SCRIPTURE: ISAIAH 9:6-7 PRINCETON CHRSITIAN CHURCH 06 December 2020
Summary: The Bible (the Old Testament) tells us that Jesus would come and that He would be called the Prince of Peace. What does that really mean? What does it mean to have Jesus called the ‘Prince of Peace’?
Sometime ago a group at Duke University did a study on “peace of mind.” They found several factors which contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability – or peace:
1. The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.
2. Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.
3. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.
4. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.
5. Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.
6. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues—love, humor, compassion and loyalty
7. Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.
8. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness.
READ ISAIAH 9:6-7
Jesus must be the bearer of this title because of what He would do and did do while He was here on Earth. Jesus gets the title Prince of Peace because it defines who He is and what He can do for us. It is not just a title, but it is also a description.
Let’s look at 5 characteristics of the title – Prince of Peach
1. HE PARDONS SIN
The greatest thing that Jesus ever did to bring peace into our lives is to provide a way for our sins to be forgiven. The Bible states clearly that at one time we were all sinners. We were at odds against God. In fact, we were enemies against God. There was no way for us to have a relationship with God because of our sin. The price of sin is costly. None of us can afford it. You know, as Christians, the cost of sin. The price can only be paid in blood. Blood is the only way to wash away sins. That is why there are sacrifices in the Old Testament. But, God had a plan to offer salvation to all people. God had a plan to offer a clean slate to anyone who would accept. He did that through Jesus on the Cross. Jesus made peace between us and God with His death. Jesus paid the price. Jesus pardoned our sin.
2. HIS PROMISES ARE EVERLASTING
This message very clearly illustrates the everlasting promises from God. (Our Daily Bread, 01/01/1985).
A promise from God is a statement we can depend on with absolute confidence. The Promises of God are never ending and never run out. Scripture is full of the Everlasting Promises of God: Here are 12 promises for the Christian to claim.
God’s presence— “I will never leave thee” (Heb. 13:5)
God’s protection—”I am thy shield” (Gen. 15:1)
God’s power—”I will strengthen thee” (Isa. 41:10)
God’s provision will help thee” (Isa. 41:10)
God’s leading—”And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them” (John 10:4)
God’s purposes— “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jer. 20:11)
God’s rest—”Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)
God’s cleansing— “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
God’s goodness— “No good thing will He withhold from them that work uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)
God’s faithfulness—”The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake” (1 Sam. 12:22)
God’s guidance—”The meek will He guide” (Psalm 25:9)
God’s wise plan—”All things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28)
These promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus. God made good on all His promises to Abraham and David and the prophets when He sent Jesus. God makes good on these same promises each day with you and with me. Jesus provides these promises for us and gives us peace of mind and peace in our lives.
3. AGITATING OUR APATHY
Now, something Jesus says in Matthew 10:34 may seem strange to us as we think about Jesus coming as the “Prince of Peace.” We hear Jesus saying here: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
WHAT? Did I read that right?
We are talking here about Jesus is the Prince of Peace and now He is saying He brings the sword instead of peace!? What does Jesus mean? Jesus is explaining to His disciples that when He is in their lives, He will always be stirring them and urging them on towards holiness...that is, agitating them to complete the work He has enlisted them to do with Him. That was no easy task for His apostles. I believe it is no easy task for us today as well.
It requires us to take up our cross and follow Him (10:38). That doesn’t sound peaceful. As disciples we must know and understand that the path to God and the path of Christianity is one full of effort and sweat and tears.
We may think that peace, at times, is just having God leave us alone. Or perhaps peace to us is being allowed to just sit in the pews and do nothing. But that is not why Jesus came. Jesus came to agitate our apathy. Jesus came to point the way to holiness. Jesus came to show us how to live. He came to show us how to follow Him. It is not a complacent faith that Jesus wants from us but an active faith. By commanding us to active faith, Jesus sets us on the path of ultimate peace with God.
Jesus tells us in John 15:11 that He came and taught so that our joy may be complete.
In Jesus’ prayer recorded in John 17:23- He prayed that all His believers be in complete unity
Everything Jesus did in His life was done to completeness. Every time someone was healed by Jesus, they were not partially healed, but completely healed. We don’t hear of the disease or illness returning to the body of the one healed. Every time Jesus fed thousands of people they were not still hungry. They were completely full when they were done eating. Every time Jesus calmed the storm it completely died down. It didn’t just become less intense. All the spiritual lessons that Jesus taught were complete.
Jesus, as the Prince of Peace, brought completeness to our world. Each person on this earth, all of us, has a spiritual part of us that needs to be fed and nurtured. God made us that way! Jesus fills all of those spiritual needs completely. There is no other way those needs will possibly be met. Nothing else will do. No one else will do. No drug will do. No movie or TV show, or self-help book will be effective. Only Christ makes us complete people.
5. EMBODIED THE STANDARD
On old story is told which helps us learn about standards.
I Set My Clock By Your Whistle” by Unknown
Every day a man used to walk by a jewelry store, stop and set his watch by the big clock in the window.
One day the jeweler happened to be standing in his doorway. He greeted the man in a friendly way and said; “I see you set your watch by my clock. What kind of work do you do that demands such correct time each day?” “I’m the watchman at the plant down the street,” said the man. “My job is to blow the five o’clock whistle.” The jeweler was startled. “But...you can’t do that,” he blurted out. “I set my clock by your whistle!”
At times, in our daily lives, we may become confused, or unsure about what is expected of us. Jesus as the Prince of Peace eases our minds because we do not wonder what is expected of us from God. Jesus came and lived His life and set the standard. He taught the standard. Jesus is the standard. He communicated God’s desires to us about our lives. Those standards are all recorded in one book. They are recorded unchanged and enduring in the Bible, God’s Holy Word.
During this time of year, the days leading up to the celebration of the birth of Christ on earth, we will hear many songs that we love. Silent Night. Joy to the World. Some of these songs speak about the Prince of Peace. When you sing those words, it is good to remember what they mean for us each day of the year.
PARDONING OF SIN
AGITATING OUR APATHY
EMBODYING THE STANDARD