Culture of Peace
Sermon Series: The Affectionate Gospel
Sermon Title: The Culture of Peace
1 Thessalonians 5:13b
Peace in the church reflects the God of peace who alone makes peace possible.
The term peace, utilized 361 times in the Bible, is a Greek present imperative in today’s passage. This gospel-informed continuous command by the apostle Paul reinforces the culture of peace that God establishes throughout the Bible. Paul instructs us to cultivate this culture of peace by proclaiming, practicing, and passing on peace. Thus the church reflects the God of peace in whom only true peace is possible.
Point 1: Proclaim Peace
The “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33, 1 Thess. 5:23, Rom. 16:20) has made peace available to mankind through Jesus and the cross (Col. 1:20, Acts 10:36, Rom. 5:1). This same peace that brings us to God also creates peace between those hostile to each other (Eph. 2:14). Peace and unity are distinctives of Christian living, for we are instructed to strive earnestly for “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Such effort takes sacrifice as we corporately foster peace. How we treat each other (negatively or positively) is a witness to the world.
“Jesus prayed [in John 17] that His followers would get along with each other.” Ken Sande
Point 2: Practice Peace
Yet Satan tempts us to sin, bringing division and strife among God’s people. We must practice peace by glorifying God (1 Cor. 10:31), by getting the log out of our own eye (Mt. 7:3-5), by gently restoring (Mt. 18:15), and by being reconciled (Mt. 5:24). These four principles are detailed in Ken Sande’s book The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict.
Point 3: Pass Peace On
By practicing peace in the church and by teaching these principles to our children, peace takes root and is passed down to the next generation. We express true care for each other when we are discipled this way.
As we purpose to glorify God with our practice and our passing along of peace, we trust God for restoration and witness.