Good Tidings of Great Joy

By johninnc

Luke 2:10-14: [10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.[13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Christmas story from Luke proclaims the message of salvation found in Christ the Lord!

Please notice what it says, versus the bad news that is so often substituted by the world of churchianity:

Good tidings of great joy – the gospel is good news – the best news ever. It is about the gift of eternal life offered freely (without cost or obligation to the recipient) through faith in Christ:

Ephesians 2:8-9: [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

If the gospel that you have heard requires anything of you in return (such as the false Lordship “salvation” teaching that turning from sins, resolving to turn from sins, publically confessing Christ, persevering in faith and good works to prove you are saved, obeying the Ten Commandments, etc. are required in order to have eternal life) it is not good news. It is not the gospel!

Which shall be to all people – this means that eternal life is available to anyone on the same terms. It is not reserved for those whom God has chosen to receive eternal life.

John 3:16: 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.

1 Timothy 2:3-4: [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nor is there anyone who has eternal life who has not understood their need for salvation.

Romans 3:19-20: [19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

This includes Mary, mother of Jesus. Please note that she did not lead a sinless life, and was therefore in need of a Savior, just like the rest of us.

Luke 1:46-47: [46] And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, [47] And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

If the gospel that you have heard tells you that God chooses some to believe, while relegating everyone else to hopelessness, it is not the gospel – it is Calvinism. And, if your gospel tells you anyone has received eternal life some other way, it is not the gospel.

A Savior – please not that it doesn’t say “ a helper.” Jesus is not only necessary to save us. He is enough! No one is saved by believing in Jesus plus anything else.

Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

If the gospel you have heard teaches that faith in Christ must be accompanied by something else, it is not the gospel.

Which is Christ the Lord – this means that Jesus is God in the flesh. The only begotten Son of God.

John 4:25-26: [25] The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. [26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

John 11:27: She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

If the gospel that you have heard teaches that Jesus is simply a prophet, or a created being, it is not the gospel.

 On earth peace, good will toward men – this means that those who have trusted in Christ alone as Savior have peace with God. This peace is permanent. It is not probation, it is eternal salvation!

Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

If the gospel you have heard teaches that you can have peace with God any other way than through faith alone in Christ alone, it is a false gospel.

If the gospel that you have heard contains anything other than good news, it is not the gospel! Please click here for more information on the Christmas story: THE GOSPEL












72 responses to “Good Tidings of Great Joy

  1. Thank you for this John… you covered much of what people miss in the good news of why He came.

  2. I always appreciate the ‘swaddling cloths’ for He was the perfect sacrifice.

    The Shepherds were outside the camp, they were the lowliest of the people. This was the same place the bodies of the sacrifices were burned, where the lepers were sent, where in Hebrews 13 we are told to join Jesus in His reproach, without (outside) the camp.

    The Shepherds watched over the sacrificial lambs, and in order to keep them without blemish, from the time they were born, until the time of sacrifice, they were wrapped in Swaddling cloths to keep them from nicking their fur, cutting themselves, or doing something that would cause them to be an unacceptable sacrifice.

    Isn’t it significant that our humble Savior, the suffering Servant was announced to the humble keepers of the sacrifices (lambs)? That He was wrapped in those same swaddling cloths?

    John the Baptist told us who Jesus was…. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World.

  3. Holly, thanks for this comment. I didn’t know about the significance and meaning involved with swaddling clothes.

  4. I learned that in a ‘connecting the dots’ Bible class (seeing the significance from the Old Testament as speaking to the future Covenant).

    If Passover lambs had a leg broken it made the sacrifice unacceptable. (Exodus 12:46). And since Jesus was our Passover Lamb, there was yet another prophecy fulfilled when they decided not to break His legs.

    For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. Jn 19:36

    He was pierced through His side as it was prophesied, (when was God crucified for man?) Cursed is the man who hangs from a tree, but He hung on the tree for us, and took our curse for us.

    His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God)…. Deut 21:23a

    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14

  5. Holly, thanks for sharing.

  6. Guys, what can you tell me about Bill Hybels?

  7. Russell, Holly knows some about him. He is listed in our WikiHeresy. Please hold your cursor over his name in Wikileaks for a brief overview.

