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Esperanza32
Oct 15th 2008, 04:10 PM
Several days ago I stumbled upon James 3:18, "Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." (NIV) This verse is sandwiched between discussions of true wisdom and conflict among people.

I've been wondering ever since...what IS this "peace" that keeps showing up in the Bible? There's the peace that passes understanding, and the beattitudes ("Blessed are the peacemakers...") and probably lots of other references to "peace".

Sometimes I assume that "peace" is an absense of conflict, but Jesus was the Prince of Peace and he sure stirred up lots of conflict. As Christians we have lots of conflict with the world. (Actually, I suspect we should probably have more conflict with the world than most of us do.) The Holy Spirit gives me a quiet confidence in my innermost heart that I call peace, but I still have conflict within myself similar to what Paul describes in Romans 7, and I don't always feel too peaceful.

I prefer to avoid interpersonal conflict (so I often let others assume that I agree with them even if I don't), especially with other believers, but I wonder if I'm not really pursuing the kind of peacemaking James is talking about? What IS he talking about? How can I practice "peacemaking", say within my marriage or with other people? Is "peacemaking" different if you're talking about dealing with believers or nonbelievers?

I'd be interested in hearing your insights...

Peace!:hmm:

keck553
Oct 15th 2008, 04:18 PM
Scriptually, it's reconciliation and shalom with God. It has nothing to do with human wars.

Esperanza32
Oct 15th 2008, 04:42 PM
Scriptually, it's reconciliation and shalom with God. It has nothing to do with human wars.

So if peace = reconciliation with God, peacemaker = someone who helps others to be reconciled to God (ie, helps them to know Christ)?

Makes sense to me.

Does biblical peacemaking also have a sense of reconciling people to each other, or is it only about reconciliation with God?

Dani H
Oct 15th 2008, 04:53 PM
When I think of God's peace, I think of the picture Revelation gives us where in front of God's throne, there is a sea of glass, undisturbed, clear as day, unruffled, and calm.

I love that picture, and it helps me understand that God isn't in the least disturbed by so many things that we can easily get so very fretful about.

But, you say, that's God, I'm not God, what about me?

We have been given the Holy Spirit, who is the very Spirit of God, not some inferior or "junior" version of Him, and not just a part of Him either. We who belong to Jesus have the fullness of God residing within us. Yes, we do. Seriously. We do.

John 14:27 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=14&verse=27&version=50&context=verse)
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus gives us His very own peace. This isn't something that we can conjure up and have to work at, but His very own. Peace is obviously not the absence of conflict, but something that flows out of God Himself, who is Peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. That means, Peace is a Person. It is God Himself. So when you ask for God's peace, what you're really asking for, is more of Him. :)

keck553
Oct 15th 2008, 05:13 PM
So if peace = reconciliation with God, peacemaker = someone who helps others to be reconciled to God (ie, helps them to know Christ)?

Makes sense to me.

Does biblical peacemaking also have a sense of reconciling people to each other, or is it only about reconciliation with God?

Of course Jesus commands His disciples to love their neighbor even more than the justice and equity of Torah allows. Love on God's terms, not ours.

That's no guarantee anyone is going to accept any form of 'biblical peace-making.' In fact many have literally lost their heads over the attempt. I don't think Jesus wants all of His sheep to be martyered, do you?

drew
Oct 15th 2008, 06:19 PM
Scriptually, it's reconciliation and shalom with God. It has nothing to do with human wars.
I agree. This is not the "feel warm and fuzzy" peace, it is the objective fact of reconciliation to God.

theBelovedDisciple
Oct 15th 2008, 09:07 PM
"peace" translated as it refers to James 3:18 is below....

Greek word 1515

1) a state of national tranquillity
a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah's peace
a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
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'peacemakers' as referred to in the Sermon on the Mount...

Greek word 1518

1) a peacemaker
2) pacific, loving peace
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'peace' as referred to in the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding... and the God of Peace who shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.... and God is not the author of confusion but of 'peace'...

again Greek word 1515

1) a state of national tranquillity
a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah's peace
a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

that greek word 1515...if you dig into His Word and do a word study is used alot and its referenced many times when 'peace' is used in the Scripture..

Interesting in the New Testament both Peter and John open their letters to the 'saint's' as 'peace' being with you and 'grace' and 'peace' being multiplied... Both Peter and John were 'already' Saved.... Peace is not 'only' limited to the Spiritual Peace that comes when one is born again.. but it is 'peace' in every aspect of a believer's life...

keck553
Oct 15th 2008, 10:36 PM
So, do you think Jesus coming back with an olive branch or a sword?

TruthFaith
Oct 17th 2008, 11:08 PM
Of course Jesus commands His disciples to love their neighbor even more than the justice and equity of Torah allows. Love on God's terms, not ours.

That's no guarantee anyone is going to accept any form of 'biblical peace-making.' In fact many have literally lost their heads over the attempt. I don't think Jesus wants all of His sheep to be martyered, do you?



Well, I always had a tough time when we have to say this is better than that etc.

