PEACE

 

As a youth in the 60's and 70's, I was exposed to, and a part of, the "Peace" movement. We were rebelling against God, family and country and wanted to be left alone so we could live in peace and do our own thing. Our greeting was, "Peace, brother", and we held up two fingers of our hand in a "V" as a signal of peace. However, peace was elusive and temporary, and usually induced by chemicals. My life was actually in turmoil and full of fear, worry and concern. I did not know that true and lasting peace came through the Lord Jesus Christ and that I could have peace in the midst of turmoil. In this teaching, I am going to share some of the scriptures that were revealed to me, to help me walk in the peace of God.

Jesus was born to bring peace.
Part of God's plan of salvation for the human race was to send Jesus so that we may have peace with God. Peace with God? I didn't know I was at war with God. But the turmoil I experienced as a youth was not just from satanic influences, but also due to my own rebellion against God. That rebellion being that I did not obey (believe) the Gospel. Paul writing in Romans 5:1 states, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" It is through Jesus that we have peace with God. Isaiah speaking by the Spirit of God, spoke of Jesus coming several centuries before he was born, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,..." (Chapter 9:6-7). God sent us Jesus who is the Prince of Peace.

Jesus died to bring peace.
Isaiah 53 is a prophecy of Jesus on the cross and in the grave and verses 4-5 state, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." To be chastised is to be corrected and it involves instruction. The instructions for our peace were upon Jesus. Our peace with God was worked out when Jesus went to the cross and was then raised from the dead. In Colossians chapter 1, Paul teaches us what God did for us when he sent him to the cross on our behalf. In verses 19-20 he states, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself..." We were reconciled to God and made to be at peace with God through the cross. Not the two wooden sticks, but the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Not only were we not at peace with God, but before Jesus, we were alienated from God. Paul speaking to the church at Ephesus told them to remember in times past, before they knew about Jesus, that (Ephesians 2):
- "...at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (v. 12)
- But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (v. 13)
- For he is our peace, who hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (v. 14)
- Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (v. 15)
- And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (v. 16)
- And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." (v. 17)

Jesus broke down the wall between Jew and Gentile and made us one body (the body of Christ); he became peace for us, and preached peace to us.

We are to preach peace.
When we preach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we are preaching the gospel of peace. Peter in Acts, chapter 10, starting in verse 34, "...opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is the Lord of all:)" We preach peace when we preach Jesus. Paul in Romans 10:15 is referring to Isaiah 52:7 when he says, "... how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" In chapter 6 of the book of Ephesians, Paul tells us that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness and that we should put on the whole armor of God. This armor includes (not in this order) our loins girded with truth, a breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, a helmet of salvation, a sword of the Spirit and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. When we are sent forth by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, we are well equipped to withstand the methods of the devil.

There is a peace that is not of God but is of Satan. Before we knew Jesus, there were times of inner peace because we were not seeking the kingdom of God and Satan wasn't bothering us. In referring to Satan as a strong man in Luke 11:21-22, Jesus said, "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils." When we overcome Satan by the power of the resurrected Jesus, we obtain the peace of God even when Satan comes against us.

We are to seek peace.
Jesus told us in the book of Matthew to seek the kingdom of God. Paul tells us in Romans 14:17, that, "..the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." And when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit are, "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:" Peter, in instructing us how to walk in obedience to God so that we should inherit a blessing said in 1 Peter 3:10-11, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it." If we fail to do this, we won't even see the Lord. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Hebrews 12:14). Timothy also instructs us how to walk in 2 Timothy 2:22-23, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes."

We seek and receive peace when we seek God through the Lord Jesus Christ. This peace is not abstract but real, and the benefits are observable.

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." (2 Corinthians 13:11).

God bless you!

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