December 28, 2008
The Christ We Know
"Prince of Peace"
Pastor Wade Burleson
Emmanuel Baptist Church
This morning we conclude our series of focusing on the names of Christ in Isaiah 9:6 by
examining the name that communicates the effect of knowing Christ as Lord and Savior. When
you come to know Christ, you discover Him to be the "Prince of Peace" (Shalom).
- Our world has very little understanding of peace or "shalom."
The word "peace" (shalom) is much fuller and richer than our modern English
word. The word means wholeness, rest, safety, and security. It is the way Hebrews greet. The
idea of peace (no conflict) is only a small part. Shalom speaks of God's favor. The Lord bless
you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn
his face toward you and give you Shalom (Numbers 6:27).
- Jesus Christ is the author of real peace or "shalom" in our lives.
Isaiah tells us that this child born unto us, Jesus Christ, is the Prince of peace. The
government that is to come shall rest upon his shoulder, and there will be peace. But those who
really know Christ -- those upon his shoulder -- know peace on earth. Over and over in the Bible
God is called the "God of peace" (Romans 15:33; 16:20). The good news of
Christ is called the "gospel of peace" (Acts 10:36; Ephesians 6:15).
How can we know Christ this way when our desires and longings go unfulfilled?
The answer is found not in the quenching of your desire, but the redirecting of it. "Life is all
about knowing and enjoying God." He is the authentic source of pleasure.
- I know Him as my Wonderful Counselor -- and I take all my concerns to Him.
- I know Him as my Mighty God -- and "He is able to work all things for good."
- I know Him as my Everlasting Father -- and His plans for me are "prosperous."
- When and where Jesus Christ reigns over all, peace rains all over.
Do you remember that time that you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? Some of you know the
feeling. It was as if the weight of the world was removed from you. There was a sense of
wholeness, rest, safety and security. But what happens later? "What causes wars and what
causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions which are at war in your bodies? You
desire and do not have . . ." (James 4:1-2). When a parent desires peace and quiet but
the children are all excited, anger erupts. The girl desires to get married, but her fiancee breaks
the engagement, peace leave. A political party desires to control government, but fails, so it
smears the opposition. A nation desires a safer border, so it invades another land. "You
desire and do not have, so you kill" -- or steal, or exploit, or lie, or grumble, and so peace
The gospel of peace does not demand that we cease to desire, but that we direct our desire toward
God and discover that the promises purchased for us by Jesus Christ on the cross and secured for
us by his resurrection -- these promises are satisfying beyond measure. And so, if you are here on
this last Sunday of 2008, and you have unfulfilled desires and longings, turn your focus to Jesus.
He is the Prince of Peace.
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