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PEACE ON EARTH (Kent Smith Notes 12/10/23

BE AT PEACE ON EARTH

2 Thessalonians 3:16

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A Benediction is a spoken blessing – often used at the close of ceremony or service; in this case Paul’s letter.

A benediction is the bookend to an invocation – the blessing, or invitation for God to bless, an activity about to start.


Paul’s benediction blessing:


Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!


Why write this to the church at Thessalonica?


A city with a history of hostility to the gospel

Acts 17:1-9  Mob violence pursuing Paul and his host Jason, succeeding in driving him out of town.

Acts 17:13  Some followed Paul to Berea to stir up the populace against him again.

1 Thess. 1:6, 2:14 The early church at Thessalonica experienced hostility and persecution from the populace.

So much so that Paul sent Timothy to them for encouragement (1 Thess. 3:2) “so that they would not be disturbed by these afflictions.”

In writing his second letter Paul again addresses their continued persecutions, sufferings, and afflictions. (2 Thess 1:4-6)

and counseled them about dealing with believers who were living unruly lives, and other issues disturbing the peace within the church,  

In short, there was little peace in the church at Thessalonica. 


So his parting words were a prayer on their behalf:


Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!


Let’s unpack this!

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JESUS: LORD OF PEACE

Provide Peace with God

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2 Thess. 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself: that is- Jesus


Jesus is our peace, securing peace with God through His death to satisfy the wrath and justice of God.


Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,


Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.


Removing the enmity between God and man (by covering the penalty of sin)

Removing the enmity between Jews and Gentiles (by removing the requirements of the Law)


Sinners in the hands of an angry God

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GRANTING PEACE

Continually but Conditionally

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Continually : 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!


Conditionally:  Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”


  • Jesus does not bring peace to the those that oppose Him. 

Matt. 10:32--36  Jesus said, 

  • Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

  • Jesus came to heal one divide and create a new division.

  • To bridge the divide between humanity and God

  • To create a division of those among humanity who belonged to God and those who did not.

  • He grants peace not to the world but to His children.

  • He will bring peace to the earth eventually, but only through judgment on the wicked and faithless.

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IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE


  • IN THE WORLD

  • IN THE CHURCH

  • IN THE BELIEVER

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ESV  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace AT ALL TIMES IN EVERY WAY. 

In the World

John 14:27   Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

John 16:33  These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”


In the Church

1 Cor 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.  (spoken to a church embattled over the use of spiritual gifts,)

When the use of spiritual gifts becomes a source of contention, disrupting the congregational peace, then the gift is not being used appropriately.


Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.


The peace we have in the body of Christ is a witness to the world of the power and grace of God.

When there is dissension and conflict in the body of Christ you can be assured that the Lordship of Christ is not being honored, nor His love fully in evidence.


In the Believer

Phil, 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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HE IS WITH US!

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Is 41:10  Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Hebrews 13:5  He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

Matt 28:19-20  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 1:23 “ Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”  which translated means, “God with us.”

Luke 2

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest,  And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”


In the midst of Chaos He brings order.

In the midst of Confusion He brings truth

In the midst of Conflict He brings peace

He is with us, are you experiencing His peace?

If not, why not?

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