The Peace Of God

The Peace Of God

The Peace Of God

Pr Edi Giudetti

22-12-2019

The letter of Colossians is written to those who know the Lord, those of have Peace With God now, and able to share in the Peace Of God. And it is a peace that passes all understanding, a peace contrary to anything the world can ever find without him.

1.   Determine To Permit The Peace Of God (and let)

The passage we have before us has, as its context, a contrast to that which is before. A manner of living and life that is suited to the life that is “hid with Christ in God” (v3).

The chapter begins with the first verse saying;

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earthFor ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Col 3:1-3)

This being a wonderful introduction to the chapter, suiting perfectly that form of new life which we have been saved into, a genuine transformation, and genuine change that no longer desires to do the things in the life that we lived before. 

It’s a life that represents one who has been born again, born by the Spirit of the living God. 

Such a strange notion, certainly not one that man can come up with, if Jesus did not speak of it in Scripture, I don’t think any person could have dreamed it up. 

It’s a NEW life, a CHANGED life and a CHANGED way of living life! The New Birth is described as a Spiritual Birth. Jesus said “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)

That is what the Bible means about the New Birth.

It’s that Spirit that has transformed ALL the Desires and Lusts we once had, things that we knew were slowly killing us.

What we deeply needed, but could not conceive of in that state, was Peace With God (Which I will address in detail next week)

Beloved, it’s from that Peace With God that we have the Peace Of God.

From that first verse, the apostle goes on to tell of the things we should now MORTIFY; that is, tendencies in our lives that we should kill, behaviours that have no part of our NEW life, our CHANGED life with Christ. 

He enumerates them specifically in verse 5 and summarises the end state of them in verse 6 as “For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience”.

The “Children of disobedience” are those willfully rejecting the opportunity to be free from those desires. Free from sin and free of the consequence of sin.

It is that description that once applied to all of us. Until that is, we believed the Gospel of peace that Paul wrote of in Romans 10:15

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

But now, having believed, Our text in verse 15 says;

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

The first part of the text and that which relates to this first point, is one of Permission, the passage commanding And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.

It is Determinative, it is something we are to determine to permit, to allow respecting the Peace of God.

We ONCE LIVED without the Peace of God, our natural state was one of fear, of anxiety, of guilt and even shame. When trials and difficulties came upon us, we worried and feared. It was as natural to us as the air we breathed. 

Worries over relationships

Worries over finances

Worries over children and family

Worries over troubles of all sorts.

We lived in a manner filled with anxieties and guilt in one form or another, without assured hope, a hope that is certain, hope that understands the will and purpose of God, hope that is comforted knowing that “all things work together for good…”, this was US, and this is the natural state of all people who are WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD

Turn to:

Ephesians 2:11-13

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

It was then that we had NO HOPE, Why? Because we were WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. 

WHEN we did not have PEACE WITH GOD, we certainly could not have PEACE WITHOUT GOD. 

In other words, the notion of the Peace OF God is impossible without Peace With God.

In order to survive and not succumb to our fears and discomfort and lack of PEACE, We did then what the world still does now;

  • We ignored our troubles, fears and guilt (Psychology)
  • We denied our troubles, fears and guilt (Self Esteem)
  • We distracted ourselves from our troubles, fears and guilt (Separated from reality)
  • We blamed our troubles, fears and most especially our guilt on someone or something else. (Irresponsibility)

These might be considered the four main headline ways the world still deals with their anxieties and discomforts in order to not succumb to them. Every individual way the world deals with these could well fit in one of those four categories.

When Paul was writing of the death of loved ones, he makes an interesting observation saying in 1 Thessalonians 4:13;

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

The world has no real hope. Hope that is certain, how the Bible presents it.

But is this how we are to live now? Should we live EVEN AS OTHERS WHICH HAVE NO HOPE?

Beloved, some of you still do, and you have no right to live that way!!

The world tries to seek after peace while looking in all the wrong places, and this is what you once did, but if you are born again, you have found the peace the world seeks, you are not to live as though you found it not!

You are not to return to living as if you have no HOPE.

Proverbs 26:11 says As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly

We have Peace with God and we are to Determine to Permit the Peace of God and not return to living as if our hope is as fragile as those who have no hope.

Beloved, it seems, according to our text, that Determining to Permit the Peace of God is a conscious effort on our part

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts

Paul writes as if it is something that we need to remind ourselves of continually. In fact, according to our passage, it is something we are all to encourage each other in regularly; let’s read it again but with verse 16 also;

1And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Determine to Permit the Peace of God, remember that you are not as others which have no hope, who are “without God in the world”.

Having made Peace With God, you have the Peace of God and can certainly live governed by it, and encouraged to live ‘in peace’.

Determine to Permit the Peace of God.

