Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
goodwill toward men! (Luke 2:14)


One Dead in Slaying

Accident Claims Two

Fire Destroys Home

Taxes Increase

Incomes Decline

Break-and-enter on Rise


Peace!? How can anyone say "peace on earth"? Just look at what's going on around us, there is no peace.

In our world gone mad, the message so often proclaimed at Christmas appears to be no more than wishful thinking or distant hope. So which is it, a present promise, a distant hope or fantasy? To answer this question we need to examine many scripture passages concerning peace.

The angels spoke the message of peace on earth at the birth of Jesus. Hundreds of years before, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed...

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

The angel's message of peace is tied directly to this prophesied Prince of Peace -- Jesus. His kingdom was to be characterized by peace, increasing peace, peace that would come about because the Lord would perform it. This is not the artificial and often superficial peace which the world speaks of, rather this is God given peace.

So who will share in this peace? Everyone? Look again at the scriptures...

"There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22)

"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 57:21)

Obviously the peace spoken of will not be shared in by the wicked. Yet each us was born in sin (Romans 3:23) and were enemies of God (Colossians 1:21) -- truly wicked in our rebellion against God. So who can share in this peace?

John the Baptist was spoken of as one who would, as a prophet of the Highest, "give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:76-79) John preached a message of repentance and hope through the Messiah who was coming (Luke 3:8,16). The way of peace John spoke of was again linked with Jesus. Peace must begin with finding peace with God. Our sin and rebellion against God destroyed all peace with God, Jesus came to restore that peace.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)

In the preceding passage we are told that there was a price for this peace. The price was the shed blood of Jesus Christ paying the penalty for our sin and rebellion (Isaiah 53:5). The gift of God's salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) and peace comes to wicked men now made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Jew and Gentile alike (Ephesians 2:14-17).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

This salvation and peace, so great and free, is costly as we must forsake all to follow Him.

"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26-33)

By God's grace, we have peace now. When God makes us a new creation in Him we are no longer carnally minded (leading to death) but spiritually minded...

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace . (Romans 8:5-6)

We, who have been freed from the curse of God's law, now uphold it (Romans 3:31) and seek to follow God's ways. Why? Because our trust is in Him alone.

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. (Psalms 119:165) You will keep him in perfect peace , whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

This peace from God is a calm assurance that nothing happens where God is not in control. It's a personal peace for all God's people.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

The inner nature of this peace was emphasized by Jesus when he contrasted the promised tribulations, and even personal opposition we will encounter for the sake of His gospel, to the peace which never passes away.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33) Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to `set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and `a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' (Matthew 10:34-36).

The message of "peace on earth" we need to be proclaiming is the true message of peace -- peace with God only through Jesus Christ (Romans 10:15).

Yes, things will go wrong, evil men will grow worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13), yet we who trust in Lord have now, in increasing measure, peace on earth.

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 1:3)

Written by Brent MacDonald of Lion Tracks Ministries. (c) 1995-1997. Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.