I’m continuing to look at the Fruit of the Spirit – today’s fruit is peace. I’ve heard people talk about the fruit of peace in the past, but sometimes they misunderstand it.
The problem is that the Greek language has a couple of different words that are translated as peace in English. I’ve heard people teach that it’s calm, quietness – like when Jesus said, “Peace. Be still”; and He calmed the storm. This isn’t that Greek word.
The word used for the fruit means harmony between two parties. In other words, it’s the opposite of war. This is something that can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
One of the biggest divisions in history, and in the Bible, was between Jews and Gentiles. Bringing both sides together into the body of Christ had to be a supernatural work of God.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace…
By fulfilling the requirements of the Law, the family of God was now open to the Gentiles. But that doesn’t mean that the Jews would be happy about sharing their Messiah. There needed to be a change of heart.
It wasn’t enough to take the requirements of the Law out of the way. The Lord had to go even further to deal with the hostility. Ingrained hatred is one of the hardest things to change in our flesh.
That’s what’s so powerful about the fruit of peace. It changes the hearts of those affected by it. Of course, that’s why there are many who refuse to yield to the Holy Spirit. They’re afraid of the changes that may take place in them.
The fruit of peace abolishes things like bigotry, hatred, racism, or chauvinism. It compels you to love and work with those that through your life, and even your heritage, you grew up hating. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit working in you, there’s not much else that can accomplish such a change.
Refusing to let his peace reign in you is refusing God’s plan for your life.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There are many people who pray for unity in the church. I think that in some cases, we don’t really know what we’re praying for. We sometimes think that unity means that everyone thinks and acts like us.
That’s not true unity. Unity built upon the bond of peace takes very different people and puts them together into one, perfectly functioning organism. It’s what Jesus did with His disciples.
He brought working class people like Peter, James, and John, and put them with a spoiled rich kid like Judas. He took Simon the Zealot – an anti-Roman terrorist – and placed him with Matthew, who collected taxes for the Roman government. Only the Holy Spirit can do such a huge work.
But as good as this is, there’s an even greater work this peace can do in us.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God even takes away the spirit of competition between us. We’re not competing for God’s blessings. I don’t have to worry that if the Lord answers your prayer, then He may not have the resources to answer mine. He has an unlimited supply of grace.
Allow the Holy Spirit to work His peace in you. It will change your whole outlook on life.
Question: What was a recent time that you saw God’s peace operating through you?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017