Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Gospel of Peace: Making it Real - Intro and Lesson 01

In April of 1992 there were three days of widespread and destructive rioting in South Los Angles following the acquittal of three police officers in the beating of Rodney King.  On the third day of the rioting King made his famous appeal, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”  These kind of “wars and fights” are what we can expect from a lost world.
It is, however, tragic when that same appeal is so appropriate for believers.  This is unfortunate, because “God has called us to peace,” and our squabbling and divisions are not consistent with the “Gospel of peace” that we embrace at salvation and should continue to grow in.
When Christians fight, what does it say to a watching world?  We believers have become too accepting of unresolved conflict as a normal reality in our lives and churches.  It may be normal for the world, but it should be abnormal in the church.  The common thread in the passages we will study this year is the theme of peace making and living in peace with others.  As we study these passages, I hope that we will become more passionate peace lovers and more effective peace makers.
These 20 lessons combine both a topical and verse by verse approach to Bible study.  The passages are chosen because they share the common theme of peace making, but each lesson approaches its passage with a verse by verse approach.  We will “dig into” each passage with inductive, cross reference, and word study questions and then discuss specific ways to apply them to our lives.  
May God develop in us a Christ minded perspective of peace and reconciliation in His Church, our families, and other areas.  And may He make us into passionate and effective peace makers.
A unique feature of this Bible study is that the Word document has hyperlinks to Bible study tools and cross references in the questions.  Request the “electronic” version of the lessons from your Bible study location leader or from Pastor Martin at .
The word study questions include the English word that has a link to the BlueLetterBible.  This resource includes pronunciation of the Greek word, definitions, a link to Vine’s Dictionary, and a few other features.  The English spelling of the Greek word has a link to the Bible Study Tools lexicon which also has links to all the occurrences of the Greek word in the New Testament.
When there are cross references they are linked to the NKJV in the Bible. Usually you will notice that extra verses before and after the verse are there to help you with the context.  The page will have the option for you to switch to another version.
Occasionally there are other links to recommended sources or other information that you should find helpful.  All these links are not intended to change the way we study a passage, but to just give us quicker access to helpful resources. 
The second page of each lesson will often contain Bible study tips or an article that relates to the passage we studied that week.  Concentrate on the main study and read the second part if you have extra time during the week.

Lesson 1                               
“Peace: A Word Study”                
Misc. Scriptures
The goal of this lesson will be to understand the Biblical concept of peace, Christ’s heart for believers, and why the Gospel is called “the gospel of peace.”  As you study the verses in this lesson, be careful to make note of the context of each one.
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
1.      What does the Greek word that peace translates mean ? peace / eirene (i-ray'-nay )  See the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article on peace. 
2.      What does the Hebrew word usually translated peace mean?  peace / shalom (shä·lōm') has extensive comments on the Hebrew word shalom.
3.      The “God of peace” is a title used in Romans 15:33; 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; and Hebrews 13:20. What do these verses that describe the “God of peace” say that He will do? (Compare with 1 Corinthians 14:33 and 2 Corinthians 13:11)
4.      What does “peace with God” mean? (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:19-20) 
5.      What does the “peace of God” mean? (Philippians 4:7; Colossians 3:15)
6.      What is the Gospel? (See footnote 23 of the “TBC Philosophy of Worship,” Isaiah 52:7, & 
7.      What is being emphasized when the Gospel is referred to as “the Gospel of Peace?” (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15)
8.      What does it mean that we are called to peace? (1 Corinthians 7:15; Colossians 3:15)
9.      The word "peace" occurs 429 times in 400 verses in the KJV.  What are a few of your favorite verses about peace?  A favorite sermon? Why are they special?
10.  Write your own brief definition of peace and support it with some Scriptures.
The WALK: What should I do?
1.       Who do you know that you would describe as a man or woman of peace?  What has earned them that description?
2.       Do you think you have peace with God? Why?
3.       Do you feel like you have the peace of God?  Why do you think that?
4.       Can you say you are at peace with someone you don’t know?
5.       Take a few minutes and pray for each other to experience the peace with and of God and peace with others.
Lesson 1    Bible Study Tips

Word Studies
One of the great things about the internet is that there are some great Bible study resources that can be used for free.  If you don’t have the internet or prefer not to use it, most of these tools are available in book form.

In each lesson you will be asked to do a word study.  You can make it brief or detailed depending on your time and interest in the word.  Here are some basic steps adapted from David Sargent’s “Bible Study Methods.”  Try to at least do steps two and three.

1.      Find its English definition in the English dictionary.  and  are two of the good online dictionaries.

2.      Compare words used to translate the word in various translations.
Compare a more literal version like New American Standard or King James Version with the New KJV or English Standard Version and with a more dynamic translation like the New International Version or New Living Translation.  You can find these at

3.      Note the definition of the original word (Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic). You can also find the origin and root meaning of the word, how the word was used by the secular culture of the day. is a good place to get this information. 
If you are using the electronic copy of this sheet, the English word has a hyperlink to the Blue Letter Study Bible lexicon which includes a link to Vine’s and to Thayer’s Lexicon.  The Greek transliteration has a link to Bible Study Tools lexicon which includes a links to the other NT passages that use the word.  This will make things much quicker.

4.      Discover just where the word is used in the Bible.  Where does the word first appear?  Where does it first appear in the book you are studying?  How is it used in other places by the author of your passage and in other places? Which writers or books used the word more often?  has this information in is lexicon function.

5.       It is also helpful to determine how the word was used in the Bible and how it would have been understood in the culture to which the Bible was originally addressed.  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testaments Words ( and the Precept Austin ( and click on the “Greek Word Studies” button) websites are helpful here.

No comments:

Post a Comment