Summary: We can recover lost peace by focusing upon the source of peace. #2 in a 4-part series.
Title: Finding A New Peace
Series: New Beginnings for the New Year
Text: Ephesians 2:14-18
Introduction: “Encouraging” The New Members
“Bill and Sue” had recently moved into the city, and had been visiting our church for several weeks. They made friends quickly, and possessed a variety of gifts and talents that would enhance the ministries of our church. Within a short time they decided that God would have them join our congregation. They always seemed to have a smile of their faces, and constantly exhibited a loving devotion to the Lord’s work. We were delighted to have them, and looked forward to helping them find their niche in the ministries of the church.
But within a week of joining, Sue came to my office spiritually depressed and in need of counseling. It seems that an unhappy member had taken it upon themselves to reveal to this couple all the “problems” of the church. They unloaded on them with both barrels blazing, revealing all the real and imagined troubles they knew of. By the time the conversation was finished, Bill and Sue not only were not smiling, they were seriously questioning their decision to join the church.
The old saying, of course, is true; misery does love company. Sadly, when God’s people have lost their peace, they often spend more time recruiting others to be sympathetic to their selfish point of view than they spend trying to rediscover the peace that Christ promised.
For those believers today who have lost their peace, I want to remind you that you can, indeed, get it back. It’s the peace that Jesus promised us (John 14:27), and it’s the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). If you’ve lost your peace, your joy, and your happiness, I want to encourage you today to find this peace anew.
I. THE SOURCE OF PEACE - JESUS. Ephesians 2:14-15
Illustration: A World In Turmoil
The Personnel Journal reported this incredible statistic: since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time! In its study, the periodical discovered that of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made—and broken. (Moody Bible Institute’s “Today In The Word,” June, 1988, p. 33. Cited online at http://www.bible.org.)
A. Jesus Broke Down The Wall Of Separation. Ephesians 2:14b-15
Note: The [middle wall of separation] alludes to the separation of the Court of the Gentiles from the rest of the Temple. Between that court and the Court of the Israelites was a sign that read, "No Gentile may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death." This physical barrier illustrated the barrier of hostility and hate that also separated the two groups. As we learn from the book of Acts, even a Jew who brought a Gentile into the restricted part of the Temple risked being put to death. (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (c) Moody Press and John MacArthur, Jr., 1983-2002.)