SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

"The Peace of Christ"

Introduction : “The Prince of Peace”.

1. Peace : a word conveying wonderful concepts…..

a. “a state of harmony, tranquility”
b. “the absence of hostility, the absence of mental stress or anxiety”

 

2. In the Bible, the word peace is used to translate….

a. shalom (Hebrew) – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace – (Hebrew Dictionary)

b. Eirene (Greek) – often refers to the inner tranquility and poise of

the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ – “Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary”.

 

[Peace is a quality and virtue that is sorely needed in the world and church today, for…]

 

I. NOT EVERYONE ENJOYS PEACE.

A. THE WICKED…

1. “There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked: - Isaiah 48:22.

2. The sins of the wicked separate one from God – Isaiah 59:2.

3. Sinful conduct destroys friendships and family relationships – Galatians 5:19-21.

4. Sin prevents true peace of mind – Isaiah 57:20-21 “But the wicked are like the

troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

[ 21 ] "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked."

-- The wicked are in dire need for peace.

 

B. THE TROUBLED DISCIPLE…

1. Even faithful disciples can become troubled – Martha: Luke 10:41 “And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.”

2. Disciples lose their peace when they:

a. Fail to simplify their priorities - Luke 10:42 “But one thing is needed, and

Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

b. Become choked by cares, riches, and pleasures - Luke 8:14 “Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”
c. Succumb to the desire to be rich - 1 Timothy 6:10-11 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” [ 11 ] “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”

--The righteous are often in need of peace.

 

C. The Concerned Servant ….

1. Who worries about their brethren , like Paul 2 Corinthians 2:12-13 “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, [ 13 ] I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.” 2 Corinthians 7:5; 11:28-29.

2. Who becomes distressed with concern , like Epaphroditus - Philippians 2:25-26 “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; [ 26 ] since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.”

3. Who sorrows when hearing bad news, like elders - Acts 20:37-38 “Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, [ 38 ] sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.”

--Even the most dedicated servants find themselves in need of peace at times.

[But wherever there is a need for peace, we have good news, for….]

 

II. JESUS CAME TO BRING PEACE.

A. AS FORETOLD.

1. By Isaiah , the Messianic prophet - Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

2. By Zacharias , at the birth of John - Luke 1:76-79 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, [ 77 ] To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of

their sins, [ 78 ] Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring

from on high has visited us; [ 79 ] To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."

3. By the heavenly host, at the birth of Jesus - Luke 2:8-14 “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by

night. [ 9 ] And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. [ 10 ] Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. [ 11 ] For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. [ 12 ] And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." [ 13 ] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: [ 14 ] "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

-- The Prince of Peace came to bring peace to men of good will!

 

B. AS PROCLAIMED…..

1. By Jesus Himself, to His disciples - 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, neither let it be afraid.”

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the

world."

2. By His apostles, as they taught the lost - Acts 10:36 “The word which God sent to the children of Israel , preaching peace through Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all”

--The Prince of Peace offers peace that the world cannot give!

 

[What is that peace? In anticipation of lessons to follow, let's briefly list….]

 

III. THE PEACE THAT JESUS OFFERS

A. PEACE WITH GOD

1. Jesus makes it possible for us to be at peace with God.

2. Consider Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

-- Without peace with God, no real peace is possible.

 

B. PEACE WITH MANKIND…..

1. Jesus breaks down the barriers between mankind.

2. Consider Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

--Jesus makes peace between mankind.

 

C. PEACE WITH ONESELF….

1. Jesus offers peace within, unfazed by the world.

2. Consider Philippians 4:6-7 “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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

--Jesus provides peace that surpasses all understanding.

 

D. PEACE WITH FAMILIES ….

1. Jesus provides peace for families seeking love and stability.

2. Consider Colossians 3:18-21 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [ 19 ] Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. [ 20 ] Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. [ 21 ] Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

--Following Jesus' doctrine leads to peace in the family.

 

E. PEACE WITH BRETHREN….

1. Jesus provides peace between brethren.

2. Consider 1 Peter 3:8-12 “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; [ 9 ] not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you Were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. [ 10 ] For "He who would love life and see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. [ 11 ] Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. [ 12 ] For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

--Following Jesus' doctrine will lead to harmony among brethren.

 

F. PEACE WITH CHURCHES…

1. Jesus offers peace for the ills of denominationalism.

2. Consider John 17:20-23 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; [ 21 ] that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. [ 22 ] And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: [ 23 ] I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

--Heeding the prayer of Jesus is the cure for denominationalism.

 

G. PEACE WITH ENEMIES….

1. Jesus shows us how to have peace with our enemies.

2. Consider Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”

Luke 23:34 “Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.”

-- Through precept and example, Jesus shows us how to make peace.

 

In succeeding lessons we will examine these more closely.

 

Do you have such peace? Or has……

a. Wicked practices prevented you from finding peace?
b. Misplaced priorities robbed you of your peace?
c. Bona fide concerns filled your heart with anxiety?

 

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is willing to give you His peace. As Paul prayed…..

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”