What is peace?

Words and meanings are important. Dictionaries and texts to teach language exist for this purpose. Socrates supposedly said, “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” Every speaker, even politicians, learn that effective communication means one must understand words.

What is the definition of peace?

Many people associate peace with the notion of escape. Many believe peace is achieved by escaping trouble and sorrow, conflict, responsibility or loss. The world of men is always trying to escape some calamity just to walk right into another.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does” (John 14:27 NET). One writer defined Jesus’ peace as “everything which makes for our highest good.” This sounds very good, but it is not a definition.

The peace Jesus promised is peace with God. The apostle Paul used this very definition of the term (Romans 5:1). The faith of which Paul wrote is obedient faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). When we repent of sin and obey God this brings real, lasting peace.

The kind of peace Jesus gave has nothing to do with escape. On the contrary, the peace Jesus brings may place his followers into the direct path of conflict with the world and its accepted ideas. The Lord’s peace may result in trouble and sorrow, conflict and loss. It is not peace with the world. On the contrary, it is conflict with the world and everything it prizes.

The peace Jesus gives surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). Peace with God through Christ stands on guard protecting the hearts of those who live within it. It is the only peace that means anything. It is the true definition of peace.

To have this kind of peace, however, we end rebellion against God. The condition for this peace is surrender to God’s will; we must obey his word. Simply agreeing that God exists is good, but it has little to do with changing a heart of willful disobedience. Isaiah wrote that in the Messiah’s coming kingdom war would be a thing of the past (Isaiah 2:4). Repenting of sin and obeying the gospel brings true peace.

Have you found peace as defined by Jesus?

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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3 thoughts on “What is peace?

  1. This is a very helpful and interesting article. I had never thought of peace in this way. You’re right in that peace with God doesn’t necessarily mean peace with the world around us. It’s an internal peace amidst a conflicted world.

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