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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 2 - Verse 14

Verse 14. Glory to God. Praise be to God, or honour be to God. That is, the praise of redeeming man is due to God. The plan of redemption will bring glory to God, and is designed to express his glory. This it does by evincing his love to men, his mercy, his condescension, and his regard to the honour of his law and the stability of his own government. It is the highest expression of his love and mercy. Nowhere, so far as we can see, could his glory be more strikingly exhibited than in giving his only-begotten Son to die for men.

In the highest. This is capable of several meanings:

1st. In the highest strains, or in the highest possible manner.

2nd. Among the highest—that is, among the angels of God; indicating that they felt a deep interest in this work, and were called on to praise God for the redemption of man.

3rd. In the highest heavens —indicating that the praise of redemption should not be confined to the earth, but should spread throughout the universe.

4th. The words "God in the highest" may be equivalent to the most high God, and be the same as saying, "Let the most high God be praised for his love and mercy to men." Which of these meanings is the true one it is difficult to determine; but in this they all agree, that high praise is to be given to God for his love in redeeming men. O that not only angels, but men, would join universally in this song of praise!

On earth peace {d}. That is, the gospel will bring peace. The Saviour was predicted as the Prince of peace, Isa 9:6. The world is at war with God; sinners are at enmity against their Maker and against each other. There is no peace to the wicked. But Jesus came to make peace; and this he did,

1st. By reconciling the world to God by his atonement.

2nd. By bringing the sinner to a state of peace with his Maker; inducing him to lay down the weapons of rebellion and to submit his soul to God, thus giving him the peace which passeth all understanding.

3rd. By diffusing in the heart universal good-will to men—disposing men to lay aside their differences, to love one another, to seek each other's welfare, and to banish envy, malice, pride, lust, passion, and covetousness —in all ages the most fruitful causes of difference among men. And,

4th. By diffusing the principles of universal peace among nations. If the gospel of Jesus should universally prevail, there would be an end of war. In the days of the millennium there will be universal peace; all the causes of war will have ceased; men will love each other and do justly; all nations will be brought under the influence of the gospel. O how should each one toil and pray that the great object of the gospel should be universally accomplished, and the world be filled with peace!

Good will toward men. The gift of the Saviour is an expression of good-will or love to men, and therefore God is to be praised. The work of redemption is uniformly represented as the fruit of the love of God, Joh 3:16; Eph 5:2; 1 Jo 4:10; Re 1:5.

No words can express the greatness of that love. It can only be measured by the misery, helplessness, and danger of man; by the extent of his sufferings here and in the world of woe if he had not been saved; by the condescension, sufferings, and death of Jesus; and by the eternal honour and happiness to which he will raise his people. All these are beyond our full comprehension. Yet how little does man feel it! and how many turn away from the highest love of God, and treat the expression of that love with contempt! Surely, if God so loved us first, we ought also to love him, 1 Jo 4:19.

{d} Is 57:19

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