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Summary: 1. Many times, "peace" in the OT was describing peace between people ("go in peace") 2. But in the NT, peace was something more, something deeper. There is a peace that is only available to the Christian; peace with/from God.

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February 8, 2004

Title: The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Text: Galatians 5:22-23

Introduction

1. The fruit of the Spirit is...Peace!

But how can we talk about peace?

We are a world at war...

war with terrorists...

war between Jews and Palestinians...

animosity between blacks and whites...

people fearful of being a victim of a crime...

2. People are trying to escape their troubles...and find peace...

they look for peace in alcohol...

they look for peace in drugs...

and they might anethetize themselves against their pain...

at least for a short time...

and when the effect wears off...

they are no better off than before...

Why is peace so elusive?

Why do so few people seem to find real peace?

3. Well, perhaps they are looking in the wrong places...

we need to look for answers from God’s Word...

Mankind searches for answers in the world...

But Christians look for answers from God Himself...

and since we know that God still speaks to us through His Word...

we will turn there tonight...

and open our ears to hear God’s voice as He speaks to us.

Let’s look to our text: Galatians 5:22-23, John 14:27

I. Peace in the OT

A. I did a search for "peace" and, depending on which version of the Bible you prefer...

I found that it appears between 250 times in the Bible in NIV...

to almost 500 times in the KJV.

153 times in the Old Testament...

97 times in the New Testament.

B. Many times, in the Old Testament...

the peace being talked about is peace between people...

For example, in Genesis 26, one of the first usages of the word "peace"...

is the story of Isaac and Abimelech...

God had begun prospering Isaac...

just as He promised He would through Isaac’s father, Abraham...

and as Isaac’s herds and family and servants grew in number...

there were squabbles over water rights...

between Isaac’s people and Abimelech’s people...

Isaac was wanting to live in peace on the land that God had promised his father, Abraham...

and Abimelech noticed how much God was blessing Isaac...

and how powerful he was becoming...

so he quickly realized that he should get on Isaac’s good side...

so Abimelech and Isaac made an agreement...

And Genesis 26:31 tells us, "Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace." Gen 26:31 (NIV)

In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament...

the word translated as "peace" is Shalom.

It is the word that is used between Isaac and Abimelech...

It has various shades of meaning...

but includes the thought of peace and prosperity between people.

Many times, Scripture will use the words, "go in peace"...

which means, basically, "you are free to go...

don’t worry...

no one will bother you now"

C. And many times, in the OT, when the word "peace" is used...

it is referring to that kind of peace...

people today view peace in the same way...

some people view peace as a lack of war...a peaceful society...

a peaceful neighborhood...

where there are no loud cars screeching their tires...

no teenagers blasting rock music...

Others will talk about peace with our fellowman...


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