“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”Romans 14:19
Let us follow after the things that make for peace. It is so easy to provoke others to anger where bitterness can take root within a person. Sometimes one cannot even remember what caused the rift between two individuals. The Apostle Paul calls these doubtful disputations, for it is the personal belief of an individual in how they should behave rather than the described law of the Lord. As Christians we forget how God deals with each individual differently in regard to our behavior and our walk as a Christian. These debates can bring heated arguments that can turn into anger. Pointing fingers and judging is not the way towards peace, yet many Christians are doing just that to obtain some kind of objective that may not even be spiritual but carnal in nature. Anything that is carnal promotes strife within the body of Christ because it is done in the flesh. God has brought us out of these things, yet we become entangled with them again. As a Christian we should be standing in the liberty where Christ hath freed us from these types of bondages.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”Galatians 5:1
The yoke of bondage is where you are worn down by abuses and certain kinds of lust. The apostle Paul spoke about these things to the Galatians.
The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying’s, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, [Galatians 5:19-21]
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, [Galatians 5:22].
Look carefully upon the fruit of the Spirit as Paul stated, “against such there is no law.” There is no law for this is the characteristic of Christ. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith, [see Galatians 3:24]. The bible tells us that all are under sin so that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe [see Galatians 3:22].
In today’s world, we are not addressing moral obligations but the law of moralism that marks the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. This is not necessarily based upon biblical viewpoint as some claim it to be. We must learn and know that a set of rules enacted by society and enforced by its courts is not always obeyed. Israel along with America is experiencing cultural war that can shake the foundation of democracy itself. Sociologist James Davison Hunter said “Culture wars always precede shooting wars. They don’t necessarily lead to a shooting war, but you never have a shooting war without a culture war prior to it, because culture provides the justifications for violence.” I bring this to your attention because we are all witnessing the shooting war right now. No matter what you believe, we all need to step back and rethink our actions. Have we forgotten the God of our Salvation?
“Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?”Jeremiah 7:19
We have not considered God’s anger in the past, and we live now in the present through the grace of God so all can be saved. Do they not provoke themselves to confusion of their own faces means that man is going their own ways and making their own laws to justify themselves. No one inclined their ear to the voice of the Lord during Jeremiah’s time. The Israelites did not walk in the Lord God’s way after coming out of Egypt. Many of us may still be in Egypt following after our own lusts and desires. What did God promise Jeremiah?
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”Jeremiah 7:23
It shall be well with you if you walk in the way God commanded. We shall be his people if we obey His Voice. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” [John 14:6]. No one can come to the father God any other way but through Christ. We must walk in the way of the love of Christ, then we shall be at peace with each other. We live by faith and not by our own works. Jesus told his disciples that “it is the spirit that giveth life, the flesh profited nothing. The words that I speak unto you they are spirit, and they are life,” [see John 6:63]. Some of the disciples did not believe in Jesus. Have you looked at chapter 7 of Gospel of John in verse 7? Jesus makes this profound statement, that “the world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” Jesus testifies how the works of the world are evil. Can you understand the reason why the apostle Paul tells the Romans to walk honestly and to not walk in strife and envying, but to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts, [see Romans 13:12-14]. We are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of the light of Jesus. We have been called unto liberty in Christ Jesus. Freedom from oppression and evil. Freedom from the control of substance abuse.
The things that make for peace is what we learn from Christ who loved us and provided the way to reconciliation. To walk in love and not destroy our weaker brother. We are to edify each other, for Christ has died for all and He is our peace.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”John 14:27
Jesus gives us peace and we are not to be troubled within our heart, nor be afraid of anything. Let us remember not to sin against our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Paul tells us not to wound their weak conscience because if we do, we sin against Christ [see 1st Corinthians 8:12]. Regain peace with yourself and your brother and sister by asking for forgiveness. Go to your closet to pray and ask God to help you through to peace within your own soul and those around you.