OceanSide church of Christ
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The Definition of Peace
Victor M. Eskew
A. Four different scenarios:
1. A child is watching TV while hold her favorite stuffed animal. Another child runs through the room and steals the toy. The afflicted child begins to cry uncontrollably.
2. A sick person sleeps restfully in his dark and quiet room. All of a sudden, the construction crew next door pulls in with their loud trucks. They unload their materials and begin to yell out and bang with their tools. The sick person is now awake for the day.
3. The ships rest in the harbor. The office staff goes about their daily routine. Then, the silence is broken by the sounds of aircraft, machine gun fire, and explosions. The calm is turned into chaos.
4. The church has been doing well for about ten years. Growth has been slow but steadily upward. The members are surpassing the budget. A new family places membership. They have a different view of the Scriptures. They want their programs to be implemented. They often defy the eldership. They have created a little group of their own to support them.
B. Even though these are quite different scenarios, there is one thing that is common in all of them. The child, the sick person, the military port, and the church all had their peace stolen from them.
C. Peace is a beautiful blessing.
1. When it is ripped from us, we are angry and upset.
2. When it is restored, we are extremely joyful and thankful.
D. In this lesson, we will begin a study of “Peace.” In this lesson, we will focus on “The Definition of Peace.”
I. PEACE IS TRANQUILITY
A. This definition is seen in the Bible when Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
1. The storm (Mark 4:27)
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
2. The tranquility (Mark 4:29)
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
a. The deafening noise of the thunder, the rain, and the crashing waves disappeared.
b. The tossing of the little ship came to an end.
c. The sea no longer tossed to and fro, but became a glassy calm.
d. The clouds may have disappeared and the light of the moon began to shine.
II. PEACE IS HARMONY, OR, A LACK OF STRIFE
A. This definition is found in Abraham’s solution between his herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen (Gen. 13:6-9).
1. The strife (Gen. 13:6-7)
And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
2. The harmony (Gen. 13:8-9)
And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
III. PEACE IS LOVING FELLOWSHIP
A. This definition of peace is seen in uniting the Jew and Gentile as one in the body of Christ.
1. Prior to the death of Jesus, the Jews and Gentiles were estranged.
a. People of God vs dogs
b. Citizens of God’s kingdom vs strangers
c. Circumcision vs uncircumcision
2. The death of Jesus brought them together as one in Christ (Eph. 2:14-16).
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
IV. PEACE IS THE ABSENCE OF WAR
A. One of the bitter enemies of God’s people in the Old Testament were the Philistines.
1. Strife was constantly between them.
b. Constant conflicts
c. The taking of cities
d. Flocks and herds stolen and killed
2. After the Philistines were subdued, peace came to the region (I Sam. 7:13-14).
So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel…And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
V. PEACE IS REST FROM THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF LIFE
A. This is exemplified in the rest experienced by Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).
1. The affliction in life (Luke 16:20-21)
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
a. Sometimes in this world inequity, disparity, prejudice, and sickness can make life hard.
b. There are some people who have never really experienced peace in this world.
2. His comfort (Luke 16:22a; 25)
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom…But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
VI. PEACE IS FREEDOM FROM MENTAL ANGUISH AND TORMENT
A. There are two mental afflictions people can experience.
1. Affliction that results from situations in life.
2. Affliction that is medical in nature.
B. In I Samuel 21:13-15, we see David playing a mad man in the presence of Achish. Achish knows this type of affliction is disrupting and wants no part of it.
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? Have I need of madmen, that ye have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?
C. Often the only way to find peace in this type of disruption in one’s life is through medication and therapy.
VII. PEACE IS COMPLETE ADHERENCE TO THE TRUTH
A. Truth is designed to bring peace into our lives.
1. False doctrine opposes truth and brings strife.
2. Disobedience rebels against peace and brings conflict.
B. Two examples:
1. The disobedience of King Ahab troubled Israel (I King 18:17-18)
And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troublelth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.
2. The entrance of false teachers into the Gentile church brought much disruption of peace in those young churches (Tit. 1:10-11).
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
A. Think about these definitions again.
2. Harmony, no strife
3. Loving fellowship
4. The absence of war
5. Rest from the trials and tribulations of life
6. Freedom from mental anguish and torment
7. Complete adherence to the truth
B. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a church filled with these things. It would be a church of blessed peace.
C. These are the things that each one of us as members of OceanSide ought to be striving for (Eph. 4:3).
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.