We come now to John 14 and our message of this morning is Part 4 of the same message. It's kind of a funny thing about this message; originally it was just one, then it was two, then three now it's four. It seemsas though the truths that are in this particular portion just keep opening up and we find it very difficult to get all the way through it in any less than 4 messages, however, since today we'll be dealing with only one verse we have a good shot at it. And hopefully we'll make it.
In the Bible there is a very interesting word in the Hebrew and that word is one that's perhaps very common to you, certainly to us after being in the Holy Land and it's the word Shalom. Shalom is the word that in its purest meaning translates peace. But shalom does not simply mean peace, the absence of trouble, it means peace that is everything good. Shalom is the idea of that which makes for the good of man. When someone says, Shalom or Peace unto you, it doesn't mean I hope you don't get into any trouble, it means I hope you have all the highest good coming your way. It's a positive word. Now most people in our world don't have any idea about the positive aspect of peace. They're having enough trouble just trying to find the negative aspect, that is they're trying to find a place where there's no trouble. They're trying to just find the absence of trouble let alone the positive good that is the true meaning of the word peace. In all over the world these definitions of peace indicate this. For example in Ecuador and Bolivia there is a tribe of Indians with whom we became very familiar on our ministry in South America called the? Keetua Indians. The Keetua Indians describe peace this way; peace is translated to sit down in one's heart. To sit down in one's heart. Instead of running around in the midst of constant anxieties of life, peace to the Keetua Indian is just to sit down and be comfortable with himself. Now that is in a sense a beautiful way to put it, however, it leaves us with just the negatives. It doesn't tell us about anything that is outgoing; it's strictly just sitting there sort of at peace or still in your own heart. The Cole Indians of Mexico define peace as a quiet heart. The Biuli people of West Africa define peace as having a song in your body, having a song in your body. But perhaps closest to the truth is the Kecktian Indians of Guatemala. And these Indians define peace as, and this is a beautiful definition, quiet goodness. In other words, it is an active thing. It is not just quiet rest at peace in your own heart, having a song in your own body, it is quiet goodness. It is the goodness of life. It is a positive rather than just a negative. It is not just the absence of noise it is the presence of calm and it's an aggressive kind of calm. Now when you talk about this kind of thing you're getting a little bit closer to biblical peace although you still haven't gotten there. But God had it right when He chose the word shalom because that means a peace that is a positive peace. It is the peace of goodness communicated. It is not just the absence of trouble. In fact, friends, the absence of trouble has absolutely nothing to do with biblical peace. Whether you have trouble or don't have trouble has nothing to do with peace in the biblical sense. In all of the other definitions of other tribes and so forth that we've mentioned basically the idea of peace is the absence of trouble. The biblical idea of peace has nothing to do with whether there's trouble or not trouble. The biblical idea of peace is simply the highest kind of goodness and it may or may not be related to trouble. It's something like what Paul said when he said, "Whatsoever state I am therewith to be," what? "Content" It didn't matter about the circumstances. It's also something like Paul said ‑‑ James said, pardon me, when he said "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptation." In other words, thereis a certain kind of peace that is totally unrelated to circumstances. It is a goodness of life that doesn't ever get touched by what happens on the outside. It's like the apostle Paul singing in the Philippian jail. With all of the adverse circumstances that were there, all of the horror of such a place and yet he could sing with joy in his heart, being confident that there was goodness involved, that God was being gracious toward him, he could actually exude this kind of goodness and when the opportunity arose he actually communicated that goodness to the Philippian jailor, it resulted in his salvation and that of his entire family.
Now where does a man find this kind of peace that's not just the absence of trouble but it's kind of a positive goodness? Where does he look for it? Is it even available? Well, without beggaring the point let me just say that you're certainly aware of what men are looking for today, isn't it? Peace. Constantly, incessantly they search for it. Unfortunately, they don't find it. Where can man find a peace that has nothing to do with whether he's in seriously gross kind of circumstances or whether he's in outwardly joyous circumstances? Where can he find a peacewith no sorrow or no danger or no trouble or no suffering can reduce it all? Where can he find a peace that is positive? A peace which rather than being effected by the circumstances affects the circumstances? A negative peace is affected by the circumstances, a positive peace affects them. So that the peace overrules the circumstances whereas the peace that the world gives is overruled by the circumstances. Well, we're going to see it and it's here in John 14, very obviously in verse 27.