  8. Holly,

    That’s amazing, I never “connected the dots” about those things before. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Johninnc, thanks for the information. Holly, any other info. on him would be appreciated.

  10. Johninnc, Is there anyway that those of us who read and comment here can find out if we are close to each other? I know privacy is a concern but it would be sad to live 10 miles from a fellow believer in Gods free gift of salvation and not know it. Any thoughts?

  11. Russell, perhaps people could indicate their city, or region if they would like.

  12. I will start. I live in SW Washington State.

  13. I’m in southern NC.

  14. NE Kansas- Go Chiefs!

  15. Me too also from NE Ks. Go Chiefs!

    I don’t trust any of these mega church guys, Hybels, Warren, Creflo Dollar… or whoever. There are obvious ones on the air like Jim Bakker who always seems to be pushing survival stuff to keep the money supply coming to his show. I guess he thinks we are all going through the Tribulation.

  16. Cool Phil! The Royals got one (never thought that would happen) is it the Chiefs turn? Certainly these are signs of the times (kidding). I think one difference between Hybels/Warren and Dollar is that Dollar must flaunt the money; it’s part of his gospel—prosperity. Hybel’s puts on a more humble front, a common cause with the disenfranchised (Palestinians and the like) while seeking the big return $$$. Hybel’s and his wife are very much involved in BDS and “Christ at the Checkpoint”.

  17. Russell i often thought the same thing im from northern wi (go packers) always learning from you all and growing in grace.

  18. Cartersville, GA just about an hour dive north on I-75 from Atlanta. Since we are showing our local teams some love, I am excited to see what my Falcons will do in the playoffs.

  19. I just moved from Scottsdale to North Phoenix, Arizona. I will try to share some more Bill Hybels info tomorrow.

  20. Shreveport, LA. Go LSU!

  21. Milwaukee, WI. GO PACK

  22. Seems like were all scattered everywhere. Oh well we may be apart physically but were united in Christ and in our love of the free grace gospel of the Bible.

  23. Alas, Browns need revival.

  24. Middletown PA
    an old drinking buddy would say
    “Football suxs and so does everyone who whatches it ”
    i didn’t say it my friend did ,
    that’s how pulpit people try to get away from taking a stand on something by quoting someone else (personality celebrity author) . so if there is a shift from neutral by an objection they have a scape goat .
    while all along neutral (lukewarm) makes Jesus sick

  25. I Live In Lebanon PA.

  26. SoCal here, which explains a lot, doesn’t it?

  27. North Central KS
    Wildcats and Chiefs

  28. Curtis — if we would just realize that we that our ‘wealth’ does not provide us with what we need. That we would see our wretchedness, how we are miserable, lacking in what is important, blinded to the truth that we were set free from (2 Pet 1:5-9)… praying all is well with you and your family ❤

  29. Did someone say SoCal?

  30. Bryan R,

    Apparently the Falcon’s are for real. But are they good enough to beat the Pats?

  31. We are from ‘The Land Down Under’, Adelaide. South Australia!!
    We may be on the other side of the planet, but you guys are the closest thing to true fellowship for us, God bless you all for your instruction and encouragement in the Grace of Christ. We haven’t come across any ‘Grace’ churches close to where we live. So sad..!! They are all in to ‘turn from your sin’ and ‘endure till the end’ for salvation….

  32. Alice, it is great having fellowship with you and the other people on ExPreacherMan. We have much of the same situation with the churches in my area.

  33. Jim,

    The feel down here is that this Falcons team is playing at a level we’ve never seen before. I don’t know if the Falcons are the better team, but it appears they are the “hotter” team. But we shall see.

    On another note, it doesn’t appear there are any fellow metro Atlantans here. That’s fine, I still enjoy the fellowship here despite the fact a read here a lot more than comment.

