Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Have Peace One with Another

The way to positively revolutionize your relationships is by learning and living the “one another” statements of the Bible. There are many such statements. Those two English words are translated from one Greek word. That word is allēlōn”, and it is found 178 times in the New Testament. It is a reciprocal, plural pronoun and it means “reciprocally, mutually.” The word was a favorite of the Apostle Paul’s. He used it 40 times in his letters, and Christ used the word with regard to three subjects: love, service, and peace. Today’s study will focus on the subject of peace, as Jesus said in Mark 9:50, at the end of a long and serious section of teaching, ““Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

This command reveals at least four things.

The Command Implies a Problem: Conflict

The opposite of peace is conflict. The fact that Jesus tells His disciples that they should have peace with one another is an indication that peace was absent and conflict was present. At least, the probability of no peace was then and is now ever present. Everywhere one looks there is a lack of peace and an abundance of conflict. There are local, national, and global conflicts. There are home, work, and school conflicts. There are even (especially?) community and church conflicts. Most people want to give peace a chance, but it always seems incredibly elusive.

What is conflict’s source? As always, the Bible provides the answer in James 4:1-4. According to this passage there is an inner struggle which leads to an external conflict. The inner struggle is the result of, according to verses 1-3, uncontrolled, unfulfilled, and utterly selfish desires. That inner struggle, according to verse 4, is actually conflict with God! That is. Inwardly resisting God creates outer anger and conflict with others. The Bible provides many examples of this, such as:

  • Abraham & Lot
  • David & Saul
  • David & Absalom
  • The Twelve
  • The Church at Corinth
  • Paul & Barnabas
  • Paul & Peter

Instead of having peace with one another we often:

  • “Betray one another” – Matthew 24:10
  • “Wrong one another” – Acts 7:26
  • “Accuse one another” – Romans 2:15
  • “Bite and devour one another” – Galatians 5:15
  • “Provoke and envy one another” – Galatians 5:26
  • “Hate one another” – Titus 3:3
  • “Speak evil of one another” – James 4:11
  • “Begrudge one another” – James 5:9
  • “Kill one another” – Revelation 6:4

To all of the above Jesus Christ says, “have peace one with another.”

The Command Infers a Possibility: Peace

As much as conflict is a probability, peace is a possibility! This is true because Jesus commands us to “have peace one with another.” Christ’s commandments are His enablements. Christ does not command and require of us that which is impossible for us. Praise God for that!

The Command Involves a Process: Reconciliation

In Philippians 4:2-3 the Apostle Paul made a specific request of two women in the Philippian church. He publicly requested (That’s an understatement!) that they reconcile their differences. Regardless of who was right or who was wrong, both Euodias and Syntyche had a responsibility to take the initiative and settle the matter. Paul was also realistic enough to know that those two women may not be able to resolve this conflict alone. He urged the church to assist these women in the process of reconciliation. But remember: there is a difference between being involved and being a busy-body!

This Command Indicates a Provision: Perfect Peace

The peace which Jesus commands is the peace which Jesus provides!

  • John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
  • John 16:33 – “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.”

Peace comes from Christ, but it is not a peace absent of problems and conflicts. Christ’s peace is a presence of power enabling you to overcome the problems! The peace that Christ alone provides is peace with God!

  • Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

Peace with God means that inner conflict no longer rules over us, therefore the external conflict may be overcome because of the peace of God made possible only through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  • Isaiah 26:3 – “Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.”
  • Romans 15:33 – “Now the God of peace [be] with you all. Amen.”
  • 1 Peter 5:14b – “Peace [be] with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Based on the lessons Revolutionize Your Relationships written by D.W. Sparks, pastor of the Dearborn Baptist Church.


Darrell Messer said...

I am concluding, this coming weekend, a series on these one another commands. What a difference it would make in our lives and churches if we began to live them. They will move us from a consumerist viewpoint "I want" and " I like" to a communal viewpoint of seeking what is best for the body of Christ in which we have been placed. We begin ... See Moreto look out for the interest of others rather than ourselves. We go from serve us to service to the glory of God. Thank you for today's article.

I trust your ministry in the Lone Star state is proving to be all you anticipated.

Travis said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Bro. Darrell. You're right. Living the "one anothers" would make a radical difference in our lives, and in the lives of those with whom we intersect. I pray that your series will have such an impact in Bellbrook!

The ministry is going well here. We love Rodgers, and we love being Texans! You ought to make plans to come to the Missions Conference this summer - July 26-28.