Previously in this series of essays concerning the fruit of peace, we discussed (1) peace with God and (2) peace with self. Let us now move on to the third and final level or aspect of the fruit of peace, and that has to do with peace with others.
This third aspect can be subdivided into three parts as well: peace with others within the body of Christ; peace with non-believers and peace among nations. We are going to pass over any substantial discussion of peace among nations at this point for two reasons.
First, very few of us are in a political position to affect or influence that in any material way. We can all pray for peace among all nations, of course, and that is good. We should do that. That deals with the spiritual realm of intercession. Insofar as any of us being in any political position to create and execute national policy, perhaps very few if any of my readers are in that position.
Secondly, I don’t think that peace among nations will ever be accomplished until men learn to have peace on these lower levels first. I look forward to the millennial kingdom when this will largely be accomplished. One of the beautiful assurances of that is found in the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6, 7 which was given 800-some years before Christ but which encompasses both His first and His second comings.
Isaiah 9: 6 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.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
God speed the day, but until then, I think we have our plate full just accomplishing peace among the body of Christ, don’t you agree? Since Paul was the major writer of the New Testament, it is not surprising then that we find more references to peace in his writings than anywhere else.
When he listed peace with other fruits of the spirit, it seemed to be in the context of peace among Christians more than with non-believers. Paul lists nine fruits here. (There are many more, of course.)
Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
All well and good…however, notice that verse 22 begins with… 22 But the fruit of the Spirit…indicating by that conjunction “but” that what follows is in contrast to that which precedes it, so let’s back up and examine what Paul was contrasting the fruits with. And I think we will see that he is …