New Year’s Eve Worship Service


Welcome To Grace Lutheran Church   Grace Lutheran congregation is very pleased to have the opportunity to share with you the blessings of our Christ-centered ministry this evening.    We welcome you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.   To family and friends who know us, we renew our welcome, and to our first-time guests we extend it most sincerely.    It is our goal to focus our attention on the record of God’s gracious accomplishments for our eternal destiny with Him.   May the certainty of His mercy help to brighten the year ahead and to supply you with resolve for living in 2021 and beyond as God’s child and as an heir of everlasting life.


Prayer Upon Entering Church           

I cannot bear the cross alone     Which You, Lord, place on all Your own;   

Nor can I see Your face that shines    Beyond affliction’s darkened lines.   

Please take my hand,    Lord, be my Guide    And keep me ever near Your side.   


I cannot walk a single day     The paths that mark life’s rugged way;    

Nor can I rest secure from fear      Unless I feel Your presence near.  

Uphold me with Your outstretched arm      And shield me, Lord, from every harm.  


I cannot walk the way alone      That leads to my celestial home;    

Nor can I face my dying hour      Unless supported by Your power.    

Grant me Your strength, Lord, through this strife     And bring me to eternal life.                                                                                                                Amen.


Coping with a Difficult Past and an Uncertain

Future, We Still Sing:  “Now Thank We All Our God!”


         We approach our worship this New Year’s Eve evening with a multitude of feelings.   It has been a long year for our nation, as well as for many of us, in many ways.   As a country we are finishing the year struggling with a political crisis – specifically who will the President of the United States be, and what direction will we take as a country in the future.     The Covid 19 pandemic really belongs to the previous year, but it has hit home so very hard in 2020 in our country.    Churches, businesses, and schools – among other institutions – were shuttered for nearly two months last spring in an effort to stop the spread of a virus that kept on spreading anyway.    Who would have imagined a year ago at this time that we’d be wearing face masks everywhere….and that hand sanitizer would be almost as common as salt and pepper?    Thousands upon thousands have died from Covid.    More will die.    Many more thousands have been ill and some have been hospitalized with this heretofore unknown virus.  A vaccine has been produced in record time that is now being disseminated.   But will it be enough…..and will each of us here this evening get that vaccine soon enough to stave off the threat of the Coronavirus to us?    Only God knows.   In the midst of this health crisis, our country has also gone on an economic “rollercoaster ride.”   The market was up.   It crashed.   And now it is at a record high as the year 2020 closes.   Still countless jobs have been lost, and they might never be regained.    People who used to go to offices to work, now work from home and probably will for the foreseeable future.   It has been a stranger year indeed!

         What’s more, many households in our church family this year have been irrepairably changed by the death of a close family member (parent, child, sibling).   As we look around our assembled congregation on any given Sunday, there are a number of empty places where a friend and fellow Christian used to sit….but that person/family isn’t with us today, either because of death, or a move away, or because an illness, or – in some cases – spiritual indifference has kept them out of the Lord’s house.    Many of us have faced (and some continue to face) various heartaches and health problems both large and small, in some cases life-threatening while in other instances “just” irritating and very inconvenient.

         At the same time we’ve seen a few new faces and families added to our congregation.   There have been successes that we’ve experienced.    For some health has been restored and preserved.   Harm and danger have been kept from many of our homes and lives…..often without our ever having been aware of the protection we received.   Our church continues to meet for worship – even if our attendance is down mainly because of the pandemic.   We’ve added online worship services and Bible studies that are enabling us to not only serve our own church family, but others near and far.   We continue to enjoy the freedom to worship, to regularly receive the assurance of sins forgiven and salvation assured through Jesus Christ, to serve God in a variety of ways, to receive Spiritual support from our fellow Christians, to grow in the Word of our Lord, and to see our faith increase.  

         …….Throughout this long year – filled with “blessings” that have been both easy and hard to accept, our God has continued to be good to us, stretching and testing, supporting and blessing, protecting and preserving us, just as He has promised He would and will, working in all things for our earthly and eternal good.


