Summary: Peace is one of the most illusive qualities in human life, but God wants His people to experience peace. This sermon explains the 3 kinds of peace in the Bible and how to experience each one.
Ephesians - Live Like You Really Are
January 29, 2012
A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available by mailing a request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXT: Ephesians 1:2 – “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In our series of messages through the book of Ephesians, we began last Sunday with a short introduction to the book. Then we gave consideration to two words in verse 2– “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Last week we thoroughly examined the word grace, reserving peace for this week’s study.
One of the longings of humanity throughout all ages has been peace. As long as there has been war, there has been a desire for peace. But there are deeper longings.
Illus. – Before her death, advice columnist Esther Lederer, otherwise known as Ann Landers, received about 10,000 letters a month from people requesting advice. When asked what her most common question was, she answered that people seem to be afraid or worried about something. They’re afraid of losing their health, they worry about their job, and they’re filled with concerns about their family. People are wracked out about their neighbors or frustrated with their friends. A great preponderance of letters described relational ruptures and family friction.
In short, people are looking for peace but can’t seem to find it.
Peace is a very prominent theme in the Bible. In fact, the word peace itself is found in 400 verses in the Old and New Testament. That doesn’t count synonyms, and allusions to peace in all it various shades of meaning and usage.
However, important and prominent as it is in the Bible, peace is perhaps one of the most illusive qualities in our lives. In our hustle and bustle world, with all our trials and problems and struggles, how do you find peace? Well, it depends on which kind of peace you’re talking about. Like grace, peace is used in different ways in the Bible. In fact, like grace, the Bible actually talks about three kinds of peace. Let’s examine each one, and then we’ll go back and discover how to find each kind of peace:
I. FIRST, THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF PEACE WITH GOD – Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
According to the Bible, because of sin, lost man and God are at enmity with one another.
• The unsaved person is at war with God.
All of us are born sinners, and from a very early age, every one of us freely chooses to sin and run our own lives instead of obeying God. Isaiah put it this way: “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6)
• And because of sin, God is at enmity with the lost person.
The Bible teaches that God is angry with sin. He cannot tolerate it, and it must be judged. And the sinner who refuses to come to God God’s way is under God’s wrath. Jesus said in John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” And Paul said in Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…”
Peace WITH God occurs when a sinner turns to God and is reconciled to Him. Dear friend, you will not find true, lasting peace until you meet the Prince of Peace.
II. THE SECOND KIND OF PEACE THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF IS THE PEACE OF GOD – Paul said in Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God may be defined as “an inward spirit of tranquility and sereneness of heart and mind that abides even in the midst of trouble and trial.”
Illus. – Years ago, two artists set out to paint a picture representing perfect peace. The first painted a canvas depicting a carefree lad sitting in a boat on a little placid lake without a ripple to disturb the surface. The other painted a raging waterfall with winds whipping the spray about.
On a limb, overhanging the swirling water, a bird had built its nest, and sat peacefully brooding her eggs. Here, she was safe from her predatory enemies, shielded and protected by the roaring falls.
You see, the peace of God is not the ABSENCE of trials. Rather, it is the result of remaining calm and cool in the MIDST of trial. The opposite of peace is anxiety and worry when facing perplexing circumstances.