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Sermon #36 — Ephesians Sermons

 

      Title:                                 He is Our Peace

 

      Text:                                  Ephesians 2:14

      Subject:               Christ Our Peace

      Date:                                Tuesday Evening — May 3, 2016

      Readings:           Mark Henson and Allen Kibby

      Introduction:

 

(Ephesians 2:11-14” “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”

 

HE IS OUR PEACE.” Those four one syllable words speak volumes, assuring us of that peace that God gives his people by Christ Jesus as the result of his redemptive accomplishments as our Mediator. It is clear from this second chapter of Ephesians that God the Holy Ghost intends for us to understand that Jesus Christ is our peace in a threefold sense.

Š      He is our peace, first, with God.

Š      Then, he is our peace in our own consciences.

Š      And Christ is our peace with one another.

 

Peace with God

 

First, Christ is our peace with God. — “Now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (v. 13). — “For God hath reconciled us to himself, by Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18).

 

This peace with God is by the blood work of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. More than anything else, the Bible speaks of the blood of Christ obtaining for his elect all the great benefits and blessings that are ours in him.

Š      We have been purchased by his blood (Acts 20:28).

Š      We have propitiation by his blood (Romans 3:25).

Š      We have been justified by his blood (Romans 5:9).

Š      We have redemption through his blood (Ephesians 1:7).

Š      Our consciences are cleansed by his blood (Hebrews 9:14).

Š      We are sanctified through his blood (Hebrews 13:12).

Š      Our election is through the sprinkling of his blood (1 Peter 1:1–2).

Š      We are ransomed by his blood (1 Peter 1:18–19).

Š      We have been set free from sin by his blood (Revelation 1:5).

Š      We who were afar off have been brought nigh by his blood (Ephesians 2:13).

Š      And we have peace through his blood (Colossians 1:20).

 

The precious blood of Christ is central to all we are and all we have as the children of God. His blood was the ransom price of our souls, the price of our redemption and the expiation of our sin. — Think much of the blood! — Thank God for the blood, the precious, sin-atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. — By the shedding of his blood He is Our Peace! — Without the shedding of his blood, there is no remission. And without the shedding of his blood, there is no peace.

 

The blood that Jesus shed for me

Upon the cross of Calvary

Was infinite in merit, and

Satisfied the law’s just demands.

 

The blood that Jesus shed for me

Has purchased peace and liberty.

It purged away my guilt and sin,

And from the curse my soul redeemed!

 

The blood that Jesus shed for me

Intercedes in heaven for me,

Upon the grounds of truth and grace,

In strict accord with righteousness.

 

The blood that Jesus shed for me

Will in the Day of Judgment be

The only thing that I will own,

When justice cries, “What have you done?”

 

The blood that Jesus shed for me

Will be what still amazes me,

When, with God’s saints in heav’n above;

I perfectly adore His love!

 

The Lord Jesus Christ has torn down the wall that separated his people from God. Now, through his death and resurrection, there is “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” When sin is put away, God has no reason for warfare against his creature. Christ has put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself; and, therefore, peace is established between God and our souls.

 

Peace in Our Consciences

 

However, this peace might exist without us having any knowledge of it. Indeed, for all of God’s elect, this is true, until they are born-again. God is at peace with us through the blood of Jesus Christ long before he subdues our wills and bring us to enjoy his peace by faith. But, thanks be unto God, Jesus Christ does come into our hearts with regenerating power, and gives peace to the hearts and consciences of his people. C. H. Spurgeon rightly observed, “Peace with God is the treaty, peace in the conscience is the publication of it.”

Š      Peace with God is the fountain; peace in the conscience the stream that flows from it.

Š      Peace was made in the court of divine justice in heaven when Christ’s blood made an atonement for our sins; and peace is declared in the heart when he sends forth his Spirit into our hearts crying “Abba Father.”

 

Peace with Each Other

 

Then, having sealed our peace with God and subdued our hearts in peace toward God, the Lord Jesus Christ binds us to one another with the bonds of love and peace. He brings us into his kingdom of righteousness and peace.

 

All of this Jesus Christ is. — He is Our Peace. Not only a friend to peace, but peace itself. As he is our righteousness, our life, and our sanctification, he is our peace. Not only has he brought in everlasting righteousness; but he is himself our righteousness. So he has not only made and proclaimed peace, he is our peace. — In this message I want to show you how Christ is our peace, and the benefits that are ours by having such a peace as Jesus Christ is.

 

Proposition: The doctrine of my text is very plain — Jesus Christ is the peace of all who trust him.

 

Divisions: I want to set forth the message of this text in three ways. I pray that God the Holy Spirit will make it effectual to your souls’ everlasting joy and peace.

  1. How is Christ is our Peace?
  2. How do sinners obtain this peace and enjoy it?
  3. If Christ is our Peace, what then?

