Jesus’ Peace, Our Purpose – John 14:25-31

Jesus’ Peace, Our Purpose

Nick Esch, 3/11/2018 Cornerstone Baptist Church

Introduction

If I say the words holiness, sanctification, righteousness, or Christ-likeness what comes to your mind? One thing that comes to my mind is my brother; not because he is any of these, but because he’s referred to me before as a holy roller… And what he was saying is that I’m a rule follower, a do-gooder, so to speak… And I wonder if something like that might be what comes to your mind as well… When you hear holy do you hear good, or well behaved? When you think about Christ-likeness do you primarily think about someone being morally upright, or maybe someone who reads their Bible a lot or something?… What comes to your mind when you think about these things?…

I fear that our understanding of holiness or becoming more like Jesus is confined to morals or maybe doing a few “spiritual” things, and not to the whole of life… You see, to be holy, to be Christ-like doesn’t just mean you are morally upright, it means you are following His example and submitting to His Lordship; it means you give your life to truly knowing Him, loving Him, and following Him. The gospel is to take a hold of your entire life, not just give you some rules to follow… You see, when God opens our eyes to the truth of the gospel we become aware and amazed by the love of Christ in the gospel; who He is, what He’s done, and what He’s promised to do so grips our hearts that we cannot help but love Him in return; and then that love—His love for us and our love for Him—compels us to live for Him in every area of our lives… And you see, this is much closer to what it means to be holy, or to be sanctified; it means to be set apart for God and His good purposes… He takes our life and redeems it and uses it for His glory… And we gladly submit to His good purposes for our lives because we so love Him…

This is what Jesus has been speaking of in the context of our passage here… Jesus has told His disciples that He’s leaving this world and heading to glory by way of the cross; and He’s been seeking to encourage them, to equip them, and to empower them to live faithfully after He leaves this world. This talk that He’s giving His disciples is known as the Upper Room Discourse; He gives it on the last night of His life before His crucifixion; and giving what He’s doing, we’d be hard pressed to find a more relevant passage for our lives… Again, He’s seeking to encourage, equip, and empower disciples to be faithful while He is at the right hand of the Father in heaven… And this is exactly what we should want to be… faithful…

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word…” And He talks about giving His disciples another Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help His disciples love Him and keep His Word… The Holy Spirit enables us to know and love Christ and then equips and empowers us to live for Christ by living like Christ… In other words, the Holy Spirit is a Helper given to help us in living holy lives, in living sanctified—Christ-like lives, faithful lives… The Holy Spirit helps us know, love, and live for Jesus until we are with Jesus for all eternity… Do you see how that’s relevant for you?… If you’re a Christian this is what your life should be all about… This is what holiness is all about… It’s not about being a rule follower, it’s about being a Jesus follower… It’s not about merely being morally upright in this morally depraved world, it’s about being set apart from the world and being on a mission to the world… And that’s what I believe we’ll see in our passage today; that Jesus encourages us, equips us, and empowers us, not to just to get through this life, but to live this life on a mission… So with that in mind, let’s look at John 14:25-31 together…

John 14:25-31

Our passage begins in verse 25 with Jesus saying, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.” And this reminds us of the weighty reality of the cross that is behind everything that Jesus is saying here. He says what He says because He will soon not be with them… He’s going to leave this world and go to glory, by way of the cross. After His death He will be raised, but shortly after that He will ascend to the right hand of the Father into glory… But He’s not going to leave His disciples alone. No! God never leaves or forsakes His people…

In verse 26 Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Now in one sense He’s speaking strictly to the apostles; that’s who’s in front of Him; and what He’s telling them is that they will be empowered to write the New Testament through the Holy Spirit teaching them all things and bringing to their remembrance all that Jesus has said to them… And what an amazing blessing it is that God has given us His Word, and breathed it out and guarded it through the Spirit… But the blessing He’s speaking of goes beyond all of this as well, it goes beyond just the apostles and how God worked through them… When Jesus leaves, the Holy Spirit comes—God does not forsake us… And He comes for all of God’s people throughout all time… He is another helper like Christ: an advocate, a counselor, an intercessor, a comforter for God’s people in every nation and generation… So in some sense—if we are Christians—what Jesus is laying out here applies to us as well…

Well, the Bible has already been written, so how does this play out for us?… Well, notice that Jesus says the Father sends the Holy Spirit to us in the name of Jesus… Don’t overlook that… Don’t breeze over that… God cares deeply about His name… His name is His reputation, it’s His glory, and His reputation, His fame, His renown, His glory is made known in Christ… Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of God’s nature, and He upholds the universe by the Word of His power, because He is in fact God (Hebrews 1:3)… He’s what the name of God looks like in the flesh… That’s why Peter says, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)…

