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Summary: The Shepherd benediction

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Reading: Hebrews chapter 13 verse 20-21.

Ill:

Robert Chapman is not too well known among Christians.

• He did not author any monumental books.

• His friends said he would never make a good preacher.

• Chapman was not a world-wide evangelist. He lead no great mission to foreign lands;

• Instead he laboured for 70 years in a small town in a remote corner of England.

• Yet he became a living legend.

• A man who God used to great effect.

• As a young man, Winston Churchill was taken to visit him.

• Charles Spurgeon called him: "the saintliest man I ever knew."

• John Nelson Darby said of Robert Chapman: "He lives what I teach."

• On another occasion Darby said: "We talk of the heavenliest, but Robert Chapman lives in them."

• Chapman was very much one of the ‘Chief Men Among the Brethren’;

• An early leader in our type of Churches.

• One morning R. C. Chapman was asked how he was feeling.

• “I’m burdened this morning!” was his reply.

• But his happy countenance contradicted his words.

• So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, “Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?”

• “Yes, but it’s a wonderful burden - it’s an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enough time or words to express my gratitude!”

• Seeing the puzzled look on the face of his friend, Chapman added with a smile,

• “I am referring to Psalm 68:19, which fully describes my condition.

• In that verse the Father in heaven reminds us that He

• ‘daily loads us with benefits.’”

Of the five hundred plus blessings contained in the Bible:

• Hebrews chapter 13 verse 20-21 contains, to quote Chapman out of context:

• “An overabundance of blessings”

(1). God of peace

“May the God of peace”

Ill:

Someone has said,

• "The world is so full of problems; that if Moses were to come down from Mt. Sinai today,

• The two tablets He would carry would be aspirin."

• As humorous as that might be,

• It does paint a sad scenario of a world greatly lacking in peace.

The writer of this letter uses this title ‘God of peace’ six times in this letter;

• ill: I think that nearly all other New Testament writers at the start of their letters;

• Use the word ‘peace’ in their opening greetings and salutations of their letters.

• Peace is a quality that is sourced, it is rooted in God;

• And is an attribute, a quality, it is a fruit in the life of the Christian.

Note: The expression "Peace" is normally used in two ways in the Bible.

(a).

• There is personal peace with God;

• This comes when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour.

• Ill: Theological term is reconciliation – two opposing parties are brought together.

(b).

• Then, there is the peace of God;

• Which is available on a daily basis AS we walk in fellowship with God.

• Quote: Charles Swindoll:

• He suggests a practical paraphrase of this term ‘Peace of God’

• Would be the expression: ‘Mental health’.

• In other words God desires that each Christian experience;

• A calm, a tranquil, a peace within their hearts and not a panic or strife or discord.

Note:

• This type of peace mentioned in this verse is divine in origin:

• The writer is not talking about a general peace, he talks about a specific peace “of GOD!”

Quote:

• “God’s peace is both inward and outward,

• Both a matter of how we are within ourselves and how we are related to others.

• It is both horizontal and vertical.

• It is concerns our relationships on earth and above all how we are related to God.”

So, where you find peace mentioned in the Bible it refers either to:

• The reconciliation of a Christian to God in salvation;

• Or to the mental mind-set that should be found in the believer.

• So the New Testament teaches that “we have peace WITH God”;

• And as a result we can experience “the peace OF God”.

Question: Why use this expression here?

Answer: Most commentators suggest that this title for God is used by the writer;

• Because there was conflict and not peace in the fellowship;

• There was disunity among God’s people over the issues addressed in this letter.

• And so the only way to bring harmony and healing into any situation;

• Is to fix your eyes on God who has given us peace with himself through Jesus!

• And that ought to lead to us experiencing peace with other people.

• Ill: Domino effect – God accepts us with our faults & failings – so should we!

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