Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
Thank you Mr Dan.
I was in aware that you're going to do that this morning but and I don't want to get too far off subject but over the years that I've been here It just thrills me when those little kids call me Pastor Josh I mean so much to me I grew up with one pastor Pastor can Parker my entire life and when those kids look up to me and they say Pastor Josh I'm their pastor and it's that's a special bond that I have with those kids and I really love it and I and I definitely don't I do not take it for granted all right for get all emotional and that thanks Mr Dan. Today we're going to continue in the series on the fruit of the spirit and when I first mention that I was going to go through the for the spirit I said something along the lines of you know when you read through Galatians and you get to Chapter five in reverses twenty two and twenty three and and you go through the fruit of the spirit and it's one fruits not nine different fruits it's easy to just kind of gloss over all of those nine different qualities and just say oh those are great you know love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness and and you and I and I thought you know what as I'm going to go through this I want to take each quality individually and I knew that looking at each quality was going to be like standing on the top of an of an iceberg you know and I mean we look on the surface and we see just a little bit but there's so much underneath each and every one of these qualities of the whole of the of the fruit of the spirit that I knew this was going to be exciting for me as the preacher to go through this but I also knew that some of these were going to be a little more difficult personally to go through because it was going to be very convicting and I know that for some of you some of these are really going to hit home and say wow I'm not doing this I'm not allowing the Holy Spirit to cultivate this different quality of the fruit of the spirit in my life and today definitely is probably going to be one of those for some people in this room so kind of giving you a warning you cannot leave the lock the doors everyone's going to listen to this but. One thing I love about preaching is I really truly believe that the Bible is is true that this is really God's word. And here is for verses twelve and thirteen it says For the Word of God is alive and active sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit of joints and morrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart and no creature is hidden from his sight but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account you know passage it's exciting and it's scary it's exciting because the bible is real it's scary because it exposes our sins and our shortcomings if we allow it to well today sermon is about peace.
And isn't just even the word peace isn't it just peaceful it's just so so comforting We love the word and the Holy Spirit as we're going to look at today it wants he wants to produce peace in your life through you to other people and that's the good news the good news is the Holy Spirit wants to produce peace in your life and through you into the lives of others the bad news is for some of you if there is not peace in your life.
You might be the reason for that you might not be allowing the Holy Spirit to cultivate God And so I say that to come to get your attention because some of you're probably thinking no all the reason why I don't have peace in my life is because so and so if you're thinking of someone who is a piece destroyer in your life right well don't don't don't say that name out loud but. The quality of the fruit of the spirit to this one especially is extremely practical because we all want to experience peace in the good news is so does God And so the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and one of the things that the Holy Spirit will do will cultivate. Peace and before we get into our quality for today for peace I want to quickly review the first two that we've looked at so far we've looked at Love is part of the fruit of the spirit how love in our life is evidence love is evidence of life that we have been brought from death to life love is evidence of face that if we truly are facing God there should be love in our lives and love is evidence of God And so if you're a child of God there should be love in your life you should be spreading love to those around you last week we looked at Joy and where joy comes from joy comes from some foundational true that comes from the fact that we have an eternal family we're part of God's family that should bring us joy having face should bring us joy and also having a future should bring us joy and that's that's the basis upon which the Holy Spirit can cultivate joy into our lives and the nice thing about Joy is the Holy Spirit is able to help us focus on things that will not change instead of allowing our emotions to be controlled by the momentary situations that we find ourselves in that's kind of the difference between happiness and joy Well today we'll talk about peace and just in saying that when I say the word peace if you were to close your eyes what mental image would come to your mind when I see the word peace some of your probably thinking oh yeah I'm on a beach in a hand there is some of your sin that you're thinking that we're each. Or maybe up on top of a mountain in the N.P.C. equals no kids right there's no little children running around being loud. You know for myself personally Chris and I we bought Miss Christine and I can I call her Kristen she's mine OK and I'm She's no I got so just a few weeks ago we bought some nice patio furniture and I saw a patio furniture set and we put it out in our back yard and we've lived in this house for about four years and we've never had a nice patio furniture set up there and what will rethink us like the. First thing that we should have bought and so it's so nice right now before it's one hundred fifteen degrees outside to go outside and just sit there and have a nice little gentle breeze go through and and just sitting out there see the great blue skies in the palm trees and I think about all my family and friends in Michigan. And so I take pictures of me in the setting and I send it to them and they still don't appreciate that I don't know what their problem is you know they had snow this last week but anyway but I love peace I think everyone of us really enjoys peace and so that's we're going to talk about today and whenever you think about peace or I think about peace I think the most important thing is for us to understand the biblical concept of peace how many of you know the Jewish word for peace. Shalom loan that's right it's not something that we say very often because we're not Jewish and we don't speak Hebrew but let me give you kind of a definition of shallow shallow is a much bigger concept than you and I think of when we say Peace a lot of times we say peace is the absence of hostility while peace is so much bigger and broader than that so here is kind of a definition of Shalom when the Jews say shalom to each other Shalom is this it is all around well being freedom from fear and want and contentment in relationships with God others in creation that is shalom let me just say that again because it's very all encompassing chill Lomas all around well being it is freedom from fear and want and it's contentment in a relationship with God others and creation and you read that definition and you say I want some of that I want Shalom in my life I want peace well is that realistic you know maybe sometimes in this life time we get kind of glimpses of. True peace or a loan but before we look specifically at the kind of peace of the Holy Spirit trying to cultivate in our lives as part of the fruit of spirit what I want to do is I want to look briefly at some other uses of peace in the Bible and these are kind of the foundational pieces of peace and when we look at God's word there's a lot of talk of peace in fact if you go through Genesis revelation the pieces mentioned quite often in fact ironically peace and joy are often the link they're like cousins in the Word of God which is very interesting as they're both fruit of the Spirit but the Bible tells us that we have peace and I want to tell you about the foundational aspects of peace that we have and it's usually based on God's action towards us there is peace because God initiated peace with us and so the Bible talks about how through Christ you and I can have peace with God. That you and I can actually have peace with God and that definition peace with God means peace with God means peace of heart and of conscience and the absence of guilt and fear. To say that you have peace with God means you do not need to worry about the time when you will meet him and being punished. That means we have peace with God What's the first thing that comes to your mind when someone calls you up on the phone or they see you in public and they say hey we need to talk the nine nine times out of ten you think YOU ALL KNOW WHAT DID I DO YOU KNOW YOU'RE you're not looking forward to that meeting you're thinking oh did I hurt his feelings persons or what did I do listen we're going to meet God someday but if you place your faith in Jesus Christ you have peace with God And so you do not need to fear the next moment that you will meet him face to face so God gives us his peace the peace of God And then there's also the peace of God The Peace of God means peace of mind giving us freedom from exile. And panic. We all need the peace of God in our lives quite often a person that has the peace of God is a person who is just call in any situation they're very trusting you know it's a very powerful thing to see a person who has this kind of peace. Something might happen to them in their daily lives maybe they'll lose a job or a relationship is falling apart and they're just calm and the world notices a person that truly has the peace of God in their life because the world says why are you not freaking out like everyone else would be at this time because they have peace that God will keep His promises that God is sovereign God and so that is the peace of God that God gives to us another foundational part of the peace that we see in God's Word is that we also have peace with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ I want you to turn over to efficient chapter two I want to look at this passage.
Fees in Chapter Two beginning in verse eleven.
And this passage was dealing with something that was very new and specific at that time talking about the peace that God created between the Jews and the Gentiles at one time there was no peace there was hostility between the two but here in this passage talks about the peace that God made between human beings so if he's in Chapter Two beginning in verse a lot of.
So therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision which is made in the flesh by hands remember that you were at that time separated from Christ Illya needed from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in the world and here's a couple key verses verse thirteen but now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ for He himself is our peace. Who has made us both one. And has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances that he might created himself one new man in the place of the two so making peace. And so Jesus through his death and his resurrection has made peace between us as human beings between the Jews and the Gentiles and again at the time when this was written the peace between the Jews and Gentiles that was kind of a big deal not as much today because we've learned to this truth has been around for quite a long time well now I want to get back to the real world to get practical about this kind of peace this that we just talked about this is an issue by God it's firm it's forever whether we recognize it or not this is what God does for us and now when it comes to the fruit of the spirit I think all of us are supposed to understand that God wants to cultivate peace in our lives today he wants there to be peace in your life he wants to cultivate peace in your life so that it overflows into the lives of others and it's based on this foundation that we just looked at so now let's talk about the application of Peace Now I want you to just briefly think back to last week for those of you were here talking about joy when the world sees a person who is going through a lot of very. Difficult situations and there's this joy in their life it really speaks volumes to people doesn't it people say What is it that that person has that I don't have and I would like to have some of that peace in the same way as when we as God's children have peace in our lives it is powerful and you notice people who have peace in their lives this is the kind of peace where a person is not consumed by anxiety do you know anyone that is anxious about everything you're probably thinking yeah me I'm anxious about everything or this kind of peace is someone who is not a quality of someone who's just driven by personal ambition it's like they're never satisfied they're always something else that they're trying to achieve and it's also a description of someone who is not devastated by personal failure in some way instead a person that house peace has this the flows from the relationship with Jesus Christ and it's very powerful you know the best and most practical passages that talk about what this kind of peace looks like is found in Roman sport and fifteen and today as I was preparing our go to almost fifteen and as I was preparing for this passage today I thought there is so much that we could talk about peace I was tempted to do it in two parts but I thought no Christmas is coming so I want to move through this somewhat fast or at least one one week per from the quality of the fruit the spirit I thought was enough but I want to read Romans Chapter fifteen we're just going to read a few verses here and as read this obviously this is talking about relationships human relationships the kinds that we haue with each other and I want you as we're looking at this to think about how these commands when if they're put into place they will create and sustain peace in your life if you do them all right if you walk in step with the Holy Spirit you will create peace in your life go Romans fifteen beginning in verse one. Romans fifteen verse one it says. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up for Christ did not please him self but as it is written the reproaches of those who reproach you fell on me for whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction that through in durance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope verse five and six are the most important here may the God of and Durrance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ that is what peace looks like that is what peaceful is like look at look at it again vs five and six May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in a cordon in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ now we should live in such harmony with one another you know all the the instruments that were up here today they were in perfect harmony with each other at least as far as I could tell there in harmony harmony also means like an mindedness if you have peace with God The Peace of God and your cultivating peace in your life you're going to have like mindedness with others and that leads to peace.
What does peace not look like you know basically kind of the opposite of what we read peace does not look like someone who is always looking out for their own interest do you know anyone like that they're very selfish they're always thinking about themselves that's the opposite of being like minded and being in harmony peace does not look like when people are fighting in condemning each other or really looking for reasons to divide into separate relationships in the book that I'm reading I think I've mentioned this a couple times it's called cultivating the first. The spirit by Christopher right at the back of every chapter he just has a couple questions and some some key points and today this week as I was reading I do this morning as this week is close reading he had some key points in there and it says if you do these if you practice these things there will be peace in your life and I look at those and I just kept thinking about those and I thought you know what I'm just going to write exactly word for word what he had in his book in here as the six points for practicing peace and so I want to share these with you and what I'll do is here just these little bullet points I'm going to kind of expand on those a little bit and then also bring some Scripture passages in here but as we read this what I want each and every one of you to do because this is now it must be personal if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ if you believe that he died on the cross and euros from the grave and you place your faith in Him then He has given you the Holy Spirit in the Holy Spirit should be producing the fruit of the Spirit in your life and as we go through this this is going to kind of be indicative of whether you are a peace maker a peace cultivator or a peace destroyer. That might sound kind of obtrusive to say peace destroyer but that is what some of us are sometimes when we are with a very selfish lives and so as we go through this ask yourself are you doing these things to help cultivate peace in your life the first practical piece of advice is this. To create peace or to cultivate peace we need to seek to address and resolve conflicts rather than adding to them or causing them all right are you a conflict solver or are you a conflict Creator I don't want you to answer out loud and I don't want you to answer a lot for the person you're sitting next to OK but you can see how this is a choice that each and every one of us has to make I remember about fourteen or fifteen years ago when I first I was a speaker at West Coast Grace youth camp and every part of the country has different different words and and slang that they use an hour. Remember I was a speaker for the high school kids and and the staff and the counselors and that's how I first came to to know many of you here in Greece Bible Church but everyone the staff in the counselors kept talking about how some of the kids were creating drama you've heard the phrase before causing drama creating drama in a first oh my what what what are we talking about in that it became very obvious that there are some people who are very no other way to say this but very selfish and they just want to create an atmosphere where everyone is paying attention to them some people love to create drama right and it is a characteristic of someone who is selfish someone who is willing to create conflict in order to get what they want. A passage that talks about that is Romans twelve eighteen this is a really good passage this is one that we should probably all have memorized by the Romans twelve eighteen it says if possible so far as it depends upon you live peaceably with all.
This kind of gives us the responsibility that we have the choice where there we're going to live peacefully with others or we're going to cause drama and create drama and so first practice is to seek to address and resolve conflicts rather than adding to them or even causing them to begin with. The second way to practice peace is to be careful to not use words in attitudes that easily create misunderstanding and division you know who are experts at doing this siblings sibling who know the right words to say to their brothers or sisters to create division into cause problems well how does conflict usually begin between two people.