My heart's Desire
Oct 20th 2008, 05:07 AM
I believe peace is that sense of well being when one is reconciled to God. When there is conflict between 2 parties then there is an absence of peace.
For everyday "peace" I am like a peace maker in the sense that I do not like conflict nor trouble especially between people. Before you say everyone is like that, I don't think so. Especially amongst unbelievers I know many who practically live to have something stirred up with people, something to argue and fight about. It's almost as if they are not happy if things around them are not all messed up and they go the extra mile to make strife continue around them. They are almost always the first to get something started.
I cannot live like that myself.
I think it showed more than anything that those people DO NOT HAVE PEACE with GOD first, so they cannot have peace with others.

holyrokker
Oct 20th 2008, 05:15 AM
Romans 12:18 says: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Notice that we can do all we can to live at peace with others, but peace between individuals is a two-way relationship.

Sold Out
Oct 20th 2008, 01:14 PM
I'd be interested in hearing your insights...

Peace!:hmm:

This would be a great opportunity to do a word study on 'peace'. Look up how many times it's used, the context, and the original greek words (or hebrew, depending on whether it's in the OT or NT). God will bring insight to you!

Friend of I AM
Oct 20th 2008, 02:59 PM
Does biblical peacemaking also have a sense of reconciling people to each other, or is it only about reconciliation with God?

Yes. But I think that the foundation of biblical peace is found in righteousnous, not just in simple agreement between two peoples. Two people can agree on things that are unrighteous(i.e. killing innocent people) and that is not the type of peace the bible advocates in the old or the new testament. Righteousnous and peace go hand and hand, just as mercy and truth do. Many times people make the mistake of seperating these concepts of God. God is a God of unity and all aspects of himself work together in making him who he is.

In Christ,

Stephen

HisServant
Oct 20th 2008, 03:14 PM
Scriptually, it's reconciliation and shalom with God. It has nothing to do with human wars.

The following verse seems to say something else.

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" James 4:1

If every man had the peace of God only in his heart, there would most certainly be no wars between men or between nations.

Friend of I AM
Oct 20th 2008, 03:17 PM
The following verse seems to say something else.

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" James 4:1

If every man had the peace of God only in his heart, there would most certainly be no wars between men or between nations.

That is so true. Peace comes with submission to God in leading us throughout our life, not caring about the outcome. I think that many times this is what perfect peace represents. One who is not worried about the outcome of their life, is one who can be at perfect peace with God and be used very fully by him. This is a difficult goal to attain by most, as we can see in the parable of the seeds(i.e. worries of life take hold of us, and we still remain in bondage to the world).

Richard H
Oct 20th 2008, 04:15 PM
Also - the peaceable.

(Strongs)
eirēnopoios (i-ray-nop-oy-os')
Pacificatory, that is, (subjectively) peaceable: - peacemaker.

Scruffy Kid
Oct 20th 2008, 06:34 PM
Greetings, Esperanza32!
Though you've been here since July, I think we haven't yet met.
Welcome to Bibleforums!! :hug:
It's great to have you here!!! :pp :pp :pp

And thanks for your good questions!
... James 3:18 [says], "Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." (NIV) This verse is sandwiched between discussions of true wisdom and conflict among people.

I've been wondering ever since...what IS this "peace" that keeps showing up in the Bible? There's the peace that passes understanding, and the beattitudes ("Blessed are the peacemakers...") and probably lots of other references to "peace".

Sometimes I assume that "peace" is an absense of conflict, but Jesus was the Prince of Peace and he sure stirred up lots of conflict. As Christians we have lots of conflict with the world. (Actually, I suspect we should probably have more conflict with the world than most of us do.) The Holy Spirit gives me a quiet confidence in my innermost heart that I call peace, but I still have conflict within myself similar to what Paul describes in Romans 7, and I don't always feel too peaceful.

I prefer to avoid interpersonal conflict (so I often let others assume that I agree with them even if I don't), especially with other believers, but I wonder if I'm not really pursuing the kind of peacemaking James is talking about? What IS he talking about? How can I practice "peacemaking", say within my marriage or with other people? Is "peacemaking" different if you're talking about dealing with believers or nonbelievers?

I'd be interested in hearing your insights...

Peace!:hmm:
Brief Analysis of Biblical Usage of the Word "Peace"

The word "peace" is generally either the Greek "eirene" (in the NT) or the Hebrew "shalom" (in the Tanach, or OT).

The primary reference, in both languages, seems to be to a state of tranquility, the opposite of which would be conflict or war. Certainly, looking through the first couple hundred references to "peace" in the OT, I found the vast majority to be refering to absence of conflict -- either absence of armed conflict with potential foes, or absence of interpersonal conflict in situations where one might fear that tensions with another would result in anger and the like. Many verses explicitly contrast "peace" with "war".