Now as we come to verse 27 just keep in mind that in this whole chapter Jesus is comforting the disciples with a marvelous legacy as He anticipates His crucifixion in the coming dawn. He's about to die and He leaves them with this legacy. They're broken hearted because He's going away. It seems to them that everything has gone wrong. And so in deepest love Jesus gives to them a legacy, a divine, unique and permanentone involving five supernatural promises and they are to change their sorrow into joy.
The first one, you'll remember, was in verse 16 and 17 He promised them a supernatural helper or comforter. The second one in verses 18 and 19, He promised them a supernatural life that would make them sensitive to God's dimension. Thirdly, in verses 20 through 24 He promised them a supernatural union, that they would become one with Christ and with the Father. And He emphasizes the fact that a man can only be one with the Father and one with Christ when he loves Jesus Christ genuinely. Then we saw that He promised a supernatural teacher in verses 25 and 26, a resident truth teacher. First of all He would instruct the disciples in the recording of Scripture so that they would be unerring in their transcripts. And so when the Word of God was originally written the promise of verse 26 is that they would write it without error. That they would remember exactly verbatim every word that Jesus spoke, they would have total recall by divine inspiration. But it also moved past that and the idea here is secondarily is that we shall be taught of the Spirit. Not in the sense of revelation, you'll re ember, but in the sense of what? Illumination. No longer does the Spirit give us revelation, He illuminates the revelation He already gave. The revelation is the Word of God, He is now illuminating us. And that's what John meant in I John 2:20; "But ye have an unction from the Holy One and you know all things." In other words the unction is the Holy Spirit, verse 27; "The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you," that's the Spirit, "ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." In other words, we also have the indwelling Spirit to be our teacher. And you'll remember also that the teacher uses the Word of God and illuminates it to our mind. So Jesus promises them a supernatural helper, a supernatural life, a supernatural union, a supernatural teacher. Then the last of
His supernatural promises is in verse 27.
And we'll see it, it's very simple, very basic, I'm not going to say anything to you this morning that's profound, the verse is so simple you could just read it and leave it at that. There are some things we would like to say in terms of comparative passages and to summarize. But this is a simple truth. Coming to verse 27 He promises them a supernatural peace. Verse 27; "Peace I leave with you, My peace," must be supernatural if it's His, "I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." Now in that simple verse which is so self explanatory we have what really amounts to a divine gift to kind of superintend life attitudes so that all of the other gifts can really function. This is the gift that enables them to hold the wildest fear and pause. That enables them to still a riot. That enables them to hush a cry. That enables them to rejoice in pain and trial. That enables them to sing in the middle of suffering. This is the overruling attitude gift that when this is right effects all the others, and how we are affected by them. This is a promise of a positive peace. A peace that is never affected by circumstances but a peace which in turn affects circumstances. Now there are four features of this peace in this verse and I want you to see them this morning.
The nature of the peace, the source of it, the contrast of it, and the enjoyment of it. The nature, source, contrast, and enjoyment of supernatural peace.
