Pr Edi Giudetti
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway:and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil 4:4-13)
- Is Yes Articulated…..
- Is Yes Accomplishable
- Is Yes Anticipatedis there a purpose in God for which we could be confident to anticipate a YES answer to our prayer?
- Is There a Cost
In other words, is the subject of our prayer contingent or conditional on something from ourselves before the Lord would affirm our request? Anything we need to contribute?
Is YES Articulated For Peace?
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway:andagain I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lordisat hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgivinglet your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Simply put the answer is YES, our prayer for peace is answered affirmatively in scripture. When, by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgivingour requests aremade known unto God, it is then that the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep ourhearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
What a joy it is to know this to be true!
There are many things that trouble us in life, even each day, day by day, we have troubles and tribulations. Trials which may come to afflict us from time to time, worries and concerns or what the Bible refers to as “Carefulness” that is, being full of care.
Take a look at the beginning of verse 6, 6 Be careful for nothing;
Sounds strange to our ears but the Bible uses words that are both plain and compound, simple words that can be understood when considered in their intended simplicity. Here we have two words joined together, Careand Full.
We know what it is to have care, to take careand to simply care, we also know what is to have something full, to be full or to have something filled.
We can be ‘filled with anger’
God is known to be “full of compassion” (Ps 78:38)
The Ephesians were “full of wrath” against Paul and his company in Acts 19:28.
People can also be full of care, in other words worries and troubles.
Turn to Luke 10:40
We recall that our Lord ministered in a certain village where he was welcomed into the house of two sisters named Martha and Mary and we recall that as Jesus taught, it was Mary who sat at his feet while Marth labored about them.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Always watch for the words used synonymously in scripture, remember that God desires to teach us and he does so through his word. The Bible is its own dictionary, God deliberately uses synonyms separated sometimes by as single word, as here, sometimes by a verse, and sometimes by even chapters and books that are speaking of the same event but uses some synonymous words. Jesus and Paul quoted the Old Testament Synonymously, Why? That you may learn the full meaning behind a given passage!
Here in this passage in Luke, the word ‘Careful’ is linked synonymously to the word ‘Troubled’ thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Martha was not only cumbered about much serving, but also filled with care (Careful) and troubled about many things.
This can well describe you and I from time to time in our lives. Much of our lives may be uneventful, but too often in our lives are we“careful and troubled about many things”.
At times it is financial worries, and with that we think to ourselves that wealth would address it. If I were a rich mansaid Tevya in Fiddler on the roof, “I wouldn’t have to work hard” he repeats through the song.
But The sleep of a labouring manissweet, says King Solomon, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. (Eccles 5:12)
There are worries for the rich, the abundance of their possessions become a constant source of care, they become ‘Careful’ for their many possessions.
Their worry of loss can sometimes manifest itself in their desire for more and as Eccles 4 states his eye is not satisfied with riches (Eccle 4:8), He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: (Eccl 5:10).
But we all risk thinking like Tevya, thinking our ‘Peace’ comes from wealth. Perhaps however we should be more as that of Agur the Son of Jakeh who wrote the 30thProverb in the Bible
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:9 Lest I be full, and denythee, and say, Whoisthe LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my Godin vain.
But not only riches; those who have children always worry about them, it’s natural for all who love, to care for those they love.
We worry and are careful not only about how to get through the day but also about tomorrow. Fears and troubles are on every side and yet here Paul commands that we be careful for nothing.
Beloved if there is anyone we should take this advice from it is him.
Turn to 2 Cor 11:22
22 Are they Hebrews? soamI. Are they Israelites? soamI. Are they the seed of Abraham? soamI. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) Iammore; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I fortystripessave one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;26 Injourneyings often,inperils of waters,inperils of robbers,inperils bymine owncountrymen,inperils by the heathen,inperils in the city,inperils in the wilderness,inperils in the sea,inperils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
I wonder if you might have thought a little more about this passage and what Paul must have endured for the sake of preaching the Gospel of Peaceto all people?
What hatred would you witness of people who take hold of youand tie you to a whipping post and flog you thirty nine times? Many are ‘Careful’ today of their self-esteem, their feelings being hurt.
What if, because of their love for the peace of many they are hated and flogged, not once but on five occasions!!!?
What ifanother crowd hated your message so much that they stoned you intending purposefully to kill you, even thinking they had done so, as the did Paul (see Acts 14:19).
Beloved, don’t concern yourself or fear those who hurt your feelings, nor even those who would kill you, Jesus spoke of one who is to be feared and that is the one who can destroy both the body and soul in hell.
We think we have worries and cares but then we look at the life of the one who tells us to “be careful for nothing” and we consider;
‘I have not been whipped or stoned by men, I have not been in prisons for my faith, shipwrecked, in threatening’s of death, beaten with rods, inperils of waters,inperils of robbers,inperils bymine owncountrymen,inperils by the heathen,inperils in the city,inperils in the wilderness,inperils in the sea,inperils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
None of these things have afflicted me, can I be commanded by one upon whom all these things have come to “be careful for nothing”?
