True Peace

True Peace (Selected Scriptures)

This past weekend, we began our new sermon series on Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  In the greeting, Paul invokes both grace and peace on the church at Philippi.  Grace is the undeserved favor of God that He extends to sinners through Christ.  The result of God’s grace is peace.  Paul has the Hebrew word for peace in mind, shalom, which refers to wholeness and overall well-being.

Usually, when we think of peace, we have something different in mind than what the Bible means by this.  For example, a person typically determines whether or not they have peace based on their present circumstances.  If everything is going well, then they would say they are at peace.  If things are not going well, then they would say that they have no peace.  The Bible, though, refers to an altogether different peace.  This peace is always present and not based on external circumstances.

First, the Apostle Paul recognizes that the ultimate source of true peace comes from God.  This is something seen in the Old Testament (ex. Numbers 6:26).  Second, Paul recognizes that in order for a person to have true peace, they must be reconciled to God.  Theologians refer to this as justification.  The word “justification” simply means “to justify” or “to declare righteous.”  The Lord declares you righteous when you place your faith in Jesus Christ for your sins (Romans 5:1).  When you trust in Christ as your Savior, God declares you righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Paul understands that when we have been justified we now have peace “with” God (Romans 5:1).  Our position before God is now one of peace.

Finally, after we have peace “with” God we then experience the peace “of” God (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 13:11).  It is the peace of God that Paul later exhorts the Philippians to experience as they lift all their prayers to Him.  When they do, they will have the “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

My prayer is that you have the true peace that only God provides to us through Christ Jesus.  If you do not have true peace, the Bible teaches that by faith in Jesus Christ we are declared righteous before God (Romans 3:21-26; 5:18-19).

The God of peace be with you all.

Pastor Steven