There are wars in numerous places in the world today. Sometimes there are ceasefire agreements; but often one side acts treacherously and hostilities resume. We can define peace as the absence of war or hostilities. But there are several types of peace. Peace can be between nations or social groups. Peace can also be a lack of conflict between you and others such as between you and family members or between you and your neighbors or co-workers; all of us have probably, at some time or other, experienced conflict and lack of peace with people around us. And then there is peace within – peace in our hearts and minds – lack of fear or worry or remorse. As Christians, there is one more “peace” that we can have that I believe is more important than all the rest, and that is peace with God. We can have all the other types of peace but without peace with God, none of the other types of peace really matter.
Our sinfulness made us enemies of God. Before we became Christians, we followed the ways of the world; that made us enemies of God. James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” God is a righteous and holy God, but we were sinful beings. That resulted in enmity between us and God. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”
In any conflict, someone must initiate the peace process. But we had nothing to offer God to bring peace with Him. So, God initiated peace by sending his Son Jesus. You remember when Jesus was born; an angel came to the shepherds in the field. Luke 2:13-14 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” Not only were the angels glorifying God, but they were proclaiming peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Through Jesus, there can be peace on earth. Not peace in the sense that there is no war between nations, but peace between God and man. Here is a prophesy about Jesus – Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus is our Prince of Peace.
We needed Jesus to bring about reconciliation and peace. Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus did that through His blood on the cross. Colossians 1:19-23 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we can have peace with God.
Having peace with God is so much better than being an enemy of God. So we should want to do our part to maintain our peace with God. Notice the “if” statement in the above passage from the letter to the Colossians. To maintain peace with God and be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight, we must continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel. If there is anyone we should really desire to have peace with, it is with God. Why would we want to go back and be an enemy of the all-powerful creator? Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” I encourage you to continue in the faith and maintain your peace with God.
What about people who are still enemies of God? It is our ministry to implore others to be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” We preach the gospel of peace. Romans 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” As Christian soldiers we have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:14-15 “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The gospel we preach is peace with God through Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to praise God for the peace that you have with Him through Jesus Christ. Continue in the faith to maintain peace with God. Preach the gospel of peace to those who do not know, that they can have peace with God.