Isaiah 9:6d


Sermon preached on January 01, 2017 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at http://www.cantonnewlife.org/.

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.


According to many in our society Jesus is a polarizing figure. Many people find much of His teaching offensive. One of the things they don't like is how Jesus claimed to be the only way to God. In John 14:6 Jesus said,

"I am the way and the truth
and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me."

They also don't like His teaching about sin—about what sin is, about what behaviors are sinful, about people needing to repent and turn from sin. People don't like to be told those things. When Jesus was on the earth, some people hated Him and plotted to kill him. As the apostle John wrote in John 3:19-20,

"This is the verdict:
Light has come into the world,
but men loved darkness
instead of light
because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light,
and will not come into the light
for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

In today's society many people find even the name of Jesus offensive. They hate it. They want to take it out of our greetings. They don't want you to say, "Merry Christmas", they want you to say, "Happy Holidays". They will tell you that they find "Merry Christmas" offensive.

Just last week I read that a Texas school district said an employee forced her religious beliefs on students after she decorated an office door with a scene from the cherished holiday classic, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Dedra Shannon, who works at Patterson Middle School in Killeen, Texas was told she had to remove a door-length poster featuring Linus, a scrawny tree and a quote about the true meaning of Christmas from Linus. The quote was,

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."



Just a few days ago officials in Knightstown, Indiana had to take down a little cross on top of their Christmas tree because they were threatened with a lawsuit. One man complained that the cross caused him,

"irreparable harm."



I saw a picture of the cross. It was basically just a couple of twigs. But the sight of it caused this man, as he said, 'irreparable harm'. At first I thought he had to be kidding. I mean, if someone shoots you in the head that could cause irreparable harm. If someone abuses you physically, mentally, sexually—that could cause irreparable harm. If you're locked away in isolation for weeks, months or years—that could cause irreparable harm. But the sight of a couple of twigs on top of a tree that you don't even have to look at? I don't buy that at all.

The real reason they don't like the cross on top of a tree is because they don't like Jesus. They hate Him. He's a divisive figure. Many people in our society today are opposed to His name, His teaching and His work. It's offensive to them.

How is it then that one of the titles given to Jesus is

'Prince of Peace'?

The prophet Isaiah wrote, (Isaiah 9:6)

"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."

To listen to many in our society Jesus doesn't seem to have anything to do with peace. In fact, they will tell you that if you just stop talking about Jesus, if you just stop promoting His teachings—then their would be peace. All we have to do to make peace with the world is to stop preaching the gospel. We see this in Acts chapters 4 and 5. In chapter 4 we see the rulers, elders and teachers of the law commanded Peter and John not to, (Acts 4:18)

"speak or teach at all
in the name of Jesus."

That's all the world is asking. They're telling us that if we stop speaking and teaching about Jesus—then we'll have peace. People don't like the teachings of Jesus. They will tell you that they don't bring peace, they bring division.

How then can God claim that Jesus is the "Prince of Peace"? What does it mean for Jesus to be the 'Prince of Peace'?

The main thing we should understand from this is that

the child would be the One who brings true and lasting peace.

He will be a ruler and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be known as the Prince of Peace. He is the One who will bring peace. He is the One who will secure peace. He is the One who will accomplish peace. Peace will be found in Him. He is the One who will remove enmity, hate and strive. He will be the champion of peace—establishing it forever. (verse 7) He Himself will be the embodiment of peace. As the apostle Paul said of Jesus in Ephesians 2:14,

"For he himself is our peace,"

The child that would be born would be the epitome of peace.

To see this we should consider what the Bible tells us about Jesus' work. We'll consider four things.

First of all,

He is the One who makes peace between God and men.

This is most important. Sin has separated men from God. After Adam and Eve sinned they realized that they were not fit to walk with God. When they heard God walking in the Garden they hid themselves because they were afraid. God then drove them out of the Garden. Instead of having life, human beings in sin are partakers of death. Ephesians 2:1–3 tells us that we are dead in our trespasses and sins, that we are by nature objects of God's wrath.

Isaiah 59:2–3 says to the people of Israel.

"But your iniquities have
separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden
his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongue mutters wicked things."

As descendants of Adam we are enemies of God. (Romans 5:10) In ourselves we are rebels who are against God, against His rule, His authority. We are alienated from God. (Colossians 1:21)

Human beings, as descended from Adam are servants of Satan. 2 Timothy 2:26 tells us how the devil has set traps for people and,

"has taken them captive
to do his will."

Ephesians 2:2 tells us that human beings, outside of Christ, follow,

"the ways of this world and
of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,
the spirit who is now at work
in those who are disobedient."

2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us,

"The god of this age has
blinded the minds of unbelievers,
so that they cannot see the light
of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God."

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has come to change all that. He has come to rescue us from Satan, to break the chains that held us, to take out or hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh.

Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, came to save us and give us new life. He has broken the wall of between us and God and brought us into God's family. He has washed away all our sins and given us His righteousness. Now there is peace between sinners and God. As the apostle Paul said in Romans 5:1–2,

"Therefore, since we have
been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access
by faith into this grace
in which we now stand.
And we rejoice
in the hope of the glory of God."

Secondly, Jesus is the one who brings peace to people.

Because people are alienated from God that means that there is enmity between people. After the fall into sin Cain killed his brother Abel. The devil sows discord and disunity, enmity between people. That's why there is hatred, murder, war.

Ephesians 2 speaks how Jesus has made peace between the Jews and Gentiles. He has made us into one people. Ephesians 2:14–18 says,

"For he himself is our peace,
who has made the two one
and has destroyed the barrier,
the dividing wall of hostility,
by abolishing in his flesh the law
with its commandments and regulations.
His purpose was to create in himself
one new man out of the two,
thus making peace,
and in this one body to reconcile
both of them to God through the cross,
by which he put to death their hostility.
He came and preached peace to you
who were far away and peace
to those who were near."