This Evening’s Service

         And so we’ve gathered here on this New Year’s Eve to praise our Lord because of the “ups” and “downs” we’ve faced this past year and come through under His grace, and because regardless of what we encounter in the future – good or bad, and no matter how short or long our earthly future is – we have and want to grow in the confidence that our Lord loves us with an everlasting love in Christ that will sustain us here in a sinful world, until He takes us to a perfect home in heaven for Jesus’ sake

         As you look over tonight’s worship flyer and our hymn board, please take notice of the hymns which have been selected for our this evening’s service.  They will serve as a reminder both of your God’s faithful help in the past and His guaranteed support for the future (# 441)….as a prayer and statement of praise recalling God’s many mercies to us in the past, and imploring His grace for the year ahead (#69)… a statement of Christian contentment and gratitude for God’s many blessings to us (#610)……as expression of our faith which recognizes the forgiveness of sins conveyed to us by the Lord’s body and blood, in-with-and under the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper (# 315)…..and a closing prayer asking for God’s continued blessings and protection through the coming night (#588) and the rest of our earthly future.

         Our Scripture readings and our Sermon for tonight have been prepared around an Old Year/New Year theme which leads us to see this period of calendar change as a time appropriate for repentance over our past transgressions……for renewed confidence in His promises of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life through faith in Christ…….for recognition and remembrance of God’s countless, gracious blessings given to us…….and for re-commitment to more faithful living for and service to Him in the future.

         Consequently, this evening  you might feel a certain sense of gratitude over the Lord’s many blessings, given to you during this past year; as well as a sense of anticipation over the blessings and challenges that lie ahead of you in the year to come.    No doubt there’s also a sense of sorrow and repentance over against your personal sins and short-comings committed during 2020.   And we pray that you’ve come here also with confidence in God’s love and in His promises to forgive us for all our past sins, plus a spirit of commitment – as the Holy Spirit enables you – to improve your living for the Lord and your service to Him during 2021.   No matter what you may be feeling this evening, amid all of the different situations, as well as the changing moods associated with this period of transition from one year to the next, one thing remains constant and changeless:   the abiding presence and continuing love of your Savior, Jesus Christ.   And in this precious truth we draw great comfort and confidence this evening:  that Jesus is not only right now the same steadfast Savior He’s always been, but also that He will continue to be the same Savior for us (who always loves us and who faithfully forgives us), forever and ever.




We Praise Our God


The Opening Hymn                  Hymn 441  “Our God, Our Help In Ages Past”


1 O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home,


2 Under the shadow of your throne Your saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is your arm alone, And our defense is sure.


3 Before the hills in order stood Or earth received its frame,

From everlasting you are God, To endless years the same.


4 A thousand ages in your sight Are like an evening gone,

Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun.


5 Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Soon bears us all away;

We fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day.


6 O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,

Still be our guard while troubles last And our eternal home!


After which the Congregation will rise



The Invocation          We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 



The Evening Prayer


Lord God, Who divided the day from the night,   +   You have brought us safely to this hour of evening worship.   +   We thank You for providing all that we need for body and life.   +   Bless us who have gathered here in Your name.   +   Forgive us our sins.   +  Speak to our hearts and spirits.   +   Dispel our sorrows with the comfort of Your Word,  +   and receive our hymns of thanks and praise to You;   +   through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,   +  Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   one God, now and forever.   +   Amen.


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor –             “I now ask you before God, Who searches your heart, do you confess that you have sinned against God  and deserve His wrath and punishment?  Then declare so by saying, “I do confess.”


Congregation –  “I do confess.” 

Pastor –              “Truly you should confess, for the Holy Scriptures say, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive  ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

                           Second, do you, with all your heart, repent of all your sins, committed in thought, word, and deed?  Then declare so by saying, “I do repent.”


Congregation – “I do repent.”


