Vol 6:3 (March 1960)
The God of Peace
The descriptive names and titles of God form an interesting and profitable study. For example, He is called the Father of mercies (2 Cor. 1:3), holding back the punishment that we should have received. He is the God of all grace, bountifully bestowing unmerited blessings upon us. As the God of hope (Rom. 15:13), He gives to the believer the prospect of a bright future.
In this article, let us consider Him as the God of Peace, by reviewing the Scriptures where this appellation is used.
The political world is in a state of chaos and confusion, with rumours of wars and rumblings of international suspicion and distrust. Men’s hearts are indeed failing them for fear. Ours is an age of rush and bustle, of pressure and tension, so that the individual knows little rest; that is, unless he finds rest in the God of Peace.
Strife, variance, hatred, and divisions are the works of the flesh and are not of God. Satan delights in these things and is the instigator of all that causes turmoil and unrest. By contrast, we read that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33). His dwelling place is peace, He delights in peace, and He dispenses peace because He is Peace. He is the God of Peace.
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” (Romans 15:33).
In this verse the title is used in connection with His presence with us. We may be devoid of many of the luxuries, or even the necessities of life. Health may fail; position and popularity may wane. Death may deprive us of loved ones, and circumstances may separate us from those we hold dear to the heart. Friends of former days may fail us, turning their backs upon us, but He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5).
His promise to Moses is given to us as well, “Certainly I will be with thee” (Exod. 3:12). What peace should fill our hearts through the assurance of His constant companionship and His abiding presence!
“The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
In this passage the God of Peace is associated with His promise to us. Because of repeated adversities and manifold trials, we may feel that the evil one is about to overwhelm us. Faith falters and we are ready to admit defeat.
No! He tells us that the dark night is about to be dispelled by the sunrise. The banner of victory is soon to be unfurled and the Captain of our Salvation will lead us upward to glorious triumph. He is coming soon to quell the uprising of the devil and his host. Our Lord will set up His righteous kingdom and reign in absolute power and great glory. The once-proud head of Satan will be crushed in ignoble defeat, and the last promise of Genesis 3:15 will be fulfilled.
Though now we are in the midst of conflict, let us look upward and claim His promise. Then, indeed, we shall have peace within, knowing that in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him (Rom. 8:37).
“The very God of peace sanctify you learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of Peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:9).
The God of Peace and His pattern for us is the thought that the above verse conveys. Our troubles and distresses are frequently allowed of the Lord because of our lack of conformity to His will, or because of our neglect of Himself. We live out of touch with Him and show little concern for His purpose for us, namely, that we should be conformed to the image of His Son.
There are five progressive steps in following the pattern: seeing, hearing, receiving, learning, and doing. By way of illustration let us consider the little lad in school. He first sees the lesson as it is written on the blackboard by the teacher; then he hears her explaining it to the class. Next, he copies it down in his note book; in other words, he receives it. That night at home he studies the lesson that he might learn it. At school the following day he is called to put into practice what he has learned, as he writes his answer on the blackboard or on the test paper.
Similarly, there are precepts and instructions which we see in the Word of God to which we must also give heed; we must give ear to hear. Furthermore, we must also accept the Word of God without question or dispute; we must meditate upon it until it becomes a part of us. Finally, and most important, we must be doers of the Word and not hearers only. In our lives, daily we must manifest what we have been taught. Only when this is so, will we in the fullest measure be conscious of the presence of the God of Peace.
“The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:23).
Here we have His preservation of us. While ours is the responsibility to follow the pattern, we are readily aware of the fact that we need a power above and beyond ourselves if we are to gain the victory in the face of temptation and the satanic power that is arrayed against us.
The God of Peace desires to sanctify us wholly; that is, He would set us apart for His glory, separating us from defilement.
The pascal lamb of Exodus twelve was to be kept for four days. This was not only that it might be proven without blemish, but also that it might be guarded and preserved from anything that would render it unfit for sacrifice.
Similarly, it is the purpose of God that we should be kept from falling; preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when we shall be presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude V 24).
“Now the God of peace… make you perfect In every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sightt, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Finally, we have the God of Peace and His pleasure in us. For the words “make perfect” one translation uses the expression, “make you what you ought to be.” It is akin to the phrase used in connection with the sons of Zebedee who were “mending their nets” (Mk.1:19). They were washing and repairing the nets (making them what they ought to be, perfect) for useful service again. This is what the Lord wishes to do with us.
Notice, the Lord works this in us; this is made possible through Jesus Christ. The nets are not left to swish themselves round and round in the water in a futile attempt to weave again the broken strands. No, the net is in the fisherman’s hands where it rests submissive to his will and his working.