Our english word peace can carry some different connotations: The absence of conflict? The ending of hostilities? Reconciling of differences? The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom… The root meaning of shalom is ‘How it was meant to be’ (based on God’s will) Shalom is God’s idea of how it was meant to: All of His creation in unity with Him! Since Adam & Eve rebelled it has not been that way because of sin / rebellion…leading to a loss of Shalom. A holy God cannot be in union with a creation that is born into & embraces sin, there is no peace. Mankind has engaged in a rebellious ‘resistance’ that amounts to war. It was a war God could at once win by destroying us and it would be perfectly just. Instead He declared peace and came in person to give us the means to surrender. God was not going to change so He had to change us…He came to change us. We don’t deserve it, can’t earn it and yet He has delivered it, ‘Peace / Shalom’!

Scripture’s tells a story of God and us: Our rebellion & His graceful declaration of peace. This is how we learn what peace is, by the Word of God. In His Word He promised it, He personally made it happen, then He explained it and His followers showed us how to live it. The essence of Peace in Christ can be seen in four passages: The Promise, The Appearance, The Explanation, The Application!

Isaiah 57:15-21 CJB

15 For thus says the High, Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy place but also with the broken and humble, in order to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the hearts of the broken ones.

  • No doubt who is proclaiming this…
  • God is the Most High and yet He condescends to the level of our brokenness
  • He does it to renew our lives, our spirits, our hearts

16 For I will not fight them forever or always nurse my anger; otherwise their spirits would faint before me, the creatures I myself have made. 17 It was because of their flagrant greed that I was angry and struck them; I hid myself and was angry, but they continued on their own rebellious way.

  • God is saying that you and I have no way of winning the war we started
  • God has given us warning that we might stop rebelling, but we want it our way
  • He says He won’t let this war go on forever

18 I have seen their ways, and I will heal them; I will lead them and give comfort to them and to those who mourn for them — 19 I will create the right words: ‘Shalom, shalom to those far off and to those nearby!’ says Adonai; ‘I will heal them!’”

  • He knows our condition and yet He offers healing anyway
  • He will declare peace!
  • For those close to God & far from Him, He will heal our relationship with peace
  • We can know peace and it will heal us!

20 But the wicked are like the restless sea — unable to be still, its waters toss up mud and dirt. 21 There is no shalom, says my God, for the wicked.

  • This is now in the words of the prophet, Not God in 1st person
  • The wicked are those God calls wicked, because they will not receive shalom
  • They will not know true, eternal peace

BIG IDEA: God promised to heal to mankind by declaring Peace / Shalom

There are other similar promises in the Hebrew Scriptures of God promising to make a way for the repair of the broken relationship between Him and His People.

And so it came to pass approximately 2020 years ago, as humans measure time…

The Appearance: Joy To The World! / Loves Pure Light! / Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! / The Thrill of Hope! / And in His Name all oppression shall cease! / He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all / Now ye need not fear the grave; Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!

The Christ Child came to make peace, to give His adherents Eternal Shalom!

You know the story, the Shepherds see the Supernatural Event Proclaimed by Angels and they are awed and amazed!

Luke 2:10-14 NIV

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

  • The declaration of Shalom
  • This is to be understood: The Messiah is Born!

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

  • The Shalom that is declared glorifies God and ‘makes’ peace!

BIG IDEA: The Christ Child, God Incarnate, came to declare Peace!

How are we to respond?

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in; Be born in us today!

What if we need it explained a little better…

Colossians 1:15-20 NIV

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.

  • God’s Son, The Christ Child is an image we could fully relate to
  • The Christ Child, Jesus of Nazareth, has always existed. 2020 yrs ago

17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.

  • The Christ Child is as much God as He can be: ‘Preexistent’ / ‘All Sovereign’
  • He is the reason and the means by which His Body, The Church exists: to lift Him up!

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.

  • BOOM! What a great passage! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a declaration of Shalom!

It was God’s unique and ingenious plan to come to us as a man… And by His sacrifice would He, make all things as they should be: In His ‘human-a-deity’, proclaim Shalom to you and me!

BIG IDEA: The Christ Child is God Himself making peace with us on The Cross

He had to arrive 1st so that He could go to the cross for you and me to have Shalom!

So how do we live that out? Here is the application:

Philippians 4:4-9 CJB

4 Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! 5 Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near!

  • Unity with God, His Word, His Ways AND His People IS the way to real joy!
  • Let that unity be reflected in a manner and lifestyle that puts Him 1st
  • Demonstrate unity with God brings Him into your life!

6 Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. 7 Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua.

  • Relinquish control!
  • Put this life in God’s hands because He has given you eternal shalom!

8 In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. 9 Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.

  • The Gospel is the information, here is the application:
  • Set your intentions on what God wants you to be about: What HE is About!
  • Learn and Repeat! Model your life on the Gospel, the ways of Christ’s people
  • The practice of doing this, living this is the connection to THE SHALOM!
  • Know God and you will know Peace…

BIG IDEA: Eternal Shalom is found in living a life surrendered to and with Christ!

Do we live in the fullness of the Shalom this Scripture points us to? It takes intention, it takes commitment, it takes time, to build & grow a relationship. This world we live in provides various distractions and upheaval…(lack of peace). Peace is not found in the things of this world, in what our culture at large values. Eternal peace emanates from God’s Spirit within us! The Shalom we experience now, having surrendered our lives to Christ is a foretaste of Eternal Shalom.

So press into / leverage God’s Shalom by His Spirit indwelling in you. If you are not sure if He is indwelling you; honestly pray along the lines of that Christmas Carol:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in; Be born in us today!