Summary: Basic overview of Christian Peace
Peace Sunday – December 8, 2002
Second Sunday of Advent
By John L. Weeks
Pastor, Southeastern Christian Fellowship
Scripture: John 14: 23(Jesus replied,) "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
There are three aspects of peace that Christ brings to us that I want to talk to you about today.
Jesus brings us peace in three ways:
Peace with God,
Peace with each other,
Peace with ourselves.
Let’s talk about Peace with God first.
John 3:16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,F that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.G 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
These verses were revolutionary in their time and they still are today. God had done just about everything to get His people to come to Him. Four thousand years since he created mankind and in all that time, in so many ways, yet this is what it had come to. When Jesus said this to Nicodemas, Nicodemas had no idea the impact on the world that statement would have. In that statement, Jesus explained exactly how we could obtain a personal relationship with God. In having a personal relationship with God, we can achieve peace with God one on one. We are no longer dependent on an intermediary such as a prophet or high priest to intercede for us. This is not new to us, but at that time, it set the world on it end.
When Christ first came back to appear to the disciples, what was it he said most often? “Peace be with you.” In the verses from Isaiah that we used last week, twice, he used the word peace in reference to the coming messiah. (Prince of Peace and Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.) Zechariah prophesied about Him as He who would put their feet on the path of peace. Simeon in the temple said that he could now rest in peace after holding the baby messiah. Everything surrounding just exude peace.
Let’s now look at how He brought us Peace with each other:
Jesus proclaimed peace frequently and taught peace. Listen to this scripture:
Luke 6:27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners’ lend to `sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.