The Illusive Fruit – Peace

The Illusive Fruit – Peace

Philippians 4:2-9

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
– Philippians 4:2-9 (NIV)

Peace is the third character trait of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit wants to produce [like fruit] in each Christian’s life. Yes, peace is possible. But the only source of it is God’s Spirit.

Peace is not:

  • The absence of activity
  • The absence of hostility
  • Getting away from reality

In the Old Testament, the word shalom is a state of wholeness and harmony that is intended to resonate in all relationships.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

The New Testament describes three spheres of peace.

  • Peace with God – that’s the vertical dimension
  • Peace of God – that takes place internally
  • Peace with others – When we have peace with God and we experience the peace of God, we can then extend peace horizontally

1. Peace with God

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
– Romans 5:10 (NIV)

God created us to live in us and to rule over us

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…
–  Romans 1:18 (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
–  Romans 5:1 (NIV)

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Christ), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
–  Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV)

When we put our faith in Christ, we are “justified”, which means we’ve been declared “righteous” and at peace with God forever.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
– Romans 8:1 (NIV)

2. Peace of God

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men whom His favor rests
– Luke 2:14 (NIV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
– John 14:27 (NIV)

We will experience this peace in proportion to the room we give the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Christ as Savior brings peace with God and Christ as Lord brings the peace of God.

3. Peace with others

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
– Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
– Romans 14:19 (NIV)

a. Paul the reconciler
b. Onesimus the repenter
c. Philemon the receiver

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
– Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

P – Plan a peace conference
E – Empathize with their feelings

…value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
–  Philippians 2:3b-4 (NIV)

A – Attack the problem not the person
C – Cooperate as much as possible

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
– Romans 12:18 (NIV)

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
– James 3:18 (NIV)

E – Emphasize reconciliation not resolution

…that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
– 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV)

Some Strong Suggestions
1. Make peace with God
2. Identify one thing you are worried about and give it to God.
3. Say something good when someone says something bad
4. Read the book of Philemon several times this week.
5. Schedule a peace conference this week