Am I Pursuing Peace?
True peace is the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Rev. Smit explains what this true peace is in chapter 4 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Smit begins the chapter with a description of false peace, the peace the world strives for and claims it can achieve through man’s “own wisdom, goodness, and righteousness (pg. 52).” But this manmade peace is “illusive” (pg. 51). There is no peace in the world because it is a peace that sinful man attempts to achieve apart from peace with God.
By exposing false peace Rev. Smit warns us against seeking peace with the world and leads us to the heart of the issue – true peace is peace first of all with God. To understand what a blessing peace is for God’s people, we need to understand that we deserve the opposite of peace with God – God’s curse. And we cannot make peace with God ourselves. Why not? Read page 53. Rev. Smit gives a very humbling description of our depravity, which makes it impossible for us to make peace with God. This discussion of false peace sets up Rev. Smit’s explanation of the good news that peace is a gift of God to us through Jesus Christ!
But is there peace only through Jesus Christ? Will not the antichrist achieve world peace when his kingdom is at its pinnacle? Will the world not be able to say then, “We have established true peace?” Read the beginning pages of this chapter for answers.
Rev. Smit provides a beautiful explanation of what peace with God is through Jesus Christ (p. 54-59). This is the peace of “being right with God.” It is the peace of knowing that even though “our sins testify that by nature we were enemies of God, yet God is not at war with us.” It is the peace of knowing that “while we were by nature so at war with God that we were guilty of the crucifixion of Christ, yet Christ so loved us that he died for us and reconciled us unto God by his atoning death.” It is peace that assures us of the forgiveness of all sin, which affords us rest and peace even in the midst of the afflictions of life. Since it cannot be destroyed by even sin, trials, or anything else this peace we have in Jesus Christ, peace with God, is “real, lasting, and unconquerable.” What a wonderful fruit of the Spirit peace is!
But there is more. The Spirit of Jesus Christ gives us not only the gift of peace with God, but also with one another. Rev. Smit explains this on pages 59-67. Do you enjoy peace in your congregation? In your marriage? In your home? In your friendships? Maybe the more important question is, are you being a peacemaker? Even though we cannot always have or enjoy peace with everyone, Rev. Smit explains how, by the power of God’s grace and Spirit, we must always pursue peace. So instead of pointing the fingers at others, let us ask, “Am I pursuing peace?”
Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:
This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk will be blogging for us several times a month. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.