Introduction: Galatians 5:22 tells us that another fruit of the Holy
Spirit is peace. Is your life peaceful? Are you at peace with your
spouse? At peace with your children? At peace with your boss? At
peace with your health? How valuable is peace to you? What would
you pay for it? What do you think it would take to bring peace into
your life? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and discover what
it teaches us about obtaining peace!

  1. Peace With God

    1. Read Romans 5:1-2. Are some people at war with God? Why
      would you rather not be at war with God? (I recall a
      couple of comedians, now dead, who would openly challenge
      God as part of their comedy routine. It made me shudder –
      what foolish and dangerous behavior.)

      1. These two clowns I’m thinking of were deliberately
        challenging God. Have all of us challenged God in
        some way? (Read Romans 5:9-11. Because of our sinful
        nature and our personal sins, we were enemies of the
        perfect and sinless God. By faith in Jesus’
        sacrifice on our behalf, we can have peace with

    2. Read Ephesians 2:13-18. You might want to read the entire
      chapter to get the full meaning of this, but what do you
      think is meant by those (verse 17) who were far away and
      those who were near? (Those near were God’s special
      people (the Jews who were seeking to obey) and those who
      were far away were the Gentiles who did not even know

      1. Does it matter whether we are near or far from God,
        are we still “enemies?” (Whether we are near or far
        from God based on our own works, we are still in a
        state of war against God. Keeping the commandments
        cannot make us good enough for a holy God. Only
        Jesus can bring peace.)

      2. What does it mean (verse 18) to now have “access to
        the Father by one Spirit?” (It means that Jesus has
        not only reconciled us to God, it means that the
        Holy Spirit opens a line of communication for us
        with God.)

    3. Do you remember misbehaving as a child and being told by
      your mother that when your father came home he would
      administer your punishment? How did it feel to wait in
      dread of the time your father came home?

      1. Can you imagine a world in which we are waiting for
        God to punish us for our sins? (This is one way in
        which we can be at peace – knowing that God is not
        coming to punish us.)

  2. Peace in Life

    1. When I was a little older, I had to worry about the
      Soviets launching nuclear missiles and blowing us all up.
      (If you are a reader in the former Soviet Union, you
      probably worried about American missiles.) If you can
      relate to this, how much of a worry was that for you?

      1. Would that worry be comparable to the kind of worry
        we would have if Jesus had not died for our sins?
        (Our world would be much worse if Jesus had not won
        the battle over sin, but some may be saying “My
        final fate is not something that creates a day-to-day worry.”)

    2. Let’s read Romans 5:3-5. Does suffering cause worry for
      you? If you tend to dismiss long-term problems, what
      about daily issues that cause you to suffer?

      1. Let’s re-read Romans 5:2-5. What does this say is
        the cure for day to day problems? (We have hope in
        the “glory of God.” Not only can we have the
        assurance that we will not be punished for our
        forgiven sins, but we have assurance that God will
        welcome us into His love and glory. This hope give
        us peace.)

  3. Peace and Pride

    1. Read Matthew 11:28. To whom is Jesus speaking? (If you
      review the entire chapter, Jesus is teaching and
      preaching to regular people in Galilee.)

      1. What kinds of burdens and weariness is Jesus
        speaking about? (These would be the burdens and work
        of the everyday person. The problems faced by the
        “average guy,” such as the spouse, children, job or

    2. Read Matthew 11:29-30. If I already feel weary and
      burdened, how is it going to help to have someone else
      place yet another burden on me – a yoke? (The burden
      already exists. The yoke is a way to move the burden with
      the help of someone else. Jesus is offering to share our

      1. What does Matthew 11:30 suggest will be the result
        of sharing our burdens with Jesus? (Things will get
        a lot easier.)

      2. Let’s explore how this happens. Is Jesus just
        offering to lift part of our load? Or, is there more
        to it? (Notice Matthew 11:29 tells us that part of
        sharing the load with Jesus is learning from Him.)

      3. Why does Jesus tell us that He is gentle and humble
        in heart? What has that to do with His ability to
        pull part of our load?

        1. How much of your burden in life comes from
          trying to impress others?

          1. How would your life be different if your
            only goal was to promote the Kingdom of

        2. How much of your burden in life comes from
          being tough with others?

          1. How would your life be different if you
            decided to be gentle with others?

      4. Jesus suggests that humility and gentleness bring
        peace to our life. Does that seem right to you?

        1. I once heard a pastor tell a story about how he
          kept his car windows up on a hot day just so it
          would look to other drivers like he had air
          conditioning. I had to admit that I had done
          that myself on at least a couple of occasions
          when I was driving a nice car with broken air
          conditioning. What kind of silly pride wants to
          impress people we do not even know? Are there
          examples like that in your life?

  4. Peace with Difficult People

    1. Read Romans 12:14-16. Should I quit my day job? I’m a
      professional fighter (lawyer) who teaches others (law
      students) to become professional fighters.

      1. Many number of years ago I noticed a Christian
        attorney who closed his e-mails with the word
        “blessings.” I thought about that and decided that
        I would follow his example. Since I’ve started this,
        I’ve noticed that new opposing counsel seem more
        friendly. Does that make up for threatening to sue
        their client?

      2. Can you live in harmony and still enforce what is
        right? (All of my cases involve the defense of
        religious or political freedom. I do my best to
        “live in harmony” with the opposing attorney while
        we are using the process authorized by the state for
        resolving differences.)

    2. Read Romans 12:17-19. Do these instructions apply in a
      marriage? Do they apply in dealings with our children?

      1. How do you balance enforcing what is right and
        living in peace? Should you balance them? (As a
        teacher, I would have “peace” with students if I had
        low standards for their performance. But, low
        standards would harm their success in the future. We
        have to do both: try our best to live at peace while
        doing what is right.)

        1. Why does Romans 12:17 say “what is right in the
          eyes of everybody?” Is doing right a matter of
          taking a vote or having a consensus? (This is
          practical advice. If you think something is
          proper, and everyone else in your church
          disagrees, then that is a warning flag that
          something is wrong with your judgment.)

      2. I have heard Christians say that if you are obedient
        to God, you will have trouble with the world. Is
        that true? (These texts tell us the goal is harmony
        and peace. My general impression is that people at
        war with the world are also at war with fellow

      3. Why not revenge? Don’t the “bad guys” deserve to get
        punished? (God says that is not our job assignment.
        He will punish the evil.)

    3. Friend, the Bible gives us a path to peace. Will you
      determine by the power of the Holy Spirit to take it

  5. Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience.