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What is "Peace" anyway?

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  • What is "Peace" anyway?

    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!

  • #2
    Scriptually, it's reconciliation and shalom with God. It has nothing to do with human wars.
    Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by keck553 View Post
      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?

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        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.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Esperanza32 View Post
          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?
          Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by keck553 View Post
            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.

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            • #7
              "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
              ---------------------------------------------------------------------

              'peacemakers' as referred to in the Sermon on the Mount...

              Greek word 1518

              1) a peacemaker
              2) pacific, loving peace
              -----------------------------------------------------------------------
              '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...
              Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
              ------------------------------------------------
              Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
              ------------------------------------------------
              The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
              Jeremiah 31:3

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              • #8
                So, do you think Jesus coming back with an olive branch or a sword?
                Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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.
                    I have a Blog. Please visit!

                    My Blog http://bibleforums.org/forum/blog.php?b=537

                    Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life!

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought.

                      Charles G Finney



                      http://holyrokker.blogspot.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Esperanza32 View Post
                        I'd be interested in hearing your insights...

                        Peace!
                        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!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Esperanza32 View Post
                          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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HisServant View Post
                              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).

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