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The Church in Action


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Title: The Church in Action

The Church in Action
Lesson 2
Lesson TextJohn 1423-25
John 1423-25 23 Jesus answered and said unto
him, If a man love me, he will keep my words and
my Father will love him, and we will come unto
him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that
loveth me not keepeth not my sayings and the
word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers
which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto
you, being yet present with you.
Lesson TextJohn 1426-27
John 1426-27 26 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.
Lesson TextJohn 1428-30
John 1428-30 28 Ye have heard how I said
unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If
ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I
go unto the Father for my Father is greater than
I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to
pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might
believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with
you for the prince of this world cometh, and
hath nothing in me.
Lesson TextJohn 1431
John 1431 But that the world may know that I
love the Father and as the Father gave me
commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go
Focus VerseIsaiah 263
Isaiah 263 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth
in thee.
Focus Thought
Peace, the salutation of Christ, is the hallmark
of Christian experience, the strength of faith
(confidence), and the assurance of obedience to
the commandments.
I. Peace in the Garden
Ancient Hebrews would greet each other by
saying, Shalom, which is best translated into
English as peace. To this day, Bedouins greet
friends and strangers with the Arabic equivalent,
Salaam, salaam alleikum (Peace, peace to every
one of you). To be peaceable and faithful in
Israel was a deeply rooted ideal. (See II Samuel
2019 I Timothy 22.) For one to seek peace,
and pursue it (Psalm 3414) was an eternal
I. Peace in the Garden
Peaceful conversation among neighbors (Psalm
283) and peace among the tribes of a patriarchal
group were considered to be basic to survival.
Jesus fulfilled His peoples longing for peace.
The Messiah was foretold to be the Prince of
Peace (Isaiah 96) and His birth was heralded by
angelic proclamations of peace (Luke 214). Jesus
taught the blessedness of making peace (Matthew
59). Peacemakers truly are the children of
God, and they recognize that peace will come
only through persistent effort.
I. Peace in the Garden
It is interesting that Jesus is called the
Prince of Peace rather than the Prince of Hope,
although He certainly brought hope to the world.
Neither is He called the Prince of Love, but that
title also would fit Him. He is not called the
Prince of Faith, although that also would befit
Him. Rather, He is called the Prince of Peace.
I. Peace in the Garden
Peace is more than a frame of mind, a mood, or
an atmosphere. It is an abiding strength and an
awareness of the deep resources of Gods grace,
and of the Spirit that works within us. It is the
fruit of the Spirit that ends in well-being and
confidence. It makes for an untroubled heart in a
troubled world (Dr. Oscar Reed).
I. Peace in the Garden
In biblical thought, peace is more than the
absence of strife. It is positive well-being, as
pointed out in the Old Testament by the word
shalom, which means health and wholeness as
well as peacethe conscious possession of
adequate resources.
I. Peace in the Garden
Peace in the Garden
A. Absence of Sin
God made Adam in His own image (Genesis
124-31). On the sixth day the sea and air were
filled with living creatures, and the Word of God
went forth to the earth to produce living beings
each after its kind. These living creatures are
divided into three classes
I. Peace in the Garden
1. Cattle. In the Hebrew, it generally denotes
the larger domesticated quadrupeds (Genesis
4718 Exodus 1312), but occasionally the larger
land animals as a whole. 2. Creeping Things.
These are the smaller land animals such as
reptiles, insects, and worms, which move either
without feet or with feet that are scarcely
perceptible. In Genesis 125, they are
distinguished from water reptiles. 3. Beasts of
the Earth. These are the freely roving wild
I. Peace in the Garden
In a completely different category, God created
mankind. The creation of mankind and his
installation as ruler on the earth brought the
creation of all earthly beings to a close
(Genesis 131). God saw His work and He declared
it to be very good. Every creature could reach
the goal appointed by the Creator and accomplish
the purpose of its existence. The existence of
anything evil in Gods creation was absolutely
I. Peace in the Garden
A godly, holy peace existed in the Garden of
Eden, with man and woman living in complete
obedience to the Word of God. It was the order of
every day, and thus there was peace. Adams and
Eves bodies were sanctified by the Spirit of God
who had animated them. Shame entered the earth on
the heels of sin. Sin turned the sacred ordinance
of God into sensual impulses and the lust of the
flesh, and peace quickly disappeared from the
B. Presence of God
B. Presence of God
God communed with Adam and Eve in the cool of
the day (Genesis 38). The Hebrew phrase
translated in the cool of the day means in the
cool breeze. Perhaps this was the time of day
our first parents enjoyed the more solemn acts of
their religious worship in the presence of God.
