Born to Bring Peace; Selected Text

Born to Bring Peace; Selected Text
Preached @ Harambee Church (A Soma Communities Expression) by Pastor Michael Gunn on December 6th, 2009

“…and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Colossians 1:20

Intro
Throughout church history, Christians have struggled to deal with the implication of the Jesus event here on earth. The verses we are going to look into today have some potential for incendiary and potentially misguided interpretations. When Jesus preached the “Gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:14), what was preaching about? What exactly was “Fulfilled” by Jesus when He read from Isaiah in the temple (See Luke 4:18-21)? What is His kingdom? What does this have to do with me? What does this have to do with Christmas Advent season? All good questions, and ones that the church needs to wrestle with, and come to some very biblical convictions in regard to its implications on our lives.

I pray that this Advent/Christmas season is the first one that converts you to a new relationship with the risen Christ. For some that is going to be a first time conversion as you are hearing the gospel either anew, or for the first time in your life. For others, it will mean a conversion to God’s kingdom purpose here on earth, right now!

From the Head…
An OT Prophet Is Born to Proclaim the Coming Rule of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7)
This is one of many astounding prophecies of the coming Messiah, who will bring peace, and rightly govern this world with proper justice. While God had fulfilled this prophecy in a micro sense through some for the rulers that were born at that time, history reminds us that none of Israel’s rulers fulfilled this, including David, Israel’s greatest king. They were types of the one who would come to bring forth the peace that this world so badly needs.

Then word peace in the Old Testament is the word “Shalom,” which carries the idea of “Wholeness,” not the absence of conflict. The words from the pen of John (John 16:33), remind us that in this world, we will have conflict and tribulation, but “In Him, we will have peace.” God’s peace brings us beyond our circumstances to a “Shalom” that brings peace as we become closer to the people that we were created to be by God, for His glory in the first place.

A NT Prophet Is Born to Proclaim The Coming Forgiveness and Peace (Luke 1:76-79)
God had promised that He would send one to “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3 cf. Luke 1:76; 3:4), which this passage shows was preparing the people to know that their sins were being forgiven by the “Tender mercy of our God.” True peace comes from being forgiven of our sins by the mercy of God. Our salvation makes us reconciled to God and therefore at peace with Him (See Romans 5:1, 9).

An Angel Visits to Proclaim The Glory of the Lord in the Good News About the Son (Luke 2:8-21)
First we note that this “Good News” is for “All People” (v. 10). Next, we note that this baby is both “Savior” and the Messiah, as promised in the Old Testament (“Christ the Lord, v. 11). This designation “Savior” and Messiah” is one that was reserved for God only (Isaiah 43:11; 45:21). While this is true, we are also told that a “Savior” will be sent in the future (Isaiah 19:20). Thirdly, this Messiah/Savior was going to be born into humble means (v. 12). Fourthly, we see that this promised peace comes to those “Whom He is pleased” with (v. 14). This goes back to last week’s findings. He is pleased with His Son (Luke 3:22), and as we are “In Him,” we too are pleasing to Him.

We Are Reminded By Paul That Our Peace Comes Through The Cross (Colossians 1:20)
Peace is not something that we obtain by mitigating conflict in this world. As we saw in John 16:33, conflict is a part of this upside down, sinful world. While we are called to be “Peacemakers” it is clear that all of man’s efforts have not brought this world into the very state of peace that so many of us claim we desire. Man’s greatest need is the peace that comes from the bloody cross of Christ, because it is the idolatry that the cross is there to crush that is responsible for the horrors humanity unfolds on one another.

…to the Heart
So what do we do? First we must realize that our salvation is both spiritual and physical. Second then, we must begin to see our role here on earth as peacemakers since we have been given the gift of peace between God and ourselves through the cross of Jesus Christ. The good news of Jesus Christ is that He has come to inaugurate a new kingdom, with a new ethic, and a new way to power and transformation. We no longer do this through the world’s system of power and force, but through the “Good News” of Grace, repentance and forgiveness. This news of Jesus coming the first time is “GOOD NEWS!” He has come to begin His liberation of the poor and the captives (Luke 4:18-21) and because we are now free from the need to gain our identity in our stuff and reputation, we are then free to live for His purposes in this world, and proclaim the peace of the new kingdom of God, made possible in the cross of Jesus.

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2 comments so far

  1. Eric Matthews on

    I thought it interesting that you needed to make a disclaimer that you were not being political. Frankly, I am a bit flamed out at fundamentalist Christians (even some who are dear friends) that do not seem to be able to seperate God from politics. In two years of listening to you I have never once seen you cross that line.

    http://everydollarmatters.com/blog/2009/11/27/the-truth-seperation-of-church-and-state/

    I thought what you did today was very biblical and not at all political. This is coming from someone that is very hyper-sensitive to this subject at the moment.

  2. sermonrant on

    Thanks bro!


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