2.   Governing Principle of The Peace Of God (rule)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

The peace of God is not a temporary fix, it’s not a high we are to get on the Lords day and then live without it until the next Lords day, it is to govern our hearts continually, that is the statement the apostle is making.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts

I don’t know how many of you know someone who practices Yoga every day, or someone who practices the eastern form of transcendental meditation every day. (Think about nothing thinking)

But there truly is little difference between such religious observances as those at one end, and those who take drugs in all their forms, watch movies every day, or can’t go a single day without listening to music in all its forms

It is all a form of temporary comfort that attempts to settle a troubled heart or mind.

I say ‘temporary’ because even the users of these means know, the peace does not and cannot last. Why?

Because they are all an insufficient replacement for that which should be governing the heart.

One might refer to them as a counterfeit comforter!

It’s a way the world Distracts Itself from its trouble, fears and guilt. It fits well under that 3rdheadline I mentioned earlier, to separate them from Reality. The only problem is Reality is a stubborn thing, and won’t stop being real no matter how we mentally twist it.

Ignoring it can and does have devastating consequences. 

They are all Counterfeit Comforters, there is no true or genuine peace, no sooner had the placebo been set aside, that the troubled mind and heart again begins to fear without another distraction of mind.

What is a Counterfeit?

Oxford English Dictionary defines a Counterfeit as an 
exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.” It is “a fraudulent imitation of something else”

Some synonyms are “fake, faked, copied, forged, feigned, simulated, sham, spurious, bogus, imitation, substitute, dummy, knockoff, pirated, phoney”

The World that does not have “Peace With God”, can never have the “Peace of God”; but why are those who have “Peace With God” often behaving as if they do not have the “Peace OF God” Ruling in their hearts? 

It’s a question you will need to answer for yourself!

Why do you seek after that outside when you have it already within?

It’s like going out into your yard to dig for water, when you have it inside and on tap!

What is a Placebo?

The Same Oxford English Dictionary defines as placebo as a “procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.

Placebos are often used as a test for the real thing. One Patient or Tester would be given the real medication and another a pill that looks exactly the same as the real medication, yes a ‘counterfeit’, neither would know which they were taking, and their response would help determine the effect both of the medication as well as the geniuses of the ailments troubling the patient. 

The world has its heart governed by that which can never provide genuine peace or comfort, only a psychological nostrum to dull the senses of their fears, troubles and guilt. 

His peace is a sure peace, one that is certain, one that comforts absolutely, one that is distinct and completely separate from all the placebo’s and counterfeits the world gives.

He promised his disciples that all their comfort would come in the frame of a person to dwell in them forever;

 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7)

Turn to John 14:27 as we consider with great interest, not only the identity of the comforter, but his contextual role in scripture and its distinction from all the world offers;

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:26-27)

Beloved it was the Lord Jesus who drew the great distinction between the Peace that Passes all Understanding and the peace the world gives.

Please, do not settle for a counterfeit, please, determine to allow the peace of God to rule in your hearts.

Allow it to govern you, allow it to do the work the comforter came to do, do not permit yourselves to be governed by another. 

If you do not have the comforter, then pray the Lord send him, seek him diligently for the saving of your very being.

Are there times when the comfort you seek is not that prescribed by the Lord but one prescribed by the world?

If you have everlasting life, you have the greatest assurance of hope; you have with you the Spirit of God, the Comforter, and most importantly of all, you have the word of the living God in your hands, through which we gain reassurance of that comfort:

V16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

3.   Love In the Mutual Peace Of God (put on charity…called in one body)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

It was in Luke chapter 2 where we find the purpose of the Coming of Jesus Christ sung by a multitude of angles, it’s that passage we often read at Christmas time;

Turn to Luke 2:11-14

It was to the Shepheard’s in the field that the angel came to explain that great wonder of Christ;

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The world traditionally looked to Christmas as the greatest example of all respecting that comfort that is to comfort us together. The world spoke of a time of forgiving one another, a time of charity and giving, a time of kindness and especially a time for peace and thanksgiving. 

So important was this time and this event that the entire dating method of the world was fixed at this timeframe.

Every person’s birthday both here and in most of the world, is traditionally dated from the birth of Christ.

But the world has forgotten this, even deliberately. 

The characteristics of charity, forgiveness, peace, thanksgiving etc, are perhaps a reminder of a distant memory of how life is meant to be generally. How God had created it to be from the beginning.

Take a look at the passage just before our verse this morning, read with me from verse 12

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Col 3:12-17)

Love In the Mutual Peace of God;

Though the world is reminded of this way of living only once per year, those who have found Peace With God, are expected to experience the communal Peace of God naturally and continuously, ruling in their hearts and manifesting itself in love between one another.

bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, etc

And then he writes, 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

The word “Charity” in verse 14 is quite unique in context. 

I am sure that I shared this with you before, but since repetition is the mother of learning, let me say it again.

All other English translations have removed the distinction of the word Charity in the New Testament, and translated the word simply as ‘Love’.

Indeed, the word translated Charity is the same word that is elsewhere translated Love, it is the Greek word ‘Agape’.

