Our world is a colony, established by God to emulate His divine Kingdom (heaven) here on earth. The Holy Spirit is our colonial ambassador, living amongst us, guiding and teaching us in the ways of our perfect King. The Holy Spirit’s job is to saturate our world with Kingdom-influence so that God’s children will become like their Father. The Holy Spirit is able to lead each person whose sins have been atoned by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Jesus is our Prince of Peace because He is our only link to the King’s abundant peace (Isaiah 9.6). God is Holy and faithfully undivided; He is the source of all peace. We cannot fully understand His divine peace until we’re on the other side of eternity (Philippians 4.7). Christians have this Source of Peace inside each of us – a gift promised by the resurrected Jesus (John 14.26).
Sin penetrated our special colony, so our environment has become corrupt, our bodies decay and people hurt each other. We live in a world of unrest and conflict. We capture moments of peace only to have them swept away by the tide of disorder. We grope onto pitiful worldly understandings, desperately seeking illusions of peace. But peace – pure and endless – can be found generously within the spirits God breathed into each of us.
Be assured, though, Christians go against the grain of world culture, and we will cause turmoil because of the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10.24 NIV). Christians will not agree with much of the world-view, and this will create division. We will be spotlighted as Bible-thumping trouble-makers. The colony has declared independence from our holy and perfect King and the heaven we were meant to represent. Indeed, Christian influence will disrupt the world’s agenda if we are to stay sanctified (1 Thessalonians 5.23).
However, Jesus also tells us to pursue harmony. He says, “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other” (Mark 9.50b NIV). As a church, we need to swallow our pride to keep the peace and put the unity of the Body of Christ above our own desires (Colossians 3.15 NLT). As Christians, we should serve others and eliminate our self-entitlement and our perceived rights. Our goal should be to strengthen the Church, so we can be used by the Holy Spirit to spread His Kingdom-influence.
But how do we know when we should pursue peace or division? When should our sanctified lives sever or unite? When should we be swords or peacemakers?
Swords: We cut away unholy influences with truth to keep the Church sanctified.
Peacemakers: We deny our self-will to promote peace in the Church.
The Holy Spirit lets us know when to separate the Body of Christ from the world’s influence and when to lay down our rights for the sake of church harmony. This is every Christian’s balancing act, and we must be completely submitted to the Holy Spirit if we want to be the peaceful sword that God has called us to be. God’s Truth will build the church and offend the world, and Christians are called to do both. But even as we slice off sin for church sanctification or cut off our personal rights for church harmony, we still have the peace of God in our spirits — and that’s how we become Peaceful Swords!
I’m so excited! The November Sanctified Together Publication (Peace) is out! To view the ST Publication, click here! Too print it, click here. To sign up and get it sent to your email, click here. If you would like to contribute your writing, click here! Read the article at the ST Publication here!