First of all the nature of peace, what is this peace? When He says peace I leave with you, that's a legacy as He's going, what kind of peace is it? In fact, what is its nature? Well, in the New Testament there are two types of peace. One is objective and the other is subjective. One has to do with your standing before God, the other has to do with your experience or your living. One of them has to do with your relation to God and the other has to do with your relation to life as a believer. And you never have the second subjective peace until you have the first objective peace. First of all, let's look at that objective peace. In Romans chapter 5 and you'll need to look at that for a moment, we're introduced to this objective kind of peace. Now man has sinned, obviously, the whole process having begun with Adam and Eve, and every man borninto the world is in open rebellion against God. All of us are at war with God. We come into the world fighting against God. There is a rebellion going on. One of the things that happen immediately when you receive Jesus Christ is, now mark this, that the rebellion ends, the war is over. You and God are no longer enemies, you become friends. Therefore, peace is made on an objective basis between you and God. Romans chapter 5 verse 1; "Therefore, being justified by faith, it that is we have been by faith redeemed, declared righteous, "Immediately we have what? Peace--what kind of peace? With God. In other words, the war is over. The war is over through the Lord Jesus Christ we have come into the knowledge of God, our sins are forgiven, rebellion ceases, the war is over, we have peace with God. You can compare verse 10, for example, if when we were - and what's the next word? Enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life. In other words, we were enemies against God, we fought against God, everything we did militated against God's principles, we were antagonistic toward God. We were enemies of God in every single sense of the word. But when we came to Jesus Christ we became at peace with God, it's as if God was on one side, we were on the other side, Christ filled the gap, took the hand of God ‑ the hand of man redeemed and placed them in together into the same grip. We have now been brought together through Jesus Christ. Christ has made peace by the blood of His cross. And so God and man estranged have been reconciled. And Paul says ‑ that's really our message, II Cor. 5, that's the ministry of reconciliation. That God was reconciling man in Christ, Christ takes God and man and brings them together by virtue of His act on the cross and His resurrection. So then, there's an objective peace that is called peace with God, mark that, peace withGod. We are no longer enemies of God. We are friends. Now that was God's wonderful purpose in salvation. Another verse comes to my mind in Colossians 1:20, listen to this; it says, Christ, in reference here, "having made peace through the blood of His cross by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself." Verse 21, "And you that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight," and to whom does Christ present you? To God. And so Paul there says it is indeed Christ that reconciles us to God and we are at peace, no longer enemies but friends. Beyond friends, the Bible says we are even sons. And I think that's something of what the psalmist had in mind in Psalm 85:10 whenhe made the classic statement, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." You see, without righteousness there's no peace with God. A sinful, vile, wicked man cannot come into the presence of a holy God, there must be something that occurs to take that sinful man and make him righteous before he can be at peace before God. And that's exactly what Christ did, dying for his sin, imputing His righteousness to that man, that man became righteous therefore, righteousness was first and then peace. And thus did the psalmist say ‑ righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Without two you can't kiss. And so they've got to both be together.
Now then righteousness brings peace. And that's peace with God. But there's an interesting result to this and this is kind of a footnote, when we have peace with God we also have peace with other men who have peacewith God. So there is a sense in which immediately upon coming into fellowship with God and we are no longer enemies but friends, we automatically are also at peace with other believers who themselves have been reconciled with God. And this is Paul's point in Ephesians 4:13; and we studied this just a couple of weeks ago on Sunday night. But he says in 13, "Till we all come to the unity of the faith of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, no more tossed about, etc., verse 15, and speaking the truth in love and together growing up in all things into Christ." Verse 16, the whole body fitly framed together, etc. Then in verse 17, he says, "Therefore, do not walk as the heathen walk." In other words, we're different, we are a new breed, we're one with God and we're one with each other. In Ephesians chapter 2, we see this again made clear, "He is our peace who hath made both one, Jew and Gentile, who were estrangedalso and enemies." He has brought together, verse 15 says, "To make one new man that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross having slain the enmity thereby." And so it is that we are not only reconciled to God and peace with God is made but peace is also made with every other man. Look at it like this. If you have two men who are at peace with God those two men are also at peace with each other, aren't they? And that's the point. And so there is a positional peace, that is the peace with God that Paul speaks about, objective ‑‑ call it phase one peace if you like. And it deals with your standing before God and it affects your relationship to other believers. So it is that we have peace with God. James mentions it in 2:23, 1 think it is, and "The Scripture was fulfilled which saith Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God." And so peace with God is made and we become friends with God. Now that's the first kind of peace.
But that's not what Jesus is talking about here. In verse 27. That's phase one peaceand that belongs in Romans 5. Verse 27 is phase two peace. It is the experiential peace; it is the subjective tranquility of the soul that Jesus is getting at here. It is the settled, positive peace that affects the circumstances of life that He's speaking about. It is that peace which is so aggressive that rather than being victimized by events, it attacks those events and gobbles them up. It is an aggressive peace. It is a supernatural, permanent, positive, no side effects, divine tranquilizer. It's the peace that Paul speaks about in Philippians 4:7 a very familiar verse but one that we need to consider, Philippians 4:7, listen to this; "And the peace of God," not peace with God but the peace of God, "which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." This is not peace with God this is the peace of God. This is experiential, experimental, the inner peace of the soul, the inside tranquility, the aggressive goodness that attacks the situation and devours the trouble and turns it into joy. This peace is the smile of God reflected in the soul of His child, this is the heart's calm after Calvary's storm. It is the firm conviction that He who spared not His own Son will also along with Him freely give us what? All things. It is the peace that says My God shall supply all your needs. It is the peace that doesn't make sense in the midst of the circumstances because it is a peace that isn't based on circumstances and the reason Paul says it passes all understanding is because it doesn't seem reasonable that such peace could exist in the midst of problems and troubles like Christians go through. It can't be figured out on a human level, it's divine supernatural peace. And we really can't grasp all there is to it. No man can. It doesn't make sense; it's the kind you can't understand. Because it is not like the world's peace that which is determined by circumstances but rather the very opposite ‑ it attacks the circumstances.
