March 3: The Indwelling Life of Christ Produces Peace.

We left off yesterday in John 14. Jesus told his disciples that when he departs, the Spirit will come and bring with him the indwelling life of Christ. “He will be with you and IN you,” Jesus says. Then Jesus goes on to describe the result of the Spirit’s coming.

John 14:25-27. “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

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The Source of Life

The source of our eternal life and therefore our eternal peace is Christ by the Spirit. We’ve been exploring this concept for several days now. In verse 26 above, we see that the Spirit will be sent by the Father. And we also see that the Spirit will minister to us the life and work of Jesus. Again, as we said yesterday, the Spirit is Christ-centered.

The Signs of Life

To receive Christ’s indwelling life, by the Spirit, is to receive his peace. “Peace” here is the Greek word eirene, and it is the Hebrew word shalom. This is no small thing. Shalom is more than just peace as the absence of conflict. It is whole life flourishing. Everything “going well” for you. It the Jewish “hello” and “goodbye.” The beginning and end. Jesus doesn’t supply peace by changing the disciples’ immediate circumstance. In fact, life is about to get much worse. He will supply peace by providing the source of all peace, God himself, in the form of his own life implanted by the Spirit. This is far from the peace that the world offers – a fleeting, temporary, shallow, and self seeking peace.

This peace results in a restful heart and freedom from fear (“let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be  afraid”). Imagine how hard this conversation is for both Jesus and the disciples. Remember he is about to be arrested, tried, and executed. The disciples are about to be scattered in fear. They will be the farthest from shalom that they have ever been.

But the absence of peace that night is what will bring everlasting internal peace. A peace that passes all of our understanding. It is a peace that will be accomplished by the cross, not just offered by good will. It is a peace that will be made possible by faith. Faith in Jesus’ commandments, but also faith in his work on the cross.

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Tomorrow we will look at one last thought from John 14. The connection between love, “commandment keeping,” and the indwelling life of Christ by the Spirit. But for today let me ask you about the your own personal shalom. Do you have peace? Does the indwelling life of Christ produce a daily peace in your life? Or, do you live from a troubled fearful heart? If so come back tomorrow (and for the rest of the year) as we continue to explore how to appropriate the peace of God, through the indwelling life of Christ.

 

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