• By Rev. Devadosan Sugirtharaj
  • Posted 07/12/2020
  • Viewed 343

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Reclaiming Your Peace

Ephesians 2:14-18

Rev. Dr. Devadosan Sugirtharaj

Introduction

  • Peace is a common and pleasing word in private and public life. Everyone wants to have peace, experience peace and make peace. There are three different kinds of peace: Personal, Relational and National or Global Peace.
  • The biblical understanding of peace is different from our world perspective. From the world perspective, peace is the absence of war or trouble or fight. The biblical understanding of peace is not the absence of trouble or unrelated to circumstances but is a gift of God to his children. John.14:27: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)
  • How does the Holy Spirit gives this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives amid all challenges we face.

 

Context

  • Paul wrote this letter to the members of Ephesus Church to live in and with peace with God and with one another, both Jewish and Gentile Christians.
     

Word Study

  • Shalom: Hebrew word for Peace: This word is used 237 times in the Old Testament and it means completeness, soundness and welfare. Genesis.37:14. In Jewish culture, people use it in greeting expressions and it means well-being be upon you.
  • Eirene: Greek word for Peace: This world means peace, quietness and rest. This comes from the original word Eiro which means unity. Matthew 10:13
     

What are the foundations for peace to grow as the characteristic of the fruit of Spirit in our lives?

  1. Peace is the objective outcome of our relationship/reconciliation with God. 
    • Ephesians. 2:14-16: 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 
    • God is our peace and he has given to all who reconcile with him in the name of Jesus Christ and it is called objective peace. 
    • Paul said that we were enemies of God before (Romans.5:10) but because of the gospel of Christ (Ephesians.6:15), we become the children of God and we have peace with God ( Romans.5:1). Once Christ redeems us and declares righteous by faith, we have the wonderful peace of God in our lives. There is no peace for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21)
    • Colossians.1:20-22: Christ "made peace through the blood of His cross.... And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” And this peace is beyond our comprehension. Philippians.4:7
    • Biblical Example: Luke.8:43-48: Jesus honoured the womans faith and healed her and sent her with peace
    • Sermon Illustration: Missionary Don Richardson who served for many years among the primitive tribes in Papua New Guinea wrote a book entitled The Peace Child.” He tells the story of two tribes in Papua New Guinea who maintained a blood feud between themselves for several generations. Each generation fought and nursed their wounds only to fight again killing and maiming more and more people. After years of struggle, the two tribes realized that they must stop fighting or nothing would be left of their peoples. But what could they do to end years of warring between the two tribes? Don Richardson goes on to tell that the chiefs of the two tribes came together and brought with them a child they called The Peace Child” This child was the son of one of the opposing chiefs which were adopted into the family of the opposing chief. As long as that child lived the two chiefs promised to cease their fighting so that all could live. Richardson had finally found a perfect picture of Gods love for us in sending His Son, the Prince of Peace to die for us.

 

2. Peace is the subjective outcome of our relationship/reconciliation with others.

  • 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
  • In this chapter, Paul is talking about the hostility between Jewish Christians and Greek Christians in the church. When they are reconciled with Christ, Christ himself is their peace and Christ makes both one. This hostility is marked as an invisible wall between them. Christ broke it. 
  • As we mediated two weeks back, when we love God wholeheartedly, we love our neighbours as ourselves. As Christians, when we have peace from God by reconciling with him, this objective peace will inspire us to have subjective peace with one another. 
    •  Ephesians.4:1-3; 25, 29-31.
    • Our Lord emphasis reconciliation and peace with one another through forgiveness: Matthew 5:23-24.
    • Biblical example: Jacob reconciled with God and his brother. Genesis. 32:22-32
    • Sermon illustration:You remember that wonderful story of Horatio Spafford, a hymn-writer. He was a businessman in Chicago, he lost almost everything in the Chicago fire, I think it was near the end of the 19th century. He was headed to England, and he sent his family on ahead, and there was a terrible storm, and his four daughters were all killed in the storm. His wife sent a telegram back, Saved alone.” She was the only one that survived. Do you remember what he wrote in response to this tragedy? That wonderful hymn: When peace, like a river, Attendeth my way; When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well With my soul.’”

 

3. When we are growing in peace as the aspect of the fruit of the Spirit as objective and subjective, then we become the messengers of the reconciliation and peacemakers. 

  • When we are full of peace by the power of the Holy Spirit, then we will become peacemakers, not peace breakers. Peacemakers bring peace to others as they have it. So if a person does not have peace as an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit or lives without peace cannot bring peace to others.
  • Hebrews 12:14: 14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
  • Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
  • 2 Corinthians.5: 20: We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christs behalf: Be reconciled to God. 
  • Biblical Example: Barnabas. Acts 9:26-28: He became the peacemaker between apostles and Paul.
  • Sermon illustration: Peacemakers seek to make peace where there is none and go where the conflict is and seek to make peace there. Some 220 chaplains served the colonies during the Revolutionary War. It is said that at regimental inspections when the soldiers would raise their muskets to present arms”, the chaplains would raise their Bibles.

 

Conclusion

As the children of God, we have the Holy Spirit to grow and nurture our lives with this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, the peace. It is not based on the circumstances we experience but is a gift of God. From the passage, we learn that 

1. Peace is the objective outcome of our relationship/reconciliation with God. 

2. Peace is the subjective outcome of our relationship/reconciliation with others.

3. When we are growing in peace as the aspect of the fruit of the Spirit as objective and subjective, then we become the messengers of the reconciliation and peacemakers. 

 

Questions for Discussion

  1. What are the things that stop you to experience the peace of God in your lives? What are the sins that stop you to receive this peace?
  2. If Christ is our peace, we could live with peace with others and get along in the ministry. What are the things that stop you to experience the peace with others in your lives? What are the experiences, hurts and events that stop to experience your peace with others? 
  3. Unforgiving steals our peace in our lives. Who are the people you feel hard to forgive? As Gods children, we are called to forgive others to experience or retain Gods peace in us. Are you willing to forgive others as God forgives you always?
  4. How can we develop more unity and peace among the members of the church so that Jesusname will be exalted through our oneness or unity to the world?
  5. Reconciliation with God is the foundation for reconciliation with others. When we are reconciled with God and others, then we will become peacemakers. How do you peacekeeping in your family, workplace, church and the world?


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