Tom: We are continuing with the gospel; presently we are in the Gospel of John, John:14:27. Jesus is speaking: “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.”
Dave: Amazing! Peace—“I leave with you my peace, I give unto you; not as the world giveth.” The world has been trying to find peace, right? We’ve been talking about trying to find peace in the Middle East.
Tom: Dave, not just the world but in everyone’s heart. If you could have peace—Wow!
Dave: Well, that’s the peace that He gives us, and it’s not just peace with one another. Others may hate us, but we have peace with God. Therefore, “being justified by faith,” Paul says in Romans, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”—always because of Him, and He is the only one who can give it. So He is the one who says, “Peace, I leave with you.”
Tom: And Dave, peace must begin with God. If we don’t have peace with God, I don’t care what you call it—you can get into TM, you can get into some kind of drugs, into something that would throw you into an altered state of consciousness, whatever it might be.
Tom: But it’s superficial at best and in many cases, with regard to these techniques, it’s horrible.
Dave: And how can we be at peace with God, who is perfect? Whose standards—you know, He has given us the law! He says we are to love Him with our whole heart. He tells us exactly what our conduct is supposed to be, and every one of us knows in our hearts that we have not lived up to God’s standards. Well, there are consequences for this. Now how am I going to be delivered from this burden of knowing that I have offended, sinned against, the infinite Creator—I mean, that’s a heavy load to carry. And there’s only one way: because Christ, who is God, became a man, and He lived a perfect sinless life, and He paid the penalty for my sins on the Cross. He’s the only one who could do it. And now I have peace with God because…if I am willing to accept it, to accept His payment of this debt.
Tom: Put our trust in Him.
Dave: Then, we have peace with God and if you don’t have peace with God, then you haven’t believed what Jesus said—it’s a promise. Tom, it’s interesting that…you remember when Jimmy Carter brought Menacham Begin and Anwar Sadat together, and he talked Israel into giving back the Sinai, which never belonged to Egypt, and brought “peace” to the Middle East. I mean, they were all excited. How many times have they been excited about bringing peace to the Middle East? And well, Carter considered himself to be a Christian so he wanted to quote a verse about peace from the Bible and from the Qur’an. You remember, his speechwriters, they searched and searched, and they couldn’t find one in the Qur’an. Finally, they found one verse in the Qur’an, Surah 8:61. Well, Surah 8, the entire chapter is titled: “The Spoils of War,” and it’s all about slaughtering people, conquering them, and then finally verse 61 says, “If the enemy surrenders, if they submit to you, you have conquered them and they want peace, give it to them.” That’s the only peace you could find in the whole Qur’an. Four hundred and twenty-nine times in the Bible I think, you have “peace,” and here is one of them: “Peace I give unto you.” And there is no peace with God except through Jesus Christ. I don’t know why people fight that so much.
Tom: But Dave, even for Christians, verse 27 again, says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Now the disciples—Jesus had begun this by telling them that He was going to go away. And in the heart of humans, somebody whom you love is going to leave you—especially somebody that you are depending on, they are going to go away—fear takes over.
Dave: Yeah, because He was their hope, and they didn’t realize—He’s the Messiah, as far as they are concerned—He’s going to put them on twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel. He is going to ascend to the throne of David and set up His kingdom, and now He says He is going away—Wow, they couldn’t understand that. They didn’t know that He was going to come again, but He had already said that: “If I go away, I will come again,” in the early part of this chapter. Also Tom, I guess we could apply it throughout our life.
Tom: Yeah, let’s apply it to you and me and to all those who claim to believe the Lord. Don’t we…do we…we have this peace in Christ, but does it manifest itself in our lives and why not?
Dave: It should. I remember, we have probably mentioned this—probably two or three years ago, though—you remember they had a contest for artists to depict peace? How long ago did we talk about that?
Tom: A long time.
Dave: A long time. And they depicted various scenes, you know, pastoral scenes and sheep in the pasture and so forth. But the one that won the prize was a mother seagull, I think it was, on a nest with the babies underneath in the cleft of a rock and waves crashing. It was in the midst of a storm, but the waves didn’t quite get to them. And that’s the peace that Christ gives us. He doesn’t promise us that there won’t be trials and tribulations. In fact, when we get into the next chapter, he will say, “The world will hate you; they are going to persecute you; they will kill you.” Don’t think that the Christian life is a bed or roses. And I remember the poem that I’m sure we never quoted on this program: “God has not promised skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways all our life through. God has not promised clouds without rain, Joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God has promised strength for the day, Light for the traveler, joy on our way.” What does it say? But you get the point. My memory is failing me.
Tom: But there is another point.
Dave: Right, and that is that God has not promised us a bed of roses—it could be a lot of thorns— but He will be with us.
Tom: The peace is always there. The joy of the Lord—there are no circumstances that can keep us from that unless, you know, we…
Tom: We fear, we withdraw, we demonstrate a lack of trust in the Lord.
Dave: And David in Psalm 23 doesn’t say, “Yea, Lord, you will give me a rerouting around the valley of the shadow of death.” No, he says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.” The Lord is my shepherd—well, this is what Jesus is saying to his disciples.
Tom: Verse 28: “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”
Dave: Well, Tom, wonderful verse in some respects and a tough one in other respects. He has already told them He is going to go away—He is going to come again, we had that. That’s how this chapter begins, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I am going to go away and prepare a place for you. If I go away I’ll come again and receive you unto myself.” And they don’t understand it. They are troubled over this. How are they going to get along? He says, “If you love me, you would rejoice because I am going back to my Father’s house.”
Tom: Dave, that’s a tough one because when we lose a loved one, or a loved one goes, and especially, or even if the loved one, and hopefully the loved one is a believer, it’s got to be so much better for them, but somehow it comes back to ourselves. You know, what’s this going to do to us?
Dave: This is why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4, he says, “I don’t want you to sorrow like others,” because those who have died in faith in Christ, they have gone to be with Him. So don’t be sorrowing for them. Well, I guess we’re going to have to defer until next week, “For my Father is greater than I.” Jehovah’s Witnesses like to sit on that one.
Tom: Two by twos, others who reduce the deity of Christ to another god or a created god.
Dave: So we will let our listeners study that one for themselves during the week.