"The Gospel of Peace"
Discussion Questions and Study Guide

Discussion Questions

  • According to these verses, what did the Cross accomplish?

    • For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father" (Eph. 2:14-18).

  • According to these verses, what did Peter do to walk in opposition to the truth of the Gospel?

    • "Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?" (Gal. 2:11-14).

  • According to these verses, what is the practical effect of the Gospel of Peace?

    • "And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all" (Col. 3:10-11)

    • And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Col. 3:15).

  • Open discussion question: what did you learn or how were you inspired by this video?

Group Guidelines for Discussion

  1. No one can dominate or monopolize the conversation, rather give an opportunity for everyone to participate.

  2. No one has a final verdict for interpretation.

  3. Everyone is encouraged to participate whether or not they have the popular understanding.

  4. Do not criticize anyone or cast a negative light and treat each other with love and kindness.

Study Outline with Supplemental Scriptures

I.  QUESTION: (timestamp 00:28) Can you tell me more about these two aspects of the one Gospel: the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of Peace?

A.  (Ephesians 2:4-10 timestamp 00:48) We get this term from Ephesians, which tells us these two aspects in Ephesians chapter 2. Acts uses the word "The Gospel of the Grace of God" (Acts 20:24). "The Gospel of Peace" (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15). It is the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" (Mark 1:1; II Thessalonians 1:8). It has everything to do with who He is and what He has done. Jesus died for our sins (John 1:29).

B.  Traditionally, most Christians only focus on the matter of the Gospel of Grace. That means we are saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:5, 8) We are saved by grace, not by works. We are saved by grace through faith so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8). This is the Gospel that has gone through the entire earth. Just because of faith, we are saved. That is awesome!

C.  The problem is that if you just have that aspect, then it is very individual. It is only between you and God. Like saying, "I got my ticket to Heaven." I'm saved by grace; I'm going to Heaven; That is what most Christians think.

D.  You may ask, "What is in it for God?" Okay, I got my ticket; is God happy now? Is that what God is after? 

1. No, remember, God is after a people. 

2. God is after a kingdom. God is after a Body.

3. That kingdom and that people has to come into oneness. 

4.  So that is where the Gospel of Peace enters.

E.  The Gospel of Peace is to bring His divided people together into one (see John 11:52). That is the Gospel of Peace, which is corporate.

II.  QUESTION #2: (timestamp 02:51) So the Gospel of Grace is primarily for individuals and the Gospel of Peace is to bring Jesus’ scattered believers into one. Can you tell us more about the divide between the Jew and the Gentiles.

A.  That is from Ephesians chapter two; between the Jews and the nations. In chapter two there is the grace: saved by grace. But if you continue in chapter two Paul talks about two divided people. 

B.  (Ephesians 2:11-22) Between these two divided people (Jews and the nations) there is a wall of partition. This wall is a wall of hatred, even--there is enmity. It is not just “I’m different from you.” No, it is, “I hate you! And I want to kill you!” That kind of hate. That was the issue between the Jews and Gentiles. 

C. That wall, you might say, was erected by God. God erected that wall of partition through His commandment in the ordinances. 

D.  Peter said “you yourselves know how it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit anyone of another nation” (Acts 10:28).

E.  Paul said in Ephesians 2 that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, He suffered, He bled for what? In order to break down this wall of partition; this wall of enmity between these two people so that He can create them together into one new man, making peace. (Ephesians 2:14-15). Paul continued to say, “Gospelize this! Evangelize this peace; you need to preach this peace as a Gospel!” (Ephesians 2:17-18) This peace is excellent news that these previously divided people that hated one another now they are “One New Man.” (Ephesians 2:15) 

III.  QUESTION: (timestamp 05:13) It was a hard thing for Jews who became Christians to accept. In fact, Peter had a lot of trouble with that in Galatians chapter 2. 

A.  Today we may say, "Jews and Gentiles hang out all the time," but it was rare for Jew and Gentiles to associate with each other at that time in history.

1.  We may consider many other issues to be a much bigger issue than the problem with the matter of diet between Jews and Gentiles.

2.  If the issues between Jews and Gentiles can be solved, then every divide we encounter will be easy to address by comparison. 

3.  Unlike our many social conflicts, the Jews and Gentiles were divided based on God's command.

4.  The ordinances of diets, Sabbath, and circumcision were designed to separate God's people in the Old Covenant from the Gentiles (nations).

5.  Additionally, it was unlawful for a Jew to eat with a Gentile.

6.  If God can solve the divide between Jews and Gentiles, He can certainly solve the issue between all other divisions within the Body of Christ. Pro-Choice and Pro-Life, race issues, socio-economic problems, doctrinal issues are all addressed when we live out the Gospel of Peace. 