When I think about the name sake of Jesus I think of Isaiah 48:8-11… There God says, “For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel. [In other words, since conception we were bent towards sin; and ever since birth we have rebelled against God and therefore rightly deserve His wrath, His righteous anger and fury… But He goes on and says,] For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” This finds its fulfillment ultimately in Christ… God saves us in and through Jesus, for His name’s sake… for His glory… But the Spirit applies this salvation and enables and empowers us to live it out, to live for His name’s sake… He teaches us and brings to our remembrance the Word of Christ that we might rightly live for Christ… You see, the Spirit’s ministry is to make much of Jesus; His ministry is for Jesus’ name… The Father sends Him in the name of Jesus… Jesus says of the Spirit in John 16:14, “He will glorify me…” The Spirit comes to magnify Christ… And the Spirit enables us to do the same… When the Spirit takes up residence in our life, His purpose becomes our purpose, His mission becomes our mission… God saved you for a reason Christian: to make much of Jesus… The Spirit teaches us, He opens our hearts, our minds, our eyes, our ears to God’s Word, He writes it on our hearts, so that we would behold the glory of Christ and live for the glory of Christ.

This is why God created us, and this is why God saved us… But, if we’re honest, we’re typically so caught up in our lives, in our circumstances that we don’t even think about living for Jesus rightly… We’re so busy trying to get through life that we fail to live life the way God’s called us to… And that’s what Jesus addresses next… In verse 27 Jesus says, “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.”

He says, “Peace I leave with you…” As in, though He’s leaving, though He’s going to the cross, though He’s going to glory, He’s going to leave this peace behind for His people… Well, that tells us something doesn’t it? It tells us that this is peace that He has, that belongs to Him… It’s not merely something He accomplishes, but something that directly belongs to Him that He leaves behind for His people… And this is what He says next; He says, “my peace I give to you…” This is His peace; and He doesn’t merely leave it behind, as if we have to search for it to have it, but, He clarifies here and says that He gives it to His people… So we don’t find it, we don’t work for it, we don’t earn it… Jesus gives it…

So what is this peace that He gives? The idea behind this word is a state of security and safety… So think about that… Jesus says He gives us His security and safety… And He says He does it, not as the world does… Well, how does the world seek out peace? How does the world seek out security and safety?… In the Roman world that Jesus was in at the time, Rome sought out peace through war… They would fight their way to peace… They would squash rebellions through military force… And that’s not all that different from today; nor is it all that different from us… If we’re looking for peace, if we’re looking for safety and security we just work harder, we just try to make more money, get more insurance, get a bigger 401K, get a bigger house or whatever, and then we’ll get that peace, that safety, that security we crave… Or we think, “My life is just so crazy right now; if I can just get through this situation, or if I can just change this circumstance, then I’ll have peace…” Ah, but don’t you see? These types of things are exactly the reason that we don’t live for Jesus like we should… We’re too busy seeking peace to receive it; we’re too busy for Jesus… The problem is not with Jesus; Jesus is far more willing to give than we are to receive…

But do you see what this means? Jesus says He is the one who gives His people peace… So when we’re too busy seeking peace to live for Jesus, we’re actually too busy trying to be Jesus to live for Jesus… We’re trying to be our own Savior; or we’re trusting money and stuff to save us, to protect us, to satisfy us… We’re looking to anything but Jesus for peace… Do you know what that’s called? It’s called idolatry… It’s called sin… The peace we need cannot be earned or achieved the way the world seeks out peace… I mean, have you ever noticed that when we tell ourselves, “If I could just get through this, or if I could just get one of those, or if I could just get more money, change my circumstance, get a better job, a bigger house, or whatever…” Have you ever noticed that even after we reach one of those goals that there is always another one, because when you reached that goal it didn’t really fulfill the need you thought it would—it didn’t really satisfy, it didn’t really bring you peace?… You know why? Because it is the peace of Jesus that our hearts are searching for; not peace as the world gives…

The peace that Jesus gives is His peace… A peace like we sang about earlier: “I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood; I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.” That is the foundation of this peace… Jesus has perfect peace with God, He’s in right communion with God… He’s at peace, He is safe and secure in the good providence of God… And this is the peace He gives to His people… He gives His people His posture and position with God; not His posture and position as God, but with God… As God in the flesh He is truly God but He is also truly man, and He is a righteous man, the righteous man, who is in right communion with God, who is at peace with God…

