"The Peace of Christ"
Making Peace with Enemies
1. In this series we have seen that Jesus, the Prince of Peace , offers….
a. Peace with God, through justification and reconciliation.b. Peace with mankind, through abolishing racial and social barriers.c. Peace with oneself, one that surpasses understanding and guards our heart.d. Peace with families, when family members fulfill their duties to one another.e. Peace with brethren, working and worshiping together in love and unity.f. Peace with churches, by creating independent, autonomous churches.
2. Finally, we will examine how Jesus teaches us to make peace with enemies… .
a. Those that show animosity because we are Christians.b. Or simply personal dislike for other reasons.
(Let's begin by first pointing out…)
I. THE NEED FOR PEACE WITH ENEMIES.A. Enemies Can Be Everywhere….
1. Government -
Luke 19:43 “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,”
2. Families -
Matthew 10:36 “and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.”
3. Other religions -
Romans 11:28 “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.”
4. In the church -
Philippians 3:18 “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:”
5. Satan -
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
-- Not to sound paranoid, but the potential for enemies is great.
B. Enemies Can Be Troublesome….
1. Physical persecution – Matthew 10:17, 21.
2. Spiritual turmoil – 2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4.
3. Causing problems in the family, at work, etc…
-- Whenever there are enemies, the need for peace is great.
[Jesus told us to expect tribulation (John 15:18-20). But He also promised peace,
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
While we may not always escape tribulation, there are ways to often reduce the conflict.
Consider, then, how…..]
II JESUS MAKES PEACE WITH ENEMIES POSSIBLEA. By Providing Peace with God……
1. If at peace with God, He helps us to make peace with enemies -
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
2. Jesus makes peace with God through justification and reconciliation. -
Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
--The first step to peace with enemies is to be at peace with God.
B. By Teaching us to Love Our Enemies….
1. This He did on several occasions – Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35.
2. His apostles did so likewise – Romans 12:14, 20.
3 . Both Jesus and His apostles displayed such love -
Luke 23:34 “Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
1 Corinthians 4:12-13 “And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; [ 13 ] being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.”
4. This is agape love (active good will) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
5. The same love God showed toward us when we were His enemies – Romans 5:6-11.
--Peace with enemies is possible when we love them as God loved us.
[Not all enemies will appreciate our efforts to show them love. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” But loving them as God loved us is the best way]
III. THE PEACE WITH ENEMIES THAT JESUS MAKES POSSIBLE.A. One that can Transform our Enemies….
1. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
2. Did not God's love that transformed us when we were enemies? Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21-22.
--Loving your enemies is the best hope for changing them.
B. One That Can Make Enemies our Friends….
1. Transformed by love, enemies can become friends.
2. Did not Joseph make his brothers who hated him his friends? Genesis 50:15-21.
3. Did not God make us His people, who before were not His people? 1 Peter 2:9-10.
-- The peace with enemies that Jesus offers is one most likely to make them our friends.
C. One That Makes Us More Like God….
1. “It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” – Gandhi –
2. Loving our enemies makes us more like God (“sons of your Father”) Matthew 5:44-48.
-- Making peace with enemies is a God-like quality.
1. As Jesus stated in His sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
2. We have seen that by following the Prince of Peace, we can experience…..
a. Peace with God, through justification and reconciliation.b. Peace with mankind, through abolishing racial and social barriers.c. Peace with oneself, one that surpasses understanding and guards our heart.d. Peace with families, when family members fulfill their duties to one another.e. Peace with brethren, working and worshiping together in love and unity.f. Peace with churches, by creating independent, autonomous churches.g. Peace with enemies, by transforming them into friends through God-like love.
Enjoying such peace, let us then prove to be true sons of God by becoming peacemakers ourselves and introducing other to Jesus, the Prince of Peace…..!
"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."