7.  If God solved the problem between the Jews and the Gentiles, that means every other division, any other enmity or wall or separation is a piece of cake to solve. That is why we need to consider the divide there. 

B.  These two groups were so divided that even though Peter preached the Gospel on the day of Pentecost, he had trouble when it came to eating something unclean. 

C.  God was preparing Peter to preach to the Gentiles, to Cornelius, who was a Roman Centurion. So God gave Peter a dream. There is this vision he saw of unclean animals that came down in his dream, and God said, "Peter, kill and eat!" 

1.  Peter said, "No, LORD!" Peter said that three times (Acts 10:9-16).

2.  Three times in the Bible means he was determined. He is not going to do it. It could be 100 times it will still be, "No, LORD!" 

3.  And by the way, "LORD, that was Your commandment not to do this." 

4.  Peter could not obey God's new command, which is, "Kill and eat!" 

5.  After this vision, he went to Cornelius and Peter preached the Gospel to him, then he witnessed the Gentiles receiving the Spirit just as the Jews did. 

D.  The Council in Jerusalem took place because Jewish believers went out to the Gentile believers and told them that they could not be saved unless they follow the law of Moses. There was a dispute, so there was this conference in Jerusalem, and in this conference, Peter defended Paul.

1.  Peter said he witnessed that the Spirit came upon the Gentiles (see Acts 15:6-12). 

2.  So James wrote a guideline addressing the Gentiles who came to Christ (see Acts 15:13-21). 

E.  Then within a year or two at the most after that conference, Peter was in Antioch. They were eating together and fellowshipping with Gentile believers, having ekklesia. Some Jewish believers came from James, from Jerusalem, and then Peter was afraid. Can you believe this!

1.  Peter became fearful, and he withdrew himself from eating with the Gentile believers.    

2.  And all the Jewish believers, including Barnabus, divided and separated themselves from the Gentile believers.

F.  Since Peter did this action publicly, Paul rebuked Peter publicly, and what did Paul say, "You are not walking according to the truth of the Gospel." (Galatians 2:11-16) Essentially he was saying:

1.  "Peter, you are against the purpose and the reality of the Gospel."

2.  "Peter, you are against what Jesus died for!" 

3.  Paul said this because the Gospel was to bring the Jews and Gentiles together. By separating and dividing from the Gentiles Peter was against the Gospel. 

4.  Peter was not living in sin from our standards; he did not commit anything immoral, but that separation was against what Jesus died for

5.  This shows that when believers separate themselves from each other, it is against the very reality/purpose of the Gospel. 

G. That is how hard it is for Jews and Gentiles to get together. And if we can solve that problem, then, by comparison, everything is a piece of cake to solve! 

1.  Any kind of division among believers, by comparison, is nothing. 

2.  Even the five-hundred-year division between Calvinists and Armenians of the doctrine of whether you can lose your salvation is easy compared to solving the division between the Jews and the Gentiles. 

IV.  QUESTION: (timestamp 11:21) So, we know that Jesus' death broke down this middle wall of separation. There have been some misunderstandings of that phrase, "One New Man" (Ephesians 2:14-18). Can you tell us more about that, because that is important?

A.  Some translations of the Bible translated that word (in Ephesians 2:15), "man" into "self." They translate it, "one new self." 

1.  They do this because the typical understanding of salvation is all about the individual. 

2.  Most Christians' thinking looks like, "I need to be saved." Or, "You need to be saved." Or, "You need to be right with God." And "I need to be right with God." 

3.  Since they have an individual focus, they interpret this word to "self" as in I have a new "self," and you have a new "self." 

B.  "Self" in Ephesians 2:15 is not the correct translation of that word. If you look into the Greek word, it is clearly "man." 

1. Contextually, it is not about a new "self." It is about two groups of people coming together into one new man. 

2.  How do you have two groups of people coming together to one new self? That doesn't make sense. 

C.  Then why would you say, "new man"? What is the point? What is the big deal about the "new man"? You have to go back to Genesis 1:27 where it says, "Then, God said, 'Let US make man.'" Now here is the interesting part. God said, which is a singular "God said," "let US make man," which is plural. Then, "In OUR image," which is plural again. "And our likeness." Then it says, "And God created man," which appears singular. Then it says, "Male and Female created He them" (Genesis 1:26-27). 