A. Absence of Sin
Adam and Eve dwelt together in the garden in
perfect peace with no fear that led to worry.
Nothing negative existed however, they made a
wrong choice to disobey God, which opened the
floodgates to fear and death. After their sin,
God came to commune with them at the regularly
scheduled meeting time that He and Adam and Eve
had cherished. However, this time their response
to His call was fearful I was afraid, because I
was naked (Genesis 310). The immediate
consequences of sin are both fear and the loss of
a proper relationship with God.
II. The Loss of Peace
The Loss of Peace
A. The Temptation to Sin
According to Paul, Satan deceived the woman and
not the man (I Timothy 214). Satan knew that a
direct approach would not work with Adam, so he
went through Eve. Sin entered the garden through
the bad choice of Eve, which opened a door that
was supposed to have been locked.
I. Peace in the Garden
Following Eves lead, Adam also chose to disobey
God and His Word, which destroyed peace in the
garden. The fearful and disquieting emotions they
had never known suddenly became daily companions.
B. The Results of Sin
B. The Results of Sin
Shame and fear entered the minds of Adam and
Eve, and now they had to live with them. Shame
became their companion because of the ingratitude
contained in their rebellion. Fear overcame them
because Satan had deceived them. Now they were
exposed to the death and punishment of which God
had warned them. Shame and fear were the first
fruits of sin, and they still remain from the
first transgression to the present time.
I. Peace in the Garden
Sorrow also entered the human race. God told Eve
that she would experience sorrow because of her
transgression. (See Genesis 316.)
Genesis 316
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply
thy sorrow and thy conception in sorrow thou
shalt bring forth children and thy desire shall
be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee
(Genesis 316).
I. Peace in the Garden
The results of sin added up to sorrow for the
man and multiplied sorrow for the woman. Because
of her disobedience and sin, the woman was
destined to experience pain and suffering in
childbirth. The Bible also reveals that Adam
and Eve experienced separation So he drove out
the man and he placed at the east of the garden
of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which
turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of
life (Genesis 324). We should note at least
three things in this verse of Scripture
I. Peace in the Garden
1. God was displeased with sinful mankind,
evidenced by His expelling them from this place
of peace. 2. Adam and Eve rendered themselves
unworthy of Eden by their ingratitude and
transgression. Consequently, all their
descendants have suffered the penalty of their
sin. 3. It appears that Adam and Eve were
reluctant to leave this place of peace and
happiness, thereby causing God to drive them out.
I. Peace in the Garden
Adam and Eve suffered both physical separation
from the garden and also spiritual separation
from God. The soul of mankind experienced a
schism with Gods Spirit. The only solution to
bridge this great divide and bring mankind back
in relationship with God would require a work of
III. The Renewal of Peace
The Renewal of Peace
A. Peace Begins with Faith
A sign in front of a church said, If life is a
puzzle, look here for the missing peace!
A. The Temptation to Sin
Our faith in God will lead us into many
dimensions of peace. Peace is a product of God.
The harmonious interaction of Gods created
universe demonstrates His nature of peace. Strife
and disharmony are alien intruders in a plan that
initially was intended to be peaceful. Many of
the salutations and benedictions to the New
Testament books of the Bible speak of the God of
Peace or the peace of God, which indicates its
divine source.
I. Peace in the Garden
The peace of God is difficult for mankind to
comprehend because it is abstract. For instance,
Paul wrote of the peace of God, which passes
understanding (Philippians 47). However,
recognizing the source of peace is the first step
toward establishing a limited understanding of
it. When we are in right relationship with
God, we can look upward and perceive no fiery
wrath ready to fall upon us with devouring flame.
I. Peace in the Garden
When we look downward, we discover no judgment
of hell awaiting us because there is no
condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus
(Romans 81). When we look back, we see our
sin has been blotted out from lifes records.
When we look around us, all things work together
for good to those who love God and are called
according to His purpose (Romans 828).
I. Peace in the Garden
When we look beyond the present, Gods glory
shines through the futures veil like the sun
through a mornings mist. As we look inward,
the peace of God that passes all understanding
keeps our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus.
Gods peace acts as an armed guard to keep
unrest out of our hearts and thoughts. However,
we cannot experience the peace of God until we
know the God of peace.
Edwin MarkhamPoem
B. Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses from All
B. Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses from All Sin
The blood of Jesus Christ provided the
Atonement, or peace with God. All creation needs
to be reconciled with God. The peace that Jesus
sought for all people was the peace of mind and
spirit that results when a straying sinner is
reconciled to God. Many of the parables Jesus
told illustrated this truth as did many biblical
I. Peace in the Garden
For example, consider the woman who came to
Simons house and washed Jesus feet with her
tears (Luke 737-50). Jesus told her to go with
peace in her heart. Reconciliation to God is
necessary for one to experience peace, because
the Bible says the wicked have no peace (Isaiah
4822). On the other hand, Paul stated,
Therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
(Romans 51).
