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The Peace That Changes The World

• Greg Boyd

This week we begin our Christmas series, The Night that Changes the World. This first week focuses on the peace that comes through Christ. Greg delves into the distractions that can get in the way of experiencing this peace of Christ. This peace of Christ requires an intentional inventory of the degree to which Christ has full reign over both our outer and inner lives. In this sermon we look into some crucial questions and practices to submit all of our lives to the reign of Christ to experience true peace that can only come through the Prince of Peace.

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This week’s sermon, The Peace that Changed the World, explores the myths of the perfect hallmark family experiences during the Christmas season. We all have those moments when the dream of a perfect family moment turns into chaos and disruption. These myths of what we think should be can often lead to times of stress and depression during Christmas. In the midst of these stressful and anxious times we were reminded to hear the echo of the prophetic words of Isaiah 9:6 where we read of the “Prince of Peace” who rules by peace and brings peace where he goes. Paul also mentions this peace, while in a Roman prison, that comes from Jesus and transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).

The big question in this season of celebration, and also stress, is how we do access that peace that comes from Jesus and transcends all understanding? How do we let this peace guard our hearts? Greg notes the all-important clause in Philippians 4:6-7 that this peace comes through being “In Christ”. The peace and wholeness and shalom come into the world through Christ. The problem is that to believe that Jesus is the Prince of Peace is not the same as to live in that reality in Christ. We experience that true peace when Jesus is actually our prince, when he actually is reigning over us. The degree to which we are under his reign is the degree to which we will experience that peace.

The reign of Christ in our lives must reach both our outer and inner worlds. To what degree are our finances, priorities, time, and relationships submitted to the reign of Christ? These critical areas of our outer life must be submitted to the reign of Christ in order to fully experience his peace. This is a peace that cannot be created through external circumstances or conditions. In the same way, we must allow Christ to fully reign in our inner world. Do we have peace in the midst of external circumstances that are falling apart? There is nothing mysterious about peace when all things are going well. If the reason we feel peaceful is reasonable based on circumstances then it is NOT the peace that Jesus brings. Greg finished his sermon by inviting the congregation to practice “The River Exercise”. This is an exercise where we use our imagination as a tool to enter fully into the truths of the spiritual world. This is an exercise about rehearsing for death and dying to self as a way to discover any ways we are clinging to things other than Christ. We are reminded through this exercise that Jesus is truly enough and that in Him is true and ever-lasting peace.

Link to movie clip that was used in the sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iXor73ajuA

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Topics: Identity in Christ, Imagination, Peace

Sermon Series: The Night That Changes The World

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Audio File
Study guide

Focus Scripture:

  • Isaiah 9:6

    Isaiah 9:6 New International Version (NIV)

    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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5 thoughts on “The Peace That Changes The World

  1. Kevin says:

    @34:13 Greg says “Imagination is the portal to the spiritual realm; it’s a very important gift that God has given us”

  2. Dave Pritchard says:

    Yea, when I heard him say that too, I did think for a moment that it sounded kind of ‘New Age’ish”– Ha! But given the whole context of the message and what Greg was emphasizing, quickly ‘dispelled’ any concerns in the back of my pea brain. Michael Card at “Patheos Evangelical” has written an insightful post entitled – “The “Biblical Imagination”

    The Biblical Imagination – Patheos

    He points out at the end of the piece that when ones imagination is surrendered with ones heart and mind –

    “It becomes a unifying bridge that opens the scriptures in a new and meaningful way.”


  3. Vince says:

    Really good stuff!

  4. Theresa says:

    I agree Vince…: )

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