HE IS OUR PEACE
ILLUS.: TV – murder mystery – eventual question -’Did he have any enemies!”
DO WE HAVE ANY ENEMIES?
Do you have any enemies? most will answer ‘NO’!
BUT if we think about it most of us could begin to compile a list! As we mentioned this morning – the thoughtless neighbour who cause much inconvenience – friend/family memebr who has hurt you are one you love.
An enemy is not someone who may want to kill you OR who you want to kill BUT you may feel a little punishment/disaster wouldn’t go amiss!!
- SO if we are snubbed – we snub in return .
- if we are gossiped about we tend to repay the favour.
- if someone killed your son/daughter I have some idea how you’d feel and what you’d feel like doing. I DO!!.
IS GOD OUR ENEMY?
God is not capricious – taking pot shots at us from heaven – he is angry with unrepentant sinners BUT he is not spoiling for a fight – he is not trying to get even. He is not like that
ARE WE GOD’S ENEMIES?
Humanity is at emnity with God. We are enemies because of the ways we attack the goodness that God wants for all creation. We try to be masters of creation rather than creatures of the Creator —
every time we ….. choose lying over truth
selfishness over generosity
harshness over tenderness
apathy over compassion … we strike a blow against the good the God intends. This makes us enemies of God’s goodness.
We are very good at fooling ourselves “I know I am not perfect but I am not that bad!” BUT are capable of accurately evaluating our own hearts – the ‘little’ lie, the catty comment, the compassion fatigue ….. all these work against God’s will and goodness. BUT then occassionally we get a glimpse!!
ILLUS. M*A*S*H – TV – field hospital set in Korean WAR – A pleasant, tender young Airforce Officier is moved by the children he saw with missing arms and legs – when he inquired how this occured and was told caused by Americam bombs dropped near a village. He breaks down and sobs because he had never seen close-up the effects of his actions.
We are often unaware of the wounds we inflict when we fail to obey God.
Our sin is not primarily against other creatures but against our creator — when we turn from the guidance of God we strike a blow against heaven.
When we fail to follow the will of God we we in essence say that our wisdom is greater than that of the Lord! We trust ourselves more than the one who made us.
For this we, people, are enemies of God!
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WITH ENEMIES?
- What do we do with our enemies? avoid – criticise – ignore – sue – an in extreme situation go to war and kill.
- What does God do with his enemies? What does he do with us who have rebelled – resisted his goodness – been ar war against God’s way. ILLUS.: Martin Luther “If I were God and the world treated me like it has treated God I would kick the wretched world to pieces.”
Fortunately for us God doesn’t act that way.
GOD’S ANSWER TO HIS ENEMIES.
We must look to Jesus Christ! In Him alone we see God’s tactics with his enemies in this present Age!
Romans 5:1-2; 6-11
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. ……..
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (NIV)
Instead of striking out against his enemies Christ edure the blows, the brutality, the cross in order to reach out in non-violent love.
God has superior power but in the cross he acted in supreme love to make peace with those -WITH US – who have been at war with him.
“While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son”
This peace with God is not ours because we have proven ourselves so worthy BUT because in the face of human evil, God in Christ proved to be so good BY giving mercy.
What has this to do with how we live our lives? We are to be people of the cross!! SAVED by the cross – the cross imprinted on our daily lives – be holy as he is holy – love as he loved – forgive as he forgave.
ILLUS. Rev martin Niemoller – arrested and held by the Nazis for the duration of World War II ….
ILLUS.: FORGIVEN – what a doctor wrote in his accounts – see Vitamins for the soul p.65.
The cross and communion tells us that written across our lives – if we have come to Jesus – written in God’s our handwriting of love – Forgiven!!