Pastor –             “Truly, you should repent, as other penitent sinners have done:  King David, who prayed for a contrite  heart;  Peter, who wept bitterly;  the sinful woman, the prodigal son, and others.

              Third, do you sincerely believe that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake, will forgive you all your sins?  Then declare so by saying, “I do believe.”


Congregation –  “I do believe.”


Pastor –             “Truly you should so believe, for the Holy Scriptures say, “God so loved the world that He gave His  one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

     Fourth, do you promise that with the help of the Holy Ghost, you will, from this time forward, reform your sinful life?  Then declare it by saying, “I do promise.”


Congregation – “I do promise.”


Pastor –              “Truly, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord says:  “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you

will receive from God the  forgiveness of all your sins?   Then declare it by saying, “I do believe.


Congregation – “I do believe.”


Pastor –              “Upon this, your confession, I, because of my office as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place, and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ,  I  forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the Peace of God be with all of  you.  Amen.”



The Order of Vespers


Pastor –     “O LORD, Open my lips.”


    Congregation(Sung)     And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise



Pastor –     “Hasten, O God, to deliver me.”


    Congregation  (sung)  Make haste to help me, O Lord.


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

World without end.   Amen.



The Evening Psalm                                                                                 Psalm 90

P: Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

C: Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world,   +   from everlasting to everlasting You are God.


P: You turn men back to dust, saying “Return to dust, O sons of men.”

C: For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by,  +   or like a watch in the night.


P: You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

C: All our days pass away under Your wrath;   +   we finish our years with a moan.


P: The length of our days is seventy years —   or eighty, if we have the strength;    

C: yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,   +  for they quickly pass, and we fly away.


P: Who knows the power of Your anger?   For Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due You.

C: Teach us to number our days aright,   +    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.


P: Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

C: May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;   +   establish the work of our hands for us —  +  yes, establish the work of our hands.


After which the Congregation will be seated


We Hear God’s Word


Selected portions of Scripture which apply to the

Close of the Old Year and the Beginning of the New Year


A Time For Reflection On God’s Past Goodness Toward Us Psalm 145:8-9, 13-21


8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all. His compassion extends over all He has made……13 Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all His words and merciful toward all He has made.   14 The Lord lifts up all who fall, and He supports all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look eagerly to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. 16 He opens His hand, and he satisfies the desire of every living thing.  17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways and merciful toward all that He has made. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. 19 He grants the desire of those who fear Him.  He hears their cry and saves them.  20 The Lord watches over all who love Him,  but He will destroy all the wicked.   21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord.   Let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.



A Time For Repentance Over Our Past Sins                                  Psalm 51:1-12


1 Be gracious to me, God, according to Your mercy.   Erase my acts of rebellion according to the greatness of your compassion.   2 Scrub me clean from my guilt.  Purify me from my sin.

3 For I admit my rebellious acts.   My sin is always in front of me.   4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and I have done this evil in Your eyes.  So You are justified when You sentence me.  You are blameless when You judge.  5 Certainly, I was guilty when I was born.  I was sinful when my mother conceived me.   6 Since You desire truth on the inside, in my hidden heart You teach me wisdom.  7 Remove my sin with hyssop, and I will be clean.  Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness.  Let the bones You have crushed celebrate. 9 Hide Your face from my sins. Erase all my guilty deeds.  10 Create in me a pure heart, O God. Renew an unwavering spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from Your presence. Do not take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.

Sustain me with a willing spirit.



The Sequence Hymn              Hymn 69   “Across the Sky the Shades of Night”

                                                                                                              verses 1, 2, 5


1 Across the sky the shades of night   This New Year’s Eve are fleeting.

We deck your altar, Lord, with light,  In solemn worship meeting,

And, as the year’s last hours go by,   We raise to you our earnest cry,

Once more your love entreating.


2 We gather up in this brief hour   The mem’ry of your mercies.

Your wondrous goodness, love, and pow’r   Our grateful song rehearses,

For you have been our strength and stay  In many a dark and dreary day

Of sorrow and reverses.


