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The New Testament often instructs believers to live in peace, but this is easier said than done. Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., explains how we can be obedient to God in this area.
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Today’s big question: how do we live in peace?
In many of the New Testament epistles, grace and peace are declared to the saints for a reason. Through Jesus Christ, Christians not only have grace from God but full reconciliation—peace—with God. This peace should be an example to everyone as Paul instructs believers to “live in peace.”
Right after his instruction to “live in peace,” Paul reminds believers of the peace that we have with God. Paul commands us to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), and imitating the peace of God should be no exception. But how do we accomplish this? After all, living in peace is no easy task even for Christians, as I am sure you have observed at times in your life.
Well, Paul has already given the answer: believers should also “be of one mind.” Whenever two individuals are in conflict with one another, the best place to start is to find common ground—something that both can agree upon. Logically, it makes sense for Christians to be like-minded since they believe in the same God and faith. Paul states this logical conclusion in the following verses:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. . . . till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:4–6, 13; emphasis added)
Since there is one faith, there will be unity in this faith, so we should be like-minded. Whenever Christians have conflicts, we should remember that we all are pressing and working toward the same goal. Also, Romans 12:18 states, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (emphasis added). The best way for a believer and unbeliever to make peace is for the unbeliever to receive the truth of the gospel.
Furthermore, Romans 8:6 states that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” We are not alone in this task, as the Holy Spirit dwells within believers, and He will help us as long as we rely on Him rather than our own strength. Living in peace is hard but it can be accomplished in Christ. As we go about our lives, let us strive for peace by desiring it in everything we do.
Today’s big idea: Christians can live in peace by being like-minded.
What to pray: ask God to help you as you work toward the same goal as other believers.