Key Thought: We find peace when we fully surrender our lives to God and then fully leave the results in His hands.
Peace in Rome vs. The Peace in Romans
Peace (Pax Romani)
From the verb pacisci, meaning pact which often ended a war
- Agreement for no conflict outside the borders
- Submission for those inside the borders
- Sometimes trade alliances were allowed between the two
Another way to express Pax Romani
• Put Up, Shut Up, Keep Up
Key Point: When we have power we are tempted to seek revenge. But with revenge there is no lasting peace.
Old Goal: Get power and use it against other people.
New Goal: Get God and try to live at peace with other people.
Key Question: Can there be peace when we disagree?
1. Stop the cycle of evil by doing the right thing (vs. 17)
Do you keep the engine of evil running?
2. Use your internal resources to live at peace with those around you (vs. 18-19).
“…so far as what proceeds from you…”
If you fill your heart with revenge, then you will leave no room for God’s wrath.
Here is the problem with your revenge:
- It’s too soft
- It’s too harsh
- It’s too early
- It’s too late
- It’s from the wrong source
3. Use your best weapons against your enemy (vs. 20).
Here’s a Bible writer quoting the Bible while writing the Bible to a group of people who believe in the Bible.
Your kindness will do more to bring conviction to your enemy than winning an argument.
TALK IT OUT:
- Pastor Rusty says, “We find peace when we fully surrender our lives to God and then fully leave the results in His hands.” Take a moment to remember a time in your life when you have experienced peace because you had surrendered your life to God.
- Sometimes those who have power don’t use it wisely. Pastor Rusty observed that, “When peace is forced, personal rights are stripped away and those with power much too often abuse their power.” How can you and I guard against falling into that trap?
- Recall a time when you were tempted to seek revenge? Did revenge bring you peace?
- Pastor Rusty suggested that many people, “Get power and use it against other people.” However, believers are to, “Get God and do our best to live at peace with other people.” List at least 3 reasons you think God wants us to live at peace with others.
- Is it possible for us to have peace even when we don’t always agree? Why or why not?
- Pastor Rusty said it is possible to “Stop the cycle of evil by doing the right thing.” Why can that be so hard for us to do? (Romans 12:17)
- Romans 12:18-19 make the point that we can use our internal resources to live at peace with those around us. How can God help us do that?
- Pastor Rusty says our revenge rarely finds the right balance, it’s either too soft, too harsh, too early, or too late. Have you ever taken revenge and seen it turn out well?
LIVE IT OUT:
- List two or more people with whom you struggle to be at peace. Paul wrote that we are to be at peace with everyone as much as it lies within us. List three or more ways you can work toward peace with each of those you just listed.
- We are to leave revenge in God’s hands. Ask God to help you leave revenge in His hands instead of trying to get even with the people you listed above.
- Ask God to help you find peace with those who feel like enemies.
- What concrete steps can you take this week to make peace with those who irritate and frustrate you? Ask God to help you take those steps toward peace with those who most frequently drive you a little crazy.