Course:  The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church.

Course Title: The Fruit of the Spirit (10 Lessons)

Lesson Four:

Lesson Title:  Peace (eirene)

Lesson Theme:  Peace through right relationships.

Lesson Goal:  That the student will understand the fruit of peace is peace with God, peace with one another and peace with ourselves.

Text:  Ephesians 4:2-3, 'With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.'

Introduction: Peace (Greek 'eirene').

Peace is the Greek word 'eirene', which is thought to be derived from the verb eiro meaning 'to join'.  It is a word describing relationships.

Peace with God - at peace in our relationship with God.

Peace with one another - peace in our relationship with one another.

Peace in the home - peace in our relationships within the family.

Peace in our own life - peace because our life is in right relationship.

Comparison between the peace of the Holy Spirit and the restlessness of the world.

Peace with God is in contrast to a bad conscience.

Peace with others, even if they are not at peace with me, is in contrast to the hostility, aggression and enmity of the world.

Peace with ourselves is in contrast to the discouragement, discontentment and resentfulness of the world.

Introductory Story: John Lennon (1940-1980) 'Imagine'.

In his song 'Imagine' (1971), John Lennon wrote the words 'imagine all the people, living life in peace'.

He expressed the view that by removing religion, national identities, and the need for personal possessions then there would be no reason to kill anymore. He believed peace could be achieved by a brotherhood of man. In 1966 John Lennon infamously made the remark that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. In December 1980 John Lennon was murdered, not for any reason mentioned in his song but by a man who envied him. Envy is a work of the flesh. The only way to have peace that sets us free from the works of the flesh is by the fruit of the Spirit. The peace John Lennon desired can only be found in Jesus Christ.


Jesus is the Prince of Peace so why did Jesus say? 'Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.' (Matthew 10:34), and 'Do you suppose that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division:' (Luke 12:51).

Faith in Christ is able to bring unity among believers but it can cause division among those who once were friends and hostility from members of our own family. Culture and religion can be so interrelated that non adherence to a particular religion can be regarded as a betrayal of national identity or family commitment.

Peace the fruit of the Spirit remains constant in the believer even when the sword of division hits hard. We are not the one's who reject others. We are free to love those who reject us. Our desire should always be to serve Christ; to let His love be seen in us; and to lead others to Christ.

Sword of division

Truth will separate us from error. When Christ is our life then we will have a love for the scriptures. His word will keep us from the world because our desire will be to live for Jesus.

Holiness separates us from the ungodliness of the world. In Christ we have a new heart that loves holiness and righteousness. It will separate us from the deceitfulness and immorality of the world.

The Holy Spirit separates us from the pleasures and idols of the world. We are aware that things the world regards as normal will spoil our relationship with Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit will keep us from the things that can grieve the Holy Spirit.

Peace, the fruit of the Spirt, is the inward work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Romans 14:17 'For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.'

The fruit of peace remains constant even when the Christian faces hostility from others.

Main Points:

Peace - the fruit of the Spirit.

1. The foundation of our peace.

Our peace is founded upon Christ and all He has done for us.

We grow in this peace as we grow in Christ.

Peace through a right relationship with God.

Romans 5:1 'Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Salvation through the Gospel of Peace.  It is the good news of restoring a right relationship with God.

Romans 10:15 'And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!'

When Adam and Eve fell (Genesis 3:14-19) - peace was lost on the earth.  When Jesus came to earth the message was 'peace on earth' (Luke 2:14).

Right relationship with God brings confidence in approaching God.

Hebrews 4:16, ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’

See daily verse (Heb 4:16)

No sense of enmity with God.

'Perfect love casts out all fear' (1 John 4:18).

Right conscience with God.

'If our heart does not condemn us then we have confidence in prayer', (1 John 3:20-21).

2. The outworking of our peace in our relationship with others.

Peace through right relationships with one another.

The Lord Jesus Christ has broken down the barrier between Jew and Gentile.

Ephesians 2:14, 'For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;'

Peace in being one body in Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

The body of Christ is not hierarchical or competitive.   Every member of the body is necessary for the body to function properly.

