“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17 ESV
Peace of Christ
What is the peace of Christ? It is peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is our union with Christ by God’s grace, through God-given and divinely persuaded faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. For, before we trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we were hostile towards God in our minds, doing (practicing) evil deeds. We did not submit to God’s law. Our minds were set on the flesh to obey its desires (Rom. 8:5-8; Col. 1:21).
Yet, when we trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we died with Christ to sin and self, and we were raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God (in his likeness) in true righteousness and holiness. We were given new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to be lived to Him and to his righteousness, that he may now present us as holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if we continue in the faith (Col. 1:21-23; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
This peace, though, is not the kind the world talks about. For Jesus also said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword, and that he does not give peace as the world gives (Matt. 10:34-39; Jn. 14:27).
For, the kind of peace the world talks about involves compromise of faith and morals and convictions in order to avoid conflict and disagreements. The peace the world talks about involves uniting ourselves with all people regardless of differences in beliefs or practices. It involves sacrificing our faith, and not walking in obedience to our Lord, in order to blend in with the rest of the world so that we don’t offend anyone with the gospel.
But, the kind of peace Jesus gives leads us to holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world. It leads us to unite with God in heart and mind and purpose, to do his will, even if it means the world (including the worldly church) will hate us and speak evil against us and persecute us for our walks of faith. It leads us to godly living, and to living to please God with our lives regardless of whether or not others are pleased with us or approve of us.
So, this is the peace that is to rule (govern, control, direct) our hearts. It is first and foremost at peace with God and no longer hostile in our minds towards God doing (practicing) evil deeds. It walks in obedience to our Lord and no longer walks (conducts our lives) according to our sinful flesh. It lives holy lives separate from the world of sin and unto God, and it lives to please our Lord in all our conduct.
And, then it seeks peace with others, too, but it never involves compromise of truth or faith or holiness or purity. Peace with others must remain in conformity with the will of God for our lives. We should never seek peace with others if it involves losing our peace with God because we chose compromise of faith over obedience to our Lord. For, if we are at peace with God, then those who are of this world are not going to be at peace with us.
Encourage One Another
I guarantee that if we put this into practice, in the way the scriptures teach that we should do, that we are not going to be at peace with all people, but we will have a lot of folk hostile towards us, rebuking us, calling us names, falsely accusing us, attacking us verbally, slandering us, rejecting us, despising us, not wanting to be near us, and even wanting to kill us.
For, this says that we are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. And, the Word of Christ is opposed to the flesh of man (of humans). For, the Spirit of God is at war with the flesh, and the flesh is at war with the Spirit. So, if the Word of God (of Christ) is at home in our hearts, not just in our intellect, it means we are walking the walk and not just talking the walk.
And, then we are to teach and admonish one another in the wisdom of God, not in human wisdom or in humanistic philosophy that is contrary to God’s wisdom. And, to admonish means to warn, to counsel, to exhort, and to urge others to walk in faithful obedience to their Lord and to no longer walk (in practice) according to our sinful flesh. We are ALL supposed to be doing this.
But, the modern church of today in America is opposed to this. Their message is “stay in your own lane,” i.e. mind your own business, don’t tell other people how they should live, don’t judge anyone, don’t confront anyone with the gospel, but just be “nice” to everyone and say happy things that will make everyone comfortable and at peace with you.
But, “nice” is not loving others. “Nice” is about self, not about God, and not about doing what is best for others. “Nice” lies to people, too, in order to make them feel good about themselves, even if they are steeped in sinful addiction. And, lies are not kind, nor are they loving. But, if we are truly being kind, and if are truly loving others, as God loves us, we will speak the truth in love (in love) to others, and we will show them the way to peace with God and to freedom in Christ from bondage (addiction) to sin.
And, we will encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ in holy living, and to forsake their sins to follow Christ in obedience, and to live lives which are separate from the world of sin unto God.
And, this encouragement involves urging, warning, exhorting and straight talk, too, no “beating around the bush” (1). For, so many who profess faith in Jesus Christ are still living in sin, still trapped in addiction, still walking according to the flesh, and they are not walking in the freedom that Christ provided for them via the cross.
In Ephesians 5 it says that we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. So, this isn’t just about singing. This is about encouraging one another spiritually via the hymns, which are rich in biblical doctrine, and via the psalms, which also lead us in holy living, and via spiritual songs which are based off scripture and which teach the teachings of Christ and holy living and walks of obedience to Christ.
Three times this mentions being thankful to God, too. First was in the context of letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Secondly it was in the context of encouraging (warning, urging, exhorting) one another in our walks of obedience to our Lord. And, the third instance was in the context of us doing everything, whether in word or deed, in the name (divine character) of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to be thankful to our Lord in all things, whether or not people receive us warmly for our obedience to our Lord, or whether they reject us, despise us, speak evil against us, and persecute us for our walks of obedience to our Lord.
We need to keep giving our Lord our praise and our thanks for loving us, for saving us, for delivering us out of our bondage to sin, and for freeing us to walk in his holiness, living godly lives pleasing to him. In all these things we need to give him our thanks.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!
Friday, November 22, 2019