Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.   John 14:27

We come this week to the third characteristic of fruit of the Spirit: peace.  As Jesus is on his way to cross he makes this remarkable promise to his disciples and by extension to us as well.  It is the promise of peace.  We’ll consider first our need for that peace. Next the nature of the peace that Jesus gives.  Then we’ll seek to understand his allusion to the artificial or counterfeit peace that the world gives.  And finally we see the effect that Jesus’ peace should have upon us.

#1 Our Need for Peace

The world in which we now live is not as it once was nor is it what it one day will be.  Our secular neighbors do not understand this.  We can all agree that the world is broken but the Christian worldview says that there was once point in history when God looked down on the world he had created and declared that it was good.  There was a time when the world was not broken. A consistent secularist cannot see this.  What reason does he have to believe that world was ever any better than it is right now?  Yet we know there was a time when the perfect peace of God ruled all of creation.  The Hebrew word for this peace is shalom.  But what happened to this shalom? Sin entered the world!  As a result we became alienated from God, we were placed in bondage to our own flesh, and we find ourselves in conflict with one another.   We need to have God’s shalom, his peace, restored to us!

#2 The Nature of the Peace which Jesus Gives

There are at least two aspects of this peace that Jesus gives.  There is first and most importantly the objective peace which Jesus has won for us on the cross and there is our subjective experience of that peace.  Charles Spurgeon in one of his sermons describes these two aspects of peace as the state of peace and the sense of peace.   The state of peace into which brings us can never be taken away but our sense of that peace may sometimes to be disrupted.  Yet nevertheless because Jesus’ peace is not rooted in our circumstances, his peace is always available to us.  It is possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit within us to live above our circumstances.  We do not need to be tossed about by every wind or wave that comes our way.

#3 The Artificial Peace to be Avoided

When Jesus says he gives peace “not as the world gives,” he alludes to an artificial or counterfeit peace that is offered by the world.  We live in a world, after all, that wants a quick fix.  We want instant solutions, but when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, when it comes to this kind of peace, there are no short cuts.  Jesus has perfectly brought us into a state of peace with God the Father, but we must seek to see this peace worked into our lives.  This takes time.  And so we must reject the peace that the world offers.  There are many paths to this worldly peace. One of the most enticing is the path of detachment.  Just get away!  We are told to escape from our stress and worries and then we will have peace.  This is not a lasting peace.  We are not called to detachment but to attachment — to Jesus and his kingdom.

#4 The Effects of Peace

Jesus tells us what it looks like when his peace is ruling our hearts: “let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  These are the weeds that are displaced from our lives as his peace is cultivated in our hearts.   His peace removes fear and anxiety.  His peace, as I’ve said, allows us to live above our circumstances. Jesus gives a peace that the world cannot give and therefore cannot take away.

Discussion Questions

  1. We all agree that the world is broken.  How do you think someone from a secular worldview would explain the brokenness in the world today?  How does the Bible explain our broken world?
  2. What is the difference between the state of peace that Jesus earned for us and the sense of peace which we experience?
  3. Where do you most need to experience the peace of Jesus in your life right now
  4. What kinds of things keep us from experiencing the fullness of that peace?
  5. What would your life look like if your heart was more fully ruled by the peace of Christ?
  6. When Jesus says “not as the world gives do I give to you,” what do you think he means?  Describe the peace that the world gives.
  7. How can we avoid accepting the peace of the world?
  8. Jesus says “let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” What makes you feel troubled and anxious?
  9. How does the peace of Jesus address our troubled and anxious heart?
  10. What is one thing you want to be sure to remember from this passage?


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