Summary: The Bible tells us that the LORD gives us gifts of joy and peace among other godly attributes. Are they evident in the lives of most Christians? If not, why not?
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
And our memory refresher verses for today are …
“Jesus said, ‘I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.’”
Please open your Bibles to Romans 8:1-16
Does anyone remember a TV show that ran in the 1980’s called The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?
In this show they would introduce a rich and famous person or family and then they would describe how and where they lived, what they ate, what made them so rich and famous, where they vacationed, how many homes they had, what their family was like, how much money they had, whether they had yachts and airplanes and on and on.
That was their life. Was it a lifestyle? What is a lifestyle?
Have you noticed that the word lifestyle has slipped into our vocabulary quietly over the past few years?
Is a lifestyle kind of like picking a hairstyle for those of you who have hair?
Is a lifestyle like picking out a clothing style?
Or is a lifestyle something you try to be that you really aren’t?
Being a Christian is a way of life. Being a Christian is a life you live with Christ in the way the Bible defines as being a disciple of Jesus.
Or … are you really being a Christian when you wrap a “lifestyle” around a life that is minimally committed to Jesus.
Can someone who is living a life of sin put on a Christian “lifestyle” in order to look like a Christian?
One way leads to joy and peace, the other leads to sorrow and anxiety.
Let’s go ahead and read Romans 8:1-16 and see what it says …
Romans 8:6 NIV
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
In the church we talk a lot about the joy and peace that comes through knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Just listen to these memory Scriptures …
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
If Jesus received a punishment that brought us peace why are so many Christians agitated?
If the fruit of the Spirit includes joy and peace why are so many Christians sad and anxious?
If Christians are supposed to have, “the peace of God which transcends all understanding” guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus why are so many Christians’ hearts and minds so easily afflicted with anxiety?
If Christians are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds why do we get all twisted up in knots when someone says something as trivial as, “Happy Holidays” instead of, “Merry Christmas?”
Is it because we are living a life that is committed to Christ only on the surface and our Christianity is only a “lifestyle” instead of a reality?
Jesus used marriage as a metaphor of what our relationship with the Lord should be like.
(Start of example)
Let’s look at what a Christian marriage should be like …
1) Christian man who is totally devoted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ marries Christian woman who is totally devoted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and both believe that it is the Lord’s will for them to marry
2) The husband and wife commit to marriage as for as long as they both shall live