For the live streaming service on 29 March, SCAC President Rev Dr Tie King Tai preached the sermon entitled, “Peace in Panic”, taken from John 14:27; 16:33.
100 years ago the Foochows migrated from China to Sarawak. They worked very hard but they used to greet one another using foul language. The American missionary James Hoover noticed that and taught them to change their foul language into ‘holy’ language. They began to greet each other with, “peace” (the peace of God). This greeting was similar to that used by the Jews as they greeted each other “Shalom” which means, “peace”.
Jesus yearns to give us peace which is beyond the surface.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There are 3 capacities that we look at a person: the body, soul and spirit.
Body: strong, healed,resurrected
Our bodies are weak, sick and dying. Our bodies are fragile. We can get sick anytime and we will die, whether we have been infected with Covid-19 or not. In this fallen world, the penalty of sin is death.
800 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah had already prophesied the sufferings of Jesus on our behalf. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
It is the promise of God to heal us, not just physically but also beyond – healing also for our soul and spirit.
Today, we may be facing aging, and we are getting weak or ill physically. However, some day, our body will be transformed by the God of the Resurrection and the God of life. Today, we can experience temporal healing but someday, we will be healed forever.
Soul: Troubled, afraid,warring
Soul refers to our personality, and the way we relate to others. Are we troubled and afraid in our soul? Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Every time we pray, we have peace beyond understanding. We are limited but God will grant us peace. We may be feeling troubled but Jesus gives us peace which lasts forever (John 14:27).
In Jesus, we have joy, courage, boldness and peace of the Lord with one another.
Spirit: Hope, found, eternal life
In our spirit, we may feel hopeless and lost. We feel we are perishing. The World Health Organization (WHO) says this pandemic may affect us all but that it will end somewhere and somehow. We do not know when it will end.
John 16:33, “Jesus said, ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’”
In this world, we have trouble but we can find peace in Jesus because He has overcome death and He is resurrected. The word “overcome” is only found once in the Gospels. But in John’s epistles and in the book of Revelation, he used the word “victory” 22 times.
We have peace in Christ, peace which this world cannot offer. Because of peace, we have hope. We believe and will receive eternal life. John 14 records the farewell speech of Jesus to His fearful disciples. John 14:1-3 is a reminder that we should not be anxious. All we need to do is to believe in Jesus. He is preparing rooms for us in Heaven.
To conclude the sermon, in this time of pandemic, Jesus is with us until the end of the world . Come back to Jesus. Receive Him as your Saviour.
To those who already trust in Jesus, the President urged us to continue to trust in Him, and daily preach the Gospel to oneself as well as living in peace with one another.
Even though in our spirit, we may be feeling hopeless, lost and perishing, yet, in God, we have hope, we are found and we have eternal life. In our soul, we may be troubled, afraid and worried, yet in God, we have joy, courage and peace. In our body, we may be weak, sick and dying, yet in God, we are strong, we are healed and we will be resurrected.
President Tie then prayed for all of us to have peace which Jesus alone gives.