THE PEACE OF GOD
by Archibald Alexander
There are three words, pregnant with precious and important meaning, commonly used by the apostles in their salutations and benedictions, GRACE, MERCY, and PEACE. These words include everything which man needs or can desire.
Peace is the legacy which Christ gave to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." And after his resurrection, the first time he met with his disciples when assembled together, he said, "Peace be unto you." He gives peace not as the world gives. He is the PRINCE OF PEACE, and his gospel is the "gospel of peace." It is called "the peace of God," because he is its author. It is a sweet and gentle stream which flows from the fountain of life beneath his throne. Happy is he who has received this heavenly gift; it will, in the midst of external storms and troubles, preserve his mind in a tranquil state. It is independent of external circumstances. It is most exquisitely enjoyed in times of affliction and persecution. "In the world you shall have tribulation; but these things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace." It is a fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace." It includes reconciliation with God. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Peace of conscience is a fruit of reconciliation with God. The blood which reconciles, when sprinkled on the conscience, produces a sweet peace which can be obtained in no other way. If the atonement of Christ satisfies the law which condemned us, and we are assured that this atonement is accepted for us, conscience, which before condemned, as being the echo of the law, is now pacified.
The peace of God also includes freedom from jarring, discordant passions of the mind. The wicked, however prosperous externally, can have no true peace within. Their ambition and pride and avarice, and love of ease and carnal indulgence, can never be harmonized. One may be the master-passion, but the others will arise and create disturbance and turmoil within.
The only passion which effectually harmonizes the discordant passions of human nature, is the love of God. Wherever this is introduced, it will not only be predominant, but bring all other desires into willing subjection. The peace of God is not a mere negative blessing, consisting in exemption from the misery of discord; it is a positive enjoyment of the purest, sweetest kind. It is a foretaste of the bliss of heaven. Nothing on earth is so delightful. It is therefore said to "pass understanding." No one could have thought man's miserable soul could possess such enjoyment in this world. But why is so little known of the peace of God--in the experience of professing Christians? I leave everyone to answer for himself.