This is the peace He gives to His people. It’s not the world’s peace; it’s not circumstantial and subject to change, and it’s not accomplished through war or might… But through humility and sacrifice… Jesus gives us this peace through His death… God’s Word says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18)… That He might make peace between us and God… We were rebels against Him, we were hostile towards Him, and therefore we were rightly deserving of His wrath… But the mighty sacrifice of Christ gave us peace with God, because when He died for us He took our sin our guilt and the wrath due us upon Himself; He took our curse upon Himself and through faith He imputes His righteousness to us—that’s what gives us peace. He took our position before God: guilty, and gave us His position before God: righteous—at perfect peace… And friend if you are not trusting in Christ you are still guilty…

So far I’ve talked about purpose and peace; but let me be clear: you need more than just purpose, and the peace you need is not just a calming feeling; at the heart of this peace is salvation… And that’s what we all need… So it’s not merely that without this peace without this purpose you are essentially wasting your life, though that’s true… What I’m telling you is that in your sin it’s like you are in a burning building, and if you don’t get out you will perish… You need to get out of the burning building… You need to be saved, and Jesus is the way of salvation… You need to repent and believe in the gospel—in the person and work of Jesus… So I implore you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God… Be saved and receive peace with God… And God in His amazing grace, when we are at peace with Him, gives us purpose, changes our life; this peace changes everything…

This is why Jesus can say, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” This peace frees us up from worry and striving for the security and safety of the world; because the security and safety that we have, the peace that we have transcends this world… Whatever illusions of peace this world may give us, they’re always fleeting, they’re temporary… But the peace of God lasts forever… The peace that Jesus gives is other-worldly; that’s why Paul says that it’s the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding; the world can’t grasp this peace… But we Christians see and cherish it, and it’s this peace that guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus, that keeps us from fear and troubled hearts…

This peace doesn’t ebb and flow… This is a permanent peace that comes from being born again, from being bought with blood, from being counted righteous in Christ, from having Christ… That’s ultimately how Jesus gives us peace, by giving us Himself… He gave Himself for us and He gives Himself to us… There are many things we will lose in this life—in fact one day we will lose this life—but if we are truly Christians, we will never lose Jesus, and He will never lose us… And ultimately He is all that matters… So let not your hearts be troubled… And when troubles do arise, or when fear creeps up remind yourself, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; oh what a foretaste of glory divine!” Or remember the words of Isaiah, who speaking to the Lord said, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4)… Get your minds on Him, on Christ, the solid rock. He gives us peace; He is our peace… When we rest in Him then we’re freed up to really live for Him…

But the disciples aren’t there yet… They aren’t resting in Jesus rightly; at least not yet… Look at where Jesus goes next in verses 28 and 29; He says, “You heard me say to you, I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.” They have heard His promises, but they haven’t taken them to heart… Their hearts are still troubled; they’re not seeing things rightly—they’re not loving Jesus rightly… If they really loved Him rightly they would have rejoiced over what He’s saying, they would have rejoiced over Jesus being glorified…

Glory is what He’s talking about when He says the Father is greater than Him. Jesus is God, and the Father is God, therefore they are both equally great; but Jesus emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He has humbled Himself and will humble Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. And that leads to glory… After Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:7-11)… Remember what all we said about Jesus’ name… It’s glory… That’s what Jesus is speaking of here… At this time Jesus is in His humility heading towards the cross, but the Father is in heaven in glory… That’s what’s greater about Him… But to that great glory is where Jesus is heading… And if we really love Jesus than our greatest joy will be to see Him glorified… He says they should rejoice over these things, they should have exceeding joy because of who Jesus is, what He has done and will do, and most of all because of His exaltation—His glory… These things are linked together…

It’s like what the Westminster Catechism says: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever…” God gets the glory, we get the joy; they are linked… If we love Jesus we will keep His Word, we will live for His glory, and when Jesus gets glory we get joy… The disciples should have rejoiced over the prospect of Jesus’ glory; but Jesus has not left yet, therefore the Spirit has not come yet… Remember, that was why the Spirit was coming. The Spirit’s purpose is to make much of Jesus, and when the Spirit takes up residence in our life, His purpose becomes our purpose, His mission becomes our mission… God actually created us for this mission—to live for His glory, but we have all sinned and fallen short of that, so God sends the Spirit to recreate us, to cause us to be born again, to save us; and in so doing enables and empowers us to make much of Jesus, to live on mission… To live for what we were created for… And that’s where joy is found…

