Summary: Pentecost 6(A) - God’s peace surpasses human understanding because God’s peace can cause conflict. God’s peace also desires dedication.
GOD’S PEACE SURPASSES HUMAN UNDERSTANDING (Outline)
July 8, 2007 -
PENTECOST 6 -
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INTRO: Almost everyone on earth desires peace. This peace can be quite local. Families desire peace on one’s household. A nation may desire peace within its borders. Of course, almost all desire world peace. So, it may sound strange to our ears in our text when Jesus says, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Here was the Prince of Peace foretold by Isaiah the prophet. Yet he comes to bring a sword.
This statement is a paradox. A paradox reveals what seems to be a contradiction. Today we are going to learn that Scripture does not contradict itself. Rather, Scripture contradicts our human, worldly thinking. Jesus was headed to Jerusalem to face persecution and death. His disciples were not happy with this revelation from Jesus. They tried to stop Jesus from taking such a dangerous, deadly journey. "But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ’Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ’You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men’"(MARK 8:33). In the same situation we also would have tried to stop Jesus. All too often we have in our minds the things of men, not God.
May the Holy Spirit guide and direct us to more fully understand how
GOD’S PEACE SURPASSES HUMAN UNDERSTANDING.
I. God’s peace can cause conflict,
II. God’s peace desires dedication.
I. GOD’S PEACE CAN CAUSE CONFLICT
A. Chapter 10 of Matthew begins with Jesus calling the twelve apostles. Jesus sends them out.
1. Jesus warns the disciples about the opposition that they will face. Jesus encourages them.
2. Jesus equips his disciples with the power of his word. These verses conclude Jesus’ advice.
B. Verse 34 states the paradox: Jesus, the Prince of Peace, did not come to bring peace.
1. The Israelites were expecting a worldly peace. They felt Jesus would provide peace on earth.
2. The Jewish nation wanted Jesus to establish his peace without the rule of the Romans.
C. Jesus came not with worldly peace but eternal. Some would not believe, verses 35, 36.
1. The disciples left family and friends to follow Jesus. Their actions divided families.
2. The disciples’ actions left families with hurt feelings. They wondered what went wrong.
3. Jesus’ disciples found what was really, truly important, verse 39. God’s call changed them.
a. They gave up an earthly life and found eternal life. b. Worldliness was behind them.
D. You and I face a far greater challenge today than the disciples ever did. Sure, they knew the attractions and distractions of the world were all around them. But, today – today, those worldly attractions are far, far greater. We are daily bombarded with slick advertising campaigns. Our world makes it appear that we never, ever have enough. We are fooled into thinking that we need bigger houses, better vehicles, and faster computers than the day before. We are all too often distracted. All too often we may have in our minds and lives only the things of men. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him"(1 JOHN 2:15).
E. This worldliness does not only attack us outside. The worldly thinking of men also makes it way into the churches of today. More and more fewer and fewer churches are willing to take their stand on the truth of God’ word. All too many church bodies have decided it is more important to be politically correct than scripturally truthful. Taking a stand against abortion, homosexuality, and immorality is hardly ever mentioned in the mega-churches. Everyone just wants to get along without conflict. "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear"(1 TIM. 4:3).
F. Are we to give up? Shall we throw up our hands in despair? No – we are reminded that God’s word is still the truth. Taking a stand on the Bible can cause conflict. Knowing God’s peace of forgiveness is all that matters. We cannot know the peace of forgiveness until we first recognize our sin. Our sin causes a conflict between our sinless heavenly Father and us. Jesus has resolved that conflict – freely. This is our hope and our blessed confidence. "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world"(GALATIANS 6:14).
GOD’S PEACE SURPASSES HUMAN UNDERSTANDING.
God’s peace can cause conflict.