It depends, of course, on what peace we are talking about doesn’t it? There are many kinds of peace that come to mind. Peace vs. war, peace outward, peace inward, peace with fellow men, fellow saints, our families and our neighbors. Of course the most important peace we can have is peace with God and that peace only comes if God has peace with us through the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot conjure it up ourselves; it comes to us in the new man and the realization that Christ is our peace. He has established our peace through the full satisfaction of the law by His life of obedience and His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. God therefore is just to have peace with us for Christ has accomplished our reconciliation to God. Oh what a blessed peace it is to our soul when we know that God has peace with us.
Several things come to my mind. Do you remember growing up and hearing at Christmas time that because Christ had come there was now “Peace on earth Goodwill towards men”? I wasn’t exposed to Scriptural interpretation when I was growing up and so the peace I always thought it meant was peace on earth from wars between men. The words are often used at peace rallies so I think many today still think the same way when they hear these words. I would always say to myself ‘but there isn’t peace so how can that be true.’ We can know that isn’t what the Scripture teaches because Jesus says in Luke 12:51 “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you Nay, but rather division”. Jesus didn’t come to establish outward peace among men; instead he came to establish the Gospel and the Gospel is the greatest division there is among men. The Gospel is God’s goodwill towards His elect; Christ is the peace; the Prince of Peace!
So how can we, those whom God has peace with, have perfect peace in this vale of tears? How can we have the peace that passes all understanding, how can we have abiding peace in our souls continually? First we must recognize that although we may not always have a ‘feeling’ of peace the foundation itself never changes, because that foundation is Christ and He never changes so true peace is always ours. To understand that God is immutable and how that is applicable to us is perhaps one of the most understated truths in Christendom. God has given us all spiritual blessings (gifts) in Christ and the Scripture tells us that His gifts are without repentance. Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable”. In other words, God will never revoke our election, our calling, His love, His grace and mercy nor the gifts that flow from that grace. He will never revoke the gift of faith or our place in the Body of Christ.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee”
The word perfect as used in this scripture is not in the Hebrew text instead it is, ‘peace, peace’, which I really think is better. Think of it, nothing in this life is perfect in the sense in which we usually think of perfect but Christ alone and His work, although if we could keep our mind continually stayed on Christ we would have perfect peace. The double use of the word peace gives a greater sense and rich meaning to me of what we do have when our mind is stayed on Christ. It is a spiritual cure for the spiritual man while we sojourn here.
Keeping our minds stayed on Christ is having our minds fixed on who He is and what He has accomplished for His elect. It is a mind that is grounded in His love and His promises and a mind that knows that He is always faithful to keep His promises; not a single promise will go unfulfilled. It is the promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ along with the promise that we are kept by the power of God unto salvation. We don’t keep ourselves by anything that we do, we don’t have that power but we know that He does. My mind needs to be stayed on Him, upon His righteousness for I have no righteousness of my own and that is where whose character comes into the picture. to be continued………
Grace and Peace!