The Entwining – Finished Work, Righteousness & Peace
Thanks everybody for coming back to listen again. I would like to share what the Lord has been laying on my heart about peace, it starts in the book of John, the Gospel of John, chapter 5, and Jesus is speaking here to the Pharisees. It’s a lengthy piece of scripture to read. He is speaking to the Jews, starting at verse 33, “You sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from men; but these things I say, that you might be saved. He was a burning light and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
But I have a greater witness than that of John. For the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me. And the Father himself, which has sent Me, hath borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And yet ye have not His word abiding in you, for whom He has sent, him you believe not. Search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that you might have life.
I receive not honor from men, but I know you that you have not the love of God in your heart. I am coming in my Father’s name, and you receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him ye shall receive. How can you believe which receive honor one from another and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?
Do not think I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuses you even Moses in whom you trust, for had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me for he wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?”
There’s another scripture we will read shortly, but there is some things here I would like to point out. For one thing, all the scriptures just seem to keep echoing back, or repeating themes that have started before, and one of them is here; Jesus says to search the scriptures because they testify of him, search in Moses, they testify of him, and when the disciples, the two disciples after the resurrection was going to Emmaus, that road to Emmaus experience, Jesus ran into them and he talked to them, and he started explaining to them starting with Moses all the way through the profits the scriptures concerning himself.
So we have Jesus saying search the scriptures to find him, not the law, but to find him and you’ll find him and you’ll find life, and finally these people are like wow, and it dawns on them who Jesus is at the breaking of the bread. So, we have this continual “go to scripture to find Jesus”. “Go to scripture to find Jesus”.
We have the John the baptizer, and he testified, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world,” but Jesus said there was a greater witness than John the Baptist, and it says these are the witness, or the witness that he had are the works that I do. Verse 36, “For the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me that the Father has sent me.”
So he says the very things that I’m doing are a sign and a testimony that I am that Christ because there were all sorts of testimonies given about Christ for one thing, the sacrifice, the lamb that would take away the sins of the world, that it needed a perfect sacrifice, the world needed a perfect sacrifice to do away with our sins, that when the Messiah comes there would be certain things like the lame would walk, the blind would see, the people who were deaf would hear, and the people who couldn’t talk would speak.
All these things had been explained in the scripture to anybody that cared to search this out so whenever the true Messiah would come that he would accomplish all these things so they would say this is the man. He said “now John witnessed to it, but I have something greater and it is the works that the Father has sent me to finish.” It says even the Father testified of Him. We know that twice God said in a public forum, “Behold my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” On the Mount of Transfiguration he said, “Behold my son, listen to what he has to say,” but the people that heard it only heard thunder. There at the baptism of John it said they only heard thunder.
They did not have ears to hear what God was saying. May God grant us ears to hear what He is saying to us, the church, and that’s one of the themes throughout the first chapter 1, 2, 3, of the book of Revelation is do you have ears? Pay attention. Listen to what He’s saying to us. So, we need to pay attention, we need to really listen.
The scriptures in verse 39; “Search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me.” So this whole seeking into the scriptures is the whole point that we’re supposed to be going after. “And they will testify of Christ. I come in my Father’s name and you receive me not. If another come in his own name, you would have received him.” Verse 45, “Do not think I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuses you even Moses in whom you trust.”
So, we have this idea here, and it’s going to be echoed again, and I would like to point this out. John is writing down exactly what he heard, exactly what Jesus said, but then Paul picks this up in his writings, and he brings it about that it is Moses, the law, the laws that Moses gave. It’s the writings of Moses that condemns people, tells them that they’re not going to make it, condemns the people in their faults and their sins. Christ says I don’t have to come. My job is not to accuse a person. The law does all the accusing. Listen to what he says over in verse 24, same chapter of John. “Verily verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on Him who sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life.”