I. Peace in the Garden
Because of unpardoned sin, mankind will never
experience peace apart from justification, which
occurs only through Jesus Christ and His atoning
sacrifice. Through our faith in His forgiveness,
we can have real peace in our hearts.
C. Love of Gods Law Brings Great Peace
C. Love of Gods Law Brings Great Peace
When we have peace with God, we love His law and
experience the peace that comes from Him. True
peace comes only from God through Jesus Christ
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 1427). This is the ultimate peace
that Jesus left with His faithful disciples on
the eve of His betrayal and crucifixion.
I. Peace in the Garden
Paul picked up on this theme of peace. His
writings revealed that the theme of peace summed
up his blessings experienced in Jesus Christ. He
often mentioned peace in his epistles. For
example, he wrote, Grace be unto you, and peace,
from God our Father (Colossians 12).
I. Peace in the Garden
Peace always comes from God. We cannot
manufacture it we can only meet the conditions
under which it comes to us. The Hebrews
recognized that God is the source of peace The
Lord will give strength unto his people the Lord
will bless his people with peace (Psalm 2911).
It is the only peace of its kind and is what
people really needa gift that comes from God
C. Love of Gods Law Brings Great Peace
D. Presence of Jesus Is Supreme Peace
We often hear new believers describe their
conversion I could not believe the peace and
good feeling I received, or God gave me
assurance and peace that I never knew could
St. Augustine
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our
hearts are restless until they rest in Thee
(Confessions of St. Augustine, F. J. Sheed).
A. Peace Begins with Faith
Augustine stated that a mans heart is restless
until he rests in the Lord. His words came from
his own long restlessness and struggle with Gods
will before he finally stopped depending on
himself and turned to God. The absence of
restlessness is peace. When seeking for a word
or phrase for peace in the language of the Chol
Indians of South Mexico, translators discovered
that the words a quiet heart gave the meaning
of peace. Consequently, the way of peace
became the road of the quiet heart.
I. Peace in the Garden
As far as he knew, Peter was on the road of a
violent death at the hands of Herod, but it was
still for him the road of the quiet heart. On
the eve of his execution, he was at peace and
asleep. In a world filled with causes for worry
and anxiety, we need something stronger than
positive thinking. We need the peace of God
standing guard over our hearts and minds, which
leads to peace with Him as we recognize that He
is its source.
I. Peace in the Garden
The Scriptures declare, The Spirit itself
beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God (Romans 816). We might fool
others about our peace, but we cannot fool
ourselves. We can know whether we are saved. The
Spirit will bear witness in us of our hope of
eternal life. Likewise, we can have the assurance
of future forgiveness and know that if we sin and
confess it, God will forgive us. This is the
peace that brings us through the turmoil of life,
giving us tranquility in the midst of every storm.
I. Peace in the Garden
In the North Atlantic, icebergs often are seen
in the wintertime, and ships sailing the Atlantic
often are caught in violent storms. Mountainous
waves toss the mighty vessels about like small
chips of wood. But not so for icebergs! Like
majestic, white castles, they glide placidly
through the heaving sea. They are defiant of the
mighty waves hurled against their towering walls
and glistening heads. They do not bob about like
a cork because the lower part is deep in the
ocean where there is calm.
I. Peace in the Garden
Only one-ninth of an iceberg is above the oceans
surface. When our lives are hidden with Jesus
Christ in God, the storms of life are powerless
to take from us the peace and repose we have in
Him. God does not always still the storm without,
but He does still the storm within.
IV. Peacemakers
A. Those Who Make Peace, Sow in Righteousness
Jesus declared in the Sermon on the Mount,
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be
called the children of God (Matthew 59).
Interestingly, He did not refer to peace seekers,
but to peacemakers! Many people seek peace when
they should be working to make peace.
B. Follow Peace with All Men
B. Follow Peace with All Men
The writer of Hebrews proclaimed, Follow peace
with all men, and holiness, without which no man
shall see the Lord (Hebrews 1214). We often key
in on the word holiness, but effectively
perfecting a lifestyle of separation unto God is
only possible when we are seeking to make peace
with others. Jesus prayed that we would all be
A. Those Who Make Peace, Sow in
This is His will for allthat we would make
peaceful relationships with others. Paul related
this principle also to the Romans Do all that
you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans
1218, NLT).
C. Peace by All Means Comes from the Prince
of Peace
C. Peace by All Means Comes from the Prince of
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The prophets
referred to Him as such, and when He was born the
angels sang of peace and good will. He taught His
followers, For all they that take the sword
shall perish with the sword (Matthew 2652).