  34. Alice, I understand, and thank God with you… ❤

  35. Hello Alice
    same here in my area , I am surrounded by churches but no clear Gospel of Grace being proclaimed .I attend church via live webcast for now .
    I do get hungry for live fellowship but when attempt to fellowship at local churches if not asked to leave. I usually get upset from a dose of legalism coming out of and recognizing both ditches of legalism and license i’m real sensitive to them now.
    most all denominations started here in my area with the “river brethren”

  36. I’ve been attending a church online that does live streaming on YouTube. The channel is “TheSuperiorWord” and the pastor is OSAS and against LS. He does use some sources that are LS, such as Sproul, when he gets something correct, but will point out where Sproul gets the Gospel wrong. He’s also the best expositor of the Old Testament that I’ve heard thus far, although he’s a little dry. He’s gotten a lot of heat from the Hebrew Roots and KJO people for pointing out their error also.

  37. Clear Lake (Houston), TX. Aggies, Texans and Astros!
    My husband and I sure appreciate this site, also. We do church online, too, learning from Dr. Dennis Rokser, Dr. Tom Cucuzza, Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold, and the late Dr. Hank Lindstrom. There are many churches around us, but all are strongly LS in their teaching.

  38. Kim, it is great to hear from you. We are glad you are here. My wife and I also often listen to Tom Cucuzza. For those who don’t know, Tom is currently gong verse-by-verse through Revelation.

  39. Kim
    I know of two Free Grace Churches in the Houston area—West Houston Bible Church (Pastor Robert Dean) and Sugar Land Bible Church (Pastor Andy Woods). I know Houston is huge so they may not be close to Clear Lake. Both have online ministries as well. Both Pastors teach from the text of scripture and stand against Lordship.

  40. We would urge caution regarding Robert Dean, if he is the same pastor mentioned in the attached article below:

  41. With regard to Pastor Andy Woods from Sugar Land Bible Church, he has done an excellent series on Eternal Security and Doctrine of Soteriology over 40 sermons and on ‘Bible and Voting” and now he is doing a series on The Coming Kingdom”. which are very insightful and instructive. I have learnt a lot from his teaching. However, I have a small concern: he tends to quote John MacArthur, Billy Graham and Charles Spurgeon and other Lordship-teachers favourably at times although he says he doesn’t agree with everything they teach and does give a ‘mild’ warning and caution regarding their Calvinistic leanings. Also he appears with David Reagan, VCY America Cross talk and Olive Tree Ministries on their TV or Radio programs to endorse his latest book on The Coming Kingdom and to discuss the subject. But some of these ministries are not clear on the Grace Gospel and some of them believe that a believer can lose their salvation (David Reagan I am told) and others are Calvinistic in their doctrine so they believe a ‘genuine’ believer will persevere until the end of life, if not, they were never ‘truly’ saved. It gives the appearance that Andy Woods endorses their ministries even if they are not clear on the Gospel.
    These are my personal thoughts, others may disagree with me. Do you think I am being too harsh on Andy Woods for not separating from some of these ministries that corrupt or pervert the Gospel or at the very least not explain the gospel clearly and establish the believer in eternal security in Christ Jesus’s finished work on the cross? Their main focus is Bible Prophecy and current political and social issues.
    I would appreciate your feedback.

  42. Alice, I am not comfortable with ministries that knowingly quote teachers who corrupt the gospel. For more on that topic, please are the article linked below:

  43. i hear you Alice and am working through this myself.
    would like to respond later, with some more thought.
    Curtis M

  44. Alice, if someone quotes them with a clear warning, that still bothers me. But that rarely is the case. Why quote men that have a corrupted gospel? Why have fellowship with the unfruitful deeds of darkness rather than exposing them? I can only assume they rather prefer the praise of men than God and feel that by compromising they can get God’s Word out or that the ‘quote is good’ (something I’ve heard frequently when I protest them quoting these people). Andy is lacking in discernment at the very least. Who are we to compromise the truth of God’s Word? I don’t know why they don’t tremble at His Word and know that there is everything they need there and no need to quote these heretics.

    No, I don’t think it’s harsh to expect that we not allow a little leaven in.

