Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Some 740 years before the Lord Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah referred to the Saviour’s coming when he said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6) adding, “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end”.    Then in the New Testament we read of the birth of the Lord Jesus in Bethlehem “....out of thee shall come a Governor which shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:6). We know that when the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph, who was engaged to be married to Mary, he announced that the child who was to be born was to be named Jesus (meaning Saviour) “for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). So we have the Lord Jesus presented to us both as a Saviour and a Governor.
Christians are forever grateful for the Cross, that their many sins were laid upon the Lord Jesus and that they are justified, meaning declared not guilty in the sight of God. The Cross of Christ and its implications should always be central in our thinking and a cause for constant praise and worship (Galatians 6:14).  
Now let us consider the Lord Jesus as our Governor, the one who is to rule our lives. Sadly, the majority of men and women choose to rule their own lives, to “fulfil the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Ephesians 2:3). Jude 8 speaks of those who “reject authority”, preferring to “do their own thing”, which is a recipe for disaster. We read how ungodly people are “taken captive by the devil at his will” (2 Timothy 2:26). So the choice before us is to be lovingly, peacefully, gently and wisely governed by the Lord Jesus or enslaved, deceived and destroyed by satanic powers.
We return to our text, “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end”. These words can be considered either prophetically or personally. We will consider first the prophetic significance of our text. The kingdom that the Lord came to establish had very small beginnings. Jesus described it in His parable of the mustard seed, where He told us, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32). In our day we can see the incredible growth there has been in God’s kingdom. Multiplied millions have found salvation and are entering into the kingdom of God. At the end of time we read of “a great multitude which no man can number of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues which stood before the throne, clothed with white robes, praising God and the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). Such is “the increase of His government”.
From a personal point of view, what do the words “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” mean to you and me? When the Lord Jesus comes into our hearts, He not only removes our guilt and brings His peace. He asks to be our Lord, to be the master of every area of our lives, our talents, our time, our possessions and our plans. Some may think that God is asking too much of us, but let us remember 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20 where we read that we were “bought with price and are not our own”. We belong to a loving heavenly Father and any commitment we make to Him will be abundantly compensated both in this life and the life to come. Our ambition should surely be to experience “an increase of His government and peace” to which there is no end.
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  For many years, he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.