 

Christ our Peace

 

1st — How is Christ our Peace? That is my first point. — How is Christ our Peace? I will spend most of my time here. — “He is our peace.” How?

 

We have Christ as our peace entirely as a gracious act of almighty God. He has given us his Son as our peace in the covenant of grace and peace. As I have already shown you, Jesus Christ is our peace with God.

 

When God made man, there was a bond of perfect love and unity between them. God was at peace with man; and man was at peace with God. They had sweet fellowship and communion with one another, walking together in the garden. But, when Adam sinned, immediately a quarrel began between God and man. Eating the forbidden fruit broke the peace; and ever since that day, there has been a quarrel between the creature and the Creator.

 

This is a mutual quarrel. God is angry with man (Psalm 2:4, 9; 7:11-13).

 

(Psalm 2:4) “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

 

(Psalm 2:9) “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

 

(Psalm 7:11-13) “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (12) If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. (13) He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.”

 

God is angry with all men (“Children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:3). I know that God’s elect are eternally accepted in Christ, eternally righteous, holy, and sanctified in Christ, eternally justified and eternally reconciled by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; but none know it until they are reconciled to God in the sweet experience of his grace.

  • All are sinners.
  • All have broken God’s law.
  • All have earned God’s wrath.

 

God is angry with all men; and all men are angry with God. All men by nature are opposed to God.

Š               We are opposed to his holiness.

Š               We are opposed to his sovereignty.

Š               We are opposed to his will.

Š               We are opposed to his Word.

Š               We are opposed to his salvation.

Every part of our being is, by nature, enmity against God (Romans 8:7; Colossians 1:21).

 

(Romans 8:7) “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

 

(Colossians 1:21-22) “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”

 

Fallen man is God’s enemy, hating God, opposed to God, fighting God relentlessly, because fallen man’s understanding is darkened. — His will is hardened. — His heart is wicked (Mark 7:21-23).

 

(Mark 7:21-23) “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

 

This quarrel between God and man is a growing quarrel. It increases day by day as we pursue our lusts, rebellion, and sin against him. —— On God’s part this quarrel is righteous. He has every reason to be angry and offended with us.

  • Our sins are debts. We are indebted to God; and we have nothing to pay.
  • Our sins are trespasses against God’s law; and we cannot repair it.

Š               We have broken every commandment.

Š               We have broken them many times.

Š               We have robbed him of his glory.

Š               We have despised his Son.

 

Our sin is treason against the crown rights and dignity of the King of Heaven. Did you ever wonder why it is that our Savior said that, when he sends his Spirit in grace, the very first thing he does is convince the heaven born sinner of sin “because they believe not on me” (John 16:9)? — The essence of all sin is the despising of Christ, the Son of God, the King of Heaven!

  • Despising His Righteousness!
  • Despising His Sacrifice!
  • Despising His Salvation!
  • Despising His Dominion and Authority as Lord!

 

Every man who denies God’s right to rule over him speaks as defiantly and blasphemously as Pharaoh (“Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice?” — Exodus 5:2).

 

On our part this quarrel is both unrighteous and unreasonable (Jeremiah 2:4-5; John 10:32).

 

(Jeremiah 2:4-5) “Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: (5) Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?”

 

(John 10:32) “Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?”

 

What has God done to make you hate him so? What has he done to provoke such malice?

  • He gave you life.
  • He feeds you and clothes you.
  • He keeps you relatively sane.
  • He enriches you day by day.
  • He has delivered you countless times from grave danger, perhaps even from death.
  • He alone is keeping you out of hell this hour!

 

Christ the Mediator

 

Unless this quarrel is taken up by someone who can settle it, it will be an everlasting quarrel. When there are feuds between men, they may last for a life time; but death puts an end to them. But not with this quarrel. Death brings the sinner to an endless state of misery and torment, where he will eternally wax worse and worse in his hatred of God, cursing and blaspheming his name. And God will eternally go on hating, plaguing, and punishing him. — Oh, how I wish that you would seriously consider this

 

In reference to this quarrel between God and men, Jesus Christ is our Peace. He stepped forward in the covenant of peace and volunteered to undertake our cause, to take up the quarrel and settle it. He is the Mediator. He is the Daysman. He steps between the two quarreling parties and brings us together. To do this, he must deal first with one, and then with the other.

 

God has graciously condescended to settle this quarrel through his Son, the Man Christ Jesus, the one Mediator between God and men.

  • Peace is the gift of God. — “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).
  • Peace comes only through Jesus Christ. — “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). — “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
  • This peace which Christ gives guards our hearts (Philippians 4:7).

 

(Philippians 4:4-7) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

                                                   

But, how do we have peace? Christ our Mediator has dealt with God. God had to be satisfied before peace could come. The wall of partition which separated us from God had to be removed.

