1 Cor. 7:15 “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”
God has called you to peace. What a statement to conclude thoughts on a topic where volatility, conflict and anything but peace tends to be the case: The tragic dissolution of a marriage between a Believer and an Unbeliever. And yet, in this most unlikely setting, the calling of Believers to be people of peace comes to the fore.
As we continue to look at this topic of knowing the Christian’s calling, those things ALL Christians are called to as a place of focus rather than trying to divine some individual calling, I am struck by this reference. But it is in keeping with the general tenor of the Christian life, repeated throughout the New Testament. The Gospel itself is the “good news of peace through Jesus Christ.” Peace with God in submission to His right to rule us and our abandoning our war against Him in continuing in unbelief and sin (Acts 10:36). Paul’s most common greeting in his letters begin with “grace and peace.” He calls the Christian life “the way of peace” (Rom. 3:17), and we are repeatedly admonished to pursue peace – especially among our Christian brothers and sisters. Indeed, the very fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace…(Gal. 5:22). In Romans 16:20 God is titled “The God of peace”, as His victory over Satan brings all things back into right relationship to Himself. To a state of peace.
And yet how many today, even among professing Believers do not seem to consider the conscious pursuit of peace part of their calling? Social media is lit up constantly by Christians agitated with life, the World and even one another. Displaying anything but “peace” as an abiding state or mind, let alone seeking peace.
Don’t get me wrong, we are not to BE at peace with our sins. In that sense, we are to be ever fighting the “good fight of faith.” We must contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We must not compromise with truth or injustice. But if we are inwardly riled up all the time about all sorts of matters, in and outside of the Church, and especially if we find ourselves easily tolerating broken relationships among the saints because we are not actively seeking peace with other Believers – something is tragically wrong. We have abandoned our calling.
I am reminded of the admonition of
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Now that levies a great responsibility upon us. Do we take this call seriously? Do I consciously think, so far as it depends upon ME, I am to live peaceably with ALL? Or do I see that as a nice suggestion, while waiting for others to be at peace with me?
Brothers and sisters, this is our calling. To think carefully about how we must seek out peace, even as we avoid compromise with Biblical truth and practice. To rue division that is not absolutely necessary. To be willing to set aside some opinions and so-called rights, because peace in the Body of Christ is more important than making my point. And being the agent who tries to bring peace, even when true but conflicting convictions are in the cross-hairs – like those in
and other places.
We are called to lay down arms in our striving with God over who has the right of supremacy over our lives first and foremost. To be reconciled in peace to Him through Jesus Christ. And then, so seek out and promote peace with all those joined to Him in genuine faith. And to bring that heart of peace, that heart that lives at peace without internal agitation – to the World.
DO you know your calling, to peace?