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Peace, Man

Peace, Man

           I’ll admit it. I’m old enough to remember the long-haired young men with tie-died tee shirt and having what slightly resembled an altered Mercedes Benz hood ornament suspended on a chain around their necks.     Upon being approached, a folded hand with the first two fingers extended in a “V” shape was exposed, and a greeting of two words was offered. That greeting was: “Peace, man”. Strangely, this was during the same time when war raged in Viet-Nam as well as other parts of the world.  
     “Peace” in the minds of those so attired and adorned in such a manner meant: societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence.   In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups.   It is a bit strange that there has been a resurgence of the “peace sign” lately, even while the streets of our country are being stained with the blood of innocent victims as viscous and cruel people are rioting and looting while “expressing their displeasure” to some things that have occurred.  
       Peace is important.   It’s not just a greeting, or a feeling. However, it’s not peace as defined by man, or as declared by man that matters. In the history of God’s O. T. people, Israel, men have declared peace, when it did not exist. Should we not consider these folks wicked?   In Jeremiah 6:13-14 we see that some declared peace for their own benefit. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.  
       But what has God stated about peace and those who involve themselves in wickedness? In Isaiah 48:22, the Spirit had the prophet state this about the disobedient. There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.   In fact, in John 16:33, while Jesus was speaking to His apostles, He told them why He had taught them. He also warned them that peace did not come from the world. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
       Therefore, if we desire peace, we are not to look to the world, nor to the things of the world, as they cannot provide peace. In Luke 2:11-14 we find the proclamation of the first advent of the Son of God. In that declaration by the angelic hosts, we find the assurance that the provider of peace had now arrived on earth.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.   This was indeed an inspired prophecy of what the Christ would offer to all humanity when the church was established.    
       According to Romans 3:17, the Jews (also includes all others) that have rejected the gospel of Christ, who have “gone out of the way”, have “become unprofitable”, and who have “destruction and misery” in their ways, have not known the way of peace. And the way of peace have they not known: We are told why there is no peace with them in verse 18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.   When man has no respect for God, His Son, His Word, or the way of peace that is “in Christ” through the Word, there is no true peace in that life. Perhaps this is why the Words of Ecclesiastes 12:13 were given to Solomon by the Spirit. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.   God wants man to have peace.  
       The prophesy in Isaiah 9:6 tells of the majestic name that was to be given the Son of God. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.   Jesus the Christ, the Son of God was so named the Prince of peace, as He is the Son of the God of peace. In Hebrews 13:20-21 we are told that it is through His Son that one can have true peace.   Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
      Do you want “true peace”?   Why not go to the author of peace?   We are told in 1Corinthians 14:33 that peace originates with God.   For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  How can you have that peace through His Son?   Only by strict and total adherence to what God has said in His Word. James 1:25 put it this way: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  Look into His Word today.   Do what is Commanded because you love the Lord. Obey the gospel. Become God’s child. Prepare for eternal peace. Then strive to remain faithful all the rest of your life.   “Peace, man”!

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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