5 Then, gracious God, in years to come,   Whatever may betide us,

Right onward through our journey home,   Oh, stay at hand to guide us,

Nor leave us till, at close of life,   Safe from all peril, toil, and strife,

Heav’n shall enfold and hide us.



A Time To Trust In God’s Love And Promised Salvation           Romans 5:1-11


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through Him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice confidently on the basis of our hope for the glory of God.   3 Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, 4 and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. 5 And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Who was given to us.   6 For at the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 It is rare indeed that someone will die for a righteous person. Perhaps someone might actually go so far as to die for a person who has been good to him. 8 But God shows His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.   9 Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, it is even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through Him. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, it is even more certain that, since we have been reconciled, we will be saved by His life. 11 And not only is this so, but we also go on rejoicing confidently in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received this reconciliation.



A Time To Live Our Lives For Christ                                        Ephesians 5:1-11


Therefore, be imitators of God as his dearly loved children. 2 And walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  3 But do not let sexual immorality, any kind of impurity, or greed even be mentioned among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking are also out of place. Instead, give thanks. 5 Certainly you are aware of this: No immoral, impure, or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, Who is God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. It is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 7 So do not share in what they do.   8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. 10 Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord, 11 and do not participate in fruitless deeds of darkness. Instead, expose them.




A Time To Live In Constant Readiness For The Lord’s Return    Luke 12:35-40


35 “Be dressed, ready for service, and keep your lamps burning. 36 Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the master will find watching when he comes. Amen I tell you: He will dress himself and have them recline at the table, and he will come and serve them. 38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch,    they will be blessed if he finds them alert. 39 But know this: If the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you are not expecting Him.”




The Sermon Hymn                         Hymn 610   “Now Thank We All Our God”


1 Now thank we all our God  With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done,  In whom his world rejoices,

Who from our mother’s arms  Has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love  And still is ours today.


2 Oh, may this bounteous God   Through all our life be near us,

With ever-joyful hearts   And blessed peace to cheer us

And keep us in his grace   And guide us when perplexed

And free us from all ills  In this world and the next.


3 All praise and thanks to God   The Father now be given,

The Son, and him who reigns   With them in highest heaven,

The one eternal God,   Whom earth and heav’n adore!

For thus it was, is now,  And shall be evermore.



Sermon Text                                                                                     Romans 5:1-5


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through Him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice confidently on the basis of our hope for the glory of God.   3 Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, 4 and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. 5 And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Who was given to us.


Now Thank We All Our God….Even in a Pandemic



Pastor       And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.


We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during tonight’s worship service, those in attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates by the exit at the close of our service.    For those watching this worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:      

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go to our website ( and use the giving option.


At the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise for

Special prayers For This Evening

The Prayers for the Church


The Lord’s Prayer    


Our Father, Who art in heaven,   Hallowed be Thy name;    Thy Kingdom come;   Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;    Give us this day our daily bread;    And forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us;    And lead us not into temptation;  But deliver us from evil;    For Thine is the Kingdom   and the power   and the glory   forever and ever.   Amen.



We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


The Consecration of the Elements  –  Pastor


Our Self-Examination Before Receiving The Lord’s Supper


Pastor –    Let us now examine ourselves in preparation for receiving this Sacrament of our Lord, as the inspired Apostle Paul so instructs us in I Corinthians 11, where he writes,     “…whoever eats and the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement upon himself.”


Pastor –     Accordingly, are you sincerely sorry for your sins and determined, with God’s help, to change your sinful ways?


Congregation    Yes, I am sorry for my sins   +   and desire to serve Jesus and not a sinful lifestyle.


Pastor –    Do you believe that here in the Lord’s Supper you will receive, along with the bread and wine, the true body and blood of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?       


Congregation    Yes, I believe that I will be receiving the true body and blood of my Lord and Savior,   +     which was given into death for my sins?


Pastor –    Are you coming to the Lord’s table as one in the faith with this Christian congregation, as the Scriptures teach?


