PEACE – TRANQUILITY OF ORDER
We have been talking about the peace that the believer has in Jesus Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Now, I am going to ask a question –
- Try to suppose for a moment that your religion has been withdrawn from you. In other words, try to conceive yourself without your faith, though in every other way you, and your circumstances, are unchanged.
Now – tell me,
- Would you be appreciably the poorer?
- Would anyone detect that something was different or that some secret thing had passed away?
What does Scripture say?
Rev. George Morrison, a pastor in London in the late 1800s asked these questions when he was preaching on Romans 15:13 where Paul says
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Rev. Morrison continued to ask his congregation: “Do we go up and down the world with a glad peace because we believe in God through Jesus Christ? It is to that that we are called, whatever our temperament or our lot.”
He recognized that the fruit of the Spirit is ours, “whatever our temperament or our lot” might be. In other words, external circumstances do not control the existence of the fruit of the Spirit. We HAVE the Holy Spirit within us and He desires to grow the fruit in our hearts.
So, if we are to go up and down the world with a glad peace because we believe in God through Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, what does it look like?
It is not a peace I described at the beginning of this series that is based on our own efforts at trying to be peaceful.
In the The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible Commentary, we find the following regarding John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Peace. A frequent word in connection with farewells. But this is a legacy rather than merely a conventional touch. … My peace. A distinctive brand of peace, different from that of the world, which would be panic-stricken at such an hour as this, with death so near. The gift of his peace would make his followers unafraid, as he was. (cf. 16:33).
Here, the peace that is described in Scripture comes, as did joy, from the wellspring of Love for Jesus Christ and the Father. Jonathan Edwards called Love the Sum of all Christianity. If we do not have Love, we cannot have spiritual joy; and, we cannot have spiritual peace if we do not have joy. They flow from each other and all stem from Love.
How does this apply to my daily life?
Dr. R. C. Sproul says that peace as a fruit of the Spirit means that we have a new capacity to live at peace with others and ourselves. I can have this peace with myself and with others because, as the definition of peace explains, I rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than in my own.
What does it look like? Perhaps the language of Paul is instructive when he says in Ephesians 4:1-3 that we should walk in a “manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called … eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
We are unified with each other in the BOND OF PEACE. This unity is referenced again in Colossians 3:15:
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
In all honesty and fairness, I have to throw in a caveat here: We must recognize that living in peace with others is the goal, but it is not always possible. The writer of Hebrews recognized this and said:
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
In Romans 12:18 we read:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Should we seek peace with others at all costs? No. The Scripture says that we should be peaceable as far as it depends on us. If there is something we can do to accomplish peace, we should do it.
But we must realize that just like it takes 2 to tango, it takes 2 to be at peace with each other. We cannot force someone else to be at peace with us … that is their issue. Just like forgiveness, we must forgive others … what they do with it is their business.
How should we guide our life to encourage the growth of the fruit of the Spirit of peace, I suggest Philippians 4:6-9 would be a great place to start:
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Meditate on these verses as you listen to Integrity Music’s Scripture Memory Song entitled “Mediate on These Things.”
Amen, and amen.
My prayer is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to come into your life and touch your heart with His peace that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Don’t fret – your life in Christ is protected by the best guard you could ask for, the very Spirit of the Holy God. That is peace!
Blessings to you and I pray that you will continue to walk with me as we learn about the fruit of the Holy Spirit and as we mature in our transformation into Christian believers who speak and act as Jesus did and who share in the passions that Jesus had for the lost sheep and for the worship of His Father, the Almighty God.