YES beloved, and perhaps as you do you will consider that the man who writes to you the entry of our passage saying, Rejoice in the Lord alway:andagain I say, Rejoice, writes the commandment of the Lord from a Prison cell!
Perhaps not only through inspiration but also from experience he writes verse 6 and 7, that by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgivinglet your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Is Yes Accomplishable for Peace?
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgivinglet your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The very expectation of Paul is that, by prayer our requests are made known to God from whom comes a peace that passes all understanding.
This Paul knew about and teaches.
Nothing comforts our hearts more than peace. It settles our anxieties and our fears. It gives to us confidence that we need not trouble our minds from which comes many distresses.
Turn to John 14:15-17
Before Jesus went to the father he made some promises to the disciples and one of the most blessed of all was the promise of the Spirit of God. How he refers to the spirit is of interest to us;
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Eventhe Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The apostle Paul we had seen, had many tribulations and many trials, yet he writes of a comfort and a peace and a settling of his spirit that enabled him to be content and ‘careful for nothing’.
Turn to 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
3 BlessedbeGod, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted,it isfor your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted,it isfor your consolation and salvation.
Paul and his entourage were pleased to suffer great trials of afflictions that they may with the example of those trials, comfort those who come after with trials and tribulations. The sufferings he alludes to are those ‘sufferings of Christ’ and as such he says that their consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Does it amaze you that, as a Christian, you will suffer divers trials and do so being conformed to the image of Christ? We are to become daily like our Lord, he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief(Isa 53:3) ‘despised and rejected’ was our Lord and yet our comfort abounds through Christ, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
We are to become like our saviour, conformed to his image, day by day we are changed. If that is true, then the simple knowledge of it should give us peace and comfort. The greatest problem of mankind, we have overcome through Christ!
Death now has lost its sting; the grave has lost its victory.
Our faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed
Turn to John 16:33 and Consider Jesus own words
33 These things I have 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.
In whom might we have peace?Jesus said that in me ye might have peace.
That he adds the tribulation we can find in the world, this is not a disappointment to us, but a statement of fact, it is the present reality of a world continually trying to exist without Godand the ‘signs of the times’ will continue to intensify before the great and notable day of the Lord comes.
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Yes, peace is accomplishable by Christ because the victory is in Christ.
Is Yes Anticipated for Peace?
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mindsthrough Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever thingsarehonest, whatsoever thingsarejust, whatsoever thingsarepure, whatsoever thingsarelovely, whatsoever thingsareof good report; ifthere beany virtue, and ifthere beany praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Certain that in this passage we have practical assurance of those things of value. Paul charges us to utilise the mind in ways, not in fear of the things that aren’t, but in confidence of the things that are.
But we take note of this last part of verse 9
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:
Yes the example of Paul, and all he has gone through, we take note of, but it is thisand the God of peace shall be with you.
The “God of peace” Is this not the father of “The Prince of Peace”?.
There was a man sent from God who’s name was John, he was called by God to prepare a highway in the wilderness for our God, to cry out to all that they might repent and prepare to meet their God and their Saviour.
When he was born the people marvelled in their hearts what manner of child this should be and his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied concluding with this passage;
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness andinthe shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:76-79)
This given before the Coming of Christ.
This also telling us that the greatest longing of our hearts is peace. If the highest purpose of his message is to guide our feet into the way of peace, then we can surly know that it is peace we most seek.
But not just any peace beloved, the greatest peace of all, the peace that has as its assurance the knowledge that God is in controland that, being his, we are comforted.
The peace we truly seek is Peace with God (Rom5:1). This peace with God can only come by Jesus Christ for whom John had prepared the way.
John’s task was to guide our feet into the way of peace, and at the Birth of the Saviour there where shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night and an angel came to them, but not only he, with him came also 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.
A pronouncement that follows the birth of The Just one. A declaration that shows the intent of the highest upon all mankind, “peace, good will toward men”.
Christ came in the way of peace, he was introduced by a prophet who’s very purpose was to guide all men to that way.
Turn to Isaiah 9:6
Speaking of the very one promised to come some seven hundred years hence we again turn to Isaiah. Now he is referring to the Child born, the son given;
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase ofhisgovernment and peacethere shall beno end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
It is in him that “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps 85:10)
Jesus is ‘the way of peace’ and ‘the prince of peace’, it is because of Christ that all men might have peace, it was the very purpose of his coming.
In fact; in his command to his disciples he stated “5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peacebeto this house. 6 And if the son of peacebe there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. (Lk 10:5-6)
Jesus is ‘the way of peace’, ‘the prince of peace’ and ‘the son of peace’ a triunity of witness, declaring to us that it can be Anticipated that Peace prayed for will be granted and given by the one through whom is the very source of peace.
To what extent might peace be given? Even ‘The peace that passeth all understanding’.
Is There a Cost for peace?
Back to our passage again in Philippians 4:4
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway:andagain I say, Rejoice.
There is only one way to rejoice in the Lord. None can rejoice in Christ if they do not know Christ. If sin abides inthem,and the wrath of God for their sin abides on them, they can have no peace.