Congregation    Yes I have studied the teachings of this congregation concerning God’s Word;    +      I agree with them;    +     And am one in faith with them,   +    as the Scriptures command me to be before I come to the Lord’s table with anyone.


Pastor –    Finally, do you recognize your need for forgiveness and do you believe that you will receive through the Lord’s Supper the full and free forgiveness of all your sins?


Congregation    Yes, I have examined my life,   +     see the need for God’s forgiveness   +    and believe that I will receive complete forgiveness for all my sins,   +  as my Savior has promised.


Pastor –    Having examined yourselves and confessed your sins, come now with confidence and joy to your Lord’s table and receive here, through His body and blood, the guarantee that your sins are all forgiven, and that eternal life and salvation are surely yours.



The Distribution of the Elements  (Pastor)


The Distribution Hymn          Hymn 315  “Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face”


1 Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;   

Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,

And all my weariness upon you lean.


2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;

Here is the heav’nly table spread anew.

Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong

The brief bright hour of fellowship with you.


3 I have no help but yours nor do I need

Another arm but yours to lean upon.

It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;

My strength is in your might, your might alone.

4 Mine is the sin but yours the righteousness;

Mine is the guilt but yours the cleansing blood.

Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:

Your blood, your righteousness, O Lord, my God.


5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear.

The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.

The bread and wine remove, but you are here,

Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.


6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,

Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,

Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,

The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.



We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Closing Prayer


The Benediction –          The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.    Amen.



The Closing Hymn        Hymn 588  “Abide With Me, Fast Falls The Eventide”

                                                                                                           verses 1,2, 5-7


1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!


2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;

Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.

Change and decay in all around I see;   O thou who changest not, abide with me!


5 I need thy presence ev’ry passing hour.

What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?

Who like thyself my guide and stay can be? 

Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me!

6 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;  Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? 

I triumph still if thou abide with me.


7 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; 

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.

Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!


Period for Silent Prayer                          


Post-service music





A Bible Study-Devotion To Start the New Year


January 1st is traditionally recognized as the “Eighth Day of Christmas” and so – following the Old Testament custom of circumcising Hebrew boys on the 8th day  – the Christian Church (at least that part which follows the historic Christian “Church Year” calendar….as we do) observes January 1st as “The Day of the Circumcision and Naming of our Lord.”  Because we will not be gathering for public worship here tomorrow morning, and so that we do not entirely “lose” the spiritual significance of January 1st, I’d like to share with you this brief Bible study for New Year’s Day in the hope that you will take it home to use devotionally — whether just personally, or with family and friends – as a means to both build your faith and knowledge, and to “start the new year” off in the best way possible: in study of God’s Word and prayer to our Lord.   (Note….the titles/names that follow are just some of the many names and terms used to describe Jesus.  Likewise, the passages cited in connection with the titles below should not be considered an exhaustive list of their usages.)


Here are Just Some of the Names given to Jesus which are found in Scripture


Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come – Interestingly, the number three is often used in  Scripture in connection with the Lord (Isaiah 6:3; Numbers 6:24-6).  We find it being used here in the second part of Revelation 1:8 as an indication both of Christ’s timelessness, expressing the concept that He has always existed, and of His deity as the One, True God.


Immanuel – A transliteration of the Hebrew, “Immanu-El” which literally means “with us, God.”  Coming from the prophesy in Isaiah 7:14, we also find it used to describe Jesus in Matthew 1:23.


The Alpha and the Omega – (Revelation 1:8)  these are the names of the letters which begin and end the Greek alphabet.    In Revelation 22:13  these words are followed by the explanation, “The First and the Last, The Beginning and the End” and are used to refer to Christ’s eternal character.   As the everlasting, timeless God, He has no beginning and no end, but exists forever.   What a thought for us to ponder as we “mark the passage of time” this New Year’s.   And while we are not eternal, since we each have a beginning somewhere in past time, we will enjoy everlasting life in heaven through faith in Jesus.


