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Peace
12/07/2008
Scripture: Psalms 122:6-7; John 14:27; Philippians ...
Track 2 of 4 in the Illuminating the Light of the World series
Running time: 1 hour, 01 minute
The end result of the Holy Spirits work in our life is deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. With Christs peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christs peace.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Peace
Luke 1: 26-45

Everyone wants peace. At least that is what most people think but we live in times where the idea of peace might not be a reality. It is hard to believe but there are people today who enjoy and make a living out of distress, hardship, war and brutality. For the average person this kind of hatred is hard to comprehend. There are many in this world who will live in a situation where peace doesn’t exists. Some of these people might be our next door neighbors. It is sad but very true. To me it is hard to comprehend and understand.

When you hear the word “peace”, what images flash in your mind? What pictures remind you of peace? Can someone define for me peace or describe it in practical terms? Where can a person find peace? Where does the world look for peace?

Peace is wholeness

Psalm 122;6-7 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”

Notice here that this peace in Psalms has a whole lot more to offer than the absence of conflict. What else is included? Look what Jesus has to say about peace:

Peace is resting in God’s sovereignty.

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

The end result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our life is deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. With Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace.

Look how this works in practical application:

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Another word for God’s peace is rest. People who are at peace with themselves, the world and God are at rest. Peace allows rest to take place, to be experienced. Peace is the calming of internal conflict. Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our heart and life to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from him.

Romans 5:1 So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Peace is reconciliation with God. We now have peace with God, which may differ from peaceful feelings such as calmness and tranquility. There is no more hostility between us, no sin blocking our relationship with him. Peace with God is possible only because Jesus paid the price for our sins through his death on the cross.

Now that we know what peace is, how can we achieve it or find it for our lives?

We will see in our lesson today that peace is a by product of a number of things. If we do the following, peace will be experienced and realized.

• Peace is the by-product of trust in God.
• Peace is a by-product of obedience
• Peace is the by-product of dependence on God.

What kinds of things going on in our world today challenge our faith, and tries to shake our PEACE? Do you think the world will ever be in a state of peace? Why or why not?

Luke 1:26-28 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

What is ironic in this story of peace is the name of the virgin the angel went to. Mary is a Greek name equivalent to the Hebrew name, Miriam which mean rebellious or bitter. From what we know of Jesus mother, she was nothing like her name. In fact, she is quite the opposite. We know very little about her or her family. She was from the line of David just like her husband was. How she and Joseph ended up in Nazareth, both being from Bethlehem, we do not know. How the two met, we don’t know that either. We don’t even know the age both of them were when Jesus was born. For the record of Jesus, all of this is unimportant.

We do know this about Mary; she was a virgin, she was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, she was visited by the angel Gabriel and she was highly favored by God. What made her a candidate to be the mother of Jesus, we are never told that either.

Mary was betrothed to Joseph. There is a good chance that the marriage was arranged by the parents. That means more than just a promise. Some use the word engaged but engagement could be broken off at any time. A betrothal was binding because it was a spoken covenant made in the presence of witnesses. The betrothal was not the same as the marriage. 1 year had to elapse between the betrothal and the wedding. The only way to break off a betrothal was through an act of divorce. To be unfaithful was considered adultery – punished by death.

Does anyone know why the betrothal before the wedding? The betrothal marked the end to all the financial fencing and bluffing between the families. A dowry was required to be paid to the parents of the daughter. To remove a young woman from the family was a financial loss due to the duties she would have done and are now gone.

We will see in the next verse that the greeting by Gabriel to Mary greatly troubled her. She was taken back by this greeting, why?

Luke 1:29-30 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

In this short passage, two times Gabriel stated that Mary had found favor with God. If an angel comes and gives you a message and repeats it, most likely it is something important. Be careful not to read more into it than what is meant. This is not a statement of placing Mary on a higher plane than other women. It means Mary was specifically chosen for this role of being the woman to bear the Son of God. What qualified her, the Bible never states why other than God declared it and decided it. What was important, would Mary believe the words of Gabriel and submit to God’s will.

But here is what is important for us to take from this message, is there anything in what Gabriel says to Mary that is not also promised to all believers?

She is(we are) highly favored [see Ephesians 1:6]
The Lord is with her(us) [see Matt 28:20]
Mary is (we are) blessed [Ephesians 1:3]

Why would Gabriel’s greeting cause Mary to be troubled? Betrothal was sacred and any violation was judged as adultery. Unfaithfulness on the part of the young girl was punishable by death.

With that thought in mind, what must have gone through Mary’s mind and heart when she heard the following words from the angel?

Luke 1:31-33 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Notice that Gabriel gives the message to Mary in a language she would immediately recognize. He doesn’t just tell her she was going to have a son, he told her using Isaiah 9:6-7 as the wording. The theme in Isaiah 9 is the same theme or message to Mary.

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

So His name was to be Jesus. I don’t know if you are aware of this but Jesus is a Greek name. It is the Greek of the Hebrew name “Jehoshua” or Jehovah is our Salvation. We see this expression used when the Angel speaks to Joseph in a dream about the birth.

Matthew 1:20-21 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name “Jehoshua”, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Luke 1:34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

How would you compare Mary’s reaction to the angel Gabriel’s pronouncement of “Good News” to that of Zechariah? How are the reactions similar, and how are they different? So why didn’t Mary get zapped like Zechariah for doubting the angel?

There was a big difference between the questions. Zechariah’s was a question of doubt. Mary’s was a question of procedure. How could she have a child and be a virgin? She believed the angel, she just asked how this was going to happen. We read later in Elizabeth’s proclamation to Mary that Mary believed the angel.

Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

Immaculate Conception

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Luke 1:35-37 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

This was a fulfillment of O.T. prophecy. “The word ‘overshadow’ in the Greek means ‘to cover with a cloud’, like the cloud of the Skekinah glory (Exodus), or the cloud of transfiguration (Matthew). This cloud is the visible manifestation of the glory and presence of God; this means that the same power of God that was with Moses and others in the Old Testament is now going to do a unique work in the life of Mary.”

“All this took more trust in the Lord than we might think. Mary agrees to receive a pregnancy that will be seen as suspicious, and this in a culture that had a death penalty for adultery. Mary identified herself with sinners so that the purpose of God would be fulfilled.”

Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.