Part 3 of the sermon series “Growing Up” preached at Robertsdale United Methodist Church in Robertsdale, AL.
I. FIRST, Peace with God, the Creator
Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
II. SECOND, Peace with creation (and circumstances)
Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Max Lucado in his book Anxious for Nothing (Thomas Nelson: 2017), notes, “[Paul] wrote the phrase in the present active tense, which implies an ongoing state. It’s the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wanted to address. The Lucado Revised Translation reads, ‘Don’t let anything in life leave you perpetually breathless and in angst.’ The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional.” (p.8) Anxiety is an emotion, so don’t beat yourself over feeling anxious! Just don’t stay there. Trust in the Lord.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)
III. THIRD, Peace with fellow creatures
In his book, Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, Christopher J. H. Wright says, “This is by far the most frequent way that Paul uses the word, and it’s almost certainly the kind of peace he particularly has in mind in his list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.” (Wright, Christopher J. H. Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit. InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.)
Ephesians 2:13-18 (NIV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
“A high-ranking Israeli political leader once said to me, ‘we and our enemies are perfect for each other. Each of us gives the other reason never to have to change.’” (The Arbinger Institute. The Anatomy of Peace (p. 107). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.)
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18, NIV)
“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 14:19, NASB)