Messiah (Hebrew) / Christ (Greek) – both terms mean “The Anointed One” and indicate that  Mary’s (and God’s) Son was uniquely designated, or set apart from all others, to be the One and Only world’s Redeemer.  “Messiah” and “Christ” are less formal names and more of a “title” for Jesus.   Occasionally He directly acknowledge that He was the Messiah, for example….in His conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26).  The use of this title is consistent with the OT-era ancient practice of publicly anointing a king or prophet with oil in order to show that he had been especially selected and set apart for a particular task or role.   We can see Jesus being manifestly set apart as “the Messiah/Christ” for His saving work at the time of His baptism, in Matthew 3:13-17.  We also know that His mission of redemption, for which He had been set apart, was constantly uppermost in His mind throughout His ministry (John 5:36; John 9:4).   Here are some other passages where these titles are used in reference to Jesus:   John 1:41;  Luke 2:11; John 7:26-27, 41-44; Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29


Son of God – (Luke 1:35; Matthew 4:3,6;  Mark 1:1;  John 10:33-39)  Though not used nearly as much as the term which follows (“Son of Man”), this title simply and accurately describes Jesus’ divine nature.  While not using this title, the writer to the Hebrews (1:1-4) and Paul in Colossians (2:9-10) both testify to Jesus’ divine nature.   John calls Him “the Son of God” and “the true God” in I John 5:20.  And so we Christians believe that Mary’s Son IS the eternal Son of God.


The Root and the Offspring of David – (Revelation 22:16)  A reference to Christ having come from David’s line.   As will be the case with a number of names and titles given to Him, we can see here that Jesus Christ is the Messiah because he fulfilled the prophecies about the One Who was to come.  See also Micah 5:2, indicating that the Christ would come from David’s hometown of Bethlehem.   Similar portions of Scripture refer to Christ’s being an ancestor of David and his father, Jesse.   Some of those references are: Isaiah 11:1’s  Branch from the stump of Jesse, and  Jesus’ “family history” (genealogy) from chapter one of Matthew’s Gospel (vv 5-6).


Son of David – (Matthew 9:27; Matthew 12:23; Mark 9:47) Another title used to describe the’ direction connection between Jesus and His great forebearer, David, to whom the LORD had promised that a Descendant would one day sit on his throne Who would reign forever over the house of Israel (Psalm 110;  Mark 13:36).  This term is used frequently in the NT in connection with Christ.


Wonderful Counselor – from Isaiah 9:6, the One Who revealed the truth about God to us, and Who showed us (by earning for us) the way to heaven and eternal life.   See John 14:1-6.


The Bright Morning Star – From Revelation 22:16, this title gives us a glimpse of the

brightness, the glory that Christ possesses as the almighty God.  We will personally behold that glory one day with our own eyes (Job 19:27), even as we already see that glory now through the eyes of faith (John 1:14)


LORD (Yahweh, in Hebrew) – actually a verb which means “I AM” – whenever you see this word capitalized in the OT it refers to the God of free and faithful grace, and so is a reference to the entire Trinity.   See Exodus 34:5,6.   When Jesus’ disciples called Him “Lord” they were acknowledging that He was (and is) the One True Almighty God, Who is One with the Father and the Spirit in power, authority, and honor.   Jesus used this term “I Am” occasionally (John 8:58, Mark14:62)  to describe Himself, to immediate charges of blasphemy from opponents because He “dared” to make himself equal to God.


The Holy One of God – John 6:69 – Another simple statement about Christ’s character, this title describes the perfection that is inherently His as the righteous, sinless God – a sinlessness which He retained (and on which our salvation depended, so that He might be a perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins – John 1:29) after He took upon Himself our human nature…..see Hebrews 4:15.


Son of Man – an oft-used title which gives us an indication of Christ’s fully human nature.  It is used  over 80 times in the NT in reference to Jesus.    Examples include:   Matthew 9:6;  Matthew 16:13; Mark 2:10, 28;   Luke 12:10;   Luke 24:7;   John 3:13;    John 9:35)


Mighty God – from Isaiah 9:6, an indication of the power and authority that Christ possessed as the almighty, Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth.    Also see Matthew 28:18 and Matthew 19:26, where Christ’s “omnipotence” (all-powerful character) is highlighted.