You'll notice at the end of verse 7, Philippians 4, it says that this peace and this is a fantastic thought, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Now that's a very, very deep thought. How can peace guard your heart and your mind? The Philippians were used to seeing Roman guards, everybody in that part of the world was, and they were aware of a sentinel guarding responsibly the area where he was commissioned to guard but far more wonderful and undoubtedly in the mind of Paul is the promise that God's peace is going to mount guard and stand at the door of my mind and my heart on guard. And the word for guard there is not the normal simple word for keep, guard and watch it is the word that is used in a military sense to stand at a post and guard against the aggression of an enemy. The very peace of God, the peace that I leave you that Christ talks about, is going to stand guard over my heart. It's going to prevent worry from corroding my heart. It's going to stand guard over my mind, it's going to prevent unworthy thoughts from tearing up my mind. Peace is on guard in my life. And the Christian has entered that impregnable citadel which no one can dislodge him out of. And the name of the fortress is Christ and the guard is peace. And this is just the peace that men are seeking for. And it can't come til first of all the objective peace comes; until you are at peace with God you can't have the peace of God. Men seek a condition in which they have no unsatisfied desires gnawing at their heart. They want present peace. Men seek a condition where there are no strings of conscience dipped in the poison of past sins tearing at them and torturing them hour by hour, they want also a past peace. And men seek a condition with no foreboding fear of the future unknown and the dark tomorrow, they want a future peace. Men want a present, past and future peace. And that's exactly the kind of peace that Jesus left with us. It's a past peace in the sense of there's no guilt because the past is forgiven, right? And Paul can say, forgetting those things which are behind. It's a present peace because there is no unsatisfaction; the present is totally fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It's a future peace because there is no fear, the future is forecast, our destiny is determined eternally and we have that security in the indwelling Spirit. That's what man is looking for, a past, present and future peace, and that's exactly what Jesus gives. But He gives it only to those who have peace with God, who have ended their rebellion and by faith in Jesus Christ come into a reconciled relationship with God and thereby are qualifiers for receiving the peace of Jesus Christ, the peace of God.
That's the kind of peace He's talking about in verse 27. Now how do I get that peace? Number two ‑ the source of peace. The source of peace, "My peace I," what? "Give unto you." The source of this peace is Christ. He gives it. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity is the only source of peace. There is no peace anywhere else. There is only the transient peace of a song in your body or of sitting down in your own heart or of being tranquil in the midst of positive circumstances which is a pretty fleeting kind of peace. It really means you've probably shut off your brain, got drunk or gotten stoned on drugs or you've failed to recognize the obvious. Because in the purest sense there is no real peace in this world. And Paul had it straight in I Cor. 14:33 when he said, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." There is no peace that God didn't author. God is the author of peace. I Cor. 14:33. And naturally, if God is the author of peacethen a godless man in a godless world is in a state of turmoil.
God alone brings peace. In fact, in the New Testament Hebrews 13:20, God is called the God of peace. Philippians 4:9 He is called the God of peace. I Thess. 5:23 God is called the very God of peace. And then Jesus Christ also in the New Testament is seen as the one who gives peace. In Hebrews 7:2, for example, He's called the king of peace. In Acts 10, I think it's verse 36, Peter says, "The word which God sent untothe children of Israel preaching peace by Jesus Christ." Preaching peace by Jesus Christ. II Thess. I think also in 3:16, "Now the Lord of peace Himself, give you peace." And so Christ is seen as the dispenser of peace. Not only that the Holy Spirit is a giver of peace, Galatians 5:22 says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is love, joy‑‑what? Peace. Peace has a divine source. God is the God of peace. Christ is the Lord of peace. The Holy Spirit dispenses peace as a gift. And this is the key, peace comes through God and godless men can't know peace. They can know a momentary tranquility and it comes out of positive circumstances and a little bit of ignorance mixed in. Because if a man really knew what destiny awaited him without God there wouldn't be one split second of peace. So it is only a peace of ignorance. If there is any real peace and I doubt that there is.
