Thursday, July 5th, 2018
“Be still, and know that I am God;,” Ps 46:10a
The gift of peace is bestowed upon God’s elect who place their faith solely on the Gospel of God’s Righteousness. Most Christians who are not established in the righteousness of faith do not understand peace as a positive concept. All they know is the negative aspect of peace, which is merely the absence of trouble. The biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of trouble. Biblical peace is unrelated to circumstances, it is a goodness of life that is not troubled by what happens on the outside. The Apostle Paul said he could be content in any circumstances and he demonstrated that he had peace even in the jail at Philippi. He sang and remained confident that God was being gracious to him.
The gift of peace the Bible is speaking of enables God’s elect to remain calm in fearful and adverse circumstances.
Let us examine the greatest gift of peace that God has given to NCCkl.
- The Nature Of Peace
The NT speaks of two kinds of peace – the objective peace that has to do with our relationship to God and the subjective peace that has to do with our experience in life. The natural man lacks peace with God. We all come into the world fighting against God because we are part of the rebellion that started with Adam and Eve. Rom 5:10 says we were enemies of God. When we believe in the baptism, death and resurrection of Jesus, we cease being enemies of God. We come over to God’s side and the hostility is ended. This is how we have attained objective peace through the righteous work of Christ. However, in John 14:27, the peace that Jesus speaks is subjective and experiential. It is tranquility of the soul, a settled and a positive peace that withstands even in circumstances. It is supernatural, permanent and positive with no side effects. It is the firm conviction that God Who spared not His own Son will also along with Him freely gives us all things. Rom 8:32 This divine and supernatural peace cannot be figured out on a human level.
- The Source Of Peace
This subjective peace has its foundation in the objective peace with God. The peace of God is not obtainable by those who are not at peace with God. God alone brings peace. In fact, in Phil 4:9, 1 Thess 5:23 and again in Heb 13:20, God Himself is called ‘God of peace.’ Christ is seen throughout the NT as the dispenser of peace. Jesus Christ gives us His own personal peace. It was tested, it was His own shield and His own helmet that served Him in battle. He gave it to us when He left. It gives us the same serenity in danger, the same calm in trouble and the same freedom from anxiety.
- The Giver Of Peace
The Holy Spirit is the giver of this peace and He dispenses it as a gift. Gal 5:22 says one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is peace. We might ask, if it was Christ’s peace, why is the Holy Spirit giving it? The answer is in John 16:14 which says, “ He will glorify Me, for He will take Mine and will disclose it to you.” The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to take the things of Christ and give them to us. Notice that every promises Jesus made to His troubled disciples on the night before His death was rooted in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised life, union with deity, full understanding and peace to those who are His disciples but it is the Spirit of God Who takes the things of Christ and gives them to us.
- The Contrast of Peace
The world’s peace is worthless. The only peace this world can know is shallow and unfulfilling. Most people’s pursuit of peace is only an attempt to get away from problems. The fact is, apart from God, there is no real peace in this world. Yet, people try desperately to hold on to this kind of mock peace. It is futile pursuit. Godless individuals can never know true peace. They might know only a momentary tranquility – a shallow feeling, perhaps stimulated by positive circumstances mixed with a lot of ignorance. In fact, if unsaved people know what destiny awaits them without God, the illusion of peace born out of ignorance would evaporate instantly. People today live in a form of existential shock. They don’t understand their own being, they don’t know who they are and where they are going. The truth is peace has nothing to do with emotions and environment. If you lack peace, it is not because of your mother, father, the church or bad experience. The Bible tells us why people don’t know peace. Jer 17:9 says the heart is desperately wicked. Isa 48:22 says there is no peace for the wicked. A wicked heart without faith in the Righteousness of God that constitutes Jesus’ baptism and death can never have peace.
- The Result Of Peace
Jesus shows us the proper response to His gift of peace. John 14:27 If we lay hold of the gift of the very peace of Christ, we will have calm, untroubled hearts regardless of external circumstances. If we have troubled heart, it is because we do not believe God. We don’t trust His gift of peace. Anxiety and turmoil seldom focus on present circumstances. Normally, anxiety is trouble borrowed from either past or future. Some people worry about things that might not happen. Other’s anxieties come out of the past. Both the future and the past are under the care of God. God promises to supply our future need. Don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday, Jesus said “each day has enough trouble of its own.” Mt 6:34 Concentrate on trusting God for today’s needs. The peace of Christ is an unending source of strength in the midst of difficulties. Perfect peace comes when our focus is off the problem, of the trouble and constantly on Christ. Most people who lack the gift of peace simply have not taken the time to pursue it.
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