The Rule of the Peace of Christ

“And let the peace of Christ rule in y our hearts to the which also ye were called in one body, and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15).
Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9:6. He was a man of peace and so must be His disciples. We are commanded “Be at peace among yourselves” that we “follow after peace with all men” and “so then, as much as in you is, be at peace with all men” (1 Thes. 5:13; Heb. 12:14; Rom. 14:19). One of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit is peace (Gal. 5:23). God’s people must love and seek peace (1 Pet. 3:11).

We know peace is not always possible for while Jesus is Prince of Peace, he brought division in relationships which his disciples sustain to others. “Think not that I cam to bring peace,” he said, “I came to bring a sword…” We cannot seek peace at any price for that is contrary to the leadership of Jesus. We must follow Christ whatever the price and then seek peace — in that order. The words “If it be possible” tells us it is not always possible for peace to exist because not all men will live in peace. There has scarcely been any extended time of peace in the life of any man. Nations will not always be at peace with each other nor will individuals always be at peace. On the night of our Lord’s betrayal, he solemnly told disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you that in me ye may have peace” (Jn. 16:33).

The Ephesian writer speaks of Christ’s rule in peace when he wrote, “For he is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Consider how Christ is the author of peace.

Christ is the author of peace because he broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile in the cross (Eph. 2:14f). When Christ joined Jew and Gentile together in one body (making them fellow-citizens, fellow-heirs, fellow members and fellow-partakers of God’s promises), he therein made peace.

He is the author of peace in making possible man’s reconciliation to God. Of this, the Roman writer spoke when he said “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

He is the author of peace in that by forgiveness man can be at peace with himself. An accusing conscience allows no rest to a troubled mind; a conscience which has had the assurance of forgiveness through the written
the word can have peace of mind.

So, the peace of Christ is to rule in our hearts. The word “rule” suggests an umpire or referee. The peace of Christ is to hold sway — even amid the troubling matters of life.

“To the which, ye are called in one body.” These words “to the which” tells us we are called to the peace which he has given command to allow to rule in our hearts. Those who allow the peace of Christ to rule in their hearts will come to appreciate Paul’s words “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall fill your hearts and guard your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

Jim McDonald