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Fruits of the Spirit vs. The World: Peace

May 26, 2012

     “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19, NKJV)

     Peace is not merely the absence of conflict. There is a notion that peace involves some sort of sickly compromise, a “third way.” But that is not is. When it comes to the battle between the spirit and the flesh, there is can be no peace. There is no making peace with sin. So what does peace mean?

     There is an old saying: “To secure peace is to prepare for war.” In the Christian life, this is certainly the case. The Christian must be armed with the whole armor of God in order to avoid sin and glorify God. A life where someone has made peace with sin is not a life that is full of peace. It is a life full of strife.

     The peace of God is a gift. Doug Wilson makes the point that sometimes Christians think of the peace of God is something we have to protect with diligence, when instead it’s what God protects us with. The verse says that God’s peace “surpasses understanding.” This means that God’s peace is not something we can make sense of. As humans and especially as moderns, we assume that because we can’t understand something it can’t be real. But, as philosophy has demonstrated, if you use Cartesian standards of knowledge, you can’t really understand anything. God’s knowledge, and God’s peace, go far beyond us.

     Another interesting thought: Christ is called the prince of peace, yet in the book of Revelation, he is portrayed with a sword coming out of his mouth, that represents the word. The world is a battleground between good and evil. The prime weapon is not guns or knives, but the word of God. The Gospel will eventually give us peace.

     Finally, the Apostle Paul tells us “As much as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men.” Christians should not seek to offend people by being jerks. We should state the truth in love, and if the world is offended by what we say, that’s to be expected. We should not be bothered by what the world says about us, if we have the peace of God.

Current Listenings: KBYOB 101.7 “Bob Plays Anything!”

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