Series: Preacher: Date: October 13, 2013 Scripture Reference: Romans 12:18

The Fruit of the Spirit: PEACE

This morning, we continue in our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, called PEACE.

Our focus text for today is Romans 12:18,

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Let’s spend some time unpacking peace and how to live out peace in our lives…

What is peace?  When I think of peace I think of vacation.  I can sit on the beach and listen to the waves and feel peaceful.  I think about peace being the absence of war.  I think of peace being the lack of violence in a situation or the absence of conflict, freedom from fear.

Wikipedia defines peace as; “a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violence, conflict behaviors, and the freedom from fear of violence.  Also understood as the absence of hostility; it suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “peace” is Shalom. This word Shalom carries more of a meaning then the absence of conflict.  It is made up of this notion of wholeness, completeness, and soundness.  In the OT peace is connected with righteousness and justice.  Righteousness and Justice is living rightly in relationship with others.

In the New Testament, peace is connected with the notion of fellowship.  The Greek term is koinonia.  Both of the Old and New Testament terms reveal God’s intentions on how we are to live.

In his book, The Fruitful Life, Jerry Bridges states that, “God has commanded us to let peace rule in our lives and relationships, and because peace is a fruit of the Spirit and therefore an evidence of His working in our lives.”

This leads us to the Evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit, PEACE.

PEACE is the presence of calmness and mindfulness in the midst of conflict, tension, and chaos.

The goal of peace is not sameness or uniformity… it is not the absence of conflict or tension but the goal of peace is harmony and unity…developing a presence of calmness and mindfulness in the midst of conflict, tension, and chaos.

The purpose of peace is to calm anger, and comfort the injured, by reducing strife and violence,  by promoting shalom, unity and harmony; while flourishing in a common life together by promoting koinonia; by pursuing reconciliation with God, within ourselves and with others… in the church and the world.  This is through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The same peace is expressed in three areas: Peace with God, within Ourselves, and with Others.

Peace with God

The first expression of peace is with God.  Peace with God is experienced through accepting the free gift of salvation from God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ’s as Lord of our life.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

We were sinners and Christ died for us, even though we were considered enemies of God.  God still showed that He loved us.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God gave us a way to be reconciled to Him.  When we repent of our sin, God will forgive us of our sin and we can live at peace with God.

No longer are we left to the mercies of our circumstances, but we have God’s promise, that He will work all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Peace Within

The second area, peace is expressed is within ourselves.

When we face problems, issues, petty quarrels, worry, and schemes that threaten to rock our peace.  We will be drawn to His peace during the conflict.

Jesus promised in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There will be times when you will face circumstances of uncertainty…a loved one is ill…your car breakdown and you have no money to cover it, or after a long flight your luggage does not arrive at the same place as you.  Maybe you lost your job, you get furloughed, or your company hires a new boss.

But take heart!  Remember that Jesus overcame the world.  Don’t allow your circumstance to rob you of your peace in Christ that is within you.

 Remember that God loves… you and God cares… for you!

Also remember that Jesus is in the midst of your circumstances with you.


Before you worry take a deep breath and soak in God’s peace before you take your next step.

And recite from memory Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s make a commitment.  Let’s decide for the next 21 days to make prayer our first reaction, so that it becomes our gut reaction.  If we do this, we will replace our reaction to worry with a reaction to pray.

Our goal is not deliverance from our circumstances, but our goal is to experience harmony and unity through the Fruit of the Spirit of peace.

When you pray, make it a thankful prayer.

Peace with Others

This leads us to the third expression of peace.  Peace with others.

As Christ followers we are “called to peace” (Colossians 3:15).  We will be called “blessed when we are peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).  We are given the responsibility to make peace.

 “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19).

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14a).

Jerry Bridges writes in his book, The Fruitful Life, As Christ followers we are to be “single-minded in our pursuit to leave no stone unturned to achieve the goal of peace with others.”

We are not to pursue peace for the sake of appearance, but conflicts that disturb our peace must be courageously faced and graciously dealt with.

There are two categories where we must pursue peace with others in a practical biblical way:

The first one is when it involves Christ followers, who are fellow members of the same body.

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5).

We belong to one another.  We must seek a genuine spirit of humility about our own responsibilities in the matter of peace.  We must initiate the process of the restoration of peace.

It does not matter whose right.  According to, Matthew 5:23-24 we are always responsible to initiate efforts towards peace.  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24).

Unresolved conflict is a sin and will move like a cancer throughout the body.  But what happens when you have pursued peace and restoration and it does not work.

Remember our focus verse, Romans 12:18a As far as it depends on you”, you do your part.  You cannot force another person to peace.  But you are responsible to do your part.  Be sure you do all you can do.

The second category where we must pursue peace with others in a practical biblical way is with a non-Christian.

In Matthew 5 and Matthew 18 gives us the “go to your brother” instruction for dealing with conflict.  But what happens if we are in conflict with a non-believer, someone who is not a Christian.

If you have offended an unbeliever, you are still responsible to make steps toward restoring peace.

What if an unbeliever offends you?

Look to Romans 12:17, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.”

We are stilled called to be peacemakers and take steps of faith to not act in revenge in our actions or our thoughts.  No offense goes unnoticed by God.  He judges always according to truth.  We may not see the big picture.  We may not have all the facts, but God does.

When we repay evil with good, our intent should be to win the offender over.  Maybe one day they will come to know the Lord, because of a Christ-like response.

In the matters of working out peace, we must remain dependent on the Holy Spirit working in our lives to produce the fruit of peace.

As we do, may we experience the peace of Christ in the midst of any circumstance we face.

Let us pray and ask God to help us apply this in our lives.

Lord Jesus, help us to commit to memory the Scriptures we studied today.  Help us to meditate on them and bring them to our thoughts the next time we are in need to faithfully follow Your Word.  As we pursue peace guide us to bring You Glory, Honor, and Praise.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Website design and development by Red Letter Design.