1.  So God there in His Trinity is plural "US" and "OUR," but He is also singular "God."

2.  That is the mystery of the Trinity; He is three, yet we worship One God. We only have One God, but He is plural.

3.  So when He created Man--one man--He created a plurality: male and female (Genesis 1:27)

4.  But not just male and female, but let them also multiply and replenish the earth and have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28)

5.  GOD didn't create billions of individual men, but He created Adam and Eve as "one man" and out from them generations upon generations of the increase of that "one man." 

6.  That was the corporate Man. 

D.  In God's eyes, He created one corporate Man just like Himself. Don't use the word "Corporate God." No! One God, but also eternally Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1.  That was His image. 

2.  The image and likeness are multiple yet one.

E.  When sin came in, what was the very first act of sin? It was Cain killing Abel. The ultimate of division and hatred is that you kill the person who is the opposite of you. Since then, humankind (man) has been divided. War and division over everything. So Jesus came to create "one new man." 

F.  In Colossians 3, Paul tells us that in this New Man, there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision, or uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond, or free (Colossians 3:10-11). Those describe the extremes in that culture and time of different categories of people. 

1.  Slaves in that culture rarely associated with masters.

2.  The culturally Roman and the Greeks and the Barbarians and Scythians were different extremes of people groups. 

3.  Circumcision and uncircumcision--these were two different extremes of religious people groups.   

4.  Paul says that is the "One New Man according to the image of Him who created him." (Colossians 3:10) 

a)  This new man has all the diversity.

b)  That is the reason that in the New Man there is need of kindness, humbleness, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, love (Col. 3:12-14).

c)  He brought that One New Man right back to Genesis 1:27 to say this is what God created in the beginning. This was God's purpose from the very beginning with Adam was to create a corporate man.

d)  But now, this Man in Jesus Christ is the One New Man.

V.  QUESTION: (timestamp 16:17) How does the Gospel of Peace bring unity to divided believers?

A.  First, we have to realize this. Just as in any Gospel preaching, even the Gospel of Grace, you have to recognize that Jesus died, so you have this faith, and you are saved by grace, which is a revelation from God. We need the same revelation from God for the Gospel of Peace. 

1. Where is the passion for preaching the Gospel of Peace?!

2. There is so much passion for the Gospel of Grace all over the earth, which is wonderful. 

3. But where is the revelation that Jesus Christ died to bring divided people, or divided brothers and sisters, divided Christians together into One New Man?! 

4. With that revelation, you will have the passion to preach the Gospel of Peace!

B. When you have that revelation, you will say, "Oh LORD, forgive me! I need to preach this peace. I need to go to my brothers and sisters and make peace with them."

1.  I need to tell them that Jesus Christ died so that I can fellowship with them even though they are different from me, even in some ways opposite from me. 

2.  Just like we approach sinners for the Gospel of Grace. We say, "I need to preach to you the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that you could be saved by grace." 

3.  We need to fellowship with believers to bring them peace, not to preach our pet doctrine.

C.  How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Gospel of Peace (Rom. 10:15). Ephesians 6 says, "having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace" (Eph 6:15)

VI.  QUESTION: (timestamp 18:45) What are some takeaways as we are thinking about this revelation of the Gospel of Peace?

A.  The takeaway is, Brothers and Sisters, we need to reconsider the Gospel. Are we only preaching half the Gospel? And because we are (only preaching half the Gospel), we don't see anything wrong with divisions. We accept that. We say, "Those divisions are okay. That is just the way it is." But we don't say that about unbelievers. We don't say, "They are going to Hell or whatever, and that is okay." We don't say that! We say, "No! They need the Gospel!" 

B.  What about Christians? Why is it okay for Christians to be divided? It is not okay! Jesus died to bring us together! So if we see this, we will say, "It is not okay!" We need to preach the Gospel again! We need to preach the Gospel of Peace to believers so we can come together in fellowship. Not so that I can convince you of my doctrine, and you can convince me--No! We could be different and yet still have fellowship and love one another.

 

 

Group Guidelines for Discussion

  1. No one can dominate or monopolize the conversation, rather give an opportunity for everyone to participate.

  2. No one has a final verdict for interpretation.

  3. Everyone is encouraged to participate whether or not they have the popular understanding.

  4. Do not criticize anyone or cast a negative light and treat each other with love and kindness.

Discussion Questions

  1. Eph 2:14-18 According to these verses what did the Cross accomplish?

  2. Gal. 2:11-14 According to these verses what did Peter do to walk in opposition to the truth of the Gospel?

  3. Colossians 3:10-11, 15 According to these verses what is the practical effect of the Gospel of Peace?

  4. Open discussion question: what did you learn or how were you inspired by this video?