What Is Peace In The Bible

What is Peace in the Bible?

Throughout the Bible, the word ‘peace’ is used to express a range of ideas, from physical safety and wellbeing to a deep spiritual rest and contentment. The Hebrew word shalom is often translated to mean ‘peace’ in the English Bible and has a much broader meaning than we often think of.

The greatest Bible passage about peace comes in the New Testament, where Jesus speaks about peace in His famous Sermon on the Mount. He declares: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Jesus holds up the peacemakers, who work for an end to wars and divisions, as an example to follow and gives them the ultimate assurance that God is on their side.

The authors of the Bible also consistently address the idea of peace through its many uses. In Isaiah, for example, peace is connected to the concept of justice. The prophet writes of God’s punishment of evildoers and commends those who seek justice and act in accordance with the Lord: “He will bring justice to the oppressed and give them their due” (Isaiah 1:17).

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah offers an extended description of the peace that God will bring through His people in the future. He writes: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever” (Jeremiah 31:33). This passage speaks of a peace that goes beyond mere words and treaties between nations, but into the transformation of nature itself.

The biblical message may appear to offer only a faint hope of peace in a world of violence, but it consistently provides a wide range of ways to build peace. It upholds peacemakers, encourages justice, and promises a future with God’s everlasting sanctuary among us.

The Power to Transform

The Bible recognizes the power of peace to transform lives and create a better world. When Jesus talks about the peacemakers in the Sermon on the Mount, He isn’t simply calling for people to stay out of physical violence. Rather, He encourages peacemakers to work for a just and equitable society by living in obedience to God’s commands and by promoting true love and respect for all of God’s children.

The prophet Jeremiah describes a vision for peace that goes beyond merely the absence of violence and warfare. He sees a time when God’s sanctuary will be established forever and peace pervades the entire land. By living according to this vision, people are reminded of the power they all share to bring God’s peace and justice into the world.

The Bible presents peace as a spiritual concept, associated with the worship of God and obedience to His commands. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Here, Jesus connects the act of peacemaking with a deep relationship with the divine. By living in obedience to God and His moral law and actively working for peace, people can become agents of transformation, joining in the work of establishing God’s kingdom on earth.

Peace in the New Testament

In the New Testament, peace is seen as a way to bring about a new world, a “kingdom” of God on earth. The coming of Jesus Christ symbolizes a radical new way of living; the peace that Jesus brings is not just a cessation of physical violence, but a spiritual and moral transformation of our lives and our world. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). This peace is something greater than mere physical safety or security; it is the peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God.

In Paul’s writings, peace is also seen as being a part of the Church’s mission. In the letter to the Colossians, he writes “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Here, Paul is providing moral guidance on how to live in a way that reflects the peace and love of God’s kingdom. By living in and spreading peace, disciples of Jesus have the power to make an impact in the world and to bring about God’s kingdom.

The Bible speaks of peace in a variety of ways, and offers many visions for how to bring peace into the world. Through its words and images, the Bible provides a framework for building a more peaceful and just society. By living in and spreading the peace of God, we can become true peacemakers, agents of transformation in the world.

Peace and Discernment

The Bible also speaks to the importance of discerning between situations where peace may be possible, and those where peace is impossible without compromising one’s moral principles. The prophet Isaiah speaks to God’s people in these words: “Do not point your finger and mock; do not get angry and forget what I have said” (Isaiah 7:18). Here, Isaiah warns against letting one’s anger and other emotions lead one to forget God’s word. This reminder to stay humble and wise when trying to discern peace and justice is vitally important in today’s complex world.

In Acts, the Bible speaks of the importance of remaining faithful to God even in the face of persecution. The believers in the early church chose to stand up for peace over violence and chose to act in obedience to God rather than simply retaliate against their oppressors. Even in the face of injustice, they chose not to respond with violence, but chose to rely on the faithfulness of God. As the early church prayed in acts 4:29-30, “And now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Love and Compassion

At the heart of the Bible’s understanding of peace is the notion of love. Jesus teaches that the path to true peace is found in a life of selfless love and service. Jesus calls us to love our enemies and to turn the other cheek, showing mercy and forgiveness instead of aggression and retaliation. Jesus also calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, calling for us to act with compassion and understanding towards those who are different from us.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus remarks “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). Here, Jesus commands us to love even those who are against us, showing us that true peace can never be based on hatred or aggression.

The Bible speaks of love and compassion in many places, urging us to show mercy and forgiveness, even to those who wrong us, and to strive for peace instead of violence. By living a life of love and compassion, following God’s commands to love and serve others, we can become agents of peace and true peacemakers in the world.

The Hope of Peace

The Bible presents us with an inspiring hope for peace. Though the world is full of division and strife, and only human beings can bring about true peace, the Bible promises a time of a permanent peace that only God can bring about. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet speaks of a time when wars and armies will no longer be necessary, and the lion will lay down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6-9).

The Bible also speaks of a time of spiritual and moral transformation and renewal, when the knowledge of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). This promise of a future where divine peace and justice reigns over the earth is an inspiring vision to which Christians can look with faith and hope.

The Bible provides an abundance of images and visions of peace that can help us to remain faithful in difficult and tumultuous times. By remaining faithful to its teachings, we can prepare ourselves for a future in which peace will reign, and in which justice will be done.

Helping the Poor and Needy

In addition to peace, the Bible calls us to act in service and compassion towards the poor and needy. The Bible speaks time and time again about the importance of helping those in need, and this attitude of service is essential for developing peace in the world. The prophet Isaiah writes, “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10).

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks of the Last Judgment, in which He will separate the “sheep” from the “goats.” He commends the “sheep” for their compassionate deeds, including feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, inviting the stranger in and clothing the naked (Matthew 25:35-40). This is a strong reminder that to be peacemakers, we must act with love and service towards those who are suffering and in need.

The Bible speaks to a duty of care for the poor and needy and reminds us that a true peace must take into account the needs and suffering of others in order to create a more just world. By reaching out to those who are suffering and practising kindness, generosity and justice, we can bring about a peace that does not come from aggression or violence, but from love and understanding.

The Promise of Peace

The Bible offers a promise of peace that is unlike any the world has ever seen. Through the teachings of Jesus, the prophets, and other Biblical authors, the Bible paints a picture of a peace based on love, mercy, justice, and service. In a world full of division, violence, and injustice, the peace of God is the only hope for lasting change and transformation.

Though the promise of true peace may seem distant, the Bible assures us that in God’s time, this vision of peace will be realized. As the prophet Isaiah writes, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Though the world may be full of violence and war, the promise of peace still stands and remains a source of hope to those who trust in God.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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