"THE GOSPEL OF PEACE"
Intro. Paul has just declared that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. He then asked but how can they call on Him if they do not believe in Him and how can they believe if they have never heard of Him and how can they hear of Him without someone preaching to them and how shall they preach unless they have been sent? Here you have the basis for the missionary endeavors of the church.
Paul then quoted:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
I. THE GOOD NEWS OF PEACE.
A. Life is filled with conflict.
1. It seems that the conflicts begin at an early age and follow us throughout our lives.
a. Watching little children at play in the nursery and you see conflict over the toys.
b. Watch the children of primary ages on the playground and you see conflict.
c. As we get older there are more acceptable ways of getting rid of our aggressions. We play sports.
d. We then enter the conflicts of the adult life.
e. Conflict within the family. Parent child especially when they get into their teens. Sibling rivalries. Husband wife conflicts.
2. Not only do we have outward conflicts, but we have inward conflicts.
a. There is the conflict between my ideal self and my real self. The person I desire to be and the person I am.
b. The conflict of trying to make a difficult decision.
c. The conflict of whether to please myself or please others.
d. Paul spoke of these conflicts in chapter 7. That which I allow not, I do, that which I would, I do not.
3. Man's conflict with God.
a. The prophet Isaiah said, "Woe to him who strives with His maker, yet there are many people striving with God."
b. Whether to obey the law of the spirit or the law of the flesh.
c. Whether to submit to the will of God or do my own thing.
4. There are forces and influences of good and evil, and these are the basis for the conflict. It is a fight against good and evil.
5. These conflicts are not limited to just personal conflicts.
a. We see conflicts throughout the world.
b. Racial conflicts. Not always because of the differences in color.
c. Religious conflicts.
d. Political conflicts. Conservatives vs the liberal.
6. Just why do we have all of these conflicts? Why can we not live in peace?
a. Because of the wickedness of man. God said, "There is no peace for the wicked."
b. Again He said that the wicked were as a troubled sea, when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
c. James speaks of the conflicts and gives the answer to them.
For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
From whence [come] wars and fighting among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
B. Though we are in these constant conflicts, there is deep inside a longing and desire for peace.
1. How I wish all of the issues were resolved, and I could have peace.
2. How good it would be if all the strife were over.
3. We read of the day when they will beat their swords into plowshears, and their spears into pruning hooks, and they will study war no more and it sounds so-ooo good.
II. THE GOSPEL OF PEACE IS THE MESSAGE OF JESUS.
A. The prophet said His name would be called wonderful counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, and of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.
B. At His birth the angel declared to the shepherds, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be the sign unto you, you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts who were saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will towards men."
C. This babe lying in the manger of Bethlehem was sent by God to the earth to make peace between God and sinful man, thus bringing us inner peace and peace with our fellowman.
D. The message of the gospel of peace is first of all peace with God.
1. You who have been fighting against God, rebelling against His law and His authority over your life, can now have peace with God.
2. In 5:1 Paul said, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
3. Through Jesus Christ we are reconciled to God.
And you, that were at onetime alienated from God and enemies in [your] minds by your wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
D. Having peace with God He will now give you peace with yourself. Peace with God is intended to lead us to the peace of God.
1. The priestly benediction of Numbers 6
. When the priest had finished with the offerings for the people He was to return to the people and bless them thus. "The Lord bless thee and keep thee, the Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace."
2. The psalmist said,
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
3. Isaiah said that God would keep him in perfect peace whose mind was stayed on Him.
4. Jesus said to His disciples, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives give I to you, let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid."
5. Again Jesus said, "These things have I spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace."
6. Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace.
7. To the Colossians he said, "Let the peace of God rule in your heart."
E. Having peace with God and with yourself, you can now have peace with your fellowman.
1. In a couple of chapters Paul will tell us to live peaceably with all men as much as lieth in you.
2. A couple chapters beyond that he will say, "Let us follow after things that make for peace."
3. Paul told the Ephesians that Jesus is our peace who has broken down the walls that once divided men into different opposing camps.
4. How does Jesus bring peace between ethnic warring factions? By making us one in Him.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.
III. TRULY THE GOSPEL OF PEACE THAT WE PREACH IS GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS.
A. Note how here in Romans, Paul did not quote the whole passage from Isaiah.
B. Isaiah finished the thought declaring, that publishes salvation, that says to Zion, your God reigns.
C. There is the secret for the peace, whenever you allow God to reign in your life.