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Dec 20, 2020

Peace of the Innkeeper

Preacher: Andrew Repsold

Series: Advent Humility

Keywords: advent, peace, shalom, wholeness


This final Sunday of Advent 2020 focuses on peace--what is it biblically? How does it differ from our current cultural definition? How do we get it or lose it? All through the eyes of the Innkeeper in the Advent story. If you want real peace, this message is for you.


Peace through the Eyes of the Innkeeper

December 20, 2020

Prophecies referring to peace from Isaiah:

Isaiah 9:6--For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7--Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.

From this passage, we see that Peace is an integral part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus is described as a Prince of Peace, increasing peace with no end to the peace.

Goals of this Sermon

  1. Present a Biblical definition of peace.
  2. Explore how that definition influences the way we pursue peace in this fallen world.

Google Definition: “freedom from disturbance; tranquility.“

Commonly Defined as…

Peace: The absence of conflict. An inner tranquility.

Examples: peace in the Middle East…just stop killing each other.

Peace in your relationships:

  • Shalom is used in ways that refer to wholeness, not inner tranquility.

-Shalom Stone (a stone that has a perfect whole shape with no cracks or chips)

-A completed stone wall with no gaps or missing bricks

-Your tents are in a state of shalom when no animals are missing (Job 5:24)

To bring shalom (peace) is to make complete or restore.

Identify two or three things that have hindered your peace in the past 6 months.

What things have you felt anxious about? (Take 40 seconds and write these things down.)

-Me: Not getting done the accomplishments and goals that I had set out for the year.

-Another person: anxious as a new parent over how they are going to imperfectly parent their child.

-Getting Covid. Dying from it. Passing it on to vulnerable people. Not seeing family in person for months.

Biblical Definition of Peace is more than just the absence of conflict. It is the presence of something better in it’s place.

I am going to show a short 3 minute video now that begins to show us biblical examples of the use of the word peace in the Bible where it means completeness or wholeness instead of just the absence of conflict. The Hebrew word is Shalom and you will see in this video examples of how it is used in a way that is more than just the absence of conflict.


Biblical Definition of Peace: referring to something in a state of completeness or wholeness.

The reason that a proper definition of peace is important is because it influences how we pursue experiencing peace. If peace is primarily the absence of conflict in my life, then I will seek to experience peace by removing all conflict from my life.

  1. If something results in tension, then the pursuit of that thing is bad.

Buddhism is the idolization of inner peace…at the expense of being whole and complete as a human being.



  1. (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.

Buddhists think that nirvana, or ultimate inner peace will come from ridding ourselves of desire and personality. The Christian thinks that inner peace comes not from denying our desires but from satisfying our souls deepest desires in Christ. …because we are not whole or complete as human beings apart from God.

Examples of how these different definitions influence how we pursue peace.

Compare the two definitions and show our pursuit of peace differs when we understand peace in these different ways.

Worldly definition:

-pursue peace by avoiding conflict…avoid the people that bother you most.

-pursue peace through external controls

…breathing exercises, yoga, Epsom salt baths, organizing your work space or room, Christmas lights, writing cards to other people.

NOTICE, no GOD factored in any of those.

Biblical definition:

-seek to be informed by the Bible so you know what a whole and complete human being is. Namely, one in relationship with God and in harmony with his design.

Notice: GOD and true living (righteousness) are the pursuit peace from this worldview.

By this definition, if humans are incomplete apart from intimate relationship with God, then the only way we are going to experience Shalom is in relationship with God.

So first, we need to get in right relationship with God. (assuming we are all sinners) The beginning of our pursuit of Peace is not to rid our lives of desire, like the Buddhists seek to do, it is to be reconciled to our Maker.

And so I want to show you that peace with God has been secured through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Notice how these verses describe peace.

Ephesians 2:17--And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 

He cam declaring peace (like VE day for WWII)

What was accomplished?

What things have hindered your peace in the last 6 months?

Isaiah 53:5--But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Romans 5:1--Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:19-20--For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Not talking in these verses about an inner tranquility (though that may be the result of this news). These verses are talking about peace being secured. We were under the wrath of God but Christ has brought us peace. It is a description of an external reality…whether you accept it or not, choose to experience it or not, peace has been as been secured for us, for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ, so that now we can approach the holy of holies.

In addition to describing how we are made whole again through Jesus Christ, the experience of Peace that we all long for is a participation in the peace that eternally exists in God.

John 14:27--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.

If you want to experience peace, you want to experience union with Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 32:17--And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

How does the world give peace?

It gives peace based on good circumstances (external) around you. Like financial peace through a sufficient retirement account, or relational peace by family members getting along, or environmental peace by a clean, organized house, a twinkling Christmas tree and a cozy fireplace with stockings.

John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart in that tribulation; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:7, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”

It is a kind of peace that can exist (maybe even exists better or is more obvious) in the midst of what the world would say is external conflict. There is a peace of Christ to be experienced in the midst of a refugee camp, or 1500 square acres of garbage (la chureca, Nicaragua). Peace like Jesus and Paul and Steven experienced knowing they are going to be killed soon and they are not freaking out and frantically running away.

What of this verse:

Matthew 10:34-36   Jesus Speaking: 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household.

Your participation in the peace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ will result in heightened spiritual conflict in your life as the enemy seeks to destroy your faith in God.

I want to tie all of this in now to the Christmas story by looking reading a story that John Piper wrote about the innkeeper because it shows so beautifully how we can still experience peace in God, in the midst of difficult, even terrible earthly circumstances and injustices.

The Innkeeper:

truth: The more we focus on pursuing intimacy with God, the more we will actually experience calm in our soul AS WE TULY FEEL AND TRUST HIS PROMISES.

Close with a  Christmas story that John Piper wrote which so beautifully brings all of these concepts together in an artistic experience.

Benediction: Ephesians 2:12-17--remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 

Isaiah 54:10--For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Thus says the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
    who teaches you to profit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.
18 Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
    Then your peace would have been like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19 your offspring would have been like the sand,
    and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
    or destroyed from before me.”

20 Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
    declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
send it out to the end of the earth;
    say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
    he split the rock and the water gushed out.

22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Go and pursue righteousness and the fruits that come from union with the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 48:18--Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;

Isaiah 48:22--“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Jesus said He’d never leave you nor forsake you.

God will be a father to the fatherless.

God will bring us to heaven.

All the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places are ours in Christ.

If we need wisdom, and ask for it, He’ll give it.

2 Peter 1:4--And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/the-promises-of-god-10-powerful-bible-verses-1/#ixzz6h94tJ0So

Matthew 11:28-29--“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/the-promises-of-god-10-powerful-bible-verses-1/#ixzz6h94vkL47

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/the-promises-of-god-10-powerful-bible-verses-1/#ixzz6h950S9kH

John 14:27--“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/the-promises-of-god-10-powerful-bible-verses-1/#ixzz6h959g6H0

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Matthew 6:30 NLT