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Wisdom from above (4)

by on September 5, 2012

2. Peaceable – ‘peaceful’.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 ESV)

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
(1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV)

…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:2-3 ESV)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled
(Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV)

 

If we are displaying the wisdom that is from above, then we will be at peace (not just within ourselves, although of course we can have that internal peace of God that passes understanding – but, as I said these are characteristics that largely manifest themselves in how we deal with others) – and if I am displaying the wisdom that is from above, then I will be in harmony with my brothers and sisters, with those who I am serving with. I will experience shalom. The wisdom that God gives produces peace among people, not strife. As we’ve been thinking, worldly wisdom brings disorder and jealousy and the feelings that lead to strife and conflict. Where God’s wisdom is operating, there is freedom from those things, because people are concerned with His things and with putting others before them. So God’s word puts a very strong emphasis on peace as a characteristic of the believer, not just personally, but also in all of his/her relationships.

So, let me ask – do you pick fights, or do you resolve them? I remember a brother speaking about two different types of tool kit that we can use in God’s house – one for building up, and one for knocking down. Let’s please make sure that we are using the kit for building up, and not setting out to create strife.

I said earlier in the week that wisdom from above is lived out only by the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit. One of the most beautiful aspects of life in the Spirit is the unity of the Spirit. We could spend a long time considering the unity of the Spirit – it’s a big subject. But it’s in this context of ‘peaceable’ that I want to think about it very briefly. We read Ephesians 4, where Paul links the unity of the Spirit with peace between saints. And when we consider our position as saints called into the fellowship of God’s Son, as servants in His house, as subjects in His kingdom, the unity of the Spirit is all important. Exodus 36 speaks about the tabernacle being put together, God’s dwelling place at that time, and the record says, “so the tablernacle was one”. Should God’s New Covenant, present day dwelling place, among His living stones built together, be any different? Of course it shouldn’t – we should be one in a very real and practical sense – what the Lord Jesus so clearly wanted in His John 17 prayer. So this ‘peaceable’ aspect of the wisdom from above is so closely linked to the unity of the Spirit – and we’ll come back to the role of the Holy Spirit in putting this into practice in a later post.

Is the Lord Jesus peaceful? Of course He is – He’s the Prince of Peace, and He is the origin of the only peace that really matters, or means anything, or persists in this world – the peace of God. He never went looking for conflict. Just the opposite – He ends conflict and He has already ended the war waged by Satan (in that Satan is a defeated enemy), but not through exerting His great power in a majestic display of war against the adversary, but rather, we sometime sing that He trod all His foes beneath His feet by being trodden down. When Peter took the sword of Malchus and cut his ear of, He was rebuked by the Lord. No fighting here – no room for that sword. The only sword that was to be unsheathed was the sword of judgement with which God would punish His sinless Son for our wrong-doing (Zech 13:7).

Full of peace – that is the wisdom from above, displayed by Christ.

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