The Fruit of the Spirit: "Peace" (Galatians 5:22-23)
1. The fruit of the Spirit consists of the 9 special characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23. 2. As we study these characteristics we must remember that those who sow to the Spirit will reap everlasting life (Galatians 6:8). 3. The degree to which we bear the fruit of the Spirit is a good indication of whether we are sowing to the Spirit. 4. In our lesson we are studying the third characteristic: "peace."
I. LET US FIRST DEFINE "PEACE"
A. Peace: a state of harmony or tranquility; a state that is free of disturbance or turmoil B. In the Scriptures we read about: 1. peace between countries (Acts 12:20) 2. peace between men, including Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14-15) 3. peace between God and men (Ephesians 2:16-18). C. The "peace" that is the third characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is "peace [harmony] between individuals."
II. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH CHRISTIANS TO SEEK PEACE AND TO BE AT PEACE
A. Consider the following passages: 1. Ephesians 4:3 2. 1 Thessalonians 5:13b 3. 1 Peter 3:10-11. B. The fact that similar instructions were given to so many Christians living in different areas in the first century is significant. C. In addition to telling us to seek peace and to be at peace, . . .
III. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US HOW TO HAVE PEACE
A. To have peace we must avoid certain things, including: 1. the works of the flesh that destroy peace such as hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings (Galatians 5:19-21) 2. "respect of persons" (1 Corinthians 1:11-12; 3:3-4; 4:6) 3. the "love of preeminence" (3 John 9-10) 4. pride. a. Pride will prevent a person like Diotrephes from confessing his faults and repenting. b. When this occurs, true peace will not exist. c. To have peace, faults must be admitted and confessed (James 5:16). B. To have peace and maintain it we must fulfill our responsibilities, including: 1. putting forth effort to live peaceably with others (Romans 12:18) 2. following after the things that promote peace (Romans 14:19) 3. possessing the right kind of wisdom. a. Enemies of peace such as envy and strife are associated with the wrong kind of wisdom (James 3:14-16). b. Peace, gentleness, and mercy are associated with the right kind of wisdom (James 3:17-18).
1. God wants peace in His church (1 Corinthians 14:33). 2. Those who promote peace will be abundantly blessed. a. 2 Corinthians 13:11 b. Matthew 5:9