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"

Part 3

Introduction

1. We began this series by defining peace as…

a. “a state of harmony, tranquility”
b. “the absence of hostility, the absence of mental stress or anxiety”
c. “In the NT, often referring to the inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ.

 

2. Our first lesson introduced Jesus as “The Prince of Peace,” in which we stressed…

a. Not everyone enjoys peace.
b. Jesus came to bring peace.
c. The peace that Jesus offers entails many things.

 

3. Our second lesson then discussed “Making Peace with God”….

a. How sin alienates man from the God of peace.
b. How Jesus offers peace with God through justification and reconciliation.
c. How peace with God can be enjoyed through obedience to the gospel of Christ.

 

[As “The Prince of Peace,” Jesus offers more than just peace with God. He also offers the only real solution for “Making Peace with Mankind.” To understand how, let's first consider…..]

 

I. THE NEED FOR PEACE AMONG MANKIND.
A. We Live In World of Diversity…..

1. Racial differences (white, African-American, Asian, etc.).

2. Ethnic differences (Hispanic, Oriental, etc.).

3. Political differences (conservative, liberal, moderate).

4. Economic differences (poor, wealthy).

5. Lifestyle differences (simple, extravagant).

6. Gender differences (male, female).

--- Amazingly diverse is the world in which we live!

 

B. Diversity Often Leads to Hostility….

1. Racial differences can lead to racism.

2. Ethnic differences can lead to prejudice.

3. Political differences can lead to wars.

4. Economic differences can lead to envy.

5. Lifestyle differences can lead to arrogance.

6. Gender differences can lead to harassment.

---- Such diversity often contributes to the lack of peace!

 

[Peace between mankind is greatly needed. But Jesus did not die just to help man make peace with God, but that there might also be pace between mankind….]

 

II. JESUS DIED TO MAKE PEACE FOR MANKIND.
A. Before His Death, There Was Division…

1. Between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews)

2. The nation of Israel was God's elect people –

Deuteronomy 10:15 “The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.”

Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

 

3. The Gentiles did not enjoy the blessings of Israel –

Ephesians 2:11-12 “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- [12] that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”

 

--- While temporary and foreordained by God, there was division nonetheless.

 

B. Jesus Died to End Division ….

1. To bring Gentiles near, through His blood (Hid death on the cross) -

Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

 

2. To make peace, breaking down the dividing wall (the Law) –

Ephesians 2:14-15 “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,”

 

Note:

Colossians 2:14-17 “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. [15] Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. [16] So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, [17] which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

 

3. To reconcile both Jews and Gentiles to God as one new man –

Ephesians 2:16-18 “and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. [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.”

 

--- Jesus died not only to reconcile man to God, but man to man!

[Because of His death on the cross, real peace between mankind is now possible.]

 

III. THE PEACE JESUS OFFERS MANKIND.
A. Where Distinctions Pale…

1. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.

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.”

 

2. Salvation is available to all through Christ –

Galatians 3:29 “And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Acts 10:34 -35 “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. [35] But in every nation whoever fears Him and works

righteousness is accepted by Him.”

 

3. We can all be fellow-citizens, God's family, God's building –

Ephesians 2:19-22 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, [21] in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, [22] in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

 

4. This does not preclude differences in various roles –

Colossians 3:11 “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”

Colossians 3:22 “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.”

 

--- Jesus makes it possible for all to be citizens of the kingdom of God!

 

B. Where Acceptance Abounds…..

1. We receive those weak in faith, and bear their infirmities –

Romans 14:1 “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.”

Romans 15:1 “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

 

2. We seek to worship God with one mind and one voice –

Romans 15:5-6 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, [6] that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

3. We receive one another, as Christ received us!

Romans 15:7 “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”

 

--- Jesus makes it possible for us to serve and praise God together!

 

Conclusion

1. Again, Jesus died to break down divisions…

a. The division between God and man, making peace with God.
b. The division between man and man, making peace for mankind.

 

2. What distinctions exist is diminished….

a. No matter our earthly citizenship, we are fellow citizens

Ephesians 2:19 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”

Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”

 

b. Men and women may have different roles, yet can be fellow workers

Philippians 4:3 “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

 

c. Husbands and wives have different responsibilities, yet are fellow heirs

1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

 

d. We are all one in Christ

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.”

 

Just as Jesus is the only one who can truly make peace with God, so He is the only one who can truly make peace for mankind….!

 

Luke 1:79 “To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."