Summary: A study of peace as part of a teaching series on the Fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit—Peace
Series: Fruit of the Spirit Teaching Series
May 18, 25, 2014
TEXT: Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Q. = Discussion QUESTION for the class / A. = ANSWERS or possible answers
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 between nations. But there is a deeper longing as well. There has always beat within the heart of all people the desire to be at peace with God, to be at peace with themselves, and to be at peace with others. And yet all three kinds of peace have eluded humanity for millennia.
Peace is a prominent theme in the Bible. In fact, the word peace itself is found in 400 verses in the Old and New Testament. That does not count synonyms of peace 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. The Bible speaks of three kinds of peace in the Bible. Let’s look at them, and how we can find peace in these three areas.
I. LET’S NOTE FIRST THAT THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF PEACE IN THE BIBLE.
1) The first is what the Bible refers to as peace WITH God – Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:6 – “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…”
Q. What does this verse imply about our relationship with God?
Because of our sin, we’re at war with a God who hates sin and cannot allow sin in His presence.
Illus. – Jonathan Edwards, the great eighteenth century colonial American theologian and preacher vividly illustrated God’s attitude towards sin in his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” In this famous sermon he accurately portrayed mankind as sinful and separated from God and deserving of His judgment. He graphically pictured lost men and women hanging by a slender, fraying rope over hell, any minute ready to plunge into an eternity of judgment. His sermon was so vivid and powerful that God used it to convert many sinners to Christ and begin a great revival to the American colonies in a time of great moral decline known as the Great Awakening.
Yes, man is a sinner at war with God. But the real truth is that, as Jonathan Edwards portrayed, God is at war with man. But, praise God, God loves us and has devised a means whereby we CAN be at peace with God.
Q. What in your opinion is this “peace with God” Paul talks about in Romans 5:1?
A. [GET RESPONSES & IF APPROPRIATE ADD THE FOLLOWING:] Peace with God is when a sinner turns to God and is reconciled to Him. When this occurs, the guilty sinner and the Judge of the Universe are no longer in conflict with one another. The relationship changes from sinner before eternal Judge to child before his or her heavenly Father—and there is peace between them.
2) The second kind of peace the Bible speaks of is the peace OF God – Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Q. What do you think the peace OF God” is, and how is it different from peace WITH God?
A. [GET RESPONSES & IF APPROPRIATE ADD THE FOLLOWING:]
The peace OF God may be defined as “an inward spirit of tranquility and a serenity of heart and mind that abides even in the midst of trouble and trial.”
Illus. – The story is told of two artists who set out to paint a picture representing perfect peace. The first artist’s painting depicted a carefree boy sitting in a boat on a small, placid lake, without even a ripple to disturb the surface.
The other artist painted a raging waterfall with winds whipping the spray about. But 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 enemies, shielded and protected by the roaring falls.
Real peace is being able to remain CALM and TRANQUIL in the midst of trial.
3) The third kind of peace is peace with others.
Note Hebrews 12:14 – “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” This kind of peace is harmony and fellowship that Christians have with others that results from following biblical principles of relationships.