Now you'll notice that in every case, also, all the way down through these supernatural promises they're all provided by the Trinity. In fact, they're all provided by the Holy Spirit. Did you notice that? Did you notice that even the beginning the supernatural helper, that's the Holy Spirit, the supernatural life is imparted to us by the Spirit, the supernatural union takes place as the Spirit places us into the body of Christ. The supernatural teacher is the Holy Spirit; the supernatural peace is a gift of the Spirit. The Spirit's ministry is all wrapped up in this. And isn't this exactly what Jesus said? He said, here's this whole legacy and when did He tell them they would receive it? When? On the day of Pentecost and on the day of Pentecost who was it that came? It was the Holy Spirit. This whole legacy is tied up with the coming of the Holy Spirit. He was to provide it all. This shows you the importance of the Spirit's ministry. You say, ‑ Well, wait a minute, you said it was Christ's peace, why is it that the Holy Spirit is giving it? You said it was Christ providing the life, it was Christ sending the teacher, it was Christ providing the union because we love Him, He comes and abides with us and He comes with the Father to dwell in us, if it's all Christ what's the Spirit doing giving it out? Listen, did you read again John 16:14? Listen to it, "He shall glorify Me because He shall receive of Mine and show it unto you." You know what the Holy Spirit's ministry is? To take the things of Christ and give them to us. It is Christ that promised us all those things, it is the Spirit of God who takes the things of Christ and gives them to us. So He says you'll have all of this and it will all come through the Holy Spirit. And so in the New Testament, sometimes it talks about Christ being the one who gives peace, God giving peace, the Spirit giving peace, it's all the same.
Now notice He says "My peace" and this is really the key to the supernatural aspect of it, it is His own personal peace. It is the same deep, rich, peace that stilled His heart in the midst of mockers and haters and murderers and traitors and everything else that Christ faced, it is the very personal peace of Jesus Christ Himself that He gives to us. It's been tested, friends, it was His own shield, His own helmet, it served Him in battle. And He gave it to us when He left. The peace which Christ desires to characterize us who are His disciples is the same peace that He had. It should give us the same serenity in danger, the same calm in trouble, the same freedom from anxiety, it should give us that same kind of positive, aggressive peace that reaches out and tackles troubles like they were a challenge not a threat. It's this kind of unruffled serenity that was so obviously a characteristic of Jesus. And you know, His disciples could see it and those who loved Him could see it. He had a calm about ‑Him that was just uncanny. It was unnatural. It was inhuman. It was supernatural. In the midst of unbelievable problems He was a rock, He was so calm and so collected and you can imagine it was familiar to His friends, but you can imagine how it drove His enemies crazy, to see someone who was that calm. In fact in John 19 Jesus appeared before Pilate and He was so calm and so serene and so controlled and so at peace that Pilate became greatly disturbed. And in almost a point of frenzy, Pilate says ‑ don't you know that I have the power to kill you or to release you and Jesus was just standing there and it was irritating Pilate and finally, he just yelled and said ‑ don't you know what I can do to you? And in perfect peace Jesus replied and said ‑ Yes, you can't do anything to Me unless the Father let you do it. Now that's the kind of peace that Jesus is talking about. That's the kind of peace that He gives to us. It's undistracted fearlessness and it's translated trust. It's a matter of believing God. And I can only think of one occasion in the entire life of Christ recorded in the four gospels where Jesus showed anything but peace and that was in the ‑‑ by the tomb of Lazarus when He made the statement ‑ Now is My soul troubled. And He began to anticipate His death. And then in Gethsemane when He sweat great drops of blood. And you know why that was a stress? Because those moments on the cross were the moments when He had no peace. And He was anticipating those peaceless moments when He was separated from God. But for every other occasion of His life He lived in a perfect calm, perfect serenity, an inner experiential peace and it's the same peace that He gives you. Now that's the source of peace. Christ to you brought by the Holy Spirit.
