Sermons by Raymond Elliott

HIGHWAY 9 CHURCH OF CHRIST

Presents
Articles by Raymond Elliott

"Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way" (Proverbs 23:19)


THERE IS NO PEACE WHERE THE "PRINCE OF PEACE" WAS BORN AND LIVED

Isaiah prophesied, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (9:6). The Bible informs us that Jesus; the "Prince of Peace" was born in Bethlehem of Judea (Matthew 2:1). When he was born, the angel and a multitude of the heavenly host praised God by saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased" (Luke 2:14, ASV). However, we know that practically all the news we are receiving from that part of the world is wholly negative because it centers on the carnal warfare being waged between Israeli and the Palestinians. Presently, some of the Palestinians are holed up in the Church of the Nativity, a sight were it is claimed that Jesus was born.

How is it that God sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" and such discord and killings are taking place right in the area where He was born of the virgin Mary? Did not the heavenly host sing of peace among men? I believe that the key regarding peace is found in the expression as translated in the American Standard Version when it reads, "in whom he is well pleased". In other words, true peace is only to be experienced and enjoyed by those who are pleasing to God. And, those who are pleasing to God are men and women who accept Jesus Christ as being the Son of God. Jesus stated, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me". (John 14:6). It is sad to note that neither of the participants in the war in Middle East believes that Jesus is the Son of God. They only elevate him to be a good man and a prophet. It is in the kingdom (church) of the Lord that people will "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 2:13-18 that peace can be found in Christ and in His body which is the church. Man alone will not insure worldwide peace because of greed, hatred and lust for power that fill the heart. The more people who obey the gospel of Christ; the less likely there will be carnal warfare among men and nations. Without Jesus, the "Prince of Peace", there cannot be true peace among men.

It is common for man to think that peace is only to be found when there is the absence of carnal warfare; however, the peace that Jesus often spoke about and promised to His disciples is to be found in Him, the "Prince of Peace". Jesus spoke these encouraging words to a group of discouraged disciples as recorded in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful." This is "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:4-7). The apostle Paul knew this peace in his heart and it gave much comfort to his spirit when he faced physical death for his faith in Jesus Christ and in God the Father. He knew that "the Lord, the righteous judge" would give to him "the crown of righteousness" "at that day". Paul was not afraid of men who were able to "kill the body" (Matthew 10:28). The circumstances and physical surroundings in which we find ourselves do not insure that we have peace in our hearts. Only the "Prince of Peace" can bring comfort and consolation to the troubled soul. Without the Christ, mankind will continue to experience warfare within and without. In the beautiful hymn, "Prince of Peace! Control My Will", it is clearly taught that in order to enjoy the peace of God in our hearts, we must submit our wills to His will and permit Him to control our lives.

"Prince of peace! Control my will, Bid this struggling heart be still;

Bid my fears and doubtings cease, Hush my spirit into peace.

May Thy will, not mine, be done; May Thy will and mine be one;

Peace I ask, but peace must be, Lord, in being one with Thee.

Savior, at Thy feet I fall; Thou my Life, my God, my All;

Let Thy happy servant be One for evermore with Thee."





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