February 9, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
The first phrase of our verse today sets forth a command that is essential to all interpersonal relationships. Follow peace with all… The word “follow” means to go or come after (i.e.. a person or thing proceeding ahead). The command then is simple. Find those who exemplify peace, bring about peace, live in peace, propagate peace and follow them. In doing so, peace will become a normality not an oddity.
Being at peace is to be a priority for believers in Christ. After all, the first mention of peace in the New Testament was spoken by the Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He said…Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9) Paul wrote in Romans 12:18; If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. James spoke of the importance of peace: James 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (this means to put peace in shoe leather). Even the sometimes-contentious Peter wrote of the pursuit of peace; 1 Peter 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
Yes, a thousand times yes, peace is paramount, or should be, for those in Christ. In relationships which is better, peace or conflict? Peace, right? But such peace is elusive, it must be worked for, prayed for, searched for, and ultimately given and received. Peace does not mean agreement, subjugation, or loss of individualism. It means in our differences there is peace. Peaceful words and ways.
One of the best ways to learn such peace is to follow those who are peaceful. Walk in their steps, use their words, and, like them, accommodate peace willingly. For peace is one of those qualities that is much more “caught” than “taught”. The ability to choose who to follow is one of the great freedoms of life and living. It is given by God and yet left up to the freewill of individuals. In life there are peacemakers and there are those always creating a fight, even when none is needed. The Bible Edge is to follow peace.
Anyone can fight but it is the rare individual that can bring forth peace. In a world wherein the next statement seems impossible, let it be stressed. Peace can be maintained even with those with whom we vehemently disagree. Jesus disagreed with almost everyone, but in every situation He was peaceful. If there are no role models of peace in life, then do that which He invited Matthew, Peter, Andrew, John and all the rest to do…Follow me. After all, Isaiah stated of the Lord that He would be, among other things The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
William Howe, Ph.D.