Calvary Road Baptist Church


Psalm 119.165 

My text is Psalm 119.165: 

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” 

“Note that for ‘peace’ the Hebrew word is shalom: it signifies not only ‘peace,’ but also perfection, wholeness, prosperity, tranquillity, healthfulness, safety, the completion and consummation, of every good thing.”[1] The word translated offend, referring to the cause of offense or something someone would stumble over is mikshowl.[2] Imagine a peace that is so profound that no obstacle or impediment or individual could not be overcome.

What a tremendous concept from the Word of God, “great peace.” In my ministry, I deal with the issues of life that are closely related to the subject of peace. Many I interact with are faced with great turmoil. As I serve God, as I study the Word and interact with different people, both saved and lost, I have come to observe that peace is a subject that is sometimes talked about but less often possessed by those whose profession suggests they ought to possess it.

Back in the prophet Jeremiah’s day, some six centuries before Christ, God’s pronounced judgment was being poured out on His covenant people. And even though the storm clouds of Babylonian invasion and conquest were all around the children of Israel, false prophets insisted on proclaiming the false message, 

“Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”[3] 

They insisted that everything external was okay so that they might muster up some kind of internal semblance of peace. They declared a peace to exist that was not real so they could imagine an inner peace that, likewise, did not exist.

It was a classic case of folks fooling themselves. James warned his readers in James 1.22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” And Paul reminded Timothy in Second Timothy 3.13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Such examples of people fooling themselves continue in our day.

There are multiplied millions of people who continually try to convince themselves, through therapy, through a denial of Biblical truth, through the acquisition of material things and the purchase of expensive adult toys, through over-involvement in reaching career objectives, and through prescription and nonprescription medication, that they possess a peace which they simply do not experience.

My message is extremely simple: You can experience great peace. And I want to show you how great peace comes to be in your experience. Let us assume that the great peace to which the psalmist referred is profound, that it is a peace that is so all-encompassing and inclusive that most folks have never imagined it could exist before. But it does exist, and you can experience it.

Further, let us posit that this peace I speak of is not the result of some mystical eastern religious emptying of yourself of all thought via meditations or exercises so that you may come to ‘know yourself.’ Scripture says, 

“A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself,” 

Proverbs 18.2. I refer not to the false peace of a mental vacuum or an intellectual void but to the peace that involves the serenity of the human soul.

Such a peace as this, this great peace, has two aspects that must be recognized to be experienced. I want to share with you how to recognize it and then know it by experience in your life: 


Two things to note:

First, let us note what peace with God is. Anyone who reads the Bible with any understanding knows that at this present time there is, as there has been for several thousand years, a spiritual conflict of enormous proportions being waged. We know this spiritual conflict is nothing less than war, conducted on the spiritual plane, and it can be rightly termed The Battle Of The Ages. What folks often do not realize is that we human beings, by and large, are not on the winning side of this conflict, and that to be on the winning side of this great conflict, to avoid the awful consequences of being on the already-defeated side of this war, individuals must come to a place of peace with God. The question is, What is peace with God?

First, it is a present, a gift. From a study of the Word of God, we know that those individuals who have eternal life also have peace with God. Romans 6.23 teaches us that eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So peace with God is a gift. In Romans 5.1, the Apostle Paul declared, 

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

And in Ephesians 2.8, he points out that the faith through which one trusts Christ is itself a gift from God: 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” 

Thus, God gives the gift of faith as the means whereby He then gives the gift of eternal life, which results in peace with God instead of the former state of spiritual war.

Next, peace with God is a product. That is, it is the byproduct of something else. I want you to 1read Ephesians 2.13-17 with me: 

13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 

God and man. In the five verses just read Paul shows that Christ’s crucifixion on the cross, the shedding of His precious blood, made peace with God possible. By the cross reconciliation was made. That is, two formerly at enmity were brought together by the blood of Christ. Thus, peace with God is a gift that God bestows accompanying other blessings that He freely gives, such as faith and forgiveness and life, and it is a blessing Jesus Christ provided for the elect when He died on the cross.

But how do you obtain it? How does one acquire peace with God? It is the byproduct of something else done in a very simple and straightforward way: First, there is the matter of recognition. You must recognize your present relationship with God. You must recognize what Paul, then known as Saul, came to recognize on the Damascus road.[4] In Romans 5.10, referring to his relationship with God before his conversion, he wrote about himself and every other sinner who has come to faith in Christ, 

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His son.” 

Recognize that, no matter how you personally feel about your relationship with God, the Bible teaches all individuals to be God’s enemies and in danger of the punishment that must fall on His adversaries. Further, recognize that you have neither the inclination nor the ability to affect any changes to that relationship of rebellion, according to Romans 3.11 and 5.6: 

“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” 

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” 

Finally, you recognize that the only One Who could do something about your problem did do something about your problem. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered and bled and died to reconcile you, an enemy of God, to Him by making peace.

When someone recognizes such truths as these, they have but to respond by faith. Again, Romans 5.1 establishes that faith in Christ, trust in His work on the cross for you, results in peace with God: 

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 


Peace with God results from your sins being forgiven and you beginning a journey that will consummate when you are in heaven, the consequence of trusting Christ as your personal Savior. As a Christian blessed by peace with God, you are now in a position to experience the peace of God.

