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 6

Making Peace with Brethren

1. Previously, we have seen that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, offers….

a. Peace with God , through justification and reconciliation.
b. Peace with mankind , through abolishing barriers.
c. Peace with oneself , one that surpasses understanding and guards our heart.
d. Peace with families , when family members fulfill their duties to one another.

 

2. Jesus also offers peace with brethren …..

a. Christians who are fellow members of the body of Christ.
b. Disciples who chose to work and worship together in a local church.

 

[As before, let's begin by noting the need for such peace…..]

 

I. THE NEED FOR PEACE WITH BRETHREN.
A. Lack of Peace Hinders our Message …..

1. We claim to be Christ's disciples; brotherly love reinforces our claim –

John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. [35] By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

 

2. We claim that God sent Christ; brotherly unity reinforces that claim –

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.”

 

--- When there is no peace, love and unity cannot reinforce our message!

 

B. Lack of Peace Suggests Carnality….

1. Envy, strive, and divisions reflect carnality, or spiritual immaturity –

1 Corinthians 3:1-4.

2. Confusion reflects bitter envy, self-seeking, earthly wisdom –

John 3:13-16 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

--- When there is no peace, it may be indicative of spiritual immaturity!

 

[If possible, without compromising truth, we should seek to possess the peace that Jesus offers. With that in mind, let's consider how….]

 

II. JESUS OFFERS TRUE PEACE FOR BRETHREN.
A. By His Own Example…..

1. We are to love one another as Christ loved us John 13:34.

2. In Romans, Paul pointed to the example of Christ –

Romans 5:1-3 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [3] And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;”

Romans 5:5-7 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. [6] For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”

 

3. In Philippians, Paul pointed to the mindset and example of Christ -Philippians 2:3-8.

 

--- By His own humility and selfless service, Jesus shows us the way to peace!

 

B. By His Apostles' Teaching…

1. Such as Paul's admonitions.

a. Pursue peace –

Romans 14:17-19 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. [18] For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved By men. [19] Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and The things by which one may edify another.”

 

b. Live in peace –

2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

 

c. Be diligent to maintain unity in the bond of peace – Ephesians 4:1-3.
d. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts – Colossians 3:15.
e. Be at peace among yourselves – 1 Thessalonians 5:13.
f. Pursue peace – Hebrews 12:14.

2. Such as Peter's admonitions

a. Have compassion, love as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous – 1 Peter 3:8.
b. Not returning evil for evil, nor reviling for reviling, rather blessing
1 Peter 3:9.
c. Seek peace and pursue it - 1 Peter 3:10-12.
d. Be diligent to be found by Christ in peace – 2 Peter 3:14.
 
[If we take such admonitions seriously, and are willing to follow the example of Jesus, what benefits will peace with brethren provide…….?]
 
III . THE PEACE WITH BRETHREN THAT JESUS OFFERS.
A. Sanctuary in a Troubled World….
1. In a world where peace is rare, Christ offers peace in His family.
Ephesians 2:14-17 “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, [16] 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.”
 
2. A peace based on unity, that is both good and pleasant –
Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!”
 
3. Whenever we assemble as brethren, it should be in an atmosphere of peace --- Assuming, of course, that we letting the peace of God rule in our heart!
 
B. Foretaste of Heaven Itself…
1. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit –
Romans 14:17.
2. That is now, imagine what it will be like in the eternal kingdom!
3. Where peace will be enjoyed without effort required to maintain it!
 
--- For now, peace among brethren can be a glimpse of glories to come!
 
Conclusion
1. Remember, our walk worthy of our calling requires both…
a. Diligence to maintain the unity of the Spirit – Ephesians 4:3.
b. Doing so in the bond of peace Ephesians 4:3.
 
2. If we are to enjoy peace with brethren, we must pursue peace by….
a. Following the example of Christ.
b. Applying the admonitions of His apostles.
 
We cannot compromise the purity of truth for the sake of unity, but neither can we ignore the need for peace as the bond that holds unity together. As James, the brother of the Prince of Peace wrote in his epistle:
 
James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. [18] Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”