  45. Thanks Johninnc, Curtis and Holly for your feedback. I value your opinions.

  46. I love the response Jesus gives in front of Pilate.

    john 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? xref-3
    34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

    I dont know why sound doctrine gospel of grace Teachers/Preachers like to quote other author’s. To me personally I remember the author quoted and why they would quote the person. then struggle to remember anything else in message.

    I recently listened to a Pastor in my area who delivered a decent gospel of grace invitation but quoted John MacArthur.
    then there very next sermon stumbled all over the simple gospel of grace.

    to me if a pulpit delivers a clear Gospel of Grace message with clear doctrinal statement.. and consistitently delivering
    I will raise concern over false doctrine and give a pass.

    im convinced from my own experience that a pulpit can not deliver a clear Gospel of grace message if the Pulpit person persist in quoteing false gospel authors.
    false doctrine has the same affects as alcohol in spiritual matters of growth. left unconfessed the affects are permanent.
    we either seperate ourselves in our thinking unto Truth by repentance (changeing our minds) or we go carnal apostate

  47. to date from the messages I have listened to
    Tom Cucuzza and Yankee Arnold do not quote other authors (that are alive) other than to point out the error of their gospel message.
    there maybe others this is my personal experience.

  48. Curtis, I think Tom is generally careful in avoiding quotes from people that he knows corrupt the gospel.

  49. Curtis, agree. Best to avoid corruption of the gospel completely.

  50. John,

    Yes, thanks for the Robert Dean warning. He teaches some error on the atonement. Though he might be for a grace method of receiving eternal life, it is a moot point if you’ve tampered with the object of your faith.

    I have spoken to Andy Woods on the matter and advise people to be careful with him. He tried to excuse away the Dean issue when I asked him about it and is loose with associations and quotes. Though he may have the gospel itself clear possibly.

    I think he may still be on my facebook friends list but I have not been too impressed with his political stuff. It’s a mixed bag if you ask me. I guess if that is the only church in a person’s area that understands the gospel… Big IF.

    Jim F

  51. Jim, I think believing in Jesus as Savior includes believing that He died (physically) for our sins.

  52. if i may post a thought.
    myself personally if there was a church assembly that at very least had a doctrinal statement like sugar land bible church they also even have a postional statement as well. I would hope to be there.
    In my area we are surrounded by Churches with works for salvation and sanctification gospels.
    vary basic dispensational teaching is not heard. its all Topical and spiritualizing (reading into scripture)
    I would hope to enjoy an assembly with a solid doctrinal Gospel of Grace stand.

    Preachers /Teachers can get off course just as easy as anyone else.
    We all have Tea leave tendencies that could lead to spiritual adultry (mentally) if left unchecked.

  53. I just started attending a bigger baptist church in my area (outside of Cincinnati, OH), and I am having the same concerns with my pastor, they have a clear statement that salvation is grace through faith plus nothing, and only trusting Christ’s finished work is able to save you and they believe OSAS. I am in college, and when looking at past sermons in the college age group, the college pastor talked about how one can be saved and not have any works to “prove” that they are saved. However the head pastor seems to quote heretics, and recently had Ken Ham speak (who preaches false gospel) and had a missionary who ended up saying discipleship is proof of salvation. It can be confusing, especially for those with who are spiritually and scripturally ignorant, with it being a bigger church, I would guess a fair amount of people are.

  54. Ryan, the danger is that those believers with a clear understanding of the gospel will be corrupted into fruit inspection or outright works for salvation (willingness to turn from sins, etc.), and that the assaults on the gospel will keep lost people lost.

  55. Ken Ham unfortunately slips under the radar of some churches. He’s a prominent creationist/anti-evolutionist and now even has a big Ark. So he is given pulpit engagements.

    Answers in Genesis teaches that turning from sins is required for salvation.

  56. Brian, agree regarding Ken Ham.

  57. Kathrine Mazac

    Ditto on Ken Ham
    He is in camp with Ray disComfort.
    His ministry, AiG, also leans towards dominionism.

