Summary: Worldly peace never lasts, only the inner peace from our Lord is forever.
Someone once said: “Peace is the brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.” Isn’t that true whether we’re talking about world peace or inner peace? It seems like it never lasts, and when we have it, we tend to expect that it will only be a matter of time before its disrupted.
Well, today we continue our exploration of the Fruit of the Spirit as we talk about the third fruit mentioned by Paul here in Galatians 5 – peace (Talk about cherries). Let’s read together again, its on the front of your bulletin if you don’t have it memorized yet. Today we need are going to look at what the word peace means here. Is it inner peace, peace between people, peace with God, all of these, or something else?
Let’s begin with the
I. Peace of God
This Greek word for peace is Eirene and so if your name is Irene it means peace. This word is really a translation of the well known Hebrew word Shalom which literally means “safe” with other off shoots being “well” and “prosperous”. In other words this peace refers to doing well and being safe and provided for. One might think of how a well cared for baby might feel, completely worry free. That’s what we’re getting at here.
Now let’s think about that for a minute. Do you think the omnipotent, all knowing God worries about anything? Look at what Jesus says in John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you (in other words it’s not a false sense of security). Let your hearts not be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Is he not saying “don’t worry because I have given you my Shalom?”
So this peace is:
A. A characteristic of God and his Kingdom
Romans 14:17 – “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Notice the mention of two fruit of the Spirit there, peace and joy. We say in the Lord’s prayer “your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”, well we’re asking for righteousness, peace and joy that are already in heaven and we are to cultivate here on earth.
B. This peace is the opposite of Confusion
Often our worry or stress comes from confusion, not being sure why something is happening, what to do or think. Well again this is something that God never experiences, and through the Holy Spirit this peace is available to eliminate our confusion as well.
1 Corinthians 14:33 – “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
James 3:13-17 – “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.