It is a false peace when the word of the Lord is not bringing us to a genuine peace with God.
Scripture: Matthew 7:21-23; James 2:18-26
- Jesus is laying out the danger of self-delusion and self-deception.
- There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death. Proverbs 14:12
- We are justified by faith, but real faith is never without works.
- We may, however, falsely trust in our works, while having no relationship with God through Christ.
- Only what Jesus has accomplished in our lives will remain, and He alone will judge our faithfulness.
- All hypocrisy will be exposed and the works we've done in our lives will be exposed.
- Jesus tells us to trust in him, not in our own hearts or our own faith.
- To be a Child of God is the work of God the Holy Spirit alone. Ephesians 1:4-6;
- God has made us holy in order to live in His presence. See Genesis 2:3; Mark 2:27; Leviticus 19:2.
- All God's commands of his people are covered promises: you must be holy and I'm going to make it so.
- At the cross Jesus takes those hostile to God and reconciles us to God to make us holy and blameless. 2 Timothy 1:9-10; 1 Peter 1:15
- Those who don't trust in their own righteousness are blessed.
- The claim that Jesus is Lord (75% of Canadians) is self-deception if we deny His authority over our lives.
- To allow counterfeit behavour to pass off as real is to promote a false peace.
- It is a false peace when the word of the Lord is not bringing us to a genuine peace with God. Jeremiah 6:14
- The people in v22 did the will of God externally: they prophesied, they cast our demons, they did miraculous signs in Jesus name.
- They are wielding Jesus' power without being moved by Jesus' cross, i.e., without living under the authority of the cross.
- There are three forms of false peace:
- Orthodoxy: beliefism is a claim to trust in our faith to save us; rather we're to put our faith in Jesus and what He has done for us at the cross. Correct beliefs are important, but they don't save us.
- Emotional enthusiasm: “Lord, Lord!” Just feeling good about it, doesn't necessarily make an experience true or right. There's a difference between a true spiritual fervor and an emotionally expressive personality. We should experience a thrill and delight to be full of joy in hearing the gospel. The response to the beauty of God should be rejoicing. There's a false peace in thinking we can orchestrate a spiritual state by preaching or leading worship. You can manipulate emotions. We can be carried away by our own talents and eloquence, not by the truth and beauty of God.
- Good works: Paul warns the church in 1 Corinthians 5 that the church needs to be disciplined in moral living. Paul encourages prophesy, but without love it is nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2. It's possible to preach truthfully, yet to remain outside the kingdom of God. Some preach out of envy and strife. Philippians 1:15. We are to watch ourselves knowing our tendencies to hypocrisy.
- Miracles and mighty works are not necessarily a sign from Jesus. Matthew 7:22; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
- Jesus warns us of the false peace that can so easily entangle us.
- This passage is not designed to worry sincere believers about losing their salvation; it's about false forms of peace.
- We don't have to earn our salvation; Jesus has paid it all.
- How are hypocrisy and self deception sometimes related?
- What are God's purposes for the purity/holiness of His people?
- List three types of false peace and give examples.
- What was wrong with the false peace in Jeremiah's day?
- Do good works always indicate a genuine Christian? Explain?
- How does the cross factor into doing genuinely good works?