There is a world of difference between peace with God and the peace of God.
When a person accepts Christ as Lord and personal Savior, he establishes peace with God. As a result of salvation, God’s anger toward sin is appeased through Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice and peace with God is established (Romans 5:1). As a regenerated, reconciled child of God, I revel in knowing this peace can never be removed.
However, the peace of God is something much different. It is conditional to life choices, may be withheld and controlled, and represents a state of mind and condition of heart.
God is the source of peace – “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). God is organized, excels at specificity, and is involved in the nitty-gritty details of life. As sovereign, omniscient God, He is not frenzied, reactive, or bewildered. Nothing catches Him off-guard. Rather, He precisely and intentionally orchestrates every event, even maneuvering man’s persistent immoral behavior and sinful exercise of free will, to fulfill His ultimate purpose and plan.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace – As such (Isaiah 9:6), He imparts His peace to His followers. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). This does not imply the absence of heartache or adversity; rather, it is a calm contentedness regardless of the circumstances. It is a trusting foreknowledge that God holds every aspect of reality in His hands, has it all under control, and everything will be okay.
Peace is correlated to application of God’s Word – “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165). Those who love and delight in God’s Word generally apply its guidance and instruction to their lives and lifestyles. Deeper obedience and submission to God’s moral standard leads to greater peace. Although seemingly counterintuitive to independent thinking and the pursuit of freedom, peace parallels the adherence to God’s instruction. More obedience, more peace; less obedience, less peace.
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