Jesus brings peace among men. In Luke 2:14 the angels sang before the shepherds,

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests."

It's peace between people, between nations, that Jesus has secured. Jesus restores harmony. People are safe in Him. Under His care, they have peace. Micah 5:4 said of the Messiah,

"He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name
of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely,
for then his greatness will reach
to the ends of the earth."

C. F. Keil and Delitzsch F. write that the child spoken of here is, (Commentary on the Old Testament, paragraph 26235)

"a Prince who removes all peace-disturbing powers, and secures peace among the nations (Zech. 9:10),—who is, as it were, the embodiment of peace come down into the world of nations (Mic. 5:4). To exalt the government of David into an eternal rule of peace, is the end for which He is born; and moreover He proves Himself to be what He is not only called, but actually is."



The third thing Jesus being the Prince of Peace suggests

is that there is no other peace maker like Him.

He is the "Prince" of peace. Consider His method of bringing peace. He won peace for us, He secured peace for us, not by fighting with traditional weapons on our behalf,

but by allowing Himself to be put to death.

His method of fighting the powers of evil, His method of overcoming them, His method of destroying their power over us—was so remarkable, so uncanny, so counterintuitive, that it is the greatest story every told.

This child, the Prince of Peace, was born to die. This child, the child above all other children, this innocent one, this pure one—possesed our nature in order to die on our behalf and save us from Satan's power. Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us about Jesus' work. It says,

"Since the children have
flesh and blood, he too shared
in their humanity so that by his death
he might destroy him
who holds the power of death—
that is, the devil—
and free those who all their lives
were held in slavery
by their fear of death."

1 John 3:8 tells us,

"The reason the Son of God appeared
was to destroy the devil's work."

Jesus brought us peace, by allowing Himself to be (seemingly) overcome. He went like a lamb to the slaughter. His apparent defeat was actually His victory.

How did He defeat our great enemy—by refusing to escape from taking our sins and dying for them. By allowing Himself to be taken in the Garden of Gethsemane, by telling Peter to put his sword away, by refusing to defend Himself when He was brought before Pilate—He defeated our great enemy. He defeated Satan. He defeated death. By dying and rising from the dead Jesus secured our salvation. All our enemies were laid waste by His great sacrifice.

The fourth thing about this Prince of Peace we should note is that

this Prince of Peace came to save us we were His enemies.

Romans 5:10 says,

"For if, when we were God's enemies,
we were reconciled to him
through the death of his Son…"

Jesus was born during what historians call 'the Roman peace'. But that was a peace that was won by the sword and enforced by force. Most conquering kings bring peace by destroying their enemies—either by killing them and wiping them out or by enslaving them.

How different is the Peace that Jesus, the Prince of Peace brought. When we were God's enemies, He reconciled us to God. (2 Corinthians 5:19) When He came, He could have come in judgment, defeating all of us and casting us all into hell. Instead He came with the invitation, (Matthew 11:28–29)

"Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls."

He came and gave us new hearts. He changed our wills. He brought us to Himself as His friend, as His siblings. (Hebrews 2:11) He brought us into God's family and made us joint-heirs with Himself. (Romans 8:17) He saved us and gave us eternal life.

Was there ever a peace-maker like that, who died for His enemies, who came to give them life, life to the full? (John 10:10)

There are four applications to make from this.

First of all,

If you would have peace, you must go to Jesus.

This Child that was predicted—He came 2000 years ago to change people's hearts. He came to save. He came to bring peace. Only He can make peace between you and God. You need Him.

If you don't accept Him, there can be no peace for you. You must be cast out. As the Prince of Peace, Jesus is going to make peace that will last forever for His people. To do this He must protect them and give them a secure place. His peace will never end. Isaiah 9:7 says,

"Of the increase of his government
and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this."

Sin, sinners and the powers of evil, if they are not dealt with decisively, would be a threat to the peace of God's kingdom. They must be put away. Their place is the lake of fire, from which there is no escape, no coming back.

Secondly,

we Christians must embrace the way of peace.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3–4 the apostle Paul wrote,

"For though we live in the world,
we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with
are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary,
they have divine power
to demolish strongholds."

In 2 Corinthians 6:4–10 Paul outlined our weapons. He wrote,

"Rather, as servants of God
we commend ourselves in every way:
in great endurance; in troubles,
hardships and distresses;
in beatings, imprisonments and riots;
in hard work,
sleepless nights and hunger;
in purity, understanding,
patience and kindness;
in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
in truthful speech and
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness
in the right hand and in the left…"

As Jesus said in Matthew 5:43–45,

"You have heard that it was said,
'Love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.'
But I tell you:
Love your enemies,
bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who persecute you…"

We are to love peace. We are to seek it and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:11) Romans 12:18 says,

"If it is possible,
as far as it depends on you,
live at peace with everyone."

Thirdly, you Christians

must not stop proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Yes, we could make peace with the world by just giving up the gospel of Jesus Christ. All we have to do is stop proclaiming it.

But the gospel is their only hope. Without it people will never have peace, they will never have an opportunity to find it. After He rose from the dead Jesus said to His disciples, (Matthew 28:19–20)

"Therefore go and
make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name
of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age."

The gospel—although it doesn't appear that way to some—is the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15)

Fourthly, Christians, recognize that in Jesus you have peace.

Everything is well with you. You don't have to be afraid. The old hymn, "It is Well With My Soul" expresses it well. We have peace. In John 14:27 Jesus said,

"Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid."

And in John 16:33 He said,

"I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world."