There is no designed purpose for peaceoutside of God.
These are surely strong words and many there may be that would contend against it. But lasting peace is found only in eternal life. The price for peace is to gain life everlasting, if you are born again, if you are justified you have peace with God.
Romans 5:1 is the first verse that comes after the Gospel passages of the book of Romans, passages that have in them a progressive understanding of the move of the Gospel.
Chapter one establishing that “the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20). Teaching that first man needs to come to know God by that which is self-evident concerning him.
Look, it’s worth turning to Romans to see its natural progression;
Chapter two, condemning the Gentile who hypocritically judges others yet condemns himself doing the same thing and in verse 5 Paul says; Rom 2:5-10
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile
Notice that peace does not cometo the impenitent. No matter where they might seek to find it, not in riches, not in meditative mantras, not in soft music and listening to rain drops and birds, not in sitting upon a mountain top watching the river flow below, it is not found in nature, it is not found in silence, nowhere will man find genuine peace but in Christ.
(I’ll talk more about the Placebo Effect that explains the above shortly)
To those who seek it elsewhere, all they do is verse 5treasureup unto themselveswrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Chapter three the condemnation is against the Jew,
Read with me from verse 9 (Rom 3:9-18)
9 What then? are we betterthan they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throatisan open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of aspsisunder their lips: 14 Whose mouthisfull of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feetareswift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and miseryarein their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
What have they not known? the way of peace have they not known: Why?There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Let’s pause just for a moment and take a slight detour to Luke 19:41 (Keep your finger here in Romans)
Jesus came for his people the Jews, he came to his own but his own received him not. And as he approaches the City he weeps over it.
41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the thingswhich belongunto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Jesus is that which belongs to the Peace of Israel,as he is to all, but the way of peace have they not known:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Their temporary rejection of Christ has removed from themthe thingswhich belongto theirpeace! And the City of peace has had anything but PEACE for over 2000 years as a result.
Turning back to Romans chapter 4: With all the people groups of the Earth now dealt with, the gentile and the Jew, Paul turns to the Gospel proper and righteousness by faith.
Abraham is his example who in verse three “believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness”. Paul explains that faith is not works, we are to believe God.
Verse six Paul examples David’s faith; 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessedarethey whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessedisthe man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Now culminating on what is done in verse 24 (Rom 4:24) saying midway through “…if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Now we find ourselves saved, justified by the justification of God through faith, we believed God and it was accounted to us for righteousness as it did Abraham.
NOW, Chapter 5. A few years ago, I preached an entire sermon on the first word ONLY of chapter five;
Therefore;So profound was its positioning, so incredible the transformation between all that went before it and all that comes after it, I found it to be the most perfectly placed conjunction in the Bible and desired with all my heart to show why;
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peacewith God through our Lord Jesus Christ;
Acts 10:36 says The word whichGodsent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:(he is Lord of all:)
The book of Romans begins to address itself to the beloved of God saying;
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, calledto besaints: Grace to you and peacefrom God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
But to those who decide to remain accursed from God, rejecting not only Salvation through Christ but all hope and peace of eternal life, to them it is Romans 2:8 that applies;
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish,upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Tribulation and AnguishRead that ‘Trouble and anxiety’
If you are born again and suffer trouble and anxiety, you must repent and believe that this is not your lot. You must remember what you have in Christ and you must turn about your thinking and align it with THE TRUTH;
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever thingsarehonest, whatsoever thingsarejust, whatsoever thingsarepure, whatsoever thingsarelovely, whatsoever thingsareof good report; ifthere beany virtue, and ifthere beany praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
No mantra one enters into, no matter how often one might chant “Ohm”, no matter what style of breathing, what style of music, what candle you burn, what beauty you behold in nature, nor how empty you try to have your mind, the best you can ever hope for is a temporary placebo.
NONE of those things will provide true peace unless you are born again to the hope of eternal life.
Placebo;please allow the definition of it to sink down in your ears that it might be placed well at the feet of those who utilize its narcotic effects.
Placebo: Simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatmentfor a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient
According to Betterhealth Victoria;
“Placebo is Latin for ‘I will please’, and refers to any medical treatment that is inert (has no active properties). A placebo doesn’t have to be a pill. It can be any inert or ‘dummy’ treatment.
The placebo effect is the positive effect on a person’s health experienced after taking a placebo. It is triggered by the person’s belief in the benefit of the treatmentand their expectation of feeling better, rather than the specific form the placebo takes. (Emphasis mine)
Nothing else better describes the peace sought for by the world. The comfort a Placebo brings is a false comfortthat eventually leads to eternal damnation with an eternal torment…not peace!
The ills of the patient remain no matter what they choose to believe. It is one of the most effective deceptive tactics of Satan to the destruction of many.
Peace is found in Christ
The cost to peaceis giving your life and all its ills, worries and struggles directly to the Lord.
The cost to peaceis knowing that Jesus is the prince of Peace, his Spirit the comforter and God the one in whom we trust and abide.
The cost to peaceis knowing there is NO OTHER SOURCE.