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Luke 2:10-14 (NIV84) 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
What peace isn’t:
It isn’t political or international peace.
Luke 21:7-11 (NIV) 7“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” 10Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
Matthew 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
It isn’t psychological or internal peace.
2 Corinthians 1:8 (NIV) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matthew 26:38 (NIV) Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Isaiah 53:3 (ASV) He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.
It isn’t relational or interpersonal peace.
Luke 12:51-53 (NIV) “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
It isn’t a symbolic peace to make me feel good on the inside.
Luke 1:76-79 (NIV) You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins because of the tender mercy of our God… to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
What peace is:
It’s an absolute peace between God and me.
Romans 5:1, 10 (NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… For while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.
Colossians 1:21 (NIV) 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.
The moment I receive his peace I’m made perfectly beautiful, now and forever.
From his perfect peace, flows everything else!
What it means for me:
1. The real secret to receiving this peace is that I have to admit I’m at war.
Romans 8:7 (ESV) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
Isaiah 53:5 (ASV) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
2. When I receive him, I receive his peace.
3. When I receive his peace, I allow it to fill me with wonder!
1 Peter 1:12 (ESV) …in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
4. I eagerly await his ultimate peace.
Small Group Questions - Growing Deeper Together
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
-Romans 5:1-11 clearly lays out what it means to have peace, or be reconciled, to God. Read though it several times and look at several different translations (go to youversion.com to see many different translations and paraphrases). Spend time with these questions: -How does “justification” change things in our relationship with God? -How does Paul describe mankind’s condition before Christ (v. 6,8,10)? -How much of God’s peace and hope need to begin with a feeling and how much must begin with head knowledge and conscious claiming of peace and hope? -What incident in your life can you look back on and see the truth of verses 3-5? -Have you been reconciled to God? Are you now at peace with him? Is today the day you take that step or renew your commitment? Join us in the Prayer Lounge after service – we’d love to talk and pray with you!
Link to Revelation: Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, Revised & Updated Edition - http://tiny.cc/64dgvz