What is the peace of God? Like peace with God, the peace of God is a gift. Speaking to those who already had peace with God, the Lord Jesus Christ also provides the peace of God, as He said in John 14.27: 

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

So, the peace of God is something Christ gives to His Own that calms the heart and dispels fear. But, in addition to being a gift given, the peace of God is also a product. Galatians 5.22 reads, 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc.” 

From this verse, we see that the Christian’s experience of peace is a quality produced as the result of the unencumbered presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.

What is the peace of God? It is an inner serenity and tranquility that is given as a gift on the one hand but is the product of the Holy Spirit indwelling and affecting your personality. How, then, does one obtain, acquire, and enjoy this peace of God? The same way a person receives peace with God, by faith. Again, some things need to be recognized, and responses must be made.

First recognition. Put in the most simple terms I can articulate, two things need to be recognized in a Christian’s life with respect to this matter of the peace of God: #1, recognize that there are problems and challenges associated with the Christian life that you can address and solve. #2, recognize that there are problems and challenges associated with the Christian life that you cannot address and solve. This may seem too simplistic, but there are many believers who cannot incorporate this concept into their thinking. However, it is vital to experience the peace of God that you understand that all of life's problems fall on one side or the other of a line in the dirt. Everything over there is beyond your capabilities, and everything over here is within your capabilities.

After you have recognized that truth, you need to respond to reality in a Biblical way. How do you do that? Simple. Take it upon yourself to address those problems you can, by God’s grace, address and unload all the other problems on the Lord. Surrender them to Him. Some of our greatest difficulties lie in not recognizing which problems are which—trying to get God to solve the problems we are supposed to address for ourselves and then trying to solve problems that only God can address as we commit them to Him in prayer. Turn to Philippians chapter 4. Do you want to know what to do about the problems beyond you? Here is an excellent place to begin. Read verses 6 and 7: 

6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Now for the problems which you are able, by God’s grace, to address. Verses 8 and 9: 

8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. 

Peace is a wonderful thing. But you will never know great peace without acquiring it God’s way.

First, you must have peace with God. You can deceive yourself all the day long, but if you’ve never recognized your sinfulness before God and trusted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you do not and will not have peace with God. How can you have peace with God so long as a state of war exists between you and your rebellion toward Him is unresolved? Because that is a conflict you cannot win, I urge you to make peace with God now and avoid the consequences of dying in your sins by responding to the free offer of the Gospel of God’s grace and trusting Christ to be your peacemaker.

Let us now turn our attention to you Christians among us who have no peace of mind and heart. Your inner turmoils and disturbances stem from the problems of life that every person faces. Only you are not addressing problems assigned to you by God, or you are attempting to address issues only God can solve. Having a problem with your son’s disobedience? Don’t you dare pray to God to change his foolish attitude until you’ve busted his backside. Recognize that trying to pray and persuade God to do a task assigned to you is a sin. But after you’ve done your part, then you ask God in prayer to do what only He can do. Having a problem with finances?

Don’t ask God to do a miracle until you have done everything you’re supposed to do first. I would suggest that you exercise responsibility with your money. Make a budget. Invest. Give Scripturally. Quit spending foolishly. Perhaps you are experiencing marital problems. Don’t you dare ask God to make your husband or wife spiritual until you are spiritual yourself. You do what you can do and then ask God to do what only He can do. Having problems controlling your thought life? Always thinking about nasty women or nasty men doing nasty things? You don’t need to ask God to take away evil thoughts while you are still reading trash, listening to trash, or watching trash. Begin to put Philippians 4.8 into practice and then ask God to bless your efforts along that line: 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 

How about you folks who raised your children before you were saved? Can you make your children trust Christ? Can you make them to stop sinning? Of course not. Those things are beyond your control. Recognize that, for the most part, your kids are now God’s problem to address.

Ask Him to work in their lives. Ask Him to give you wisdom and insight. Ask Him to send you or another Christian along the way to witness to them. But don’t fret over a problem only God can solve.

Someone once said that folks worry about three things. They worry about yesterday, which is already come and gone. They worry about tomorrow, which hasn’t come yet. And they worry about today. I suggest you opt for peace instead of worry. If you love the Word of God, you can experience great peace for three reasons: a) You don’t worry about the past because you know God doesn’t hold your past against you if you’re a Christian.[5] b) You don’t worry about tomorrow, because you know Who holds tomorrow. c) As for today? You deal with what you can and give the rest to God.

If you don’t have peace with God, consider the claims of Christ. No problem you will ever face is of real importance so long as you are estranged from God. That is your first and most important priority. As for the peace of God, your experienced peace of mind and heart. Repent of the sin of slothfulness for not dealing with the problems you’re are fully capable of addressing with God’s help. And repent of the sin of not trusting God to solve His problems.

So you see, peace with God and the peace of God are byproducts, not proper pursuits. A right relationship with God through faith in Christ results in peace with God. Then, living by faith and doing God’s will as a Christian following your conversion to Christ will result in the Holy Spirit producing peace of mind and heart as a believer in Jesus Christ, the peace of God.


[1] Thomas Le Blanc is quoted by Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury Of David, Volume III, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers), page 430.

[2] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver & Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew And English Lexicon, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), page 506.

[3] Jeremiah 6.14; 8.11

[4] Acts 9.1-9

[5] Hebrews 8.12; 10.17

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