(In addition there seem to be several common special usages. There is a special kind of ritual sacrifice called a "peace offering". People who don't speak up are said -- we have the same idiom in English -- doubtless as a result of Biblereading in previous generations -- "hold their peace." To "go in peace" means something like to go with the speaker's blessing, or at least good will. To "come in peace" or "peaceably" means to come without some quarrel in hand which one has come to pursue.)

Again and again the phrase "make peace with" is used to mean settle quarrels with others, or conclude some treaty or agreement with a neighboring king.

Thus, in sum, peace (shalom) in the OT, judging from context, seems mostly to mean a state of not being in conflict.
However, scholars tell us that the connotations of shalom also include general well-being, and prosperity. Thus it is a general word of blessing

In the NT, I counted the usages of peace (eirene): The word seems to be used about 109 times. Of these:
36 are general blessings, such as "peace be with you" or "grace and peace"
25 are simply idioms: "hold your peace", etc. (18) or "go in peace" (7)
13 are usages that are general, or hard to classify specifically.
That leaves some 35 usages that are quite specific

Of these 35 usages, where we can distinguish more exactly what's meant:
15 urge us to be at peace with others or say God calls us to peaceableness
11 are referring to peace with God, or inner peace
..7 contrast peace with conflict or war
..2 are Jesus' saying "I came not to bring peace"


Conclusions drawn from this analysis

1) The Bible's basic meaning for peace is absence of war or conflict
2) In the NT especially (though occasionally in the OT) this is often peace with God
3) The Bible strongly teaches us to seek reconciliation and peace with other human beings
4) The peace God gives us and calls us to includes blessing more broadly
5) The "not peace but a sword" saying is a rare phrase, Jesus' dramatic illustration that His teaching lead people to disagree profoundly.

Of course these conclusions are based mostly on a quick study (it took a couple hours) of the word "peace".
(I did this study to answer your post. I used the Bible Search function in the upper right corner of this board.
You or anyone can just take the time to study a topic that way if you have the interest!! I thought I needed to
study how the word "peace" is used in the Bible, after you asked, because I'd never studied that before in detail.)

The concept of peace is much broader than just the word "peace", though.
So next I will go on to discuss the NT's thinking about peace and reconciliation in general.


Similar Themes Emphasizing Peace in the New Testament as a Whole

Certainly, Jesus teaches us that fidelity to Him is often going to be unpopular, and that we may be disliked or persecuted as a result. The Bible does not tell us to alter the truth for the sake of being popular, of course.

He tells us that to follow him, we need to be willing to die, as He did. Christ suffered in love for His enemies.
He, and the NT writers, all tell us to do the very same thing.

All Jesus's teaching puts a very strong emphasis on reconciliation with other people as well as reconciliation with God. This is consistent through the rest of the New Testament as well. Jesus tells us to be willing give gifts even to those who seek to grab our stuff, or our time, and He tells us to love our enemies. He tells us to be reconciled with those who do us wrong, and to not to indulge anger or hold grudges. Thus he says "blessed are the peacemakers (Matt. 5:9), and "have peace with one another (Mk 9:50). He places great emphasis upon not regarding ourselves as better than others, but rather taking note of our own faults, rather than the faults of others. And he places enormous emphasis upon forgiving others -- something which He links, over and over, in a variety of ways, with God's forgiving us.

Paul tells us to agree with one another and "live in peace" (II Cor 13, Phil. 4, I Thes. 5:13). For "God has called us to peace (I Cor. 7:15) He tells us "If it is possible, as much as it lies with you, live peaceably with all people." (Rom 12:18) This is a part of his general teaching in which he beseeches us, by the mercies of God, to offer our lives to God. (Romans 12 and 13). Therefore he goes on to tell us "to follow after the things which make for peace (Rom 14:19). Similarly, Peter tells, quoting the OT, that the Godly person who wants God's blessing avoids evil, and seeks peace and follows through with that (I Peter 3:11). Peter wants us to act with respect and reverence for others, so that our witness to Christ will be unimpaired. Hebrews also tells us to "Follow peace with all people" (Heb. 12:14)

The passage in James (3:17-18) which you specifically ask about falls in that same line of teaching.

If I can find the time, I will try to place that specific passage in James, which you ask about, in its context in James, as well as in the general Biblical context about peace which I have tried to investigate, and then sketch for you, here.

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid

Emanate
Oct 21st 2008, 04:39 PM
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy Torah: and nothing shall offend them.

Esperanza32
Oct 21st 2008, 05:00 PM
Wow, you people are really great! Thank you for your thoughts and insights--especially to those who took the time to look up stuff...you didn't have to do that...that was the "second mile" one of you mentioned, and I really appreciate it. I plan to spend some quality time with my concordance now. And I never noticed that "Bible Search" in the upper right corner; that's a neat tool, and I see some commentaries there too! Oh fun! I did not realize all those resources were there.

Now I can really go sow some peace...

Thanks again! A kiss of peace to you all :kiss: (been waiting for a chance to use that smiley).

σяєяυииєя
Oct 21st 2008, 05:26 PM
Hmm looks as if I were late for the peacefull party!!

However a few words related :

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165.

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Isaiah 48:18.

Be good