I promised a post on peace "tomorrow." I should have said "next post."
It’s been 3 days. So, here goes.
Paul commonly blesses his readers with "grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." Often it’s at both the start and end of the letter (though usually at the end it’s only grace; Ephesians has only peace at the end).
I don’t believe it’s something Paul just says as a nice saying. I think he knew what he was saying, and he meant it.
I addressed grace in the last post. Let’s address peace today.
The Peace of God as Arbiter
I’m sure the phrase "the peace of God" puts Col. 3:15 in many of your minds:
Let the peace of God adjudicate in your hearts, to which you were also called in one body.
You probably don’t recognize that translation, since I made it up. The NASB tells us to let God’s peace "rule" in our hearts, but a note says "act as arbiter." I have heard repeatedly that the Greek word indicates judgment as in what a referee does.
Thus, Colossians 3:15 tells us that we are to let God’s peace make decisions in our heart.
Since it’s Paul who wrote the letter to the Colossians, I have to imagine that when he wishes grace and peace to the churches to whom he’s writing, that he is thinking about such thing. With the peace of God we can be directed in making decisions.
God can make his will known to us by peace.
The Peace of God as Guard
The other NT passage that comes right to mind is …
Do not fret about anything, but in everything make your requests known to God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Php. 4:6-7)
Now that’s an awesome promise!
You don’t have to be told that we all want such peace. Worry is not something we like.
We like peace. There is nothing better than feeling like everything is under control and the way it ought to be. Making your requests known to God with thanksgiving will bring that peace. It lets us know that everything is under the control of God.
Notice, too, that it’s a peace which surpasses understanding.
The peace of God is something supernatural. That’s why Paul wishes his readers peace rather than commanding them to have it.
He does command them not to worry, but peace he wishes to them in the form of blessing them.
That’s because it’s something supernatural. It will not come to you by your choice. It will come to you by your obedience.
You do what God wants, and God himself sends you peace.
Setting Your Mind on God
There’s one more verse on the peace of God that simply cannot be left out:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. (Is. 26:3)
I used the KJV there because I’ve heard that verse from the KJV for 28 years. I’ve even sang it in song that way numerous times, I think because of an old Maranatha Praise tape.
The peace of God is promised to us if we will set our mind on our Father.
That’s not the only promise made to those who simply set their mind on God.
Those who are of the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are of the Spirit on the things of the Spirit. To be fleshly-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:5-6)
That’s pretty awesome results for just thinking about spiritual things, don’t you think?
Though our outward man is being consumed, yet the inward man is being renewed daily. For our light affliction, which lasts only a moment, is bringing us a far more abundant and eternal mass of glory, while we do not look at what is visible, but at things which are invisible; for the visible is temporary, but the invisible is eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16b-18)
Again, pretty awesome result for just what we’re paying attention to, don’t you think?
You can find similar things all over Paul’s letters, in both promise and command form.
If, then, you are risen with Christ, set your mind on things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Think about things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. 3:1-2)
We are to set our minds. That’s our command and duty. The peace of God is the blessing that is returned for it.
Paul "wishes" his readers grace and peace in the form of a blessing. I don’t think Americans understand the importance the Bible ascribes to blessing.
That’s for a different post, however …