Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Prince of Peace by John

Isaiah 9:1-7

1. We read this Scripture last Sunday, and now again today. This time we are dealing with the last three words of verse 6, The Prince of Peace.
(1) Nowhere is there a better description of our Lord in human terms than right here in Isaiah.
(2) When we read the New Testament accounts of Jesus, we find that both the actions and words of our Lord Jesus fit exactly with the description here.
(3) He was, and is, the Prince of Peace.
(4) There are 9 Beatitudes in Matthew 5, and the 6th one says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

I. Peace is more than absence of war.

1. We think the antonym of peace is war, and in this world it is, but “peace” as it appears in the Bible refers to far more than an absence of war.
2. It refers to that inner tranquility that only Christians possess.
(1) When you are content with everything around you, there is no need for that rush of adrenalin that anger produces.
(2) Buddhists frequently must practice for years before they can achieve an inner peace similar to what we are talking about. They think they find it, but being one with your surroundings does not compare with the peace of God in Jesus!
(3) God’s peace settles on us when we accept Christ, and we have immediate peace with God who created our surroundings, but peace with those surroundings, including people, comes only with devotion to the Lord and a Christian view of everything. That takes time to grow within our inner being.
3. It’s more than an absence of war. Can you imagine Jesus being called the Prince of an absence of war? Doesn’t that sound silly? That should tell us Peace is more than that!
4. Let’s see if we can get into this a little further.

II. Peace is the Love of God flowing through us.

1. The first real taste of peace for any human being comes the moment we entrust ourselves to Jesus!
2. Do you remember that Jesus said, ”This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21).
3. Sin causes guilt, and it always brings fear with it! God always hears our prayers, Christians, but when we sin deliberately, the next step we take is to stop praying! We don’t want to come to the light for fear that God will be like an earthly father and challenge us about our sins!
4. Let me give you a Biblical illustration from Jonah of how God usually treats us when we sin. Jonah was a proud man. He did not want to prophecy to Nineveh possibly because they were not Jews, and certainly because he believed God would forgive them, and his image as a prophet would be tarnished! He sat down outside the city to see what would happen. (Gourd vine up and died) Jonah 3:9-11 (READ).
5. Jonah belonged to God, but his inner peace was missing because of the way he lived!
6. The peacemakers Jesus said were blessed are those who are at peace with God first of all, and then they spread that peace to others.
7. Look at Mt 5:43-48: (READ)
(1) The way of the world is to love your friends and hate enemies.
(2) The way of Jesus is to love your friends and love your enemies!
8. John makes it very plain in I John 4:8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
9. Before John made that statement, he said, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him.” (I John 2:9-11).
10. The character of God is love! Remember the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
(1) The first thing God’s Spirit does for a new Christian is to fill him with God’s love, and that Christian begins to form the character of God! (2) That relationship results in joy, peace, and all the rest.
(3) Some say that all of these fruits of the Spirit result from love, and it is certain that there is a very close relationship to all of these.
(4) I believe the truth is that all of these come from the One Holy Spirit Who indwells us the moment we trust Jesus, and He never, ever leaves us!
(5) V 24 tells us that there is no law that applies here. There’s no need for law when we are indwelt and guided by God’s Spirit. No one has any need to fear such a person!
2. Peace, however, comes from the Prince of peace, Jesus! John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” So peace is a direct gift of Jesus, but it is also part of the fruit of the Spirit.

III. In a very real way hate can be the opposite of peace.

1. I put this point here because we are at war, and there are people saying that we have to hate the Iraqis in order to defeat them.
2. As far as Christians are concerned, we are to hate sin! Not sinners!
3. We are right back to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44, “I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
4. Christian! If you don’t develop the character of God, you are not filled with the Spirit of God! If you really are a Christian, stop hating people! Limit your hate to sin!
5. Hate is the opposite of peace when it is directed at other human beings, or even at yourself!
6. I’ve always liked that rather crude statement, “God don’t make no junk!” Human beings make sin. God makes human beings, and they are not junk!
7. Eliminating hate does not mean that we are pushovers for ungodly enemies. God sent Israel to destroy some nations who refused Him, and we have to sometimes remove criminals from society, depose, or destroy, leaders who war against God and His children when they get out of the control of human decency.
8. Guard yourselves against hating anyone. You will live longer and enjoy life more when you drop all of the hatred you have for other people!
9. In the Lord’s prayer we pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Why is that in our model prayer? Because God has forgiven us, and He expects us to forgive others. If we don’t, we don’t belong to Him, and He is under no obligation to forgive us!


1. The Prince of Peace is Jesus.
2. He gives us peace.
3. It is a whole lot more than absence of war and worry.
4. We become peacemakers as God’s Spirit leads us.
5. We stop hating others. We forgive them. We pray for them. We seek the blessing of God in their lives!
6. When they become brothers and sisters in Christ, it will not be hard to show them our love, right?
7. Jesus wants us to show it now while they are unlovely in our sight.
8. You can do that in Jesus! If you can’t, you are not in Jesus! But you can be. You can trust Him now.

Emmanuel 12/19/2004