In a world filled with conflict, the idea of peace almost seems like an elusive ideal. Even more so, finding peace in our personal lives often result in an exhaustive stride to a temporary solution to our day to day troubles. “How do we have peace in a world filled with problems?” In this new series, we will be studying Paul’s letter to the Philippians, a letter filled with joy and peace even in the midst of Paul’s imprisonment. We will seek to find the “pieces of peace”; the truths of God’s Word that when combined result in having peace in this life and in the next. Ultimately, what we will see is that the peace of a Christian is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of Christ in the midst of conflict.

Start with the Corners

By: Ian Opiniano

To begin our study in Philippians we established the foundations of Biblical peace. We learned that true and genuine peace starts with God; all other sources leave us unsatisfied and seeking for more. We also recognized how Biblical peace is shown by trusting God; it is in our complete reliance in Him that our worries and fears fade away. Finally we discussed how the peace of God is supported by our obedience, for it is in our disobedience that sets us at odds with His will. Christ invites us into His peace, a peace unlike the world’s. It is there in His peace that we can rest and be made whole. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

The Unwanted Piece

By: Ian Opiniano

Going through a crisis can cause us to lose our peace, but having others harm us in the midst of trials can be even more disheartening. The desire for vengeance and personal vindication for when others harm us can cause peace to be further out of our reach. In the second part of this series “Pieces Of Peace”, we looked at how Paul kept the peace of God while being imprisoned and while others tried to cause him harm. We learned that Paul did not choose to retaliate, but was able to keep his peace by resolving in the truth that his adversity was for God’s glory. He was also encouraged by the thought that his affliction would be used to strengthen other believers, and that his anguish would be turned to joy by Christ. The offence of others can easily tempt us to fall into the trap of vengeance and vindication. Yet like Paul, we must come to this realization: there is no victory in retaliation. For true victory, over our troubles and trials, can only be found in Jesus Christ.

What’s the Worst that could Happen?

By: Ian Opiniano

Death is the great robber of peace; the fear of its possibility and consequences can cause much anxiety. In this sermon, we looked at Paul’s resolve against the reality of death and why he could say “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We learned that Paul was dauntless towards death because he had the assurance of salvation, that being absent from the body is being present with the Lord. Paul was also desperate for his Deliverer; he knew that there was no greater place than to be in the presence of Christ. Yet even though he chose life, Paul resolved to be deliberate for the day and lived to build up the church. Just as Paul displayed no fear towards death because he was confident in Christ, we too can have peace over the finality of life when we put our trust in Him. Only then can we truly proclaim, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

Be Peacemakers

By: Joshua Mathew

In Christ, God called us to be peacemakers; we are children of God who help others find peace with God and with one another through Christ. In this sermon, we looked at Paul’s exhortation to the church in Philippi of how we ought to live as peacemakers (Philippians 1:27-2:5). First, we are to embrace the task of living our life in a manner worthy of the gospel; our life must testify of the peace we have with God through Christ who reconciled us. Following this, we are encouraged to give all our best to live in unity with our community; in everything we do, we ought to be in full accord, not half-hearted. And this can only happen if we deeply value one another as Christ values us. Looking towards Him who has given us peace with God, Christ calls us to a holy ambition to display this lifestyle as peacemakers for God’s glory and for the good of all. 

Who Then Is This?

By: Ian Opiniano

The Lordship of Christ is a great hope that believers can cling to when caught in the storms of life. It is in His Lordship that believers can have the certainty of peace. In this continuation of the Pieces of Peace series, we looked at the reasons as to why the Lordship of Christ should bring believers great peace. We learned that His Lordship is built on the premise that Christ cares for us, and that every struggle in this life does not go unnoticed. His Lordship also dictates that Christ controls our circumstances; there is not a single event in our lives that is out of His control. Finally, His Lordship is demonstrated in how Christ commands the confession of all peoples, of all times; a comforting reality to all who believe but a condemning one to all who do not believe. The Lordship of Christ is a great source of great peace and is a faithful shelter in the storms of life.

Integral to Integrity

By: Ian Opiniano

As a child of God, our peace is sustained when our integrity is maintained. It is when we compromise that guilt and shame rob us of our peace. In this sermon, we continued our study in the book of Philippians and learned integral pieces in maintaining our integrity. First, we must learn to manage our attitude; it is when we react to an unmet expectation that often leads us to compromise. Second, we must meditate on Scripture for it is only in God’s Word that we can learn to distinguish between right and wrong. Third, we must learn to model sacrifice; it is when we put the welfare of others before our own that leads away from selfish compromises. Finally, we must maintain a holy reverence for God; when we recall to mind the gravity of His grace for us, we can’t help but uphold God’s holiness in our lives. We are called to live a life of integrity, for it is a consistent and uncompromising life that protects our peace.

Get Over Yourself

By: Ian Opiniano

The greatest enemy of our peace is our pride. Pride keeps people from reconciling, it brews unforgiveness, and it extinguishes love. At its worst, pride sets us at odds with God because it declares our will rather than His will. As we continued in the ‘Pieces of Peace’ series, we looked at how Paul handled his pride and learned how we too could demonstrate humility. First, we learned that we must forsake personal glory and recognize that all glory belongs to God alone. Following this, we learned that we must focus on real worth; not valuing the praise of this world, but rather pursuing the praise of Christ. Finally, we learned that we are called to find our identity in Christ alone; it is the searching of our identity elsewhere that fuels pride. In this era of an ego-driven society, if we truly seek peace for our lives, we must put to death our pride, and learn to give God all the glory.

Are We There Yet?

By: Ian Opiniano

When the storms of life rob us of peace, hope assures us that peace will one day return. Continuing our Pieces of Peace series, we looked at the greatest ally to peace, hope. Biblical hope is the anticipation of the fulfillment of God’s promises which are certain. In this sermon, we looked at the expectation Apostle Paul had and studied the kind of hope that guards our peace. We learned that our hope must be one with a substance that is grounded on the truths of God’s Word. Our hope must also be one that displays patience that is not paralyzed in expectation but proactively waiting. Finally, our hope must have guidance that is not longing for the past but pressing forward towards heavenly things. If the stability of our peace is dependent on the certainty of our hope, then what a great confidence we can have when our hope is Jesus Christ!

Break The Pattern

By: Ian Opiniano

As we concluded our series on Biblical peace, we studied the necessity of breaking strongholds — patterns of thinking that rob us of our peace. In this sermon, we looked at Paul’s closing exhortation to the Philippian church on the peace that surpasses all understanding. We saw the necessity of prayer, specifically thanksgiving prayers, in the fight to reclaim our minds. We also saw the need to ponder on the things of God in order to guard our minds against thoughts hostile to our peace. Finally, just as Paul commanded the church of Philippi, we are to practice the teachings that make for peace; to pursue godliness as opposed to the patterns of the world. As the strongholds of the mind are broken, God’s peace emanates even more from our lives and reaches a world that so desperately needs it.

20 Now may the God of PEACE who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Hebrews 13:20-21