Now the contrast of peace. It isn't like the world's peace and we've already hinted at this. Verse 27, "Not as the world giveth give I unto you." No, I don't want the world's peace, I mean, that's not worth a hoot. The world's peace, New York Times recently ran an article said that we've had 53 wars in the last 17 years. I'm not talking about skirmishes ‑ wars. 53 wars in the last 17 years. 21 of them have been major size wars, fair sized wars. Since 36 B.C. 14,553 wars. Before World War II we had an average of 2.61 new wars every year. But since we've past World War II and we've now entered the enlightened scientific age we now have 3 new warsevery year. More then we had before we got so smart. And the New York Times closed the article by saying ‑"Peace is a fable." end quote. Man doesn't know any peaceat all; he's not even at peace in his house. Houses are shattered and destroyed and torn apart and shredded, no communication, no love, no care, no concern, divorce, the breakup of a family, all kinds of problems I don't even need to go into it, I'm not going to labor the point it's obvious to everybody. There is no answer to peace because man just can't seem to find it. There's no peace in his heart, there's no peace in his home, there's no peace in his schools, there's no peace at his job, there's no peace in his country, there's no peace in his world. And the sham kind of peace that the world offers is the peace of escape from reality. It's the peace of a pill or a bottle or whatever it takes to forget your troubles. It's the peace of not really looking at it. It's the peace of putting your blinderson; it's the peace of going to bed and forgetting it. It's unfulfilling, it's fleeting and it's worthless. And yet men try to hold on to some kind of a mock peace by a thread and they can't. And men today live in a situation of existential shock. They're shocked because they don't understandtheir own being. They don't know what they are, where they're going, what they're going to do when they get there, if they get there. They do not know anything. And troubles mount up, monstrously and man has to finally escape and so we have 25 million alcoholics out of our population and some fast becoming that. And people escaping in anyway possible. I saw a cartoon that said on the bottom., it said ‑ I've got so many troubles that if anything else happens to me it will be two weeks before I can even worry about it. But it piles up and up and up and the bottom never gives away because there's never any escape for any of it because there's no answer. And so he goes to visit the "shrink" the psychologist, you know, the whole bit, or psychonalysist or family counselor or whatever other guy it is and he's got a $35.00 weekly solution that sort of pacifies your conscience. You've got to figure that if I blew $35.00 bucks he's got to have helped me, so maybe you talk yourself into the fact that you feel a little better. After about a year you feel worse, of course. And generally speaking, he represses the real problem until after a year you're sicker than you were when you went. And there is no peace. Man is not going to find peace because he has a theological problem. The reason man can't find peace is theological. It's not emotional. It's not circumstantial. It's not your mother, father, grandmother, you're raised in the church, you had a bad experience when you were a child, your father attacked you or your school teacher hit you too hard, it's not that, your problem if you have no peace in your heart is theological. Because, my friend, when you are at peace with God you have the peace of God. And it's just as simple as Jeremiah 17:9 which says, "The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Okay, that's a good truth. Jeremiah 17:9, man's heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Now with that in mind I want to show you two verses; Isaiah 48:22 and I think this will answer the problem of why man doesn't know peace. Isaiah 48:22, just listen to this, "There is nopeace saith the Lord," we know that but watch the next statement, "unto the wicked." Did you get that? Man's heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked and immediately Isaiah says there is no peace to the wicked. So if man is wicked he can't have peace. You go over to chapter 57 of Isaiah, same book, verse 21; "Thereis no peace, said my God, to the wicked." Same thing again. Clearly outlining the problem. Now when you get over to the book of Jeremiah, this was Jeremiah's problem. Jeremiah was in Judah and problems were rising up fast, great army was coming in to destroy Jerusalem to take them to captivity. And they were scared. And peace was being removed from that land, obviously. There was going to come a destruction like they had never experienced. And listen to what Jeremiah says in chapter 6 verse 14; "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly saying peace‑peace." In other words, they tried to patch up their crummy ways and they say peace ‑peace, everything is okay, lots of peace talk, peace ‑ peace ‑"when there is no peace." When the world talks about peace, friends, it's a lie. There is none, there isn't any. When people meet around a table and talk about peace it's a lie there is no peace. Jeremiah says in chapter 8 verse 11, "For they have healed the hurt of my daughter slightly saying peace ‑ peace when there is no peace." Same message. Verse 15, "We looked for peace but no good came and for a time of health but behold trouble." Chapter 14 verse 19; "Hast thou utterly rejected Judah, hast thy soul loathed Zion, why hast thou smitten us and there is no healing for us, we