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The Everlasting Covenant

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    Chapter 1 - The Gospel Message

    Announcement to the Shepherds

    When the humble shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem were astonished by the shining of the glory of the Lord round about them, as they watched their flocks by night, their fears were quieted by the voice of the angel of the Lord, who said, “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.” 1Luke 2:10, 11EVCO 7.1

    This message of the angel might very properly be rendered thus: “Behold, I announce to you the Gospel of great joy, which shall be to all people.” In that announcement to the shepherds, therefore, we learn several important things.EVCO 7.2

    1. That the Gospel is a message that brings joy. “The Kingdom of God is ... righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.2Romans 14:17. Christ is anointed “with the oil of gladness,” 3Psalm 14:7. and He gives “the oil of joy for mourning.” 4Isaiah 61:3.EVCO 7.3

    2. It is a message of salvation from sin. For before this time the same angel had foretold to Joseph the birth of this infant, and had said, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.” 1Matthew 1:21.EVCO 18.1

    3. It is something which concerns everybody—“which shall be to all people.” “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.” 2John 3:16.EVCO 18.2

    This is assurance enough for everybody; but as if to emphasize the fact that the poor have equal rights in the Gospel with the rich, the first announcement of the birth of Christ was to men in the humblest walks of life. It was not to the chief priests and scribes, nor to the nobles, but to shepherds, that the joyful news was first told. So the Gospel is not beyond the understanding of the uneducated. Christ Himself was born and brought up in deep poverty; He preached the Gospel to the poor, and “the common people heard Him gladly.” 3Mark 12:37. Since it is thus presented to the common people, who constitute the greater part of the whole world, there is no doubt about its being a world message.EVCO 18.3

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