Everlasting Father – from Isaiah 9:6.   See also John 10:30.   Another affirmation of the unity and equality that exist between the 1st and 2nd Persons of the Trinity.  (Those who today’ claim that Jesus is, in every way, inferior to the Father – such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses – have an obviously difficult time “reinterpreting” or “interpreting away” the very clear indication here that the Father and the Son are one and the same in their divine essence.


Prince of Peace – from Isaiah 9:6          This is not the peace (from warfare or politically between countries) that the world seeks, but the infinitely more needed and spiritually significant peace that now….for Jesus’ sake and because of His reconciling work (II Cor 5:14-21)….exists between our perfect God and sinful mankind.   The angels sung about it in Luke 2:14, and Paul spoke about it in Philippians 4:7.


Jesus (Jeshua, in Hebrew) – An example is found in Matthew 1:21.  The name means “The Lord Saves”  and is used in excess of 1274 times in the New Testament in connection with Christ.   This name, clearly, puts an exclamation point on the principal work which He came to accomplish:   our souls’ salvation.


Savior – (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Jude 1:25; Titus 3:6) As with the remarks above, in connection with the name “Jesus,” this title describes what Christ achieved for us through His perfect substitutionary life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection:   He saved us from the curse of our sins, from eternal death, and from the Devil’s power.  Put more “positively,” He saved us for eternal life in heaven with Him.   This term is used at least 24 times in the New Testament in connection with Jesus.


Mediator – Paul describes Jesus as “the Mediator between God and men” in I Timothy 2:5.   For us the  significance of this name is found in the fact that Jesus continues to serve us now in heaven as our Great High Priest by being our Go-Between/Mediator, pleading for us and insuring that our prayers are heard and favorably answered.   We “confess” this truth every time we offer our prayers “in Jesus’ name.”   (John 16:23)


Good Shepherd – one of the most endearing portraits of Christ found in the Bible.   David first gave us this picture in “the world’s most beloved Psalm,” Psalm 23.    In John 10 (1-6, 11-18, 22-30 ) Jesus speaks at length about Himself as the Good Shepherd, Who not only protects His flock but willingly sacrificially lays down His life for His sheep.     Likewise,  in the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7) Christ speaks in shepherd’s terms about His work in seeking out and saving those who are spiritually lost.   


The Gate – often overlooked because it comes at the start of the “Good Shepherd chapter,” this title from John 10:7 declares to us that entrance into heaven comes ONLY through faith in Jesus.  Peter would later affirm this fact in Acts 4:12:  “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name, under heaven, giv-en among men by which we must be saved.”   Can you also see Him as “the Gate” in Matthew 7:13-14?


The Resurrection and the Life  – John 11:25.  Jesus performed three miracles raising others from the dead:   the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Jairus’ daughter (Matthew 9:23-26; Luke 9:40-56), and Lazarus (John 11).   In addition, in connection with His Good Friday death, many dead people were raised from their graves (Matthew 27:52-53).   The even greater miracles of resurrection in which Christ was/will be involved were when He raised Himself from the grave (John 10:18….but see I Peter 3:18 where the Spirit is also involved in Christ’s resurrection) and when He will call our bodies forth from our graves on the Last Day (I Thessalonians 4:17-18; John 5:28).   For the believer, then, the death of my body is never something to be feared, since my soul will live forever and even my dead body will one day be raised imperishable from my grave.    (I Corinthians 15:20, 50-54)


Finally, see Philippians 2:6-11, especially verse 11, which tells us that even if many today do not recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior, the day (of Judgment) will come when everyone will bow down before Him and acknowledge that He is the God of all and the world’s Redeemer.   Aren’t you grateful that God has already given you the faith to believe in Him as your Savior?