F – ATTRIBUTES OF A CHRISTIAN – 6
The attributes of a Christian, although seen outwardly by the world, come from within—in the heart and the mind. We are not born with these attributes, but as a Christian we have a will to develop them and grow more like our Master.
Peace is one of these attributes. It is more than just an absence of conflict, whether it is between family, friends, neighbors, nations or even our conflict with God in not obeying His will for us. Conflict within our soul disrupts our life in many ways. Our peace with God is the most important and can resolve that conflict within our soul. Ps.122:8
David combines our spiritual peace with righteousness. Ps.85:10 In order to have peace with God, we have to respect His wishes for us. In other words—obey. Ps.85:8 Peace comes from our Lord. 1 Kgs.2:33 As Micah was giving a prophesy concerning Jesus, this fact is stated. Micah 5:4,5 Jesus was called the “Prince of Peace.” Isa.9:6
Isa.32:17 gives us a beautiful picture of peace within—quietness and confidence. In life there is often that phrase, “if only.” Isa.48:18 presents an important “if only.” If we would only listen to our Lord, believe in Him, and follow, we could have that desired peace. Unrighteous living will not produce peace. Isa.48:22
Because of our faith in Jesus, we achieve this peace with God. Rom.5:1 Conflict and every kind of disorder may raise its ugly head around a Christian, but with the help of Jesus living in us (Eph.3:17), God in us (Eph.3:19), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Eph.3:16) in us, we can still experience a serene peace within.
Some of our desires detract from inner peace. We want to possess, attract, achieve certain things that might be poor stewardship or might destroy our spiritual life. Matt.6:19-21 Too often earthly desires drown out our spiritual desires. Matt.6:33 We possess or achieve and then are not satisfied. We want more. 1 Jhn.2:15,16 The more we have, the more anxious we become and this destroys our peace. Phil.4:6,7
Peace with God is of utmost importance and we certainly strive for inner peace. Our peace-searching does not stop there. A Christian attribute is peace with everyone. Rom.12:18 Occasions do arise in which peace seems impossible. If this is the situation, it must not be because of the Christian. We must remain peaceful and pray for the one with whom there is conflict. Matt.5:44
It seems that those of the world are always at odds with someone. This attribute of peace differentiates between the world and the Christian. Mk.9:50 We are to be salt of the earth but if the salt within us is lost, we loose our effect on the world. First, we need to have the peace within us and then strive to be at peace with everyone. As an example, think of a person in deep pain or loss. The outward expression of their life is quite a contrast. A person of the world might be totally depressed or show a bitter attitude and maybe even curse. That is not the way of one who is at peace with a hope in eternity. Rom.3:16-18; Rom.8:6
As we go about our day, we make choices. Do we make choices that will cause disruption and conflict or choices that give peaceful solutions. Rom.14:19 As Paul closes his letter to the Corinthians, he exhorts them to live in peace. 2 Cor.13:11 This would not only be true of a congregation but also of families and neighbors. We are to make peace. Matt.5:9 How blessed to be called a “son of God.”
The Jews and Gentiles in the early church had conflicts. Paul reminds them that they are now a new creation so the conflicts should cease. Gal.6:16 As we became a Christian, we also became a new creation. Eph.4:23,24 We received the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit. Part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is peace. Gal.5:22
Because of this gift from which we grow the fruit of peace, we are filled with joy and peace. Joy can overflow if we have peace. Without the hope that we have in Christ, joy and peace would both be absent. Rom.15:13 The peace of God is beyond understanding, but it is our guard for our hearts and minds. Phil.4:7 This is the core of our peace which was mentioned at the beginning of this lesson. Not only does the peace of God guard our hearts but the peace of Christ rules our hearts. Col.3:15 Our hearts and minds need to be guarded against disruptions of peace for to be Christ-like we need to have that peace. Our desire should be so strong to be a glory to our Lord that the peace of Christ would have power over us and rule our hearts. This peace of God is so strong in guarding our hearts that Satan will be crushed as he attempts to disturb our peace. Rom.16:20
James likens the Christian life to a crop. What do we sow? We need to be like the mustard seed. It may be small but with proper care and by the grace of God, it can grow into something large and useful. Jam.3:18 We want a harvest of righteousness but it must be sown in peace. This harvest comes with effort just as in raising a crop. Heb.12:14 A peaceful attitude will be very visible to the world and glorify our Lord.
1 Pet.3:9-11 To attain our hope of heaven, we need to be found in peace. 2 Pet.3:13,14
Jesus knew there would be tribulation on earth. His Word teaches us what our reaction should be. Jhn.16:33 Our peace is in Christ. Our focus must remain steadfastly on Him. Isa.26:3