PEACE BECOMES ELUSIVE

Theme: 

IN TIME LIKE THIS


Unit One
MAN'S DISCONNECTION

Date
8th & 15th August, 2021

Lesson
TWO

TOPIC

PEACE BECOMES ELUSIVE


Memory Scripture
There is no peace says my God, "for the wicked"

(Isaiah 57:21).

Only Jesus gives true and lasting peace in this chaotic world, and His peace is for those who are filled with His Spirit.

BRIEF COMMENT
Isaiah is a book of divine oracles of warning to Israel as regards their recalcitrant in continued idolatry. God continually warned them of the futility of idolatry (Isa. 57:1ff). How would they so quickly forget the faithfulness of Yahweh in bringing them out of slavery to possess the land they never deserved, by His mighty power? The merciful God was poised to heal them, if they returned from their backsliding (vv. 14ff). He would bring peace to those afar off who would come back home to His holiness and righteousness (Eph. 2:17). Of course, peace is a highly coveted virtue, because of its indispensability for any society to be what God expects it to be. No wonder it is an important part of the fruit of the Spirit. Peace is freedom from war, or conflict. It is the state of calmness and quietness, freedom from disturbances; when, mentally speaking, one is calm, serene, and free from anxiety. In terms of interpersonal relationship, it is freedom from disagreement among people, or groups of people, and the absence of violence of other among the people.

The wicked include those who have chosen to be on the opposite side of God. They have chosen to align with the devil, hence they are God's enemy by choice. God's peace can never abide with such. This is why they would forever be like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, until they positively change their ways (v. 20). There is no peace... for the wicked (i.e people who do very bad things, living in godless manners). This is the unchangeable verdict of the Almighty God (v. 21). The only escape route is to come to Jesus by whom we can have peace with God (Rom. 5:1; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:14).

Devotional Bible Reading For Week One
Mon. 2: The Lord Shall Give Peace (Num. 6:22-27)
Tue. 3: The Prince Of Peace --- Jesus Christ (Isa. 9:6)
Wed. 4: The One (Jesus) Shall Be Peace (Mic. 5:3-5)
Thur. 5: The Command Of Peace-Loving (Mt. 9:49,50)
Fri. 6: The Peace Jesus Gives Surpasses Others (Jn. 14:27)
Sat. 7: True Peace Is Found In Jesus (Rom. 5:1-5)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS
1. Satan brought chaos into the world. The Prince of Peace is coming to crush him and establish His eternal peace. Hallelujah!
2. Satan is the master of chaos. He caused the problem of rebellion in heaven (Isa. 14:12ff; Ezk. 28:1ff), and that led to his ouster from heaven. Since a leopard wouldn't change its skin, Satan came on earth to continue his rebellious tendencies. His mission has always been to pitch people against their Creator. This is foundational to chaotic situations.
3. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came over 2000 years ago to perfect the provisional crushing of Satan's head (Gen. 3:15) on Calvary. He allows the Devil to think he has his field day, for now. He is coming again to finally crush Satan in hell, so that there will be eternal peace for everyone who follows Jesus in heaven.

BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: James 4:1-10

AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show how and why true peace became so elusive in the world today, and set out the God-given way out.

Objectives: At the end of this lesson, it is expected that students should be able to:
i. portray Jesus as a Founder of and Foundational for lasting peace;
ii. point out areas that God expects His peace to be found;
iii. unveil how peace became a scarce commodity in the world; and
iv. show that there is still hope to regain the lost divine peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • INTRODUCTION
  • TEXTUAL SOURCES: GENESIS 3:1FF; 4:1FF; PSALM 133:1-3; EZEKIEL 37:26; MATT. 11:28-30; JOHN 14:27; 16:33; EPHESIANS 2:14-18 ISAIAH 11:1-10
  • We sincerely thank God for this series. This is the second lesson in the series. Meanwhile, the first lesson, concluded last week, opened the series in a most powerful way that the Controller of the affairs of man in time like this has eternally ordained His unchallengeable and unchanging programme. That previous lesson delved into both the attitude of God to the reality of the world becoming chaotic, as well as man's responses. Certainly, God is still in the business of making these truths clearer to us, the more available we are.

  • This second lesson is sequel to the first, even merely looking at the topic, PEACE BECOMES ELUSIVE. After the initial experience of the Fall that brought untold disaster on humanity, the natural man has not known true and lasting peace. Countless steps have been taken to restore peace in the world, especially, after World War I (1914-1918) and the World War II (1939-1945). Different reconciliatory and peace-keeping associations have been established with little or no success. So sad! This is because our accuser, the devil, displaced from heaven to earth, is doing everything against peace (Rev. 12:7-12; cf. 1 Pet. 5:8).

  • From now till the coming of our Lord Jesus for the Millennial and the Eternal reigns, respectively, there cannot be genuine peace, but war and conflicts, until we align with the Prince of Peace. May the Lord help us to better understand and apply this. Amen.

  • INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
  • This is a 2-week lesson, and it is divided into two sections I and II. Each of the divisions is further divided into A and B.

  • DIVISION I: FOUNDATION FOR PEACE:
  • This section is a discourse of Psalms 133:1-3; John 14:27; 16:33; Ephesians 2:14-18. It is broken down into two parts. Part A is titled, Jesus, The Founder Of Peace, while part B. has the topic, Where We Hope To Find Peace. Jesus is indeed the Author of Peace. He is the Prince and Father of lasting peace and tranquility. He gives His peace, and this is expected to be found in some places. These are the focal points of this section of the lesson.

