Lesson 1 -- first quarter 2007
December 3, 2006
© Copyright 2006
What is peace?
Is peace the mere absence of conflict? I have long been fascinated by Strong's comment that this word probably comes from a primary verb meaning "to join." Peacemaking in the church is an effort to rejoin that which has been severed. Living together in peace in the church is living in oneness and mutual acceptance.
Thus peace isn't patching up our differences and settling our disagreements. Peace is restoring our union.
To be at peace with God isn't something so trite as "being on God's good side." To be at peace with God is to be one with Him! That doesn't come through clearly in our English term peace as it surely did in their Greek term eirene. In hearing that word they may well have naturally thought of eiro, which is a verb -- "to join." From that it seems rational to conclude that peace results from and is the condition of being joined.
What does the cross have to do with peace?
Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, peace and reconciliation are possible (Colossians 1:20).
Until I accept Christ's death for me, I cannot have peace with Him.
Until I die to myself and Christ lives His life through me (Galatians 2:20), I cannot have peace with others.
The cross bridges the chasm between God and me, and between my brother and me. And it doesn't just span that division, it actually joins those which previously were separate from and at odds with each other.
What does His blood have to do with peace?
His blood makes forgiveness possible (Colossians 1:14). Having received His forgiveness for myself, I become able to forgive others (Ephesians 4:32).
His blood cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:7), even that which impedes peace (James 3:16; 4:1).
His blood makes me indebted and thus, leaves me without rights, which tend to get in the way of peace.
By His stripes we are healed (1 Peter 2:24). That healing includes my relationships with others. A spiritually and emotionally healthy person is a peacemaking person.
By His blood we "are made nigh" (Ephesians 2:13).
He "made peace through the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20).
How does Godly wisdom fit the peace picture?
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable (James 3:17).
What does peace have to do with fruitfulness?
The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:18).
A good harvest is difficult if not impossible in a peace-less environment.
What do light and darkness have to do with peace?
He that does not love his brother is in darkness (1 John 2:11). Thus the absence of peace corresponds to an absence of light.
If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another (1 John 1:7).
Without the light of the Gospel there can be no peace.
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