Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Peace of Christ

The Duty of Self-Denial and Ten Other Sermons by Thomas Watson includes a sermon titled "The Peace of Christ" on John 16:33.  In his sermon Mr. Watson expounds the doctrine that the "Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Peacemaker, gives His sweet peace to all His people, " (p. 52).

In this context, the term peace is meant as the immediate fruit of a believer's justification.  This peace is purchased by Christ, conveyed by the Holy Spirit, and maintained by Jesus' daily intercession.

The first use of this peace is that it is the believer's consolation in life and death.  Having peace through the blood of Jesus Christ emboldens the believer to make use of God's promises.  In addition, peace is begun in this life, but it is perfected in heaven.  The wicked, however, have no peace.  They may have the appearance of peace in this life, but it will be bitterness in the end:

"And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven," (Deut. 29:19-20).

The second use of this peace is to search and examine for it.  A believer who has the peace of Christ is one with Christ and is submissive to His rule.  A recipient of Christ's blessed peace also has a meek, quiet, and peaceable disposition.

The third use of the peace of Christ is to be calm during life's afflictions.  Christ gives the believer a glorious peace that will hold out in a storm or tempest; therefore, a believer should not be overly troubled with afflictions and trials that are incidental to this life.  "Peace of soul makes harmony in a Christian," (p. 60).

A peaceful Christian will preserve his peace by taking heed of relapses.  "They are dangerous.  Do not tamper any more with sin.  Dare not to feed sin in a corner.  Sin is the peace-breaker," (p. 61).  A peaceful Christian will also keep a clean account with God every day; "Often reckoning keeps God and conscience friends," (p. 61).  Finally, a peaceful Christian will walk closely with God daily.  "Live as under the continual inspection of God's omniscient eye.  Live holily.  Peace and purity go together.  They way to preserve our peace is to preserve our integrity...Search the Scriptures.  The two testaments are the two lips by which God has spoken.  Love the Word.  Love prayer.  Love the Sabbath," (pp. 61-62).

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"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world," (John 16:33).