.—Matt. 5:9; Heb. 12:14

All the people of the earth will one day know of this promised, everlasting peace and have the opportunity to then live in a restored, perfect earth forever. (Isa. 35:8-10) This promise includes all who have ever lived since there is also promised a resurrection of those who sleep in death. Paul says that “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” (Acts 24:15) Jesus added, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.” (John 5:28,29)

As we consider the wonderful gift of our Lord Jesus, who suffered and died on the cross to take away the sins of the world, and then was raised to life again by the mighty power of God (Eph. 1:18-23; II Cor. 5:15) to bring salvation to mankind, we rejoice to have such a loving and merciful God. (I Thess. 4:14; I Cor. 15:4) This peace that we have been writing about will then become a reality through Christ’s earthly kingdom. Then, “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [kingdom], for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as waters cover the sea.”—Isa. 11:9

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A Disciplined Tongue

Daily, we see the effects of both the use and misuse of words spoken or posted on social media. Never has there been a time when more scrutiny was given to what people say.

The tongue is one of the most powerful members of the human body. While it is a most wonderful tool given by God, “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8) This scripture is similar to Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

Nearly everyone will agree that the tongue is potent in its influence beyond any other member of the body, for both good and evil. Experience teaches us that with most people, it is easier to control any other part of our body than the tongue. The tongue is such a skillful servant that every ambition, passion and inclination of our fallen, human nature seeks to use it as a channel of expression. If we injure others with our tongues, we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are pleasing to God.

Therefore, it requires vigilance, wisdom, and care on the part of the Christian to control this powerful member of his body and bring it into subjection. Our desire should be to bring our tongue into harmony with the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5) We must strive to make our tongue a help and not a hindrance to ourselves or others.

Fallen man does not have the power to control his tongue. “For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect.” (James 3:2 New Living Translation) Since the tongue expresses the sentiments of the heart, it follows that to control the tongue, the heart must be converted. “For of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh.”—Luke 6:45

The importance of having the proper heart condition is stressed throughout the scriptures. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23) “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psa. 51:10) “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (I Tim. 1:5 New American Standard Bible)

The apostle James warned us, “Therewith bless we God … and therewith curse we men, … made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” (James 3:9.10) How careful we should be to speak only that which will be helpful and uplifting, and not destructive or harmful.

We must learn this great lesson and have our hearts gain control over our tongues with Christian love. We are admonished, “Take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” (Psa. 39:1) Truly, our goal should be, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”—Psalm 19:14

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Has Christianity Failed?


Malachi was the last of the Hebrew prophets. His name means, “The Messenger of Jehovah.” His mission was to reinforce Judah’s belief and confidence in God and remind them of their responsibilities as members of a covenant community with God. The concept of the Covenant of Israel is fundamental to Malachi’s message. Malachi’s prophecy concluded the Old Testament canon and contained not only a divine rebuke for sin, but also, a divine promise of rescue.

Malachi spoke for and represented Jehovah to the Israelites. His prophecy is supposed to have been written during the time of the absence of Nehemiah, the governor, from Jerusalem. The period of his absence is thought to have been one of religious decline. This prophecy serves as a reproof for their wayward and evil course and a warning of the just retribution that must surely follow if they did not repent and turn to God.—Mal. 2:1; 3:6

Malachi’s prophecy, therefore, may have served a double purpose: first to reprove and stimulate the people of that time, and secondly, and more importantly, to give a general lesson applicable all the way down through the centuries since. His prophecy closes with exhortations and promises respecting the coming of Messiah, for whom the Jewish people had at that time waited for more than fifteen centuries. “The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple.”—Mal. 3:1

Malachi was the last messenger to Israel prior to John the Baptist, who was the immediate forerunner of Christ. (Matt. 11:10,11) Christ was the coming, great messenger of Jehovah’s covenant and it would have been well for Israel had if they had heeded the warning and prepared their hearts to receive the Lord’s Anointed. While this prophecy primarily applied to Israel, as shown by the Lord and the apostles, it had a much wider application. In a fuller sense it was addressed to spiritual Israel (Rev. 2:10) and applies to the second advent of the great “Messenger of the Covenant,” Christ whose work will fully accomplish all of these predictions. —Gen. 22:18; John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:16,17

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God’s Plan for Mankind

Today, there is much suffering in the world, but this is not new. Man has suffered ever since Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. But now, in addition to the usual afflictions associated with the reign of sin and death, the world is passing through a period described prophetically in the Scriptures as a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1) This distress is worldwide, and because of it, people wonder whether there is a God in heaven? If so, why does he not seem to be doing something about the suffering of his human creation. The answer to this question points out the difference between God’s plan for mankind and fallen man’s endeavors to alleviate suffering.

The Bible reveals that ever since man transgressed the divine law in the Garden of Eden, God has been working to extricate His human creation from death—the result of man’s transgression. God is not looking for man to tell Him what to do about human suffering. God has his own plan, formed before the foundation of the world, which from century to century has continued moving forward toward completion.

This plan will bring to an end all human suffering including destruction of “the last enemy … death.” (1 Cor. 15:26) The fulfillment of this plan applies to Adam and Eve, and to every human being who has lived since their time. God loves His human creation who lived before the Flood (Gen. 7,8) just as much as He loves the people of today and, indeed, every intervening generation. When Jesus said, “God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” he was describing God’s love for the entire human family.—John 3:16

The apostle Peter, added that this salvation would come via “times of restitution [Greek: restoration] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21) Christ’s earthly kingdom will bring this restoration. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”—Matt. 6:11

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The Peace of God

As we journey down the road of life, we will encounter stumbling stones that seem impossible to pass. Still, we are to rejoice and find comfort in the words of our loving Father in Heaven who grants us peace.—2 Cor. 13:11

Webster’s dictionary defines peace in several ways: Freedom from civil disturbance, a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom, and freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. In these examples, the words freedom and security are used to give the feeling that things will be fine. When we combine the above examples with the words of Philippians 1:2 (New International Version), “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” and we let this peace into our hearts, there will be no room for fear or apprehension.

