Summary: Jesus’ present ministry and future blessing give fresh meaning to the Advent Season.
“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”
Christmas is recognised as a time of giving and receiving gifts. Though there is no specific command in Scripture that we are to celebrate thusly, it does seem appropriate in light of the homage presented with the gifts by the Magi to the newborn Christ child. Moreover, we who are Christians have received rich gifts from God.
We read in Scripture of the gifts God has given. Knowledge of Him and His acceptance of sinners are spoken of as gifts [cf. HEBREWS 6:4]. Salvation is a gift [EPHESIANS 2:8]. God’s constant supply of the needs of believers is recognised as His gift [2 CORINTHIANS 9:10-15]. The various ministrations of the Spirit among God’s holy people are gifts to the congregations of the Lord [1 CORINTHIANS 12:1 ff.].
Among the great gifts that constitute the heritage of believers is grace and peace; and the gifts we enjoy are from the Triune God. As John began writing the Apocalypse, he began with a greeting that was actually a prayer for those reading to enjoy grace and peace from the Living God. Reviewing that prayer, we can learn some vital truths concerning Jesus now. Where is He? What is He doing? What is His plan for the future? These are questions that can stimulate the mind of believers to holy lives and good deeds in the Name of the Master.
JESUS NOW REIGNS — “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” The concept of the Triune God is unique to the Christian Faith. We do not worship three gods, nor do we, as is true for some so-called Christian cults, say that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are merely differing expressions of the One True God.
When John prays for “grace and peace,” three times he carefully says that it is “from” the Father, “from” the Spirit, and “from” the Son. By repeating the preposition, John is emphasising that He speaks of one God in three persons. God is a Triunity—Father, Son and Spirit are one in essence, one in purpose, and one in power.
The Father is described as transcending time, for He is that One “who is and who was and who is to come.” Before ever time was, God existed. When time shall have ceased, God shall yet exist. At the present time, God is. Throughout His ministry in the flesh, Jesus spoke of God as “the Father.” For instance, He encouraged the disciples to think of God as their Father [MATTHEW 5:45; 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 9]. He would caution those who follow Him against calling any man on earth “father” because we “have one Father, who is in heaven” [MATTHEW 23:9].