We are coming to the end of our look at the New Year’s Carol – Joy to the World. We have celebrated with Isaac Watts, the author of this wonderful carol, the joy and reason for the joy: Jesus is the Messiah and His Kingdom is coming. Christ is both Savior and Lord of both the world and nature, our earth. We have seen that we are to “employ our songs” for influencing our communities and nations and that we are to actively combat the results of the fall – the weeds in the garden.
Now we will turn our attention to the final stanza that deals with the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love
The stanza begins with a proclamation: “He rules the world with truth and grace.” Here we find words that describe what Christ does (He rules the world) and how he does it (with truth and grace). It ends with a response from the nations-they prove “the glories of His righteousness” and “the wonders of His love.”
Many Christians believe that Christ is the King of Heaven today and will be King of earth when he returns. This belief has encouraged a spirit of disengagement from the world and an attitude of waiting for Christ’s return.
But, Christ encourages us differently. After His resurrection and before He gave the Great Co-Mission (Matthew 28:19-20), Jesus makes a great claim to His disciples (Matthew 28:18): “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” Christ is King of Heaven AND earth, now. It is on His authority as King of earth that Christ gives the Great Co-Mission (Matthew 28:19-20): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Note that the Great Co-Mission is nothing less than to disciple all nations. Christ is King and His Kingdom is governed by laws and ordinances. That is why part of the commission is to teach the nations all that Christ has commanded.
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Christ is King now, and the nature of His Kingdom is that it will continue to increase.
When the disciples asked Christ to teach them to pray, He said this: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” We are to pray that His Kingdom would come to earth and that His will would be done on earth. Christ is King of Heaven and earth. We have a part to play in the increase of His Kingdom.
-Darrow L. Miller
There’s just one post left in this series! Check out the previous posts on this topic.