looked for peace and there is no good and for the time of healing and behold trouble." Chapter 16 verse 15, pardon me, verse 5, "Enter not into the house of mourning neither go to lament or bemoan them for I have taken away my peace from this people saith the Lord." You can prayfor world peace, my friend, but the Bible doesn't tell you to do that. And God's not about to answer it. And the reason is because there can be no peace to the wicked. And to pray for world peace anyway is to pray cross grain from what we know is prophetic planning on the part of God. There's not going to be any world peace, there's going to be world war increasing. Now you can pray for individuals to come to peace with God. Jeremiah saw it in Jerusalem. He kept praying and said ‑God, what's going on? And God said ‑ I've taken it away, it's gone, there's no peace. And the peace that we often think about and we hope that this and that's going to bring peace in this world and the president goes to Red China that's going to bring peace and if they have talks in Paris that's going to bring peace and we'll try this and we'll try that and that's going to bring peace. My friends, nothing is going to bring peace. Revelation 6:4 says that when the tribulation begins there's going to be a little tiny period of peace bit after about 312 years down comes the crash and peace will be taken from the earth. Luke 21 says that men's hearts are going to fail them for fear. People will be dropping dead everywhere from heart attacks. And at a faster rate than they are now. The world's peace doesn't exist, it's a lie, it can't exist, no man without Jesus Christ can have any kind of peace and no world without God can ever know peace. And I say, if a man has a moment of peace in this world it's only a camouflage hiding the eternal pressure of God's judgment. So we see the nature and the source and the contrast of peace. The peace the world offers is a lie. It's based purely on circumstances and ignorance and it's not genuine peace at all.
Now the result of peace. "Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." That statement shows what should be our response to such a promise of peace. He began the chapter with that, verse 1, let not your heart be troubled. He ends this section with some few closing remarks but primarily the discourse is ended in verse 27 with the same statement. We ought to be able to lay hold on this peace. There it is ‑ it's ours. But we must take ahold of it. Isn't it interesting that it says ‑ I give you peace and then He says ‑ let not your heart be troubled? You see, it's peace given but it has to be peace received and applied in our lives. With all the promises we've received, my from all this chapter alone, if we just had John 14 and nothing else in the whole Bible except John 3 to tell us how to get saved, we'd be the happiest people in existence. Just knowing this legacy is ours. With all that kind of promise and with the promise of a calm, untroubled peace to be ours, the very peace of Christ we ought to be able to lay hold on that peace and not go around with troubled hearts all the time. And if you have a troubled heart, my friend, it's because you don't believe God, it's because you don't trust His peace. You don't really think you can make it because you know what anxiety is and turmoil? It's never over present circumstances it's always over anticipation, it's because you haven't paid the bill and you know that sooner or later the roof's coming in. It's always the future that causes the anxieties. Initially. And then of course, there are many whose anxieties come way out of the past. And all of these are under the care of God. He has forgiven the past and the future is guaranteed secure with all your needs supplied. What is there to worry about? Don't let your heart keep on being troubled. Don't let it be afraid. What do you have to fear? So He leaves them peace. The kind of peace that Stephen had as he sank bleeding and bruised under the stones of that cursing mob and lifted up his face and offered a loving, forgiving prayer for his murderers and said ‑ Lay not this sin to their charge, Father. It's Paul's kind of peace that let him be driven out of one city, be dragged almost lifeless out of another city, stripped by robbers, arraigned before ruler after ruler and saying continually - rejoice ever more and again I say rejoice. Tonight we're going to see some of the pictures of the prison in which Paul was a prisoner in Rome and in which his heart rejoiced. Paul had an uncanny peace. In II Cor. 4 and may I add quickly it's the same peace that you and I have, he just applied it. I love this, verse 8 11 Cor. 4; listen, "We are troubled on every side," well, that's quite a claim, right? We have got it bad, "We are troubled on everyside, yet not distressed, we are perplexed but not in despair. We are persecuted but not forsaken. We are cast down but not destroyed. Knocked down but never knocked out. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus." We just live a life of dying, dying, dying, all the time. We're delivered unto death, verse 11, but we don't worry about it. Verse 17 he says, "O our light afflictions for just a moment and it works in us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," and here's the key, "we look not at the things which are seen." We don't look at our problems, "but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, trouble comes and goes but the things that are not seen are eternal." My friends, Paul had it right, he said just get your eyes on the eternal things and the temporal problems don't even matter. Keep your eyes on eternal things.
