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Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:4-7
Character Building: Peace (Part 10)
1. When peace is misunderstood there is a false sense of security, Jer 6:13-15. (Judah was not at peace with God; did not have real peace at all!)
2. Peace with God must exist for peace among God’s people to flourish.
a. Few things are sought after more than peace (nations, neighbors, families, churches).
b. Ultimate there must first be mutual peace with God before peace with man will be achieved, Eph 2:14.
3. Still, God expects Christians to live in peace with others, Rom 12:18.
a. Those at peace with God live in peace, Gal 5:22.
b. God’s peace must rule (“umpire,” determine, direct, control) the heart (character), Col 3:15.
c. We were called to peace (1 Cor 7:15); Pursue it (2 Tim 2:22).
I. WHAT IS PEACE?
A. Peace has a Dual Nature (absence and presence).
1. Absence of conflict, 1 Cor 14:33. Peace is more than a cease fire.
2. Presence of serenity, tranquility, harmony, contentment, security and safety, Isa 32:17-19.
3. Wise and righteous: Quietness, confidence, and safety, Jas 3:17-18.
a. shalom (Heb): “Everything that makes for a man’s highest good,” wholeness; “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.”
b. eirene (Grk): Harmonious relationships (with men, nations, and God), Heb 12:14.
c. God’s people are securely at peace in midst of conflict, Isa 32:18-19
4. Peace is a life and state in which one is perfectly related to God and to one’s fellow man.
5. The one body (the church) has peace with God, and so achieves peace with one another, Col 3:15.
II. SOME THINGS KNOW ABOUT THE PEACE OF GOD (Col 3:15).
A. God is the Source of Peace, Rom 1:7.
1. Not man, sin, strife and enmity, Gal 5:19-21: Opposite of peace.
2. The Father is the Source and Provider, Heb 13:20; 2 Ths 3:16. HOW? As we rejoice, pray and obey, Phil 4:7-9
3. Jesus Christ is our access to peace with God, Rom 5:1.
-Assures safety and security the world cannot give (Jno 14:27); Peace is in Christ (Jno 16:33; Eph 1:3; Gal 3:27); He is our peace (Eph 2:14).
B. The Gospel is the Message of Peace, Acts 10:36; Eph 2:17-18.
1. Most want peace, yet most reject the message of peace, Eph 6:15.
2. Yet, Christ and His gospel often bring conflict, Matt 10:34-36.
a) Those unprepared for the conflict the gospel brings are likely to misinterpret that conflict and accuse faithful Christians of not being “peace-lovers” because they “contend…for the faith”.
b) Fact: Those who reject truth are rejecting peace! Matt 10:21-22 (Lk 12:52-53); Psa 119:165
C. The Blood of Jesus is the Price of Peace, Eph 2:13-16; Col 1:20.
1. Peace never comes cheap - Blood of the Son of God!
2. God gave His Son so we could have peace (Rom 5:1).
3. Now, we must give up sin to live in peace (Rom 6:11).
D. We must Walk the Life of Peace, Rom 8:6; 2 Cor 13:11.
1. Having obtained peace with God, we must “live in peace”.
2. Otherwise, the flesh is victorious over us.
III. SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT, 1 Pet 3:10-11. (Develop and maintain)
A. Our Peace with God must be Guarded, Rom 5:1-5.
1. Be on guard against sin (causes conflict with God, Isa 59:1-2).
2. Requires steadfast faith to resist sin, Jas 4:4-7.
B. Peace among Christians must be Diligently Nurtured, Eph 4:3.
1. Keep: “expresses watchful care and is suggestive of present possession” (Online Bible).
2. HOW? Eph 4:1-2; cf. 5:21; Acts 9:31 (stand in truth and serve)
* 3. When one feels he must be served by his brethren rather than serving, peace is strained and destroyed by the sinful tensions of arrogance, selfishness and resentment, Gal 5:15-16, 22.
C. Peace in the Home is Crucial to Happiness, 1 Cor 7:15.
1. God has called husbands and wives to peace…yet, home is often a war zone! Or at the very least, a DMZ!
2. Respect and love in the home (Eph 5:22-25); Peace (Col 3:15).
D. Peace with our Fellow Man is Important to Overcome Evil, Rom 12:18 (Heb 12:14). (As much as is humanly possible)
-Application is Rom 12:20-21: How to show peace toward an enemy.
1. Are you at peace with God? In Christ, through faith, you can be.
2. Is peace showing itself in your character in the church, in your home and in society?
3. Let peace rule in your heart, Col 3:15.
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