Fruits of the Spirit: Peace

by: Bill Bratt


The apostle Paul admonished true Christians to "walk in the Spirit" and if we do then we will "not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16.) So how do we walk in the Spirit? Paul continues in the next five verses in telling us what the "works of the flesh" are and then he answers the question of how do we walk in the Spirit when he says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23.)

Let’s take a look at ‘peace’ which is the third in the list of the fruits of the Spirit.

The Greek word for ‘peace’ in this verse is ‘eirene’ [i-ray'-nay] which means peace, harmony, tranquility, concord, unity, contentment. This Greek word corresponds to the Old Testament Hebrew word ‘shalom’ which basically means the same thing. The words ‘shalom’ and ‘eirene’ were commonly used as greetings. Peace as a fruit of the Spirit is more than a greeting. It is a supernatural state of inner tranquility.

Two Things that can Rob Us of Peace

Satan the devil is the author of contention, fighting and war (Isaiah 14:12.) Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and He said: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44.) Satan is the wicked one (Matthew 13:19, 38), the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4) and he has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9.) Satan has influenced men to hate, fight, war and to kill one another.

Sin can rob us of our peace. Isaiah the prophet said: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. {2} But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:1-2.) Isaiah also recorded: "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21.)

When we sin and do something wrong, it produces guilt, which works on all levels of consciousness and causes mental distress and can cause physical illnesses. The way back to peace is to confess our sin immediately with the intention of forsaking it. The apostle John stated: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9.)

If we sin, our fellowship with God is affected, causing us inner turmoil. We must repent and confess to God our sin in order to get back to the state of inner peace.

Man Does Not Know the Way to Peace

The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah in saying: "The way of peace they have not known" (Romans 3:17.) The writer of the Book of Hebrews says that we are to "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14.) This is a word of caution, that if we don’t strive for peace, then we will not see Jesus when He returns and we will not rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom of God during the millennium.

Jesus Came to Bring Peace

Isaiah recorded a prophecy declaring Jesus would be the Prince of Peace: "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6.) Jesus talked about peace to His disciples on the night of His last Passover before He was crucified: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27.) "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33.)

The apostle Paul told the brethren in Philippi: "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7.)

Be a Peace Maker

When I think of ‘peace’, I think of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which He said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9.) We see from this verse that if we want to be a son of God, to be a part of the God Family, then we must be a peacemaker. One of the ways that we can be a peacemaker is to keep God’s Ten Commandments to the best of our ability. David the psalmist said: "Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble" (Psalms 119:165.) By keeping God’s Law we show God that we love Him and we love our neighbors.

Another way to be a peacemaker is to watch what we say. Words can hurt. Arguments and quarreling can escalate into envy, strife, hatred and murder. We need to nip this kind of an attitude in the bud. We need to remember one of Solomon’s proverbs: "A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1.)

To be a peacemaker we need to be humble and meek. Let’s notice that there is a reward for doing this: "But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Psalms 37:11.) This is a reference to the millennium Kingdom Age in which peace will prevail and they will beat their swords into plowshares and nations will not learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4.)

In conclusion: God’s purpose for mankind is that we enjoy eternal life in peace with Him. God is the author of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), He has called us to peace (1 Corinthians 7:15) and we must live in peace (2 Corinthians 13:11.) We need to be peacemakers with our families, church brethren, co-workers and neighbors. We need to go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him for the fruit of His Spirit: peace.