Well, there they are, five promises. The promise of a super- natural helper, a supernatural life, a supernatural union, a supernatural teacher or instructor and a supernatural peace. Very quickly, let me conclude by saying this. In every case, my friend, all five‑‑are you ready for this? Don't turn your brain off now. This is the key. In every case, all five of these, we must appropriate the gift or the legacy. Now watch what I mean. We have a supernatural helper, right? But we must yield to His help. Paul said, being kept filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul said to the Galatians, "Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." The Spirit is our helper but we must yield to His power. We must follow His leading. We must accept His instruction. "Quench not the Spirit." Then we have been given supernatural life, haven't we? We have been given supernatural life but Paul said, "We are to live that life." Paul said in Romans 6; "So act like those who are alive unto God." If you have a new life, walk in newness of life. In other words, in every case there's an appropriation. We can't sit back and do nothing we've got to attack the Christian life; we've got to go at it full blast. We also have a supernatural union, don't we? We're one with Christ and one with God. But you know, Paul said to the Ephesians, "You've got to uphold that union, you have to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit." Right? We have one Lord, one faith, one Baptism and all those one, one, one in Ephesians 4 but we've got to strive to hang on to that unity. To work to make that unity visible and real. Jesus prayed in John 17, He said; "Father, I thank You that I'm one with You, You're one with Me and we're one with them and they're one with us." And then He prayed; "I pray that they may one with each other." We've got to uphold that unity, that union. And then He promised us a supernatural teacher. My Friends, to have a supernatural teacher is not all of it. Paul said this, "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." There are a lot of workmen that should be ashamed, you know that. Rightly dividing the word of truth. Study, study, you can't say ‑ Well, Holy Spirit, here I'm going to stand ‑teach me. Boy, I wish we could do that. It would sure simplify things. Study to show yourself approved. Colossians 3, what is it verse 16, 1 think? He says, yes‑‑"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another." We have to strive to be available to be taught to open the word of God that the Spirit might illuminate us.
So, we have a supernatural helper but we have to yield to Him. We have a supernatural life, we need to live that life and mortify the old life and put on the new man and walk in newness of life. We have a supernatural union and we have to up hold that union to glorify Christ. We have to remember Galatians 2:20, "I'm crucified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ liveth in me." And let Him live through us. We have a supernatural teacher but we must get in and dig and learn and study the word.
And then, lastly, what we saw this morning, we have a supernatural peace. But you know something, friends? To have that supernatural peace puts the obligation on you to, watch it, exercise that peace. Colossians 3, I'm going to read you this verse ‑ 15, listen to this, are you ready? "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts." Do you see what he says? You have this peace now let it rule. You say ‑ Well, I'd like to let it rule. So, what do I say Okay peace ‑ go, rule! I'll tell you how to let it rule. Watch this. Old Testament truth, Isaiah ‑ "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace," watch this one, "whose mind is," what? "Staid on thee because he trusts in Thee." Do you see that? Perfect peace comes when our focus is off the problem, off the trouble and constantly on Christ, how do you do that? By studying the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit. The peace of God is yours, let it rule. How do you let it rule? By concentrating on God's truth and the person of Jesus Christ in the, Word of God. And peace will rule your hearts when you focus on Christ. If you just live your life for you and run around in your little circles and look at all your problems and all your needs and stay away from the Word of God, I promise you ‑ you spend one hour a day in the Word of God and peace can rule your life. And all of this is ours. All personal gifts from Jesus. Every one of these things was His and all we have to do is appropriate them.
Father, we thank You again this morning for Your peace. We ask this morning that it might be the prayer of our lives to let Your peace rule in us. And as we close our service this morning we pray that the Holy Spirit will do a convicting work and speak to our hearts, teach us by moving us to action what we need to be and do for Your glory. We pray in Christ's name. Amen.
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