Peace in being tender hearted towards one another.

Ephesians 4:32 'And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.'

See daily verse (Eph 4:32)

It is our responsibility to keep our heart tender towards those around us. We do not compromise our faith but we must remain tenderhearted at all times.

Peace the fruit of the Spirit will remain with us whatever problems or difficulties we are facing.

Question: Should Christians forgive those who are guilty of crimes such as abuse?

The person who has suffered wrong must be protected. We must be tender hearted towards them. They need to know there are caring and supportive people around them. Being tender hearted towards the abuser does not mean leaving the crime unpunished. This would be a betrayal to the person who has been abused. But having let the legal process take its course, the gospel offers forgiveness and salvation to the criminal without partiality. When the crime is brought to light then there is opportunity for true repentance.

Keeping good relationships will help us share the gospel.

Romans 12:18, 'If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

We are not responsible for the wrong actions of others but we do not need to respond in a way that brings shame on the gospel. We should always remember that we represent the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel pof Christ.

Hebrews 12:14 'Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:'

See daily verse (Heb 12:14)

If we are at peace with those around us then opportunities will come for us to present the gospel to them.

Forgiving one another so the peace of God can remain constant in our life.

If we do not forgive others then the peace of God cannot rule in our hearts. Our prayers will be ineffective.

Jesus taught His disciples that answered prayer is dependent upon forgiveness.

'...if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.' (Matthew 6:14-15).

Wrong relationships with one another, and an unforgiving heart, will prevent our prayers from being answered.   We must forgive others so that the peace of God can remain constant within us at all times. The peace of a forgiving heart is a necessary criteria for answered prayer.

3. The inworking of our peace.

The Holy Spirit gives peace that the world can never understand.


Peace is able to protect us from sickness caused by stress.

'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.' (Philippians 4:6-7).

Peace protects our physical well being in times when worry and anxiety could destroy our health.

The peace of God will keep our hearts (stress can cause heart attacks), and will keep the mind (stress can cause breakdowns). Stress is a major problem in the western world, the peace of God is able to keep us even when situations are extremely stressful.

Peace leading and guiding the believer.

The peace of God is the guide of the believer.

Colossians 3:15 'And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful.'

Watch for the peace of God in our lives.   Feeling uneasy may be because we are nervous - this is not loss of peace.  We need to learn to recognise the leading of the peace of God.

Story: Learning to recognise feelings.

When we fostered a six-year-old boy he was unable to recognise his own feelings.  One day he went to the end of the field at the farm where we lived and did not come back up to the house to eat for some time.  When he did come home he cried saying; 'I'm not well'.  But all that was wrong was that he needed to eat food.  He did not associate the feelings of pain in his stomach with being hungry. He had to learn that when he felt this pain then he needed to eat.

It is also necessary to learn to recognise the peace of God. In the spiritual realm we need to be aware of feelings that enable us to know what to do. Peace is a calm awareness in our spirit that shows something is right; a feeling of uneasiness that might not be very distinct may be the Holy Spirit leading us away from a particular action.

The Holy Spirit will help us not to write emails that should not be written, or go places we should not go, if we are willing to take notice of the peace of God.

A peaceful spirit is of great value in the Lord's sight.

'But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.' (1 Peter 3:4).

The word quiet is the Greek word Hesuchios which means 'a calmness that comes from within'. Calmness of spirit and mind.


Peace the fruit of the Spirit is the peace of being in right relationship with God, with others and in ourselves.  It is not dependent upon how others feel about us.

1.      …we are at peace with God through being brought into a right relationship with Him. We are in right standing with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2.      …we are at peace in our relationship with others.   We are one body in Christ; and must be tender hearted and forgiving to those who are saved or unsaved.  The fruit of peace means we can even be at peace with those who are opposed to us.

3.      …we are at peace in the innermost part of our being because Christ lives in us and we are a part of the family of God.  Peace in the inner person must be our guide and keep us from worry and anxiety.

Lesson Outline

Course Index

The Gospel of Peace (The Armour of God course) Lesson Seven