The Peace of “God With Us”

“God with us” (Matt 1:23) means peace (Luke 1:79, 2:14). Peace is found in a Person (Eph 2:14). The birth of Christ is the greatest turning point in all of history. God laid aside His glory in the heavens and descended into His creation, becoming a Man (Phil 2:5-11). God became Man forever. His Names include Immanuel (God with us), Jesus (Savior), Son of Man (emphasizing His humanity) and the Prince of Peace (emphasizing His work and future Millennial reign). As our Savior and Redeemer, He came to reveal the love of the Father and the path of peace (Luke 1:79) for those who once were His enemies, who became hostile to His word and cross (Rom 5:10; Phil 3:18; Col 1:21; Heb 1:13).

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear A Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matt 1:23

During this time of celebration, we look back with the shepherds upon His birth with awe at the manifestation of God’s power and glory as heaven came to earth. In the midst of this fear-inducing glory is the greatest display of humility; the all-powerful and eternal Lord took on human form as a baby in a manger. Fear on behalf of the shepherds gives way to the “good news of great joy” of the Savior who has come to save the people from their sins.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  Luke 2:8-14

The Christmas cards which warmly proclaim, “Peace on earth, and goodwill towards (all) men,” misses the crucial point of Luke 2:14. The Father’s gift of the Son to all men only becomes peace and joy to those who receive that gift. Peace on earth only comes to those who also have “God with us.”

…Jesus came to bring peace and good will to those “with whom he is pleased!”, as the angels announced at His birth (Luke 2:14). The Scriptures define many kinds of peace, such as peace with God (Rom. 5:1), possessed by every Christian; the peace of God (Phil. 4:7), which is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22); and the promise of peace on earth to be realized in the future millennial reign of Christ, as in Isaiah 11. The Scriptures make plain that there is no peace for the wicked (Isa. 57:21). Peace is only possible for those who are the recipients of the grace of God by faith.[1]

He is Eternal God Who Became Man

The most amazing event in all history is being celebrated by Christians far and wide. On this day we acknowledge God became man. He became Man so that He could become our Savior and Redeemer. Humanity was added to Christ’s eternal deity which has no beginning or end. The adding of flesh did not alter or change His deity, essence or attributes. His human nature was in likeness to ours, yet without the weakness or inherent sin of Adam. He dwelt among us or “tabernacled” with us. As the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle in Exodus (Exodus 40:34), the Lord dwelt among men in a physical body like ours.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

He is the Prince of Peace

King of kings and the Prince of peace are millennial titles of Christ that are associated with His millennial reign after the tribulation. Then and there, everyone will know the Name of the Lord. This will be a period of unparalleled prosperity. These times will be characterized by His righteousness and peace. The utopia that men dream of yet never attain will be manifested by the Lamb of God who brings peace to all who receive Him. This same peace is offered to all men today through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph 6:15; 1 Cor 15:3-4).

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.  Isa 9:6

And the work of righteousness will be peace,

And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isa 32:17

…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Rom 14:17

He is the Way of Peace

The way of peace is to come from living and walking in darkness (Isa 9:2; Matt 4:16; Luke 1:79; Eph 5:8) to the Light. Peace means salvation, unity, well-being, and wholeness. Man in his natural state is at war with God having enmity and hostility towards His way (Rom 5:10: Col 1:21). Only by the entrance into history of God as Man through Christ Jesus can the destiny of condemnation and wrath be altered for man. Acceptance of the cross as payment for my sins and the victory of His resurrection life makes peace with God and brings one from darkness to Light (John 3:16-19).

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;

To give to His people the knowledge of salvation

By the forgiveness of their sins,

Because of the tender mercy of our God,

With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,

To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

To guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:76-79

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matt 1:21

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being (Heb. shalom or peace) fell upon Him,

And by His scourging we are healed.  Isa 53:5

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…Rom 5:1

“Go in Peace”

A deepening of the meaning of peace and the outcome from it may be illustrated from the scriptures of Christ healing the women. He tells the women that your faith has made you well.

Through faith they enter into peace with God at eternal salvation. Peace means an end to enmity and hostility. Peace brings unity to God and His purpose for all believers. Peace also means wholeness. The healing of the women’s bodies authenticated Jesus as Christ and God. [2]

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, has for its root meaning wholeness.[3] In the Septuagint[4] the Hebrew word shalom is translated by the Greek word soteria which means salvation. What in Hebrew and English is called the “peace offering,” in Greek is called the “salvation offering” (Gen 26:31, 41:16, etc.). This close association of the ideas of salvation, wholeness, and peace appear also in the words of the Lord to those whom He had healed.[5]

And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  Luke 7:50

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:48

The Balance Between Fear, Joy, and Peace

The presence of the Lord or His angels in a physical manifestation brings fear to men. When  John, the beloved disciple, saw the Lord in glory in heaven he fell at His feet as if dead. The angels declared to the shepherds that the event of His birth and the presence of angels is not to be feared, but should elicit the joy of great tidings.

