The Fruit of the Spirit Includes Peace (Galatians 5:22-23)
1. In Galatians 5 we learn that the Lord's people have certain responsibilities that relate to the Holy Spirit, including: a. walking in the Spirit (vs.16) b. being led by the Spirit (vs.18) c. living in the Spirit (vs.25). 2. Those who fulfill these responsibilities will bear "the fruit of the Spirit," the nine special characteristics listed in vs.22-23. 3. In our lesson we are making a timely study of a number of passages that relate to the third characteristic -- "peace." 4. Let us begin by giving . . .
I. A DEFINITION OF "PEACE"
A. Peace: a state that is free from disturbance or turmoil; a condition in which harmony exists B. In the Bible we read about: 1. peace on a national level [between countries] (Acts 12:20) 2. peace on an individual level [between men] (Ephesians 2:14-15) 3. peace on a spiritual level [between God and men] (Ephesians 2:16-17). C. While all of these are important, the "peace" included in the fruit of the Spirit is "a state of harmony between individuals."
II. THE BIBLE TEACHES CHRISTIANS TO SEEK PEACE AND TO BE AT PEACE
A. See 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:13b; and 1 Peter 3:10-11. B. The fact that this admonition is given so many times ought to impress us with its importance. C. In addition to teaching us to seek peace and to be at peace, . . .
III. THE BIBLE TEACHES US HOW TO HAVE PEACE
A. Things that destroy peace must be avoided, including: 1. "sowing discord" (Proverbs 6:19b) 2. "pride" (Proverbs 28:25a -- "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife") 3. certain "works of the flesh" [hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, and envyings] (Galatians 5:20-21) 4. "respect of persons" (1 Corinthians 1:11-12; 3:3-4; 4:6). B. We must practice those things that result in peace, including: 1. putting forth the effort to live peaceably with others (Romans 12:18) 2. following after things that promote peace (Romans 14:19) 3. possessing wisdom from above (James 3:17-18) 4. confessing faults (James 5:16a) 5. forgiving faults (Colossians 3:13).
1. Jesus said that peacemakers will receive a great blessing -- "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). 2. Are you a peacemaker?