Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This sermon explores on how we can have peace with God and what it means for us to be living and sharing that peace.

Throughout history humanity have been in the habit of building walls.

Of building walls to bring comfort, safety and peace.

When a problem arises we often want to put walls up.

In otherwords humanity has constantly looked at barriers as ways of making life better, of bringing peace.

Probably two of the most significant walls in human history are the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall.

From 8th Century BC to 1644 AD the Great Wall of China was used by various dynasties to protect their empires.

And in August 1961 the Berlin Wall constructed by East Germany officially to prevent the evasion of the West

and also to prevent East Germans leaving.

But history tells us both of these walls ultimately failed.

Both of these walls created a false sense of peace,

They only managed in creating a short term artificial peace.

when true peace did not actually exist.

The Great Wall of China was first torn down in 221 bc and in 1644 it was also breached.

As a result of the wall being torn down and the breaching China was unified.

And as a result of the Berlin Wall being torn down,

we no longer have East and West Germany there is Germany

One nation.

Both these walls ultimately failed, offering only temporary protection, comfort and peace.

And likewise in Jerusalem there was a wall around the temple.

This wall separated the Jews from the Gentiles,

when it came to following God.

Gentiles were unable to worship God with the Jews.

On the temple wall was a plaque that read

No outsider shall enter

the protective enclosure

around the sanctuary.

and whoever is caught will

only have himself

to blame for the

ensuing death

In otherwords the plaque was saying to the Gentiles you are not allowed to come and worship God with us.

That wall was a division between the Jewish people and the Gentiles.

And between the Gentiles and God

And so for the early church they faced a problem.

They faced a question.

There was a number of Jewish Christians who wanted to emphasis and rely on the law for people to be truly one

They did this to such extent that Jesus didn’t seem that important, but the law did.

They felt to be one, to be at peace with God you must obey the law completely.

To be obey something Jews were comfortable with.

And so you see in the New Testament on various occasions discussion occurring about whether everyone had to obey the laws.

At one stage you see the Jewish Christians seeking Gentile Christians to be circumcised.

On another occasion there is a discussion about whether certain types of food should be eaten.

The Jewish Christians were attempting to use the Jewish Law as a wall to keep people in and out.

But today we heard God through St Paul

Who was talking to the Ephesians

who were mainly Gentile Christians

that being at peace with God and others including the Jewish Christians

doesn’t come from what you do

doesn’t come from how you act

it comes only from Jesus.

Nothing else can unite us.

Our peace with God can come only from Jesus.

In the Old Testament the most common word for peace is shalom and in the New Testament it is eirene.

If you know anyone called Irene they are meant to be a woman of peace.

Those two words have far more than just sitting by the beach and enjoying a cocktail and hearing the waves gently roll in.

Peace in the bible is associated with being blameless before God.

Peace in the bible is about being united, being one, being complete, being whole with God and others.

It is about being tranquil.

Having a tranquil relationship with God and with others.

And in the bible peace exists even when there is conflict and problems going on around.

Eirene and shalom have this state of tranquillity despite problems.

As we dig deeper into scripture

And the necessary requirement for such peace,

for permanent peace is God himself, Jesus.

From Ephesians 2 verse 14 we hear

For Jesus himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.

For us to have peace with God and with others Jesus is essential.

It is Jesus who we need to be focused on.

It is Jesus who brings us peace.

And he does this by removing the requirement that someone has to fully meet all the requirements of the law as the final say as to whether someone can be part of the Christian community.

From verse 15 we hear

by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.

I just need to clarify something it doesn’t mean whether you can do whatever you want.

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