Sunday, February 26, 2012



Intro.: Peace – illusive concept

  1. Miss Congeniality “World Peace”

  2. Peaceful Community – Rochester?

  3. Brockport a bit better

  4. Royal Gardens – but I have heard enough to know that there are times that do not seem very peaceful around here.

  5. Synonyms – quiet, serene, calm

  6. Scripture talks of peace. For example

Read: Galatians 5:22-23


Trans: Peace is a natural consequence of our living close to God. But what does the Bible mean by peace.

T.S. I want to look at two words that scriptures use to describe peace – and then look at how the scriptures use those two words to see what God means by peace.

  1. The most used word for peace in the OT is shalom.

    1. I expect that shalom is not an unfamiliar word.

    2. We read it in books with Jewish characters, we see it movies or on TV shows. Shalom, peace.

    3. Almost used as we say “God bless you” as we get off the phone or leave the presence of another Christian.

    4. But, like the concept in English, the word in Hebrew has a far wider meaning. Let me suggest three ways shalom is used

    5. The word shalom is translated “well”. (Ill.) You will remember the story of Joseph found in Genesis 37 - 43– he was sold into slavery by his brothers to a traveling caravan. The caravan eventually made its way into Egypt where Joseph was again sold to Egyptians. But while in Egypt, he eventually crossed the path of his brothers. He asks how his father is doing, and they reply “he is well”, “he is shalom”.

(Ill.) One of my favorite hymns is “It Is Well.” It was written by a man who had just lost his wife and four daughters, when they were crossing returning to the family roots in England after the Great Chicago Fire. And yet, after this horrific loss, he is able to turn to God and write those might words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford understood SHALOM. God offers us Shalom in the midst of non peaceful world.

    1. Shalom is translated as peace, as well, and it is translated as safe, safety, or safely. To see this, I turn to Psalm 55:18 – He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

      1. When we are safe, we are experiencing shalom

      2. The easiest way to connect the two terms of peace (as we usually think of Shalom) and safety is to think in terms of governments. When our government is able to offer us safety, we are at peace with the countries around us.

      3. When I am feeling safe and secure, I am beginning to feel a bit of God means by shalom

    1. Let me give you one more way in which shalom is translated – complete or whole.

      1. There are days in which I feel like my life is going in too many directions. I have to be in two place at the same time, Sandra needs to be somewhere else; and then I get a call from my son who also needs some thing from me. My life becomes fractured. I am not experiencing Shalom.

      2. But shalom means that overly committed day come under control. Not my control, but God's control.

(Ill.) Over the last few years I have enjoyed watching the various jigsaw puzzles go together. The life that is incomplete, broken, and in pieces is much like that unfinished puzzle. Now, there are two ways to put that puzzle together. The first takes less work – I just keep shaking box until the pieces go together. The results are much like I would see in my own life if I tried to straighten it out. The other way of putting the puzzle together takes time, thought, and energy. And when that much attention is payed to the puzzle, it goes together. When we take our disjointed lives and turn them over to God, we have someone putting that fractured life back together – with more care and understanding than we can put into putting that puzzle back together. We are truly whole – we are shalom.

    1. SHALOM – peace, wellness. Safety, and wholeness, that is what SHALOM.

    2. SHALOM is the most common OT word for peace.

  1. The most common NT word for peace is Eirene

    1. In the NT, Eirene is used in much the same way as it is used in the OT – but there are two unique ways in which it stands out.

    2. The NT tells us that we can have the “peace of God”. This parallels the OT usage.

      1. Philippians 4:7 says it this way, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

      2. Similarly, we find in Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

      3. The peace of God Is that quiet sense of God's presence you have when you know life could be topsy-turvy, but it is not. Why? Because God is there.

    3. But the NT uses eirene in another way. It it also speaks of “peace with God”.

    4. In our natural state there is something wrong with our relationship with God. That something is “sin”.

    5. That sin puts a distance between ourselves and God – a space that we cannot fill. A space that will last through eternity – unless something is done to fix it.

    6. I cannot fix it myself. I cannot be good enough, I cannot have enough faith, I cannot pray enough to remove that space that separates me from God.

    7. But amazingly, God did do something. He sent his Son to fill that gap. God sent His Son so that I could have peace with God.

    8. Paul put it this way, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    9. Do you know that you have peace with God? Today is a good day to make sure that you have. If you have not done so, would you make peace with God Today?



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