Okay, there are two themes here that get entwined, and they play off each other. Let me try to explain that. It says Moses whom all these people, including a lot of church people today, believe that the law, the keeping of the law, is what’s going to get them to heaven. Where I work, I come across people who know I’m a pastor, and we talk and they all say things like; well, I’m trying as hard as I can. I’m trying to be a good boy. I’m trying to be a good girl. I’m not lying, cheating, stealing, thieving, murdering, on and on and on, but the word is try because they know they’re not keeping it perfectly, hence the only word is try. They’re not saying; I have accomplished this.
So, they know that the law is condemning them, but they’re hoping that there will be like a balancing day, and they’re hoping that there will be enough good to outweigh their bad, but that’s not how it works. In the presence of God, it’s all black and white. Either you make it or you don’t make it. Either you’re a sinner or you’re not a sinner. Either you have sin or your sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb. There is not enough law keeping or ability within ourselves to make ourselves presentable, so if God was to say to us, “Why should I let you into my heaven?”
“Well, I’ve been keeping the law of Moses.”
That’s what that rich ruler kid tried to say, and Christ said, “Oh, really? Sell everything you have and follow me.” Oh no, he wasn’t going to do that. So, if we were to ask that hypothetical question, the only true response that would get us in is; I trust the sacrifice of Christ, that which you have set up in order that I could go into heaven.
The verse we read, 24, where it says, “Verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation.” Notice it doesn’t say anything about all the doing that is required by the law of Moses, it’s by the trusting in God and what God accomplished through Christ. It’s that trusting factor in God that gets us into His presence, and gets us out of condemnation. Only trusting in Christ gets us out of condemnation. That’s what Paul says over in the book of Romans 8:1, “There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
He picks this up from Jesus himself. “There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Jesus says it, Paul confirms it and John witnessed to it that Jesus said it, that only those who trust and believe in Christ have no condemnation. It’s not asking for forgiveness and then working real hard. It is trusting in Christ alone.
This is all echoed again. Let me read verse 36, “I have a greater witness than that of John. For the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me that the Father has sent me.”
John 17:4 says, “I have glorified thee.” This is later in his ministry. This is his prayer. He is talking to the Father, and He says, “I have glorified thee on the earth,” and that means I have brought honor, I have honored your name, I have glorified thee on the earth. “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’ Now, He is talking to the father here. “I have glorified you, Father, on the earth. I have finished the work which thy gaveth me to do.”
Now he’s talking to the Father. He has accomplished everything which is walking before God, before man, before everybody in utter perfection. Also He is fulfilling all of the words that Moses, all the prophets and all the writings have testified to, concerning him. He had healed the sick, He had caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. He had accomplished all this, plus feeding the 5,000, feeding the 4,000, and calming the storm where there is a reference in Psalm that said, “God is the one who calms storms.”
Jesus had accomplished all these things. So we have this proclamation to God the father in John 17:4, “I have finished the work…” Remember in John 5, He said” I have worked to finish”, now He said to God, “I have finished the work.” In John 19:30, the proclamation is made to the whole world. In John 19:30 it’s not going to be new to us because it just says, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar He said ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.”
When he received the vinegar He said, “It is finished.” He had proclaimed it to his Father. I have accomplished, I have finished the work. First He proclaimed it to the people. I have a work and this is the witness of me, it’s a greater witness because I’m going to do everything that the scripture says, that the Messiah must accomplish. He says to the Father, “The work that you have asked me to do I have finished,” and now once again before the Romans, before the Pharisees, before the Jews, any person who cared to hear that conversation was out there at Golgotha, Mount Calvary, and they heard him proclaiming not just to the people, but also to the cosmos, to the powers and principalities, both dark and light, “It is finished.”
