(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
What destroys peace?
You can’t fix a problem if you ignore the real cause.
How many solutions in politics simply deal with a symptom of the problem versus really understanding and addressing the root cause of the problem?
Here’s an example. Low test scores in schools…the solution is always money or lowering the standards. Little is done to address discipline problems, parent involvement in their child’s education, or removing political agendas from schools and focusing on real education and learning. (Thanks for listening.)
Politics and political topics aren’t the only arena where there is a failure or unwillingness to address the heart of the issue and so solutions stay superficial.
Same with peace.
A negotiated peace treaty may address terms of a ceasefire or surrender, but the root cause of the conflict was never fixed…so the battle may resume later.
Marriages strained by disagreements and other destructive behavior find the solution to peace in getting a divorce.
Sometimes superficial solutions need to be enacted to get to a place where civil conversations can be had. But then the hard work of establishing peace has to get to the root of the problem.
Here is where a biblical perspective helps.
At the root cause of the lack of peace is the presence of sin. Sin is always the underlying cause when peace is disrupted.
Consider these words from Galatians 5. How many of these “fruits of the sinful nature” speak to what’s going on when there is a lack of peace?
Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
Sin destroys peace with others.
But even one step deeper is sin destroys peace with God.
A broken connection and relationship with God is the root cause of the lack of peace.
Consider Adam and Eve shortly after they sinned.
Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
No other day did Adam hide from God. But sin broke the peace they enjoyed in the garden. Adam was now afraid of God, hiding from God, and scared to confront God.
This is a tell-tale sign when peace is broken between us and God. We hide from God. We stay away from where he is. We stop praying. We don’t want to be around where he is.
Bigger than that is sin, left unaddressed leaves us separated from God forever.
So the root cause of conflict has to be addressed. Sin has to be addressed. Our relationship with God has to be addressed.
We can try on our own and fall short. Or we can rely on Jesus Christ to restore what our sin broke.
Isaiah 53:6 says, “ We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
When Jesus went to the cross he paid the price our sins deserved and restored to completeness our relationship with God.
Romans 5:1-2 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.
The impact of Christ’s work on our behalf is a profound foundation from which to build peace in other relationships. But we must first understand the root cause of conflict: sin. And when we understand the cause, we can rejoice in the true solution: Jesus!
Apply: Consider the last conflict you had with someone. What sin was in play that was at the root of the conflict?
Prayer: Lord thank you for point out sin in my life so I might repent of it and turn from it. Thank you for sending Jesus to take all my sins to the cross and restore a right relationship with you, my heavenly Father. AMEN.