Begins with the words that come out of our mouth right before that obviously it's something that's in our heart but then we can choose. We're there we're going to let the issues that we're grappling with in our heart come out of our mouths and so to keep peace and to cultivate peace we have to really watch the words that come out of our mouth my favorite verse one of my favorite verses and I use it all the time here is the Fusion is for twenty nine go there really quick fusions for twenty nine and if you're using a traditional paper Bible instead of an electronic one this is one that should be underlined in your bible the fusions for twenty nine.
Fusions for twenty nine says Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear and verse thirty is worth reading as well it says ironically right after that it says and do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you are sealed for the day ever again sions is interesting that right after verse twenty nine where it says watch the words that come out of your mouth verse thirty says Don't grieve the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is moving to create peace between us as brothers and sisters in Christ but if we choose to tear down each other and to destroy each other with words you know what that's doing it's greeting the Holy Spirit that we have been sealed with. Another good passage that goes along with this is a glacier as five fifteen so what if you bite into our one another watch out that you are not consumed by one another and so here we look at two practices so far how you doing all right are you doing OK or you say you know I really need to work on one of these wells keep let's keep going the Third Way third way to practice peace is that we should be quick to apologize and say we are sorry even if we are technically not the ones in the wrong. And some of you are saying oh wait a second that doesn't sound right you shouldn't apologize unless you were the one that was a fault you know I learned this lesson because I married. Many years ago.
I got a serious I'm very serious I read a book many years ago by Emerson Edwards is called Love and respect some of you have read it if you've never read that this it's the best book on relationships and marriage I've ever read and then there was this chapter on sometimes the wife simply needs to hear her husband say I'm sorry and this obviously applies to other relationships and a guy will read that and say but if I'm not wrong I'm not saying I'm sorry but I've learned that when you say you're sorry to another person whether it's your spouse or to another person it's not necessarily an admission of guilt but it is an acknowledgement that something in the relationship is broken and you desire to reconcile it sometimes that's what I'm sorry can mean it's not saying I was the one in the wrong it's there's something wrong here and I'm coming to you and I'm sorry that our relationship is not what it could be and I want to reconcile that's a lesson I've learned and I've used time and time again and I think that's so important for all of us if we're going to keep the peace you know a.
Girl I think one of the best examples of someone taking the initiative when they had not been wronged that you probably know where we're going with this is with Jesus Christ. Who broke the relationship between us and God we did right and yet who took the initiative to fix the relationship God He sent His Son to die on the cross so that we can have forgiveness of sins if only we will recognize that and so in the same way we can be used by the Holy Spirit to be peacemakers when we take the first step even if we weren't the ones who broke the relationship to begin with I turn over to cautions chapter three this is a really great section cautions chapter three.
Beginning in verse twelve.
Cautions Chapter Three beginning in verse twelve it says. Put on then is God's chosen ones holy and beloved compassionate hearts kindness humility meekness and patients here there are some of the aspects of the Holy Spirit there were thirteen bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another for giving each other as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive and above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you are called in one body and be thing full.
Before we go on to the fourth one just ask Is there any one in your life where there is a relationship that's broken and you're just waiting for them to apologize don't wait you can be the peacemaker you can go to them and not wait you can fix that relationship right now force way to practice peace is this Don't jump to defend yourself when things are said or done against you but allow God to then negate the truth in his own time this is hard isn't it right now a maybe some of you may have been in a situation like this I'm going to share with you one time when I was but someone who is very defensive is more concerned about being right and found innocent than they are about having peace in their relationship and so if someone comes to you and say I have talked about something as if you immediately and get defensive what you're doing is creating an atmosphere where there's not going to be peace and sometimes even further division.
