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BIBLICAL PEACE – PART 1

November 18, 2012


BIBLICAL PEACE (PART 1) – Webster defines PEACE as a “state (not an attitude but a condition of one’s heart) of stillness & serenity, of freedom from disquieting, agitating, anxious thoughts & a condition of harmony in relationships.” The Greek word for PEACE is EIRENE from the verb EIRO which means to join or bind together that which has been broken, divided or separated! Eirene is the root of our English word “serene” (free of storms or disturbance, marked by utter calm). EIRENE literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which has been separated, the result being that the separated parts are set at one again. Our common English expression “having it all together” speaks of everything in place & as it ought to be, a good description of BIBLICAL PEACE. When things (or people) are disjointed, there is lack of harmony & absence of an inner sense of well-being. When things (or people) are joined together, there is a sense of harmony, well-being & freedom from inner turmoil. PEACE can also describe cessation of war – “war” describes the state of all mankind in Adam (Ro 5:12-note) because before salvation we were enemies of God (Ro 5:10-note) & our peace with Him was broken. When we believed in Jesus by grace thru faith we were transferred from our old position in Adam to our new, eternal position of peace with God in Christ (1Cor 15:22-sermon). As Paul explained “having been justified by faith, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ro 5:1-note) Matthew Henry once asked “What peace can they have who are not at peace with God?” answering that “Peace is such a precious jewel, that I would give anything for it but truth.” Amen!

One of the best illustrations of BIBLICAL PEACE I have ever encountered is from missionary Jim Walton who was translating the New Testament for the Muinane people of La Sabana in the jungles of Colombia. However, Jim was having trouble translating the word PEACE. About this same time (don’t you love the PROVIDENCE of God!), Fernando, the village chief, was promised a 20-minute plane ride to a location that would have taken him 3 days to travel by walking. The plane was delayed in arriving at La Sabana, so Fernando departed on foot. When the plane finally came, a runner took off to bring Fernando back. But by the time he had returned, the plane had left. Fernando was furious (loss of peace) because of the mix-up. He went to Jim and launched into an angry tirade. Fortunately, Walton taped the chief’s diatribe and later when he translated it, he discovered that the chief kept repeating the phrase, “I don’t have ONE HEART.” Jim asked other villagers what having “ONE HEART” meant, and he found that it was like saying, “There is nothing between you and the other person.” Walton realized that God had just given him the picture he needed to translate the word PEACE into their language! To have peace with God means that there is nothing–no sin, no guilt, no condemnation–that separates us from God, PEACE possible only through Christ, Paul writing “having been justified (declared eternally in right standing before God) by faith, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ro 5:1). Do you have “ONE HEART” with God today? Outside of Christ there is no peace. Only those in Christ know peace! Indeed as Thomas Watson said “The seeming PEACE a sinner has is not from the knowledge of his happiness but the ignorance of his danger.” D L Moody adds that “A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.”

BIBLICAL PEACE describes that state of inner repose & quietness, even (especially) in adverse circumstances, which indicates that this peace is not natural but must be a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, a truth that Paul affirms writing that “the fruit of the Spirit is…PEACE” (Gal 5:22-note) It follows that we can possess “ONE HEART” because God is able to give us His peace even when our lives seem to be “falling to pieces.” Have you experienced His supernatural peace that surpasses all human understanding (Php 4:7-note)? How can we experience this glorious peace? We experience this peace by learning to surrender to the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit of Christ. As Wuest explains this blessed “state of untroubled, undisturbed tranquility & well being is produced in the heart of the yielded saint by the Holy Spirit. We have this peace to the extent that we are yielded to the Spirit & are intelligently conscious of & dependent upon His ministry for us.” Alexander Maclaren adds that this “PEACE comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of” Christ. Jesus promised His fearful little flock “PEACE I leave with you. MY PEACE (“the imperturbable, inviolable peace of Jesus imparted to us in every detail of our lives”-O. Chambers) I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (Note that Jesus is saying that His peace is the “divine balm” for a troubled & fearful heart!) (John 14:27)

As Amy Carmichael (who lived in the midst of troubling circumstances as a woman missionary in India) testified, “The PEACE of Jesus stood every sort of test, every strain, & it never broke. It is this, His very own PEACE, which He says ‘I give.'” And so we see that the peace that Jesus gives is not a guarantee of the absence of trouble, but instead is the promise that He is there with us in & thru the storm (Cf “The waves were breaking over the boat…and HE HIMSELF was in the stern”- Mk 4:37-38-sermon). While sometimes Jesus chooses to calm the storm as when He declared “PEACE, BE STILL” (Mk 4:39KJV), at other times He lets the storm rage & calms His child by giving His peace that transcends human understanding. Regardless, as Oswald Chambers says “No matter how complicated the circumstances may be, one moment of contact with Jesus & the fuss is gone, the panic is gone, all the shallow emptiness is gone, & His PEACE is put in, absolute tranquility, because of what He says—“All power is given unto Me.”

Jesus again repeated the truth about His peace to His fearful disciples declaring “These things (John 13-16) I have spoken to you, that IN ME you may have PEACE. In the world you have tribulation (affliction, trouble), but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33-Spurgeon sermon) Observe the phrase “IN ME” which signifies that Jesus’ peace is not just His PROMISE (which it is) but even better, PEACE is the PERSON of Christ Himself! (cf Ep 2:14-note, Mic 5:5-note) “Now may the LORD OF PEACE HIMSELF continually grant you PEACE in EVERY (Greek means “all” w/o exception!) circumstance. The Lord be with you all!” (2Th 3:16-Spurgeon sermon) “Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blessed; Finding, as He promised, PERFECT PEACE and rest.” (Havergal) When we keep our MIND fixed (stayed) on the LORD OF PEACE, He gives us His PEACE OF MIND for as a man or woman thinks in their heart so they are (Pr 23:7a).

Great GOD OF PEACE by Your Spirit cause our hearts to BE STILL, and grant us Your grace to understand BIBLICAL PEACE so that we might know the blessedness of this peace by personal possession & practice, in the Name of Christ Jesus our Peace, the Prince of Peace (Is 9:6-sermon) and the God of Peace Who will soon crush Satan under His feet. (Ro 16:20-note) Amen

Dearly beloved, is your SOUL troubled (lacking His peace)? After you have meditated on the truth about God’s Peace, take a moment to sing prayerfully to your SOUL (cf similar exhortation in Ps 42:5-note) the beautiful Selah hymn medley “Be Still” & “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”…

BE STILL, MY SOUL: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
BE STILL, MY SOUL: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
BE STILL MY SOUL the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below
Oh what PEACE we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
BE STILL MY SOUL.

WORD STUDY ON PEACE – EIRENE

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