  58. all of The Baptist and mega evangelical assemblies that have multiple pastors always have one preaching law another grace. but a perverted grace that always deals with the symptoms and never getting to the source of our problem. They do not know how to deal with the old sin nature as scripture does.
    Most use water baptism as a power when it is an identification principal in living the Christian Life..
    Christ Died for me that is substionary attunement.. thats enough to Go to heaven to receive the free gift of eternal life. but it is not enough to live the Christian life. the Christian life is lived by the Holy Spirit that beautifully exludes us as we delight ourselves in our free gift of salvation..
    by enjoying the Word of God
    by resting The faith rest life.
    our problems dont go into the meat grinder to produce acceptable works.
    No the promises of God go into the meat grinder that produce Works by the Holy Spirit.
    We only need to maintain fellowship
    reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God..
    Confessing sin agreement with God against ourselves
    Presenting ourselves To God
    Yeild ourselves
    Baptist churches and all of Churchanity miss that completely. for the stumble over water baptism and self impossed behavior patterns..

  59. There are some Baptist Churches that teach a grace gospel. Many though will add things like “repent of sins” to faith in Christ for salvation.

    You just have to be discerning about any church or pastor.

  60. Yes I agree with Alice, I to listen to Andy Woods, has some very good teaching, has the clear gospel of grace, but does not practice biblical separation, mixes with people like David Reagan, Lamb and Lion Ministries who teach they can lose your salvation. So in essence he is promoting false teachers, dangerous.

    The danger of not practising biblical separation, causes people and the body of Christ to muddy the gospel and become confused about the gospel.

  61. Quentin Rd Bible Baptist in Lake Zurich, IL preaches the clear gospel and the biblical meaning of repentance (change your mind about what your trusting in to save you) when used in regards to salvation. Pastor Scudder, the founding pastor, was a Florida Bible college graduate, where Jack Weaver was a teacher I believe..They have the Grace conference coming up in July this year, which brings people together from all over the world, that stand for the clear gospel.

  62. I was checking out the Grace conference, and when looking at the speakers I saw a couple of them were from Cincinnati (I live outside of the city), when looking at the church’s doctrinal statement where Gary Jackson preaches, I saw the phrase “repentance is a genuine turning from sin to God”, which I believe is how the Southern Baptist Convention words it. To me it is just weird to see a pastor whose church makes this statement, at a conference where the clear gospel is to be proclaimed.

  63. Ryan, I agree that his church has a false definition of repentance, when used in the context of eternal salvation. The late Jack Weaver addressed this in an article he wrote almost 10 years ago. The article is entitled “Who Makes These Errors?” It is linked below:

    I also think that it is strange that anyone who would feel comfortable with this error would feel comfortable at a Grace conference.

  64. i looked at the website for myself as well.
    Pastor Gary’s assembly is flat out lordship /loadship Works for and or evidence of salvation..

    this is the thing that really bothers me. to me its the equivalent of bringing a jar of moonshine to church and passing out sample shots and saying no its not alcohol its the family recipe. We grew up on it.
    this really messes with me spiritualy..
    you think maybe Scudder or someone missed looking over a speakers background?
    just because a speaker agrees with Grace Conference statement of faith. dont make it ok if they preach or belive something else at home church

  65. That really goes to show that you have to be vigilant in checking pastors/churches out, no matter who recommends them or where they hang out.

  66. I will have to try and look him up when I go to the conference and get his explanation of where he stands on the gospel.

  67. Ryan, thanks for the heads up. I went to Gary Jackson’s church website to check it out for myself. You are right, there statement of faith is Calvinistic L/S. Here is part of there statement of faith.
    ” Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.”
    I am going to contact Quentin Rd and see what they have to say.

  68. That excerpt is a straight lift from “The Baptist Faith and Message.”

  69. Everyone who is planning, or has gone to the conference needs to write the organizers and protest the compromise.

  70. I contacted Quentin Rd. yesterday and made them aware of Gary Jackson’s church statement of faith. They were going to look into it and get back to me about it. I guess they were a little surprised by it, since he has been at the conference many times before. I will let you know what they say or do.

  71. I’m curious to know what they say. Lord willing, I plan on going this year, it will be my first time.

  72. JohnWI – I would like to hear also what they say.

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