The Fruit of the Spirit Series - Peace
As I mentioned in the first message of this series: to develop the Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5 verse 22, 23)) is to develop the character of Jesus. In Romans 8 verse 19 the word says ‘for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” The whole world is waiting for people to develop the character of Jesus. The Greek word for “sons” in the above verse is “huios” which means “the expression of the character of the parent.” It means that the offspring is starting to act like the parent. To have the same character as Jesus one has to develop the same fruit that was easily recognizable in Jesus. Our number one prayer should be that the Father would conform us into the image of Jesus (Romans 8 verse 29). God’s fruit must be cultivated while His gifts are bestowed by His grace. In Mark 4 verse 28, the word says the fruit grows; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Fruit is cultivated over a period of time. As a matter of fact, the purpose of His gifts is to produce fruit in us, as the power of His gifts should humble us. Also, the ones who develop all the fruit will be the ones that most manifest His power. The gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit go together.
Only God can develop the fruit of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3 verse 5, 6). One way to cultivate His fruit is to read the epistles (Romans to Revelation) and speak the scriptures into our lives, as God directs, that help us spiritually.
This study is the third in my series on the Fruit of the Spirit and we will discuss the fruit of peace:
1.) The first function of the fruit of peace is to prevent the hearts of God’s people from being troubled. The earth is about to give birth to the Great Tribulation. In Mt. 24 verse 7, 8 the word says that “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The word “sorrows” actually means “birth pangs” or “travail.” When the above events begin to happen more frequently the earth will be delivered into the Great Tribulation. So, the fruit of peace is so important to keep the hearts of God’s children from being troubled (John 14 verse 27). Peace needs to be cultivated. In Philippians 4 verse 6, 7 the word says to be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made unto God and the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The word keep is the Greek word "phroukeo" which means to “guard over.” Peace will be like a “military guard” over your hearts and minds. Two reasons why some people don’t have peace is a.) They don’t sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10 verse 38-42) b.) They substitute serving God for sitting at His feet.
2.) The second function of the fruit of peace is to determine direction- Col. 3 verse 15 says that peace can “rule” in your hearts. The word “rule” is the Greek word “brobeuo” which means that peace acts like an umpire. Peace will keep His people in their boundaries (John 10 verse 10) by giving direction if one is going pass their boundaries.
3.) The third function of peace is to enable believers to be peacemakers- if one cultivates peace in their hearts they will be peace makers because the peace in their hearts will be magnified in its distribution to others. One of Jesus’ names is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9 verse 6). Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt. 5 verse 9). Peacemaking is not an option if called to be children of God. Without following peace one can’t see the Lord (Heb. 12 verse 14). As a peacemaker one will not infringe on God’s role as the avenger (Romans 12 verse 19-21) and avenge one self. If one tries to fight their own battles one may lose peace and open themselves up to a spirit of retaliation (Mt. 5 verse 44, 45). Pilate marveled that Jesus was not returning evil to His accusers (Mt. 27 verse 14).
To cultivate peace:
1.) Need to pray with thanksgiving, not just pray about a situation. Praise and Thanksgiving brings peace (Phil. 4 verse 6, 7 and Heb. 13 verse 15). Praying in the Spirit is another way to bring peace. (1 Cor. 14 verse 14-17).
There are two types of prayers that will always produce peace: a.) 1 Tim. 2 verse 1, 2 – praying for all men, especially people in authority-political and spiritual leaders. b.) pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122 verse 6, 7)
2.) Abiding in Jesus- John 15 verse 4, 5 “abide” means to stay in His presence regardless of ones feelings or circumstances. The definition of peace is to be in a state of security. There is no greater security than to be in His presence!
3.) True peace is arrived at when one no longer resists the will of God.
4.) Loving the word of God-Ps 119 verse 165- “great peace have they which love thy law.” In Proverbs 3 verse 1, 2 the word says that by keeping His commandments one can have length of days, long life and peace. Loving His word can bring peace in your house (1 Kings 22 verse 17), peace in your land (Lev. 16 verse 6), peace in your mind (Phil 4 verse 7), and peace in abundance (Ps. 72 verse 7), in your borders (Ps. 147 verse 14), in your children (Is. 54 verse 13) and throughout eternity (1 Kings 2 verse 33).
We can have multiplied peace (2 Pet. 1 verse 2), peace with our brethren (1 Thess. 5 verse 13), peace with our God (Num. 25 verse 12), and experience perfect peace (Is. 26 verse 3). All this because of the Prince of Peace!