God’s Great Orchard: A Journey Through the Fruits of the Spirit- Part 2- Peace Out

        Hello again, folks. It’s me again. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m sorry for the ridiculously long gaps between posts. I kind of have a ridiculously busy life right now. I know, shame on me for having a life. Please forgive me.
        Today’s fruity repast consists of another topic that is constantly overlooked by Christians- peace. I think as Christians we have a tendency to look at the side of our faith that is a battle, a struggle, a spiritual war, and we forget to recognize that there’s a lot more to it than that. Although as Christians we are soldiers of God, we’re also children of God, protected by Him. We seem to forget that a lot. Peace, the peace of Christ, is a huge part of who we are as Christians. Hopefully, this post will serve as a good reminder about why peace is so vital, lest we drown it out in our thoughts of struggles and battles.
        As always, we should start with the Word of God. Needless to say, He knows a whole lot more about all this than we do. So what does God Himself have to say about peace and its role in our lives and faiths? Let’s look at a few Biblical references that address this topic.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” Colossians 3:15a

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

        There are countless other verses about peace, but we’ll just stick with these three for now. Each of these verses talks about peace in a different context, a different role in our lives. We’ll look at each of these three different “forms” of peace. First, we’ll look at peace as it is described in Romans 5:1. In this case, we’re talking about peace between us and God.
        You see, because mankind is fallen, before we were saved by Christ’s sacrifice, we were slaves to our own sin. Because of this, there was a barrier between us and God. We had been alienated from our Creator because we had betrayed Him. Though God still loved us, we had grieved Him greatly by turning away from Him.
        But through Christ’s blood, this barrier has been broken; the veil has been torn. Though formerly we were running away from God, as Christians, we have turned around and are now striving to run back to Him. We have been reconciled to our Creator by the blood of Jesus. Because we have been justified, declared innocent of our own crimes, there is now peace between us and God. Though God still loved us the same, when we were in our sin, God had no choice but to punish us for our crimes. He is a just God, and our sins had to be punished. That punishment hung over us and prevented us from being at peace with the God who wanted more than anything for us to turn back to Him and return to His loving embrace. But now that the price has been paid, our own sins no longer stand between us and God. This is the first way that peace manifests itself in the life of a Christian- peace between us and God.
        The second role that peace plays itself out in the lives of Christians is illustrated in Colossians 3:15a. This form of peace exists between us and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and acts as the glue that holds the church together. God intended mankind to be a people of community- people living and working side by side. The Bible says that in the early church, the believers had “all things in common,” and they gave all they had to benefit one another. This peace between the members of the body is another pivotal part of Christianity. As members of one body- the body of Christ- we are called to work in unity with one another. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:21, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.'”
        As Christians, it is vital that we allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts, so that we may treat our brothers and sisters with love. There ought to be peace between all the members of the body, and there should not be enmity between brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all part of Christ’s church, and are intended to work together in peaceful unity.
        Finally, the peace of God ought to effect us each personally, as we can see from Philippians 4:7. The peace that we have in the Lord is a beautiful thing, and no one can fully comprehend this peace. It surpasses the understanding of our human minds. But this peace is something personal. It doesn’t only effect our relationships with God and with our fellow Christians; it needs to impact each of us at the core of our being. We have been adopted as children of the one true God, who loves us more than we can ever know. Though the world may throw many trials and struggles at us, we will never have to face any of them alone, and we will never be allowed to face anything that we cannot overcome with the Lord’s help. This should bring to our hearts a peace so profound, it influences our very being. We need to be a people who are steeped in peace. People should see us and recognize that there is something different about us- a peace, a calmness, that transcends the circumstances we face in this life. No matter what we come up against, our hearts and minds are guarded by this peace, and nothing can overcome the peace that God has given us.
        I hope that you will remember these truths today and every day. The reality that God has granted us peace, both with Him, our brethren, and ourselves, is something that ought to change our lives. If we abide in Him, then this peace will abound. It is a part of being a Christian, a Child of God; it is a Fruit of the Spirit.
        


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