When Father Adam first dwelt in the Garden of Eden, he had no fear or concern of how things would be even after being commanded to avoid “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 1:26-29; 2:8-17) Both he and Eve had the peace of God in their hearts. If they obeyed the Father’s will, all their needs would be met. While the Bible does not mention it, we can imagine that their perfect minds never feared what would happen because with the peace of God in their hearts, disobedience was not something they considered.—Gen. 3

The same could be said for many beautiful examples in the Bible of those who feared God. In Daniel chapter 6, Daniel’s enemies made a law to entrap him through his faithfulness to God. Daniel continued to pray to God even after hearing the decree which forbade it. He was a faithful follower whose heart was full of the peace of God even as he was cast into the den of lions. After seeing Daniel’s example of peace and God’s deliverance of him from what would have been certain death, King Darius decreed, “That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever.”—Dan. 6:26

As we travel along life’s way, remember the experiences of Daniel and so many others who were comforted, and carried in our Lord’s hands through their experiences because they trusted God and had the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.—Phil. 4:7,8.

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God’s Saving Love in Christ

We now find ourselves nearly one-fourth of the way through 2021, and as we can look around, we see that not much has changed from the previous year. Many continue to be without work, children are in some cases do not have access to a meaningful education, and people are uncertain about what this year will hold for them. Will they find security and happiness? Will their lives go back to “normal”? We have a new administration who has promised to bring things into control. However, the US political parties continue to be at odds concerning what should be done to improve our economy, and daily way of life. Even the transition of power was marked with fear, violence, and a lack of respect for our fellowman.

The pandemic rages on! However, we are given hope that things will get better. Several    vaccines have been approved to combat COVID-19 which are proving to be effective, and increased efforts are being made to get the vaccine out to all who desire it. Patience for many of us has been at a breaking point. Fear, doubt, and discouragement permeates our society. It is so important during these exceedingly difficult times to go to the scriptures which are the word of God. Through his word, we can be provided with hope, comfort, and encouragement.

We may ask the question, how much should I be doing to live a life that that would be in accord with my Heavenly Father’s will for me? It would seem to be especially important for each of us to take an honest appraisal of ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5, NASB). This would lead us to conclude that as members of the fallen and sinful race of mankind, we have nothing of virtue or character by which we could be acceptable to God through our own righteousness. From God’s perspective, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) We read in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Therefore, our only hope of coming back into harmony with and acceptance by God is through His grace in providing the way by which He could be just and still be the Justifier of those who come to Him through Christ. (Romans 3:26) Salvation and all the divine blessings can be ours, because of the Heavenly Father’s love in giving His Son to be our Redeemer.—Ephesians 2:8

The value of God’s provided salvation is appreciated most by those who, grasping their own fallen condition, realize their great need for it. (Psalm 34:18) Those who come to Him through Jesus as their redeemer in simple faith and full devotion, do not only enjoy peace with God through His divine favor, but have access to the inner chambers of His grace, and there rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1,2) This “great salvation,” the apostle explains, began to be spoken by our Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. (Hebrews 2:3) This wonderful gift of God’s love is demonstrated to us in the scripture: “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.”—John 3:16

What a wonderful expression of love personified. To realize that the grand architect of the universe desired to provide his son as a means to lift mankind out of the curse of sin and death because of his great love, is truly a blessed thing to contemplate. (Genesis 3:15) The type of love that prompted man’s redemption was not phileo or brotherly love, but it was a demonstration of agape, or charity, a benevolent type of love. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) This brief description of why the Heavenly Father provided the blessing which John described, certainly shows God’s sympathetic love for humanity.

This expression, ‘his only begotten Son,’ refers to our Lord from the very beginning of his existence. He was the only begotten Son or direct creation of God. All other things were made by our Lord in his pre-human existence. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth.” (Colossians 1:16) Then, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman.” (Galatians 4:4 NASB) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) At thirty years of age, he consecrated his life to God and was baptized by John the Baptist. “And straightway coming out of the water, he [John] saw the heavens opened, and the spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10, 11) Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit and following his death on the cross, he was resurrected to the spirit nature. During this entire time, he was the only begotten Son of God.

The entire message of God’s plan for man’s salvation is contained in God’s holy word, the Bible. In summary, it includes man’s need for redemption due to the curse of sin and death; God’s love is declared and then is proven by the gift of his Son; our Lord’s willing cooperation is evidenced; the lengths and breadths of his love and redemption are declared to include the whole world of mankind (Ephesians 3:18,19); and the blessings can only be obtained through an acceptance of Christ. Look at Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6; Colossians 1:15-20) From these verses we see that only through the “ransom,” imputing the merit of the blood of Jesus who died on the cross, to sinners, could they be made acceptable to the Father or be received back again into fellowship with him. (I Timothy 2:6) “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 2:11-18) This refers to ‘atonement’ for sin, as is expressed to us in Romans 5:11, “And not so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

In due time, recovering from the death penalty through faith in Christ and obedience to him, mankind will have the opportunity for ‘everlasting life’ on a restored perfect earth. There will be a promised awakening from death for those who have died. “The hour is coming, … when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God; and they that hear shall live.”—John 5:25; I Corinthians 15:12-25

His kingdom will be an everlasting one. There will be no more pandemics, sickness, sorrow, weeping, poverty, hunger, hatred, wars, or death. We have this promised to us by the sure word of God. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Isaiah 11:9 adds, “They shalt not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” What a glorious prospect! “For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”—II Peter 1:11