Sermon Summary

This week Pastor Chris began our Christmas series, focusing each week on a different promise fulfilled in Christ, who is the ultimate promise of Christmas. Jesus promises peace and wholeness to all who call him Lord and Savior. Without Christ, we will seek to find peace through favorable circumstances or the absence of conflict. The question to ask ourselves this Christmas season is whether we are living in the peace that only Christ provides.

Luke 1:78–79 (ESV)
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

“Peace does not mean merely freedom from trouble; it means all that makes for a man’s highest good.” – Barclay

Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Peace defined: completeness, wholeness, fulfillment, prosperity of soul, wellness safety, harmony, blessing, calmness.

Six Truths About Peace

1. The promise of peace starts in the heart.

Luke 2:29–32 (NLT)
29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

John 14:25–27 (NLT)
25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. 27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
– Roy L. Smith

2. Peace displaces fear.

Philippians 4:6–7 (MSG)
6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 7 Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

3. Peace is a Person, not a feeling.

“The coming of Christ by way of a Bethlehem manger seems strange and stunning. But when we take him out of the manger and invite Him into our hearts, then the meaning unfolds and the strangeness vanishes.” C. Neil Strait

4. Jesus is the only source of peace.

Mark 4:39 (NKJV)
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

False Peace

Jeremiah 6:13–14 (ESV)
13 “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

You can’t have the peace OF until you have the peace WITH God.

“Look at the world—you’ll be distressed. Look within—you’ll be depressed. Look at Christ—you’ll be at rest.” Corrie Ten Boom

5. Peace is reconciliation with God.

Ephesians 2:14-15 (ESV)
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

Romans 5:1 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Safety consists not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God. Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always. Peace is such a precious jewel, that I would give anything for it but truth.” – Matthew Henry

6. Peace keeps our hearts in troubled times.

John 14:27 (ESV)
27 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.

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Discussion Questions
1. How does the world define peace? How would you define Godly peace?
2. Pastor Chris said, “there is no peace without a relationship with Christ.” Has this ever been true in your life?
3. Have you ever sought to live with false peace? How did Pastor Chris define this term?
4. Be honest: have fear or anxiety come to rob you this Christmas season? Share honestly with the group.
5. How can we guard our hearts against anxiety when our feelings or circumstances aren’t peaceful?

Application Questions
1. Meditate this week on the 6 truths about peace Pastor Chris noted above. Which truth do you need to meditate most on? Post this truth somewhere in your home where you will see it daily.
2. Are you struggling to experience peace in your inner man? Read and declare Mark 4:39 over your life this week.