  • DIVISION II: Finding Lasting Peace:
  • Lasting peace is not cheap to come by. No wonder it is eluding so many homes, churches, workplaces, communities, etc. In this division, the Lord has spoken and would still be speaking to us as regards how we can find and retain the lasting peace that only Christ gives. To achieve this aim, the division is broken down into 2 parts. The first interprets and applies the cause of the loss of peace in the world. The second part gives the hope that peace isn't totally elusive. Thank God for Jesus. As long as we align with Him, the peace that is lost in the world, and that is far from the reach of the people of the world is really available to us in Christ for application.

  1. LESSON OUTLINE
  2. I. FOUNDATION FOR PEACE
  3.     A. JESUS, THE FOUNDER OD PEACE
  4.     B. WHERE WE HOPE TO FIND PEACE

  5. II. FUNDING LASTING PEACE
  6.     A. PEACE IA LOST
  7.     B. PEACE ISN'T TOTALLY ELUSIVE

LESSON EXPOSITION
I. FOUNDATION FOR PEACE (Psalm 133:1-3; John 14:27; 16:3; Ephesians 2'14-18)
    Foundation, here connotes the idea of the basis of true peace -- the root, the source, the origin, the beginning. It refers to how peace is divinely set up for the benefit of man. This is what God is reviewing to us in this division. May we be more aligned with the Source of Peace and Life --- Jesus, in Jesus' name, Amen.

A. JESUS THE FOUNDER OF PEACE (Jn. 14:27; Eph. 2:14-18)
     For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation (Eph. 2:14).
i. The Heb. word for 'Peace,' shalom means having still heart, rest of mind, and resounding understanding (cf. 1 Chron. 22:9).
ii. Peace means restfulness; a situation where one has the needed basic amenities with no troubles or upheavals added, in which whatsoever one does succeeds (cf. Jer. 29:7).
iii. Jn. 14:27: ...My peace I give to you. Jesus is the Owner, the Source and the Giver of peace. It is His peace. Of course, He is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
iv. Eph. 2:14,15: The fall of man and the eventual choice of Israel from among the nations had brought dichotomy in humanity --- Jews versus Gentiles. The coming of the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), breaks down the wall of separation. He is indeed our peace.
v. v.16: Jesus perfected the reconciliation, bringing everlasting peace to us, through the cross. His death removes enmity.
vi. vv. 17-18: Jesus came to preach with both God and man.
vii. No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace. Only Jesus offers peace --- Life. There is nowhere man finds lasting peace outside Jesus. No wonder, no peace for the wicked (Isa. 57:20,21).

B. WHERE WW HOPE TO FIND PEACE (Psa. 133:1-3; 14:27; 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 (Jn. 16:33).
i. Jn. 16:33: Only in Jesus can we find peace in this world of chaos and uncertainty. He who has Jesus would have peace in him/herself as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19). The truth is, anyone who does not recognise Jesus as founder of peace is sick and seriously insane (Psa. 14:1-4).
ii. Psa. 133:1-3: Brethren, here can also refers to siblings (cf. Gen. 13:8). The home/family is where peace and unity should be found. Home/family is the nucleus of the society. Unsettled homes produce unsettled society and nation.
iii. The above Scripture also applies to the Church. Since Christ, our Peace, has broken down the wall of enmity, creating in Himself one new man --- the Church, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Eph. 2:14-18; Col. 1:20), no-peace situations should be unheard of among us.
iv. Jn. 14:27: The same brethren that Jesus released His peace upon (cf. 29:26), and prayed earnestly for their peace and unity (17:6ff), were the seed of the Church at her Pentecostal take off (Acts 2:1ff). Why should peace elude the Church, today?
v. The fourth place is the nation: Any nation that loses its peace cannot live in harmony. High-level wickedness would be the order of the day, because Satan, the lord of chaos, is in charge. He pushes their leaders to act in error, bringing disaster on the populace, as in David's case (1 Chro. 21:1-17).
vi. If it is God's expectation that peace would be lastingly evident in these places, one wonders why peace is elusive in most of the places. The truth is, Satan doesn't allow peace whenever he is. That is why we must let Jesus reign in our lives.

LESSONS DERIVED
1. Jesus is the only Source of true and lasting peace, Of course, He is the Prince of Peace.
2. It is God's desire for peace to be everywhere on earth. We too must do everything to entrench peace wherever we are.

WORK TO DO
If God so desire for peace among us and has ultimately provided for it, why are there no-peace situations prevalent around us?

SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
i. Of course, God really desires peace among His people, and has ultimately provided for it in our Lord Jesus Christ.
ii. The question of why there are no-peace situations prevalent around us is somehow paradoxical to some people. Why would the world the God of peace, Who Himself is Peace personified, creates be infested by so much chaos?
iii. The Scripture unequivocally spells it out that God is not the author of confusion or chaos (1 Cor. 14:33). Where then comes the no-peace situation in the world?
iv. Under inspiration, James, the brother of our Lord Jesus, answers, "Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?" (Jas. 4:1).
v. The godless desires in man has been the cause of chaos in his world, most especially, because man has chosen not to retain God in their knowledge (Rom. 1:26ff).
vi. The question of how man became so debased arises. We aren't left in the dark. The fallen, recalcitrantly rebellious and irredeemable Satan had been driven from heaven. He has continued to prowl about looking for the careless and unsuspecting to devour (1 Pet. 5:8ff). That is how he butchered our first human parents --- Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1ff).
vii. The heart of man had become resultanly wicked (Gen. 6:5ff), and cannot naturally accommodate the peace of Christ; only chaos and death fits its wickedness (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).
viii. And God declared that the wicked will not have peace, as long as they remain in wickedness (Isa. 57:21).
ix. How then can there be peace in a setting where the God of Peace is being fought, whether in principle or practice? It isn't possible! This accounts for why the world, without Christ, regardless of their seeming sophistication and modernisation, will continually experience the elusiveness of peace, until they come to Christ.

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