Summary: We are not saved by a denomination or a religion but by a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. Jesus demands all of us not part of us when we come to Him.
Let there be Peace on Earth
Many of you probably know this familiar song often heard this time of year;
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now;
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
This song has a powerful sentiment that is very much welcomed during the Christmas season. I like it because it identifies where peace must begin. “Let it begin with me” but it fails to connect us with the author of such a wonderful peace it fails to connect us to Jesus.
The theme for this second week of Advent is peace. We as Christians look to the Prince of Peace who is described for us in Isaiah 9:6 where His reign of peace is described as yet to come.
This wonderful verse of scripture is often used at this time of year as we celebrate our Lord’s Advent… His coming to earth in Bethlehem born to a virgin in a humble manger.
The peace that is mentioned in Isaiah is for a time that is yet to come a future revelation of Jesus we call the Day of the Lord, Jesus Second Advent.
Peace at that time will come to the whole earth but only after a great battle where the enemies of God are overcome by the Prince of Peace.
To truly understand the peace that Jesus brings at Christmas we have to look to His words in Matthew 10:34-39.
It is in these words of Jesus that we come to realize that Jesus first Advent was meant to usher in different kind of peace between man and our Heavenly Father.
It would be a peace that is disruptive and conflicting to the rest of the world because it is so remarkable and unique.
Jesus came that we might have peace as individuals, an eternal and abiding peace for our souls.
Such a peace is revolutionary in nature as it does not rely on religion or creed but on simple faith.
Jesus would purchase peace for us through His own sacrifice in order to redeem us for God.
Jesus would purchase souls with His blood. What a strange way to bring about peace.
Matthew 10:34-39 NIV
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
What are we to make of Jesus words concerning the sword that He brings?
A sword is an offensive weapon it is not a shield. A sword does the cutting.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews describes it this way…
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
For some people coming to faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour makes the rest of their family uneasy. For the believer it is an admission that only Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that all other ways, all other truths and any other life would be an eternal waste. We are not saved by a denomination or a religion but by a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.
Jesus demands all of us not part of us when we come to Him. We cannot cling onto a brother or sister or mother or father we must only cling onto Jesus.
Jesus demands an absolute faith not just head knowledge or ceremony. Jesus wants to cut away the sin that has attached itself to our eternal souls and to that He has to use the sword.