John 20 – Jesus had been killed and was raised from the dead. But the apostles didn’t know this yet. They had heard, but they didn’t believe it.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)
After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
We live – fearful world.
We live in a fearful world. – Esp in America
America the Anxious – Said the level of ‘general anxiety among average americans’ hasn’t been this high since the cuban missile crisis in 1962.
Are you formed by faith or are you formed by fear? I know how everybody WANTS to answer that question. “I’m formed by faith.” But ask ourselves “Is that really true?”
There is an intended shape for the human soul. Our creator when he thinks of you, has something in mind. In order for you to become what he wants you to become, you must be formed by faith and not by fear.
You can have a faith-based spirituality or a fear-based spirituality.
On the surface, can be hard to tell the difference.
A lot that goes by the name faith is actually fear.
No one would ever say “Yes I have a fear based spirituality.” They’re unaware of it.
Hard to tell Can be hard to tell, because they’re the same kind of thing, just moving in opposite directions.
True Christianity is a faith, but there are distortions of it that can only be properly described as a fear.
“Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Christianity
Primary view – hostile diety looking for the first opportunity to find fault.
Jesus is coming and he’s mad as heck!
This is the blessed hope not the blessed dread.
“Stay as far away from the world as possible!” Christianity
Where everything in the world is dark and bad.
This is the hiding disciples.
“Let’s just stay here behind the locked door where it’s safe!” They were afraid that the world was gonna come kill them. Maybe they were. But Christ didn’t call them to a fear, he called them to a faith.
Fearful people make bad decisions. People think they’re being smart, what they’re really being is scared. We need wisdom, but we’re only positioned to hear the wisdom of God when we have a peaceable soul.
Are you formed by faith or are you formed by fear?
This is the story of the first easter.
Apostles were in the upper room, behind locked doors, terrified. Jesus comes through the locked door. Speaks the first word of a new world: Peace be with you. Says it again ‘Peace be with you.”
“Ok, we’re gonna unlock the door, because I’m sending you. Just like the father sent me, so I’m sending you.
What happened when the father sent Jesus into the world, what did the world do to Jesus? They killed him. Almost all – apostles? – Killed.
Jesus is ‘t saying it’s safe! The world is a dangerous place!
I’m talking about living in a dangerous place and refusing to be formed by fear. There’s a difference between faith and lack of danger. The worlds a dangerous place, but I’m not afraid.
Terrorists win when everybody walks around in terror.
That’s why I’m gonna go to the mall, and walk around and not be afraid. I’m gonna go to the movies with my wife and not be looking over my shoulder all the time.
I refuse to be formed by fear.
We as Christians as called to leave the upper room, filled with the Holy Spirit, go love the world.
How do I know if I’m being formed by faith or formed by fear?
Of course I mean besides your Facebook posts. – Fear and it’s ugly cousin anger. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
You can tell by whether of not your heart is established in peace. In the upper room while they’re still fear based, they’re anxious and troubled. Jesus “Peace be with you.”
Spend more time with Jesus and less time with the fear-mongers of the world.
Prioritize coming – Jesus – hearing “Peace be with you.”
You need to prioritize coming to Jesus and hearing him say “Peace be with you.”
Jesus, I’ve been watching the news and I’m getting anxious and afraid”.
Get still, and let Jesus speak peace to you.
Are you formed – faith – fear?
To each of you this morning, Jesus is saying “Peace be with you.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, (Psalm 46:2)
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:3)
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:7)
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. (Psalm 46:9)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46:11)