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  • Writer's pictureWill Stockdale

A Living Peace

Jesus reconciles us to God



At the end of the Lord of the Rings, the battle for Middle Earth had been won by the free peoples. The great enemy was defeated, his troops were scattered, and the threat of impending destruction was decimated. With these realities accomplished a new king was installed and by his rule peace reigned throughout the land. It was a peace hard fought, but a peace won nonetheless. And so the people could go on to live full and fruitful lives under a good king.


The New Testament is regularly concerned with drawing our attention to peace. Every single one of Paul’s letters to the young churches begins with a greeting of peace. Even when he is about to go on and write some hard truths, he still begins by reminding them of the peace that comes through knowing Christ. In Jesus’ final discussion before going to the cross he told them “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)


Peace is used in a few different ways in the New Testament. It can mean a state of security, or a peace of agreement between two or more people, or a peace that means the lack of war. It can also describe a peace that comes from living in the Kingdom of God–the true place where all Christians dwell–a peace of shalom or wholeness of life.


Peace can be a feeling, but it is also so much more than that. Peace is our status before a holy God. We are no longer his enemies. We are his friends. In this peace, no matter what may happen in our lives nothing can shake the truth that we are his beloved children. This truth is an objective reality before it becomes a subjective experience. We let the objective truth take hold of our hearts and then we grow in a living peace. 


Peace is an essential part of the Christian faith. It is because we have peace with God the Father that we are able to live full lives. Because the Son defeated sin, and the Holy Spirit gives us Jesus’ righteousness, we are no longer at enmity with God the Father. Peace is first and foremost about the battle that has been won by King Jesus–sin no longer has a hold over us and so we are no longer at war with God. Because the battle has been won we are able to grow and flourish and bear this sweet fruit of the Spirit.

 



Rev. Will Stockdale is a Ministry Associate in Washington, D.C. and cohost of The Statement.

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