Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Peace with all men
Daily Reading: (Hebrews 12:14):
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
If we already have peace given to us by Jesus, why should we then have to seek or pursue it? In a perfect world (heaven) we won’t but we live in a fallen world that has been marred by sin. There are people who do not know the Lord’s peace and there are others who have it but don’t live in it.
Did you know that before the Fall of Man there was peace in the world? The Bible offers a glimpse of how restoration in Jesus’ kingdom will once again restore peace.
There will be a full restoration of Eden that was lost with sin (Revelation 22). Adam’s disobedience overthrew the order of things. But Christ will bring back everything to its condition and order.
Hebrews 12:14: NASB: "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."
“Pursue [(diōkō) seek after eagerly, pursue] peace with all men”. What this tells us is that peace with each other is not an absolute like it is with our peace with God.
So to begin with we need to strive for peace with all people. But there is a second instruction in Hebrews 12:14 as well- “And the sanctification”
The question that comes is what does sanctification have to do with pursuing peace with all men?
What is sanctification? Hagiasmos – the state of purity, holiness. An advanced definition comes from the root of the word sanctify which means to set apart to God for His use.
“To see God, in the Hebrew phrase, is to enjoy Him.” We enjoy God because Christ has purified us and made us whole. We are set apart to be used by God because we are in Christ. Because of our positional holiness as being found in Christ it is now possible to eagerly pursue behavioral holiness.
“To be holy” (1 Peter 1:15) it is our calling to live in our Christ given identity and in doing so will experience the enjoyment of time spent with God, (Hebrews 12:14).
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord,” is not a threat but what will result in living in our newness of life.
How do I eagerly pursue peace with someone who is not bent on peace toward me? Peter addresses this in 1 Peter 3:8-22. It is a rather lengthy passage so if you would like to better understand verse 15 and how to do that you can in Church Membership: God’s Good Purpose Fulfilled in You.
This is our calling to suffer unjustly (1 Peter 2:21), not to hurt back those who hurt us (1 Peter 2:23), and this is not a rule to keep but a miracle to be experienced, it's a grace to be received (1 Peter 2:20). Peace with all men comes by way of not repaying evil for evil.
To conclude with Jesus says something about those who would pursue peace and they are called the peacemakers.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Blessed (makarios): supremely blessed, fortunate, well-off, happy. You might remember that Greek word from our 7 Blessings of Revelation Series.
A defining characteristic of peace makers is that they are supremely blessed, fortunate and happy.
Who are the peacemakers? We are given the answer in 1 John 3:2, “they will be called children of God”.
Question: So who are the peacemakers? Answer: Children of God. All believers are the peacemakers because the very peace of Jesus has been given to us.
Do you see yourself as Christ has made you to be, a peacemaker? One who is supremely blessed because you are a child of God?
The wonderful thing about this is as the world grows more violent and protests and riots become more of the norm you have been gifted as a peacemaker. As a child of God you can show the world the path of peace. Will you see turmoil and violence and chaos as an opportunity before you to be the very opportunity to pursue peace with others so that those who don’t know God might discover that peace is found in Jesus.