And understand, Jesus doesn’t lay all of this out because He’s seeking to shame them… No; He says this because He seeking to strengthen their faith… He says He’s telling them all of this so that when the cross takes place, when His death takes place, and when His resurrection and ascension take place, that they will believe, that they will have faith… Jesus wants His people to have peace, to have joy, to have faith, to love Him come what may… “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14)… He wants His people to have an unshakable faith, for our good and His glory… You see, when our faith rest securely in Him alone that magnifies the glory of Christ, because it displays to the world that Jesus is better than the world, the peace He gives is better and more abiding, the joy He gives is better and more abiding, He Himself is better than anything we could gain or lose in this life; He is indeed better than life… When our life displays this reality that’s how we make much of Jesus, and that’s where we’ll find even more joy—living to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever…

Now look at how Jesus closes out our passage in verses 30-31: He says, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” In and through the work of Judas and the Roman and Jewish leaders, Satan is coming, the cross is coming… Jesus’ time is short, but His plan is sure… Satan is seeking to defeat Jesus through the cross—through death, but it’s through the cross, it’s through death that Jesus will defeat Satan, sin, and death… Satan is the ruler of this sinful world, but Jesus is not of this world, therefore Satan has no claim on Him, He has nothing over Him… Sure, Satan can lead the world to condemn Jesus, they can count Him guilty and nail Him to a criminal’s cross, but nothing happens to Jesus outside of His sovereign will… Jesus does go to the cross, but not because of guilt, the Devil, or because of the might of sinful men…

Jesus was not guilty… He was always perfectly obedient to the Father… He was and is sinless… Jesus was not forced to the cross by the will of Satan or the might of men… He goes to the cross—first and foremost—because of His love for the Father… He says, “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” His love for the Father, His love for the glory of God drove Him to the cross… And though He was innocent, on the cross He took our guilt upon Himself and gave us His innocence—His righteousness. As pastor Burk Parsons has said, “The only thing that righteousness and sin have in common is that they were both imputed to the undeserving at the cross…” And though He did this because He loved us, primarily He did it because He loves God… Friend, you might not be all that passionate about God’s glory, but understand, if Jesus was not passionate about God’s glory we would all be damned… We would have no hope… It was His passion for His own glory that led Him to the cross… He said He takes on the cross so that the world may know that He loves the Father… Jesus’ love for us and His love for the Father, His glory shines out most brightly at the cross! Love and glory are His motivations…

Here Jesus is modeling for us what the Christian life should like; He’s showing us that if we love we will obey… That’s what He does… But it’s more than that; He’s not just showing us what the Christian life looks like, He’s making it possible… He’s purchasing eternal life for us by giving His perfect life for us, by laying it down in our place… And ultimately He’s doing this for God, for His glory, and so that the world might praise Him for His glorious grace. Obedience, love, and glory lead Jesus to the cross, not Satan… And at the cross Jesus defeats Satan, sin, and death, by satisfying God’s wrath and giving us His righteousness; so now, just as Satan has no claim on Jesus, for those who are in Christ, He has no claim on us as well… We have peace… We have been declared righteous… We have been declared not guilty… So the Devil can say whatever he wants about us, the world can say whatever it wants about us; all that matters is God’s opinion, God’s verdict, and He looks at us and says, “Righteous!” We’ve been set free from sin and the power of Satan; and we’ve been set free for a purpose… Just as Jesus so loved God that He poured Himself out for His glory, so too must we…

Conclusion

Jesus has been concerned with His disciples—with us loving Him and He has said that our love must lead to obedience. He has been seeking to encourage, equip, and empower His disciples to live after He ascends to heaven. But He doesn’t just want us to get through or get by, but to be on mission, to live for His glory.

Jesus’ love for the Father fueled His faithfulness, all the way to the cross… If we love Jesus our love should lead us to pour out our lives for His glory as well… And just as Jesus poured out His life in love that the world might behold this love, might behold His glory, so it should be with us. Our love for Jesus and His glory commissions us to love people, because we must want others to live for His glory as well… So we love Jesus and people by loving Jesus enough to serve people sacrificially and seek to help them come to know Jesus, love Jesus, and live for Jesus—to make much of Him, to glorify Him…

In this passage Jesus is speaking of peace, of joy, of faith, of love and glory, and ultimately of our purpose, of our mission… We’re not meant to just make it through life, we are meant to pour out our lives for the glory of Christ… That’s where peace is found, that’s where joy is found, that’s what faith and love look like in action… This is why Jesus saves us… Through His Work on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit He makes us His own, He makes us holy—setting us apart for God, He makes us more and more like Christ, and empowers us to live Christ-like lives, where we pour ourselves out for the glory of Christ… Jesus says, if we love Him we will keep His Word; and that doesn’t mean that we’ll be just a bunch of rule followers, it means that we’ll be Jesus followers. And it means, like Jesus, out of love we will pour ourselves out for His glory… When we give our lives to that, when we give our lives to Him then we will have peace, then we will have joy…