The Peace—and the Rest (Fruits of the Spirit part 3)

“The fruit of the Spirit is…peace”

The third fruit listed is peace and I’m beginning to see a pattern.

Jesus makes it clear in the Gospel of John (14:27) that there is a distinction between His peace and the peace you find in the world. In the book of Isaiah, it speaks of Jesus as the “The Prince of Peace” (see 9:6). In fact, Paul goes so far as to say that Jesus Himself  “is our peace” (see Ephesians 2:14). I suppose the same could be said for all of the fruits of the Spirit. As the living Word of God, (John 1:14) Jesus embodies all of these qualities and now bestows them to us as we believe. Let’s see what this means for us.

Like a river

In John chapter 15, Jesus lays out the conditions for fruit-bearing. As with His love and His joy–seen as transitive verbs–His peace operates through us in the same way. All three seen as distinct from the world’s facsimiles. Jesus says that, in order to bear any fruit, we need to abide in Him (John 15:4). In the Old Testament God refers to His peace being “like a river” (Isaiah 48:18, 66:12). In other words, His peace is always flowing. Regardless of circumstance. This, just like with joy, is why you can have all sorts of negative things happening in your life, yet still be at peace, still have a calm and ready reserve with a clear mind. Because, as you abide in Jesus, you are in the flow of His peace.

Like an ocean

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Another way to think about God’s peace is this: In Hebrews we find the concept of God’s rest elucidated. The writer of Hebrews is drawing a parallel between the rest that God took after creation (see Hebrews 4:4) and the rest that we enter upon our new birth as a Christian (4:3). We cease to strive for salvation from within and receive it from Jesus. This is His free gift to us (see Ephesians 2:8) all we have to do is accept it in love.

And entering God’s rest is like diving into an ocean of peace.

Shalom

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