Divine Peace versus worldly peace

Text:           Gospel Reading:  Luke 12: 49 – 56       

Title:          Divine Peace versus worldly peace


My brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord and our God continues to teach us there is a stark contrast between the peaceful fellowship the holy God has with His children and the fleshly fellowship unrepentant mankind has with one another.  Jesus speaks to you and me this day, further illuminating the irreconcilable conflict between: the kingdom of God against the kingdom of the evil one;  God’s divine light versus sin’s obscene darkness; God’s pure and loving peace in opposition to the flesh’s profane and conditional peace.  The Prince of Peace testifies to the truth that the peace He gives to us, His brothers and sisters, is priceless, steadfast and trustworthy while fallen mankind’s peace is conditional, transient and suspect.  Our risen Lord’s words are both comforting and jarring.  Comforting for He speaks of the peace He has won with God with His bloody work, His fiery baptism upon the cross is the peace He gives to the children of God, His disciples, His brothers and sisters, you and me.  Jarring for the King of kings speaks of: fleshly conflict among members of temporal blood relationships that must give way to the everlasting spiritual familial relationship; a carnal peace within members of a family that must give way to the divine peace within the members of His body.  His peace was secured with His steadfast faithfulness to God and is this day sheltered in our heavenly Father’s steadfast love and faithfulness to His Christ.  The Lamb of God’s peace was tempered and proven true in the fiery baptism of God’s holy and righteous wrath for man’s rejection and rebellion and His payment for the wages of our sindeath upon the cross.  The Good Shepherd’s peace is vouchsafed by His reign at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.


Jesus tells us that this spiritual and deadly division with mankind is the result of Adam’s rebellion and lawless behavior in the Garden of Eden and has since been perpetuated ever since by every descendant of Adam, including you and me.  Sin has so totally fouled our nature that we are neither able to see our sin, comprehend its offensiveness to God, overcome its complete defilement of our thoughts, our words and our deeds, nor combat and defeat its consequences.  It leads mankind into blasphemous notions that we arrive at a point of foolishness in this life where we believe “we have made peace with God,” living our lives as best we can while at peace with our fellow man.  The Lord warns us that the old Adam seeks not only to be God but to stand in judgment of God’s justice and holiness while overlooking or minimizing His perfect and steadfast love and mercy.  The world of lost sinners are under the bewitchment of the evil one who leads his people to self-righteously proclaim peace for all because they embrace and promote his lie that “God accepts everyone, welcomes all mankind into heaven, and would never cast anyone into hell.”  These and other heretical beliefs and blasphemous philosophies keep unrepentant mankind in insurrection and fighting against the almighty and merciful God.


Thankfully, Christ continues to reveal and teach us the truth of the stark and unfathomable division between God’s peace and man’s peace.  He again teaches us that this division is so deep, so vast, so insurmountable and so impassable by human reason or strength that only He, true God/true Man, correctly and completely understands and has spanned this split between heaven and earth, God and mankind. 


Therefore, He once more speaks of safeguarding God’s holy ones by dividing, separating, and distinguishing that which is conceived from above by the power of the Holy Spirit and that which is born of the flesh.  Jesus has recently spoken to us about the foolishness of accumulating temporal wealth as a means to peace in this life while ignoring the eternal wealth He brings to His church through His means of grace.  He spoke to us last week about the significance of keeping our hearts focused on God for He is our true, loving and priceless treasure that is eternal, non-negotiable and indestructible.  This morning He speaks clearly, concisely and forcefully that He has won for us true peace, divine peace, eternal peace, indestructible peace with God by His fiery baptism on the cross.  On that day He was constrained to walk the path of peace through the dark valleys of hostile sinners, ordained to endure the angry taunts and mocking insults of evil men and fallen angels, committed to confess the truth and reality of God’s salvation before unbelieving and unrepentant religious and civic rules, prepared to receive onto Himself the savage and unjust punishment for sins He did not commit by the hands of those He came to in peace with the gift of salvation that they would believe in Him and not perish in their own sins, and committed to be lifted high upon the cross as the most vile and profane sinner before the holy and righteous God, that His bloody baptism was the good, the complete, and the only acceptable payment for mankind’s sin, your sins and my sins.  Jesus achieved perfect and eternal peace between God and man by meeting every demand of the Law with His holy and righteous life and atoning death upon the cross.  God willingly and willfully exchanged the reward earned by His only begotten Son’s innocence and righteousness life to you and me and laid upon Him the punishment due our sin-filled and rebellious lives on the cross as divinely ordained before creation.  Jesus did all this in complete trust and unwavering faithfulness, confident that He would be the one, the only, and the perfect peace offering satisfactory and pleasing to God.  God confirmed and rewarded His faithfulness on the third day when He arose again, announced peace to His fearful, hopeful and faithful disciples, was received into the glory of God, and is now seated at His right hand.  Jesus is the living security that God is at peace with His people, you and me, this day and every day until He comes again in glory when He will judge the living and the dead.


My brothers and sisters, Christ has mightily exerted Himself and victoriously achieved peace between God and mankind through His bloody baptism.  Yet, unbelieving and unrepentant mankind continues to rebel against God and remain hostile to His children.  Jesus speaks to you and me this morning that we would hear and believe that we have peace with God for His sake.  Yet we are not to be hypocrites, expecting true and meaningful peace with rebellious and unrepentant relatives, friends and neighbors that are bound in unbelief, ensnared in unrepentance, and confident in the fleshly peace with which they embrace others. 


Christ calls us not to tire or lose hope but to persevere in prayer for their salvation.  The Prince of Peace exhorts us to focus our eyes on Him even as we experience religious conflict and hostility with those we love and desire to have true peace.  He assures you and me God faithfully and lovingly inclines His ear to receive our prayers for loved ones bound in unbelief.  His heart compassionately receives our cries for those lost in error’s maze.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit emboldens us to cast our burdens and cares upon Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith even as He warns us against the hypocrisy of claiming astuteness in worldly understanding while remaining indifferent in spiritual wisdom. 


Jesus is the faithful and true Prince of Peace who will never leave us nor forsake us but abide with us through the fiery and blustery trials and afflictions with which the Holy Spirit sanctifies us as He leads us upward on the Path of Life to the perfect and eternal peace with our heavenly Father and all His holy ones.  Rejoice, Jesus is the very divine peace through whom our heavenly Father gives His peace to us and with each other during our exodus from this fallen world of conflict and hostility.  Rejoice, Jesus will on the last day completely and eternally divide God’s holy ones from the profane ones, casting all who have refused to believe in Him as their Savior into eternal darkness, anguish, and hopelessness and reclining all who believe in His name, our brothers and sisters, you and me, at His table in our heavenly Father’s lodging where we will enjoy perfect fellowship with Him and each other in eternal peace.


Amen and Amen!!!