And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers,…
I. WHAT THEY ARE. The origin of the gospel conception is connected with Jewish history. The people were often assailed by enemies, and in Jerusalem they waited with anxiety to learn the issue. By agreement, a messenger was to be sent, and especially when God crowned them with victory. And as the watchman lifted up his eyes, and the people saw the sight, they cried, "How beautiful upon the mountains," etc. Hence, when the angel spoke on the plains of Bethlehem, he used words with which the shepherds were familiar. So when our Lord rose, He gave the disciples commandment to proclaim these glad tidings, to which Paul was obedient here. What, then, is the gospel?
1. It is news. Man did not know it — could not find it, or invent it. Not the least proof that the gospel comes from heaven is that it is beyond the intellect and contrary to the temper of man.
2. It is good news. All the attributes of goodness are in it. "Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
3. It is good news about a Person, and that Person the Son of God — the adequate revelation of the Father — and Son of Man — the typical manifestation of humanity. The Person also the atonement for the world's guilt, and its Deliverer from condemnation and death.
II. TO WHOM THEY ARE SENT. "To you" — i.e., everyone.
1. To the sad heart. They come to the wakened mind, to the alarmed conscience, to the despairing spirit. What glad tidings to know that the burden of guilt has been borne and the punishment of sin endured by Christ!
2. To a sad world, whose disappointment, sorrow, and tears makes it a very Marah, which nothing can sweeten but the Cross.
III. WITH WHAT END. To produce joy — pure, deep, everlasting.
Parallel VersesKJV: And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,