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THE PEACE OF GOD:  Philippians 4:7

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     There are many passages in God’s Word that exhort us to pray.

1.       Jesus taught us how to pray in His model prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).

2.       Jesus also taught about prayer in the parables.  The Parable of the Unjust Judge is one such parable (Luke 18:1-6).

3.       One of the most familiar passages urging us to pray is I Thessalonians 5:17.

 

Pray without ceasing.

 

4.       I Timothy 2:8

 

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

 

B.     There is another familiar passage that teaches us to pray in Philippians 4:6.

 

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 

1.       In this lesson, we will not be focusing upon prayer, however,

2.       We want to focus on one of the results of prayer, the peace of God.  It is revealed to us in Philippians 4:7.

 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

 

a.       Instead of worry and anxiety, we should pray and seek the peace of God.

b.      The title of our lesson is simply:  “The Peace of God.”

 

I.             THE MEANING OF PEACE

 

A.     “And THE PEACE…”

 

B.     Definition

1.       Strong (1515)

a.       The absence of turmoil or war

b.      Peace and prosperity

c.       He also notes that it come from a word meaning “to join.”

1)       In prayer, we join with our heavenly Father in conversation and fellowship.

2)       He joins with us with His power and comfort and resources.

3)       This joining together brings the Christian peace.

2.       Thayer:  tranquility, harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity

 

C.     There are many minds that are troubled, stirred, and very anxious.  Worry and fretting stand in opposition to the peace of God.

1.       Paul commands us to be careful (anxious) for nothing (an inclusive word).

2.       Then, he says to pray.  Therein, one can find tranquility, security, and safety.

 

II.           THE MAINSTAY OF PEACE

 

A.     “And the peace OF GOD…

 

B.     There are many ways that man seeks to find peace in things in the world.

1.       Man-made religions

2.       Financial security

3.       Medications

4.       Government

 

C.     True peace originates from the well-spring of peace, God Himself.

1.       Romans 15:13

 

Now the God of peace be with you all.  Amen.

 

2.       I Thessalonians 5:23a

 

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly…

 

D.    In prayer, we go to our Father in heaven.

1.       We bow our heads and prayer:  “Our Father, which art in heaven…” (Matt. 6:9).

2.       God has a never-ending supply of peace to give us.

a.       It is divine peace.

b.      It is a pure peace.

c.       It is a genuine peace.

 

III.         THE MYSTERIOUSNESS OF PEACE

 

A.     “And the peace of God, WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING…”

 

B.     Several different translations:

1.       Which passes all power of comprehension

2.       Which surpasses every (human) reason

3.       Which surpasses all that people can conceive or imagine

 

C.     It is a peace of the highest order.  This is seen in numerous illustrations found in those who went to God in agony and who arose in peace.

1.       Hannah (I Sam. 1:10-11)

2.       Daniel (Dan. 6:10)

3.       Jesus (Matt. 26:36-46)

4.       Peter (Matt. 26:75)

 

D.    This peace is cannot be comprehended for many reasons.

1.       Its source cannot be seen.

2.       It sustains us even though we are still in the storm.

3.       It enables us to move when we otherwise would be paralyzed.

4.       It gives us so much strength that others around us are amazed.

 

IV.         THE MILITANCY OF PEACE

 

A.     “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, SHALL KEEP…”

 

B.     Definition:

1.       Strong (5432):

a.       To be a watcher in advance

b.      To mount a guard as a sentinel

c.       To hem in, protect

2.       Thayer:

a.       To guard or protect by a military guard

b.      To protect by guarding, keep

 

C.     Here’s the picture:  the Lord of the hosts of heaven stand watch over you.

1.       He is not the silly Flo of the Geico commercial who tries to protect a car from newspapers, birds, baseballs, and rain.

2.       The one who stands guard over us is described in Revelation 19:11-16.

 

And I saw heaven open, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood:  and his name is called the Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven follow him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he shall smite the nations:  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:  and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

D.    When this guard surrounds our hearts, we can be assured of safety and security.  There is nothing to fear.  There is complete comfort as he surrounds you.

 

V.           THE MINEFIELD OF PEACE

 

A.     “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS…”

 

B.     The heart and mind involve the control center of man.

1.       Out of the heart are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).

2.       This is where the battle for our souls rages.

a.       It is here that Satan puts explosives that can harm and destroy our Christian walk.

b.      He wants the affairs of life to shake us.

He wants the troubles of life to bring us worry.

He wants the difficulties of life to cause us great anxiety.

 

C.     The peace of God, however, surrounds our hearts and protects them.

 

D.    Example:  Nehemiah

1.       Nehemiah was told about the condition of the walls if the city of Jerusalem (Neh. 1:3).

2.       The text tells us that wept and mourned because of the things he heard (Neh. 1:4).

3.       However, Nehemiah prayed (Neh. 1:4-11).

4.       Nehemiah resolved to return to Jerusalem.

a.       He had to face the king of Persia.

b.      He had to face the priests, rulers, and nobles in Jerusalem.

c.       He had to face the Jewish people.

d.      He had to face the obstacles of his enemies.

5.       Nehemiah succeeded (Neh. 6:15).

 

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

 

VI.         THE MEANS OF PEACE

 

A.     “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.”

 

B.     Jesus Christ is the agent of God who brings peace into our lives.

1.       He is the Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6).

2.       When Jesus was born, the angels who announced His birth the shepherds said:  “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

3.       In Ephesians 2:14, Paul says of Jesus:  “He is our peace…”

 

C.     We mentioned that there are other avenues of peace, but Jesus is the ultimate peace.

1.       John 14:27

 

Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2.       John 16:33

 

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     The hearts and minds of many people in society stand in need of peace.

 

B.     They search for it in many, many places, but fail to find true peace.

 

C.     Genuine peace is given by God through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

D.    Once a person finds this peace, it is a peace which passes all understanding.