The peace of the church

Isaiah 32:17 – “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”

Few things are more highly prized in the estimation of men than peace.  Christ promised peace to His followers (John 14:27), and the gospel of Christ is the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).  Children of God are to make peace a high priority in their lives.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 – “…live peacefully with each other.”

The peace of the church is often disrupted by differences among brethren. Sometimes the differences are over vital doctrinal concerns; at other times, differences find their origin in personality clashes and individual preferences of one stripe or other.  Sometimes the offenses of the past linger on for years and years.  Because grievances are never settled scripturally (Matthew 18:15-20), they fester like opened wounds and the stench of a rotten situation contaminates and chokes the sweet atmosphere of the present.

The peace of the church is disrupted and the work of the church paralyzed all because men and women are too petty to forgive and too small to forget.  Old hurts gnaw at the bowels of the soul and the quarrels of the past mingle their muddy waters with the streams of the present, with the result of polluting the future oceans of endeavor.  When the present makes war upon the past, we lose the future.

The Bible teaches Christians to settle their differences and as far as humanly possible to live in peace (Romans 12:18).  Peace is such a cherished possession; we should give anything for it – except the truth!  We should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

He who loves as God loves, is at ease (at peace) with others and they are at ease (peace) with him.  Christian love prompts the heart to extend the best in courtesy to all others and gaze forward with hopefulness to the future.

Psalm 133:1 – “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

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