I. Peace in the Garden
Moreover, He taught that good should overcome
evil and that His followers should love
everyoneeven their enemies. Before His death, He
bequeathed His peace to the church, and such was
His salutation in the upper room. The Lord
ordained for agape love to be born in our hearts
at the point of the new birth. It is impossible
to be a child of God if we do not love our
brothers and sisters. (See I John 47-8.)
I John 47-8
Beloved, let us love one another for love is of
God and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not
God for God is love (I John 47-8).
I. Peace in the Garden
At one point in history, Great Britain was not
so sure of its railways as it had been in the
past. A rash of terrible wrecks had shaken its
confidence, and the British public began looking
for remedies. They immediately adopted a proposal
that involved the placing of buffer coaches at
the forward and rear end of trains. These buffer
coaches, either empty or used for freight,
functioned as shock absorbers in case of a
I. Peace in the Garden
Half of the coach telescoped into the other half,
plunging pistons into cylinders where the air
cushion formed a powerful spring. Thus, the
impact of another train was largely absorbed. It
was a wise plan, and it worked. This method
also has worked for ages on the railway of life,
where collisions as deadly as any on steel rails
occur weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly. These
are the clashes of opposing temperaments, plans,
and idealsin the family, in a business
enterprise, in a church, or in a social
I. Peace in the Garden
What clamor of words! What rending of efficiency!
What burning hearts! But thank God for human
buffer coaches. Blessed are the calm,
friendly, sympathetic, fair-minded souls who are
ready to see others viewpoints and reach for
peaceful solutions. They are wise in the
interpretation of ones heart or ones thoughts,
and they are quick and confident in reaching for
reconciliation. Blessed are the peacemakers!
I. Peace in the Garden
In their presence, opposites combine, hostilities
melt away, and controversies are forgotten. They
have endless patience and pity, and their tact is
ready for any emergency. May God bless them and
help us to be one of them.
D. Our Feet Are to Be Shod with the Gospel
of Peace
D. Our Feet Are to Be Shod with the Gospel of
We should be quick to carry to others the good
news of Gods peace. The good news is that
everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the inner
peace that comes only from God. Our feet should
be quick to carry this gospel of peace to every
unsaved person around us.
E. The Apostles Preached Peace
E. The Apostles Preached Peace
A great part of the message of salvation is that
the Holy Spirit brings peace to our lives. In his
letter to the Romans, Paul declared, Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 51). Paul
further proclaimed that the kingdom of God is
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy
Ghost (Romans 1417).
I. Peace in the Garden
He cautioned the Colossians to let the peace of
God rule in their hearts (Colossians 315). He
wrote to the Thessalonians that they should be
at peace among themselves (I Thessalonians
513). Peter encouraged us to seek peace, and
ensue it (I Peter 311). Certainly, the apostles
all preached that we should live with Gods peace
within us.
F. The Fruit of the Spirit Is Peace
F. The Fruit of the Spirit Is Peace
In Pauls epistle to the Galatians, we discover
peace among the aspects of the fruit of the
Spirit. It is one of the greatest and most
meaningful of all, and it directly opposes the
works of the flesh. Like the other spiritual
fruit Paul mentioned, peace is a natural
outgrowth of Gods Spirit within us. (See
Galatians 522-24.)
G. Follow after Things That Make Peace
G. Follow after Things That Make Peace
Paul told the Romans they should have peace in
their own lives, and they should only pursue
things that support or add to the peace of their
soul, body, and surroundings.
V. Peace Multiplied
Peace Multiplied
Both Peter and Jude wrote about peace being
multiplied unto the believer (I Peter 12 Jude
2). The intent is that the peace of God would
rule in our hearts to such an extent that it
would greatly increase and abound. Peace replaces
turmoil and a troubled heart. A peaceable spirit
brings tranquility to any atmosphere and draws
the tormented soul to the Giver of peaceJesus
V. Peace Multiplied
Peace is a tremendous biblical theme. Peace
existed in the Garden of Eden until sin caused
its loss. The rest of the Bible tells about our
march toward the recovery of that lost peace.
The renewal of peace begins with faith, which
initially leads a person to repent of his sins,
be baptized in Jesus name for the remission of
sins, and receive the Spirit of God, which brings
peace that passeth all understanding.
I. Peace in the Garden
God then expects us to be peacemakers and to live
in peace with all people. We should promote
peace and not conflict. We should pursue those
things that lead to peace. Ultimately, we are
looking for the future peace of heaven and the
imposed peace of the Millennium. May the peace of
God rule our hearts and lives!
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