Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 29th March 1998

From the Pastor: Proverbial Expressions IX

"They pass all understanding"

Properly: "The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philemon 4:7

King James I (reigned 1603 - 1625) once remarked about the writings of the Elizabethan scientist Francis Bacon that "they are like the peace of God: they pass all understanding." The same or similar wisecrack is still used regarding unintelligible writings today, even down to the doctor's prescription. One hopes that the latter will lead at least to some medical peace when put in the hands of the pharmacist!

However, apart from the use of this Biblical expression as a cheap shot, what it properly refers to is "the peace of God". This should be carefully distinguished from "peace with God" (Romans 5:1) which refers to becoming right with God through the atoning work of Christ. The peace of God, as here, is more subjective: it has to do with deliverance from worry and anxiety, an inward state of peace. However, the two are still closely connected.

Wordly advice, of the older variety, told us to use our minds to keep our hearts from worry, but reasonable as it sounded it failed to work. Inner peace, at best, belonged to those with rational and logical minds! Even there the reality was different. Today the path to peace is through drugs, meditation, or some other kind of escape from reality. The sorry legacy is millions in a state of misery.

The true path, the Apostle tells us, is the God-centred and Christ-centred dimension. His peace passes rational comprehension, but is there to be had if we but pray through Christ, then leave matters with God for Whom there are no problems. In Christ Jesus this peace will be ours and be kept from anxiety.

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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