Pursue Peace and Be Holy

Peace and Holiness are the very nature of the Eternal Triune God. God the Father being the God of Peace (Hebrews 13:20); our Lord Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); and the Holy Spirit whose fruit is peace (Galatians 5:22) are one (1 John 5:7). God says, “Be holy, for I Am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16), it is a strong command and not an option; we ought to be like Him. We are called to peace and holiness. Right from the start, these were also the nature of man, for man was created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27). In the garden, our foreparents Adam and Eve were living in peace and harmony. Until sin entered into their hearts; it has caused everything to change. From that time on, man has lived in sin and misery. There is no hope, and people are bound to death. Then Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem man from sin. He is the promised King and Saviour, the restorer of everything that is broken; the One who brings peace, the giver of life and salvation.

Peace and Holiness go along together—they are inseparable. There is no true and right peace without holiness. Hebrews 12:14 declares: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” It is very clear that we should make peace with all people and not to select. Any self-professing, Bible-believing Christian should live a life of peace and holiness; otherwise one will just end up being a compromiser and a disgrace to God’s holy name. Peace being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is an indicator of a spirit-filled and a spirit-led life. Though holiness is not perfect in this life because of our sinful flesh and earthly desires (Romans 7:21-25), there is a perfection of it in Christ Jesus. His amazing grace has paved way for everything—for our salvation and for us to come freely to Him (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We see in Matthew 5:9, Jesus declares to the people that the peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Yes, it is an identity, our identity. You cannot declare to the world: “I am a servant of God” yet you have a wrath against your neighbour; never say to God: “I am Your worshipper” yet you hate your brother (Matthew 5:23-24). God knows every motive in our hearts, and He doesn’t dwell nor delight with one that is full of hatred and strife.
Apostle Paul exhorts to the Romans: “make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Romans 14:19). Amid the persecutions, he urges them to maintain the spirit of meekness, kindness and peace, and to wage not a spirit of war and revenge to foes and persecutors. Sometimes, we think that revenge is just due to our transgressors. But he [Paul] also urges us to take not revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath; for vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:19). He is a God of Justice; all we need to do is to wait for His turn (Isaiah 30:18).
The pursuit of peace and holiness should always be among the hearts of everyone. We have read on the passage above that without which, no one will see the Lord—this is a very important warning. The absence of peace and holiness brings sin, and sin is an abomination to God because it has cost His Son’s life on the cross. On the other hand, the presence of these things brings righteousness. James 3:18 reads, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”, and so peace and holiness should always be in our pursuit. God requires these things. The church that Christ shall present to Himself is the one that is glorious, radiant, and not having a spot, blemish or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27). Many people are so deceived to the thinking that it is just fine to sin freely because the righteousness of God is upon them–but, the righteousness of God was given to us through Christ Jesus so that we may be free from the bondage of sin, not free to make sin (Romans 5:17, Romans 6:13, 1 Corinthians 1:30). We cannot be saved by good works for we are saved by grace through faith and not by works, but dwelling in sin after being saved is not a true indication of true faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); we need to work out our faith (Philippians 2:12) and live in holiness (Ephesians 5:27b). If we truly believe in God, and we love Him, we will imitate Him—who is a God of peace and holiness.

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