For my eyes have seen Your salvation,

Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,

And the glory of Your people Israel.”  Luke 2:30-32

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:10-11

Peace, salvation, wholeness will be found on the earth only in the hearts of those with whom He is pleased. These are the redeemed. Heaven has come to earth and the Father’s plan for salvation is brought to fruition through the words and deeds of Christ Jesus.

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”   Luke 2:13-14

The Scripture below is the proclamation of Jesus as the King of Kings upon His entrance into the temple the last week of his earthly life. As He was soon to be rejected as the Messiah and Savior by the nation, here peace is only declared in heaven, and not on earth. The nation was to be rejected and set aside for a time.

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Luke 19:38

In the Upper Room, the disciples were in sorrow that the Lord was going away. Their dreams of the kingdom and their place in it were being dashed by Jesus’ proclamation of His impending death. He began to still their fears of the future without Him by the giving of His peace through the sending of the Spirit. They would not be left alone. God is not only with us, but He would be within all believers after Pentecost, permanently sealed by the Spirit. This understanding of His union with believers is an antidote to the fear of persecution and hatred from the world.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.  John 14:27

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The Prince of Peace Brings a Sword

Christ came from heaven to earth to bring peace to those who believe in His Name. He did not come to bring peace to the earth. He came to bring a sword to separate believers from  unbelievers; the righteous from the damned. The world and all that is in the world hates Christ Jesus (John 7:7; 15:18-10; 1 John 3:13). The one who loves the world cannot love Jesus (1 John 2:15-17; John 12:25). The world projects an image of Jesus as a good teacher but rejects His condemnation of unbelievers. The exclusive claims of Christ are seen as hateful, aggressive and intolerant. The gate is narrow that leads to life (Matt 7:13).

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set A man against his father, and A daughter against her mother, and A daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and A man’s enemies will be the members of his household.   Matt 10:34: Luke 12:50-52

Unbelievers and Peace

From the above we can see that the peace of salvation and the unity and wholeness it brings between man and God is only for believers who accept the gospel by faith. Romans 3:9-17 gives the state of unbelievers. None are righteous. No one seeks God. All have turned aside. As liars and murderers, no one does good. They are full of destruction and misery. Unbelievers are unrighteous, possessing ignorance and independence from God (Rom 3:9-17). Peace is impossible for those who live in unbelief, rejecting the grace and truth of Christ Jesus.

And the path of peace they have not known.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Rom 3:17

There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”  Isa 57:21 (Isa 48:22; Isa 59:8)

Peace of God in the Hearts and Lives of Believers

Peace with God comes from eternal salvation. The peace of God is the fruit of the Spirit of salvation for believers. This peace is to rule our hearts Col 3:15), guard our hearts (Phil 4:6-7), and to be sewn in our lives such that the fruit that is reaped is righteousness (James 3:18). As the Father sent our Lord into the world, Christ Jesus now sends us. We are to be peacemakers and to be at peace, if possible, with all men. This peace, however, is not a peace to be made with the world or the things of the world. Peace is not to be sought at the expense of truth (Rom 15:14; Eph 5:8-9).

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matt 5:9

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Rom 12:18

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Rom 14:19

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Col 3:15

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 5:23

And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18

Peace for man comes through the gospel. This is peace with God. As a member of the family of God, we become a dwelling of God, “God with us.” Our celebration and joy results from the coming of the Lord into human history as a Man and its outcome, our salvation. God’s desire is to reside with man. Our acceptance of His grace by faith becomes our experience as we walk in faith of His peace, the peace of God.

         And HE came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.    Eph 2:17-22


[1] Walvoord, John F., Dyer, Charles H., Rawley, Phillip, Editor, (1974, 2013), Matthew: The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries, Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Publishers, Matthew 10:34.

[2] In these Scriptures salvation creates peace, health and healing for each part of these women: body soul, and spirit. The miraculous healing of their bodies authenticated Jesus as the Christ and God. His words teach us that the pathway for both women’s salvation, as well as their spiritual healing, is faith. Today, by faith, we enter into “peace with God” at eternal salvation (saved from the penalty of sin), and the “peace of God” upon our continuing experiential sanctification (saved from the power of sin). For the church today, salvation regenerates the spirit, redeems the soul, and frees the body from bondage to sin. The mortal body will be resurrected into a perfect spiritual body at the rapture of the church. Our blessings today are spiritual and should not be tied to an expectation of wealth, prosperity or healing. Both salvation and sanctification bring peace and spiritual health to the unity of the entire man.

[3] Vine, Unger and White (1996), Vine’s Expository Dictionary of old and New Testament Words, Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] “The Hebrew Old Testament enjoys the unique distinction of being the first book or rather library of books, for such it is, known to be translated into another language. This translation is called the Septuagint (LXX) and was made in the third and second centuries B.C. During this period the entire Hebrew Bible was put into the Greek language.” Unger, Merrill, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, electronic edition.

[5] Vine, W.E.,(1996), Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1st Thessalonians 5:23.