He is claiming this completion of a task. Now, verse 39 back in John 5; Search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are which testify of Me.” Okay, what is it that Christ is saying to look for? Like I’ve said before, there are the healings, the feeding of the 5,000, the feeding of the 4,000, the calming of storms and other scripture references like the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, but there is one specific one that the Lord has been laying on my heart to share with you this week. Let’s go to Isaiah 32. I always say if I can find it real quick, but I never do find those things real quick. Isaiah 32:17, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”
I would really like for you guys to spend some time reading this whole passage starting in Isaiah 32: through verse 20. It says this will happen when the spirit is poured out upon us from on high. Okay, so, we know that it’s happening to us. It started on the day of Pentecost. The spirit was poured out, and this is the work that was accomplished. Once again, chapter 32, verse 17, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.”
So the work that we know that he accomplished was the work of righteousness. He set everything right before God. If we trust in Him, Christ himself has made it right. He has set it right before God that we are now acceptable, we are permitted into the very presence of the Lord God Almighty, into the very holy of holies, not just here on earth, but the holy of holies in heaven itself. We can approach the throne of grace, the mercy seat, and it says actually come boldly. So we can come boldly to the throne of God and talk to the creator of the heavens and the earth, the most powerful being that has ever existed, or will ever exist. He has accomplished this work for us, and it’s the work of righteousness and what does it bring about? It shall be peace, quietness, and assurance forever.
Now, read over in Isaiah 53:5. Once again, this is not something new to most of us that have been reading the scriptures. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with His stripes we are healed. ”
Once again it says the work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness is that tranquility, assuredness and confidence. We go into Isaiah and it says He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him. So, the work that He had accomplished, not just demonstrating all the fulfillment of the prophecy, but more importantly He walked in that perfect righteousness before God the Father. So, when He said I am laying my life down, my life’s blood is poured out, I’m laying my body down as a perfect sacrifice, that this was all accomplished, this is the work, and because of that accomplishment we are to have peace.
Now, you also notice that following peace is that one line where it says, “By His stripes we are healed.” We also notice this that before the healing came, the peace comes. We’ll try to get back to that.
If you’ll let me flip back over to John 14:27, Jesus is talking. Once again we have this whole echo of what’s being said. “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.”
Christ is recalling what was said in Isaiah that the work of righteousness accomplishes and brings about peace. It’s peace between God and man. God is no longer all angry at us who trust in Christ because the perfect sacrifice has been made. He loves us that much that He sent his only begotten son so as we trust in Him we have peace. The peace is accomplished, and in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”
The important part here is the peace that is accomplished through the work of righteousness is given to us. It’s not something that we earn. It’s not something that we work out. It’s a gift. Like salvation. You’re saved, you’re also given peace. It must be extremely important to have that peace because it’s the first thing that is mentioned, that He was wounded for our transgressions and all that, and we get the peace and later it talks about the healing. So, peace comes first. Of all the gifts that Christ could have given us, the one thing he does say that he gives us in John 14 is peace, so peace has to be extremely important for God because He keeps bringing it back up to us. Peace is the basis of our confidence, Isaiah, assurance. It is the basis of our confidence that what God says is true and right. It is a gift that is given to us. It’s the basis from which our faith stands on. It’s a foundation of which we live our lives with confidence and assurance. This gift of peace is ours. But notice what Jesus said there, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The peace was given like a gift, but we’re the ones who are not to let ourselves become upset. We’re not to let ourselves come into fear. We are to focus on the gift that he has given us which is peace. Some people go on about the true sign of being a Spirit-filled Christian is speaking in tongues. D. L. Moody used to think that the true sign of being filled with the Spirit was to become an evangelist, but we’ve read in the scriptures back in Isaiah that this would be poured out. At the time that the Sprit was poured out people would come to a place of peace with God and, once again, in Isaiah it is prophesied with the chastisement and all of the debt paying that went on at the cross, we would have peace.
I would say that the most important sign of being a Spirit-filled Christian then is this peace that we’re supposed to have. Not that kind of peace that the world gives where you sit around and contemplate your belly button, as they say, or chant something and focus on something so much that you block everything else out. Christ isn’t saying that you have to block everything else out. He is saying that in the midst of all this we can walk in peace, confidence and assurance with our God.