Š      The law of accusation had to be satisfied (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5).

Š               Our sins had to be put away.

  • Nothing but blood would satisfy God’s justice (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22).

 

Nothing but the violent death of God’s own Firstborn, his own firstborn Son, could satisfy the demands of his holiness.

Š      It must be the blood of the Son of God that its merit may be of infinite value.

Š        It must be the blood of the Son of Man that the very nature that sinned would be punished.

Š        Jesus Christ must die a violent death, so that God’s anger with sin might be demonstrated.

Š      Our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to satisfy the holiness, righteousness, justice, and truth of the Triune Jehovah (Psalm 40:6-8); and (Blessed be his holy name forever!) Jehovah has been satisfied (“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

 

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

Having made satisfaction for us with the Father, the Savior now deals with man. God has reconciled his chosen to himself by the obedience and death of his Son. — (The Bible never speaks of God being reconciled to his people, only of us being reconciled to God.) — Now his people must be won and reconciled to him.

Š      He sends forth his Spirit through the preaching of the gospel and persuades you to be God’s friend (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

Š      By the saving power of his grace, God the Holy Ghost wins you to Christ (Psalms 65:4; 110:3.

Š      He shows Christ’s beauty to you.

Š      He opens your blinded eyes with the light of the gospel.

Š      He breaks your hard heart with conviction.

Š      He humbles your stubborn will with repentance.

Š      He causes you to gladly receive the Savior (Psalm 65:4; 110:3).

Š      He gives you a new heart; and, before you know it, you have fallen in love with the Savior.

 

Having made peace between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ is also our Peace with one another. There will never be peace between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. But, in Christ Jesus, all of his people are one and are at peace with one another (Colossians 3:11).

  • We have a common Savior.
  • Christ has put away all carnal distinctions.
  • Christ gives his people love for one another.

 

Peace by Faith

 

2ndHow do sinners obtain this peace and enjoy it? The gospel which we preach is the gospel of peace (Luke 1:76-79).

 

(Luke 1:76-79) “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; (77) To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, (78) Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (79) To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

The way of peace is the way of faith in Christ. The only way sinners can obtain peace is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust him who is our Peace, and peace is yours.You cannot have it any other way.

  • No priest can give you peace.
  • No ritual can give you peace.
  • No sacrifices can give you peace.
  • No works of your own can give you peace.
  • No amount of earthly possessions can give you peace.

 

When the Spirit of God comes to our hearts in regeneration, he sovereignly proclaims peace by the gift of faith in Christ (Romans 5:5; 8:1-2; Galatians 4:4-6).

 

(Romans 5:1-11) “Therefore being justified, —— by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

 

(Romans 8:1-2) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

 

(Galatians 4:4-6) “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

 

There is peace in Jesus Christ for all who want it. (Matthew 11:28-30). It is to be had by faith, by faith in the Son of God, by reconciliation to God in and by his dear Son.

 

(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

As peace is obtained by faith, so we walk with God in peace only by faith in Christ.

 

(Philippians 4:4-7) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 

(Philippians 4:8) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 

Let all who trust our God,

The objects of His choice,

Proclaim Jehovah’s grace abroad,

And in His name rejoice!

 

We fought with God and strove;

But Jesus bought our peace,

In our hearts sheds abroad His love,

And bids our fears all cease.

 

Christ Jesus reconciles

Offending man to God,

And through Him God the Father smiles,

And seals our peace with blood!

 

His peace now cheers our hearts

And lifts above the earth. —

He is our Peace!” — Blest peace of heart,

The gift of heav’nly birth!

 

This peace, by Jesus giv’n,

Is known by saints alone;

The prelude and the pledge of heav’n,

Where He’ll be fully known!

 

What Then?

 

3rdIf Christ is our Peace, what then? What follows? — I can tell you this…

1.    If Christ is my Peace, then I have taken him as such (Romans 5:1-2).

2.    If Christ is my Peace, then sin is my trouble.

3.    If Christ is my Peace, then he has reconciled me to God and to all that is his.

  • His Person
  • His Purpose
  • His Salvation
  • His Providence

4.    If Christ is my Peace and Christ is your Peace, then we are at peace with one another. — “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”

 

Application

 

Sinner, lay down your enmity, raise the white flag of surrender in your soul to King Jesus, and take him for your peace, or God will be your enemy forever.

 

Children of God, learn to enjoy Christ as your Peace (Isaiah 26:3; Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

(Isaiah 26:3) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

 

(Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

  • When temptations assail us — Christ is our Peace.
  • When darkness surrounds us — Christ is our Peace.
  • When enemies oppose us — Christ is our Peace.
  • When tribulation is upon us — Christ is our Peace.

 

Christ is my Peace. Is he yours?

 

(Numbers 6:24-26) “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: (25) The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: (26) The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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