If he's ins for if you're close to a fusion is for you can look at this passage. If for beginning in verse three two and three it says this
is how we should treat people if someone comes to us and they show us something that we've done wrong efficient for VS two and three it says with all humility and gentleness with patients bearing with one another in love eager to maintain unity of the spirit in the bond of peace if someone comes to you the best thing to do is to just bear with them it depending on the situation of course you know I had this happen to me and it was it was a pretty significant and it's never happened before and it's thankfully it's never happened sense but there is a situation where it was a church setting and there was a few of us in a room and there was an individual who had something against me all right and I'll say to you right now this is fifteen twenty years ago I technically did nothing wrong OK but in the eyes of this person I didn't so I remember this person in this meeting they went off on me and it was there is yelling in and I remember my flesh was saying defend yourself defend yourself say and to that point this is the truth to that point this year and I remember there was just something inside of me of saying just take it just take it don't say anything just take it when this person was done I said I am I am so sorry that things have come to this point and I would like for us to work towards forgiveness it's like you know who am I Who is this person speaking and when this person left you know you're kind of shaking in your heart kind of pounding in and the people are wow they said two things while their true colors sure came out OK I was going to hear and then they also immediately after that because of the way that I responded I have to give credit to God peace came to those relationships and that could have went one of two ways but instead of defending myself I just took it and I said you know what Obviously I'm at fault in some ways because the relationship broke down and so instead of defending myself I'm going to say OK I hear what you're saying and I want to create peace between us and so. So that's one way that we can create peace don't jump to defend yourself sometimes but be patient and kind to others and let God bring out the truth in his own time fifth fifth way the fist way is to create peace is to fall the teaching of Christ and how to handle grievances against one another. So many problems would never get to the point that they are if we were handle things the way that God wants us to go over to Matthew Chapter eighteen.
Matthew Chapter eighteen.
Beginning in verse fifteen
Matthew Chapter eighteen beginning in verse fifteen.
It says if your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault between you and him alone if he listens to you you have gained your brother but if he does not listen take one or two others along with you that every charge may be established by evidence of two to three witnesses I think when someone has done something wrong against us most of us skip the between you and him alone part and if everyone would practice that they would be so much more peace in this world instead what we usually do or what some people do is if someone offends you you go find your closest five or ten friends and you try to get them on your side right that's what we do and that does the opposite of creating peace and so if we handle problems the way that Christ says it will lead to peace and finally six way messages then there's more ways to create peace with the six way that I want to share with us this morning is this. A void all kinds of gossip about others and learn the strict discipline of keeping confidences. Listen gossip we all know this but we need to hear from time to time gossip is selfish. Gossip is sinful don't gossip instead just go to Philippians chapter two in a slow read this. This instead is how we are to act Philippians chapter two.
Verses three thru five.
Says do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others how this mind among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus. And so here are six practical ways that we can. Work with the Holy Spirit to cultivate peace how how are you doing with these there are just six but some of you might be saying oh I'm doing good with a couple of these some of your thinking man I didn't know he was going to step on my toes so hard this morning where we all look at this and sometimes we're doing good with some or bad with others and some needs some might need immediate attention Well you know like I mentioned at the beginning if there was ever a practical Bible topic peace is one of those and again the good news is we live in a world of relationships and we live in a world that has sinful selfish people right because we're in it you're right we're in this world so there will always be the potential for broken relationships but God sacrifice his son so that we can have peace with him and with each other and so let's keep in step with the Holy Spirit who is at work in your life and my life to cultivate peace. I want to close by doing something different so I came across this prayer of St Francis of Assisi and I thought this was so good and I printed this off on your sermon notes and you noticed usually in a sermon else I just leave like a blank so that you can fill in the words but I thought maybe this might be a practical enough when you want to keep and putting your Bibles you can pull it out later put it on your refrigerator but this is a prayer that if your if you realize that your life is void of peace this is something that can help us to get our mind where it should be and so I want to read through this and then we'll close in prayer St Francis of Assisi said this is his prayer Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred let me so love where there is injury pardon where there is doubt faith where there is despair hope where there is darkness light where there is sadness joy oh Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand to be loved as to love for it isn't giving that we receive it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life a man was closing for. Dear Lord I thank you so much for giving us your holy word in showing us that first and foremost I'm when it comes to the peace that we can experience we have that because you initiated it we are the ones who broke the relationship but you initiated bringing peace to our lives with Thank you Lord for the peace that we have with you and the peace that you give us in difficult situations and father we realize you died so that we will be united with each other and we allow sin and selfishness to come into our lives and it breaks those relationships and so father let us especially today as we're focused on this specific quality of the fruit of the Spirit let us all be. Open to the leading of the Holy Spirit if you're if you're pointing out to any of us a relationship that is broken or maybe an attitude or behavior that we are constantly doing that that breaks down peace Lord help us to be aware of that and yield ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our life or we want to be peacemakers we want to be peace builders in this world and for those who are in a such a powerful testimony that the rest of the world needs to see and so Father thank You for this teaching this morning and help us to put into practice and to give our lives truly to the Holy Spirit that you place within us and it's in Christ and we pray Amen.