Summary: The third fruit of the Spirit, peace.
5. The second definition actually comes closer to getting it right. (Cell 2 #2) We know that Jesus description of peace didn’t mean merely the absence of interpersonal conflict, because conflict is a part of life. In fact, in Matthew 10:34 Jesus said that He didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword."
6. The third definition is adapted from the definition that Dr. John MacArthur gave. (Cell 2 #3) "Peace is knowing that we may get to the point where we can do nothing else, but that our all-powerful God has no such limits."
7. I like the perspective of Helen Keller when she said, "I do not want the peace which passes understanding, I want the understanding which brings peace." (from a sermon by Denn Guptill). The reality is that the peace which passes understanding comes from understanding the truth about God.
Peace is a major theme in the Bible. It appears more than 80 times and it occurs at least 1 time in every one of the 39 books in the New Testament.
8. We need the peace which comes from God because at some point in our lives we all struggle to maintain the peace we need.
• For some it will be the death of a loved one– a child, parent, or spouse.
• For others it will be a heart attack, cancer, or another life threatening disease.
• Still others face divorce, financial ruin, or the loss of a significant dream.
• Sometimes the tragedies aren’t even personal– who’ll ever forget the senselessness of 9-11 or the explosion of the space-shuttle, Columbia.
• Tragedy comes into every life. The details vary, but the experience does not. (adapted from a sermon by Bruce Allen)
9. That brings us to the difficult question of whether it’s even possible to have peace in the world we live in. Many people would say that it is not. It’s only as we examine the perspective of God’s word that we come to understand how that peace is not only possible, but should be normal in the life of the person who has the Spirit inside. Let’s read our text for this morning.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I. The Source of True Peace
1. To properly understand peace, we need to understand where true peace comes from. The source is quite unexpected for those who view God as nothing more than a crutch for those who aren’t strong enough to make it on their own.
2. Having said that, peace is described here as a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, peace ultimately comes from God not from us. The Hebrew concept of shalom is much more positive than merely the absence of conflict. It speaks of wholeness and well-being that includes our relationship with God and loving harmony with others. Paul spoke of both "peace with God," because we were justified by faith and "the peace of God," which goes beyond human understanding (Romans 5:1) (NAC)
3. In fact, in today’s world of stress, frequent misunderstanding and pain, you aren’t going to find the peace you need for today apart from God. The only place you and I will experience the true peace we long for is in God Himself. To put it another way. . .