Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus is our peace, we are to be peace for the world around us

Advent Series 2004

The Word Made Flesh

The Word “PEACE” Made Flesh

Ephesians 2:11-18

He Himself is our Peace

Like hope, Peace is a prevalent theme at Christmas. We see the word everywhere – cards, banners, billboards…

Rightfully so – Peace is proclaimed around Jesus all the time – in Isaiah 53 that we read at the lighting of the candle, Isaiah 9 calls Him the Prince of Peace, the angels proclaim to the shepherds “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Biblical concept of peace is far larger than just lack of conflict – Shalom includes everything that would contribute to well-being

Jesus in born into the world where there is very little peace –

Roman occupation

Poverty – stable

Slaughter of the innocents

Refugee in Egypt

By the time he leaves the world, not much has changed – the Romans & the Pharisees are still in charge, the Church that He leaves is horribly persecuted by both groups.

2000 years later what is the state of peace?

A web site called flashpoints.com lists 43 countries in the world where there is some sort of armed conflict, by my estimation, about 30 of those are full out war.

In the next 24 hrs, just at about the time when you will be having your second cup of coffee tomorrow, 8,000 people will die in Africa of AIDS The bombing of the twin towers killed an estimate of 5,000 people, that’s a little over what AIDS kills in a half a day in Africa

20 years after live Aid brought to the news the problem of hunger in the Ethiopian famine, an estimate of 840,000 people are living with hunger today.

In North America, Every 9 seconds a woman suffers abuse from her partner.

U2 wrote this song after the Omaugh bombing in Northern Ireland in 1998

Peace on Earth – U2

Heaven on earth

We need it now

I’m sick of all of this

Hanging around

Sick of sorrow

Sick of pain

Sick of hearing again and again

That there’s gonna be

Peace on earth

Jesus could you take the time

To throw a drowning man a line

Peace on earth

Tell the ones who hear no sound

Whose sons are living in the ground

Peace on earth

Jesus this song you wrote

The words are sticking in my throat

Peace on earth

Hear it every Christmas time

But hope and history won’t rhyme

So what’s it worth?

This peace on earth

On their latest CD they have a sort of follow up song called “Love and Peace or Else”

So what do we do when, as their song says “hope and history won’t rhyme?” When we do not experience the peace that the Bible proclaims.

To do that, I want to look at Ephesians 2

Peace with God through Jesus – He is our peace

On the surface, it may not seem that the greatest trouble in the world is our lack of relationship with God, but all this other lack of peace stems from that first problem.

You may remember that when Adam and Eve turned from God in the garden, It first impacted their relationship with God – they hid themselves from him. It impacted their inner relationship with themselves – they felt shame for the first time. It impacted their relationship with each other – they blamed each other for the sin, their conflict gave birth to their son killing his brother & wars began. It impacted their relationship with the environment – Thorns grew up and word became toil, our environment no longer cooperated with us, so that the seed of disease was born in our sin.

On the day that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Peace died. Or, we died to the peace that we could have had.

Romans 5 MSG

The Death-Dealing Sin, the Life-Giving Gift

12You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in--first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. 13That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, …18Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! 19One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

In a Parallel passage to Ephesians 2 in Colossians 1, Paul describes our state this way: 21-22 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

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