But the word Charity appears in only 24 verses and only ever in the New testament, beginning in 1 Corinthians.

The question then is why? Why ‘Charity’ and not simply ‘Love’?

The answer, as always, is CONTEXT and Employment.

  • Charity used in every passage is that which is held between brethren, those who share in that Peace With God and have the Peace of God. That is its context.
  • Its employment can be defined as ‘Love in Action’. It is a demonstrative Love, it is the love that shows itself in what it does. It is how the word ‘charity’ has come down to us as something we do freely or give freely to another for their good. 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body;

Christians are one body, all those who have accepted the free gift of forgiveness that Jesus Christ came and died for, are one body broadly speaking

But Paul is also referring to the Church body locally.

 Verse 12 to 14 is how we are to behave one with another, and beloved, it seems very clear to me that this is expected to be a natural desire for us all. Is it not?

Look at verse 8

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Paul certainly gives the impression that even Christians can experience these things, which is why he exhorts to put them off.

Perhaps this is why he concludes the passage speaking of all we should ‘Put On’, ending with those things which will encourage us together; 

We share in that wonderful hope and joy that our Judgement was taken on that Cross by Jesus Christ. Promised throughout the Old Testament to come into the world, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

You and I have been ransomed, Jesus paid the price for our sins and we believed that Gospel, that good news, and are mutually saved and have eternal life after we die, but also the Peace Of God while we live.

Our time is a vapor, it is short, like the grass of the field it will wither away, therefore encourage one another, forgive one another, have mercy one to another, be humble of mind and forebear one another. Remember all that was done for you, and do likewise to others.

Remember Love in the Mutual Peace Of God

4.   Grateful Joy For The Peace of God.  (And be ye thankful)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

  • Determine To Permit The Peace Of God (and let)
  • Governing Principle of The Peace Of God (rule)
  • Love In the Mutual Peace Of God (put on charity…called in one body)
  • Grateful Joy For The Peace of God.  (And be ye thankful)

The Peace of God.

Can you imagine what it is like to have the Peace of God in your heart no matter what is going on around you? The giving of thanks to the Lord stems directly from the Peace of God even during times of great trial.

Some time ago I preached a sermon titled simply YES. We know that God always answers prayer, at times the answer is YES, other times the answer is NO, but often the answer is WAIT.

This sermon however dealt with five topics of prayer to which the Lord ALWAYS answers yes according to the Bible. The Topics were;

  • The Sincere Prayer of Salvation first
  • The prayer of forgiveness 
  • Prayer seeking after Wisdom to which the Lord says and commands we are to seek above all things.
  • The prayer for an increase of our Faith which we are also encouraged to seek continually
  • Lastly Prayer from the God of Peace for peace.

We know that all things happen for a purpose, there is a reason ALL people go through what they go through, this is the logical reality of knowing God created all things. It is also the very concept that gives mankind hope.

The devilish notion of monkey to man evolution removes any such hope by teaching we are a part of a purposeless, randomly generated existence. 

When there is no purpose to life and there is therefore no ultimate reason you go through all you go through in life.

As the late Dr William Provine stated with respect to the logical consequence of Darwinian Evolution which he believed was true; he said

There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life and no free will for humans either.

The statement itself however is self-refuting, there MUST BE MEANING in life for that very statement to carry any meaning. 

There must be purpose in life for the writing of that statement to have been given with any purposeful intent. 

Dr Provine lived as if he had a free will, exercising choice in all his day to day activities, and he ultimately did believe that what he was teaching was “good”, which would otherwise carry no meaning whatever if there was no foundation for ethics.

There is certainly purpose and reason for all that we go through, the only difference is, that those who have been wonderfully saved by Christ, have the added benefit of knowing that all thingswork together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), a “Good” that is not limited to this life, but carries forward into eternity.

A peace that carries forward even in trials and afflictions is the greatest evidence of the Peace of God. 

turn to 1 Peter 4:12-14

 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Turn to James 1:2-4

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Turn to 2 Tim 3:12-13

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Turn to 1 Cor 4:11-13

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and arethe offscouring of all things unto this day.

Can you imagine what sort of Hope we must have to retain the Peace of God even though it is likely, especially in the days we can see on the horizon, that we may suffer these things?

Why is it said in days of old that the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church?

Imagine the Peace that Comes from having to make some of the most difficult decisions in life. 

We know Gods will, we know through the scriptures what he teaches on a given matter, imagine the peace that comes when we decide to trust him alone for the outcome?

Even if our very lives might be held in question.

Do we have an example of such peace in the Bible? Many, but turn to just one:

(Daniel 3:16-18)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Beloved the Peace Of God is that Peace that passes all understanding, and for that we give thanks continually.

Trusting God, and not ourselves; walking by faith and not by our limited sight provides the greatest comfort of all. 

I pray that this Christmas, you have firstly have Peace WITH God, and having this secured, you live with the Peace OF God.

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