Materialism, commercialism and self-indulgence during this season can take our focus away from Christ as the center of Christmas. This series will help us celebrate the birth of our Lord. Today Derek Prince examines Jesus’ role as the Prince of Peace. As you listen, invite the Prince of Peace into your heart and life, and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas!
It’s good to be with you again sharing precious insights into spiritual truth which God has given me over the years. The theme of my talks this week is “Titles of Jesus.” They are designed to help you focus at this Christmas season on the one who alone gives Christmas real meaning, Jesus Christ.
Let me repeat a word of warning that I gave that the beginning of my talk yesterday. For many people in our contemporary Western culture Christmas is associated with materialism, commercialism, and self-indulgence. The Scripture has a very clear warning for us about this in Galatians 6:8.
“For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
So much Christmas celebration is really just sowing to the flesh: materialism, self-indulgence, tinsel, bright lights; things that may be all right in their own place but have no permanent value or benefit. Let’s make a resolution that this Christmas we’ll sow to the Spirit.
One important help to this is to keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus, keep him central. The theme that I’ve chosen for this week, “Titles of Jesus” is especially designed to help you do this.
I pointed out yesterday that in the Bible names or titles are always significant. Every biblical name has a specific meaning often including the title of God. And in addition, it often indicates something special about the character or destiny of the person to whom it is given.
This applies particularly to the many titles given to Jesus. Each tells us something special and important about Jesus himself. Out of the many titles given to Jesus in Scripture I’ve chosen certain ones to share with you which I believe will especially bless you at this Christmas season.
The title of Jesus that I spoke about yesterday was taken from Isaiah 9:6.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
The title I spoke about yesterday was Wonderful Counselor. Today I’m going to speak about another title taken from that same verse, Prince of Peace. Let me read the verse once more.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
We have to understand that the word “prince” in the Scriptures always designates a ruler. It’s not just a family inheritance of a title but it represents someone who is an active ruler, responsible for government. You see, there’s a certain emphasis on government in that prophecy. It says “a child will be born, a son will be given, the government will rest on his shoulders.” This is the first feature that’s brought out of this wonderful child who’s to come. And so, let’s look at that last of the four titles there which particularly emphasizes his character as a ruler, the Prince [or ruler] of Peace.
We need to understand that there are two things in our experience and in human history that can never be separated one from the other. The first is righteous government and the second is peace. This is true of individuals, of nations, of whole civilizations. Only insofar as there is righteous government can there be peace. We’ve got a very limited and incomplete picture of peace in our contemporary society. We talk about peace as long as there isn’t open war. As long as nations are not actually fighting one another with military weapons we say there’s peace. But, that’s really ridiculous. While there’s bitterness, hatred, calumny, accusation, systematic attempts to undermine other nations and to outdo them, to bring them down—that’s not peace. You see, the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, implies a lot more than that. Its root meaning is completeness and it also contains the thought of order. So, true peace is order and completeness.
Now, the good news of the gospel—and remember the word gospel means good news—the good news is the establishment of God’s righteous government called, in the scriptures, his kingdom. Many of us have missed this for many years. That’s what the good news is, that God is going to establish His righteous government through Jesus.
Let’s look at the proclamation of the gospel as it’s given in various passages in Matthew. Matthew 3:1–2:
“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
He was the first one to proclaim the message. He said God’s kingdom, his government is coming.
In Matthew 4:17 we read the first words that Jesus actually is recorded as preaching publicly:
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
The government. Matthew 4:23:
“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
Notice that the good news is the kingdom, that God’s government is coming to earth and that we’re going to be able to enjoy the benefits of that government.
Again, in Matthew 24:24 Jesus describes his program to bring this age to a close and he says this:
“...this gospel [or this good news] of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
All nations have a right to hear at least once that God’s going to set up his kingdom in the person of the King, the Prince of Peace, Jesus. And that’s the only hope for peace for humanity.
In Isaiah 57:19–21 we have God’s promise of peace to all but we also have a warning that peace is not for the wicked. Peace is not for those who refuse God’s righteous government in the person of Jesus. We cannot have peace apart from the Prince of Peace, Jesus. This is what Isaiah says:
“‘Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will heal him.’”
That’s God’s offer of peace and healing, And note that peace and healing go very closely together. It goes on:
“‘But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud. There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”
You see, those who refuse government are like the sea that cannot rest. It’s always tossing, it’s never fully quiet, it cannot be totally calm. There’s always the elements of unrest, of disturbance there. That comes through the rejection of God’s righteous government in the person of Jesus.
So, Jesus is he Prince of Peace, the ruler whose government alone can being peace to humanity.
Let’s consider how this applies to our contemporary situation today. One of the most conspicuous features of the world situation today is the dearth of true leadership—political and in other areas also. There seem to be just two alternatives offered to humanity. The first is dictatorial oppression, totalitarianism. The second is weak, ineffectual leadership that doesn’t really lead, it merely follows where the multitude want to go. Its decisions are often governed by the Harris or the Gallup polls—that’s not leadership.
Well, people are faced with two unwelcome alternatives. They’re afraid of oppression but they’re tired of the confusion due to ineffectual leadership. So, what is the solution? The answer is Jesus is the only solution. Humanity is being prepared to accept that solution. Humanity is being faced with the fact that there must be good government if there is to be peace. Humanity is also being confronted with the fact that man, in his own unregenerate, rebellious nature cannot offer truly good government. And so, God’s answer is Jesus, Prince of Peace.
But thank God you don’t have to wait until the future to experience the peace that Jesus brings. If you will willingly yield to the Lordship of Jesus right now in your life you can have that peace right now.
Listen to what Paul says in Romans 10:8–9:
“The word [the gospel] is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming...”
It demands a response of faith. And this is the word in one verse:
“...that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
God has an answer for your problem. He offers you salvation, deliverance, healing, peace. But there are just two conditions. You have to believe in your heart the record of the gospel that God raised Jesus from the dead. But, believing in your heart by itself is not enough. You have to also confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord.
What does that mean, confessing Jesus as Lord? What it really means is, “Lord Jesus, I’m accepting your government in my life. I’ve made a mess of it by myself. I’m not capable of fully governing my life and I don’t really have that peace that you promised. But, right now I make this decision to make you Lord of my life, without reservation. Come into my life and take full control and govern me and give me your peace.”
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about another beautiful title of Jesus, the Word of God.