Five Points Blog

A Sovereign Peace

Isaiah the prophet promised a son with four names. He would be called Wonderful Counselor because he has a divine plan for his people around the globe and across time to overcome their sin and unbelief and draw them to God. He is wonderfully wise because he is God. So we can trust him.

He will be called Mighty God because he has the power of God to execute his wonderful plan. Nothing can stop him from rescuing his people, because no one is more powerful than God! None can hinder his plan to be glorified in us. So let’s hide behind him. In him we are safe.

But he is not merely a warrior; he is a father. He will be called the Everlasting Father. He is in fact the Father of Eternity. All things began in him, and forever all that grows before him owes its existence to him. And he is our father. For those whom he has made, chosen, and redeemed, he is our Everlasting Father. So we can enjoy him.

His final goal in all of this is to unite all of our hearts together with his, with each other, and with creation in what the first people of God called “shalom.” We call it peace. It is the quiet unity of all things under God. The Son of God, the Messiah, Jesus Christ came to achieve peace. It took a wonderful plan, a mighty battle, the Father’s love. In the end, he achieves his costly peace, a sovereign peace.

No matter what strife, stress, or conflict poisons your mind at the moment, Christ’s birth at Advent means all is well. He comes bringing peace, the kind of peace no human can invent or understand, but every human desperately desires. He brings the peace of God, a sovereign peace. So rest in him.

How is the Son Called the Everlasting Father?

Isaiah’s prophecy foretells the son whom God will send will be called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace…” (Isaiah 9:6). But how can the Son of God be called the Everlasting Father?

It does not mean he marries and fathers children himself. Jesus Christ who fulfills this prophecy was neither a husband nor a father in a natural sense. Nor does it mean the Son replaces the Father in the trinity. The roles of each person in the Godhead are fixed and eternal. For instance, the Holy Spirit never becomes the Father.

So in what sense is the Son called the Everlasting Father? It is this: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are so united in their divine ministry to the Church that all the qualities and benefits of the Father are enjoyed in the ministry of the Son. 

You can see an example of this “fatherly” tone in Jesus’ ministry when he said to the disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:18-20). Jesus, the eternal Son, extends in himself the promise of care and love of the Father to the disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans.” 

The Son will be called Everlasting Father. Mysterious? Yes. Glorious also? Yes. The infinite virtues of the Godhead will take an eternity to behold and become. It is no surprise we stand in awe even now.

God’s Mighty Love Has Come

One of the glories of the incarnation is that God not only has a glorious plan for saving sinners, but he possesses all the power needed to carry it out! The holy God of the ages has a plan—he sent his son to die to pay the debt owed by sinners who pursue their joy in him. He is not only our Wonderful Counselor but also our Mighty God!

And he means for his might to be seen in our own lives daily, as we trust in him. Paul instructs us by the Spirit to “be strong in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). And to Timothy he writes, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

We see this might of God on display in Moses who was “mighty in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:22) and Apollos who is described as “eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24).  

How do we become mighty in the might of God? It is not by our virtue, self-discipline, or strength of will. These all stem from pride and seek for personal glory. By these efforts we always fall.

We gain God’s moral might by full and utter dependence upon him by faith. From this faith flows love, and loves makes us strong. Listen to how Scripture teaches this, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

Love is the expression of God’s great might in our lives. We wield this power when our faith works itself out in love. 

God’s mighty love came to fullest expression in the giving of his son, the Lord of love. Would you bow with me to adore his mighty love? Then ask God to pour mighty love into your life!  

Planting Joy Update: Sold!

An artistic rendering of what the building for our new neighbors, First & Main, will look like.

It has been long in the making, but join us in praising God for his provision through the sale of a portion of our property. We now have over $3,031,000 in our Planting Joy building fund!

A team is working with our architecture firm to nail down a more definitive anticipated cost for our building project so we know what the difference is between the total cost and what we now have in our account.

Continue to pray that the Lord would provide all that we need to develop a facility that can serve as a strategic outpost for gospel-advance. And as you think about where to make year-end contributions, consider making a designated gift to our Planting Joy fund so we can more quickly move forward with construction.

After Darkness, Light

The very nature of God is to enter our darkness and bring us into his light. Isaiah 9:2 foretells of Jesus Christ, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.”

The deep darkness Isaiah writes of was a moral decay born of promiscuity, drunkenness, and magic. God had given his rebellious Israelite people over to the base lusts because in their pride they had rejected true hearts of love for God and pure worship in his temple. Their sinful acts were not just deserving of judgment, they were his judgment. The darkness they lived under was the present anger of a good and holy God.

How desperately they needed light—not daylight but divine light. They needed their eyes opened to the light of God’s glory in the purity of his goodness. They need someone to come purge their moral waters of sin’s blindness—to rescue them from themselves with light.

Instead of sending them a great warrior to wage war, he sent them a newborn Son to offer counsel—wonderful counsel. The son born in Isaiah’s day foretold the Son of God born to Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, whose name is Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). The only light that dispels sin’s darkness is Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.

And this light blazes on. The light of Christ’s free grace illumined the darkness of 16th century Europe, a time known as the Reformation, and its lasting motto is “post tenebras lux”—after darkness, light! May Christ’s light shine in your heart, your relationships, our nation, and among all the peoples of the earth.