You don’t see him blocking everything out when He went into these crowds. You didn’t see him blocking everything out when He went to the cross. But, He walked with assurance and calm confidence in God knowing that God doesn’t lie, and He had peace with the Father. He has so much of it that He in turn gives it to us.
There’s a cartoon out, I really don’t know what it is, but there are a bunch of seagulls and they’re all saying, “Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.” It’s really funny to watch, but actually we’re to be like those seagulls when it comes to peace. This gift was given to us so we’re not to let our hearts be troubled. We’re the one responsible for not letting our hearts be troubled. We’re not to focus on our troubles. We’re not to focus on our fears. We’re to focus on the peace and say Christ gave me peace. Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, my peace. My peace. My peace. It’s a gift. It’s my peace.
And it’s not that we have peace in our mind, but rather we have peace in our heart. So, we’ve got to focus. You can choose to focus on your mind onto the sacrifice of Christ, onto what the scriptures say, on the fact that God does not lie, that God does not change, but rather He tells the truth and Christ has accomplished all of this for us and gave us that peace. Keep focusing on the peace, focusing on Him, on what He accomplished. Focus, focus, focus. My peace. It’s mine. It’s mine. It’s mine. Focus on that. Whenever we have that peace, then we will be able to walk with calm assurance in this world no matter what’s going on around us, or even all the turmoil that seems to be going on inside us, when we focus on that, all that peace and quiet will come into our lives and we’ll have the calm assurance to walk through this life with confidence.
Remember, I said these things intertwine because the work that Christ finished brings about no condemnation, no condemnation brings about peace, and peace is wrought, made by and given to us by Christ in his finished works, and His works bring us no condemnation, and since there is no condemnation we have peace. We have that peace given to us because Christ has finished a work, and it just goes on and on and on in a big circle, and it’s entwined together. You can pick anywhere in this circle to jump in, but once you do, keep going through the circle.
Christ has accomplished his works. They’re finished. Therefore, there is no condemnation to those who trust in Him. He says that, Paul says that. Since I have no condemnation whatsoever, there is nothing else that I have to do, or accomplish, or add to. I just have to trust in the accomplished work of Christ and, therefore, I have no condemnation. Since I have no condemnation, I have peace with God, and if I have peace with God and there is no condemnation, He doesn’t hate me. He doesn’t anger himself at me. I have nothing to prove to Him. I have peace. I have peace. Why do I have that peace? Because Christ finished his work. And we go through the cycle again of how we have that peace.
Now, remember what I said, once you have this in your heart that Christ’s work causes no condemnation, no condemnation causes peace, remember what followed in Isaiah. We were healed by His stripes. Actually, Isaiah says we will be healed, and Peter says we were healed, so we have this accomplishment. All of our prayers are answered because we have this peace and confidence that God hears us when we pray, so we can walk in confidence in this world in peace no matter what’s going on. We hear what the word says, we read the scripture, and we walk in peace.
This will change our lives. This will cause the miraculous to start happening within our lives, and within our church. This is a foundation point for disciples, to come back to this all the time. To come back to this again and again and again. Anytime that you have dis-quietness, any time that you have fear, you come back to this point. God gave me peace. Jesus gave me pace. He gave it to me, it’s mine. It’s mine because he finished a work. His work was to bring righteousness. His righteousness gives me peace. I trust Him.
Shall we pray, Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for your righteous work that was accomplished by your son, Jesus. He said it is finished. Thank you for that gift of peace that I now have without regard of what’s going on in the world around me, without regard what I am actually doing in my life. I am trusting in you. I have that peace because it’s mine. My life will change because of that peace and you keep your word. All glory and honor to you. I ask in the name of Jesus that other people will see the accomplished peace in my life and the life-changing miracles that is wrought through the work of Christ, not just this work, but all the work that you gave him to accomplish. Father I ask that the world will see that and they too would choose to become disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I trust him to accomplish it. I ask that you would bless this website and the message that goes out from here that it will help to continue to transform this world because disciples are being made and because you are blessing your disciples. Transform individual lives. I ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.