Whenever a group of sinners gather together, arguments and disharmony are a natural result.
However, when the group is empowered by the Spirit and mutually committed to obeying the word, a different atmosphere is created like no other place on earth.
The present command in 2 Corinthians 13:11 to “be continually living in peace” is not a reference to an individual’s peace with God through redemption, but a practical, corporate peace that is to be maintained by individual commitments to obey this command for His reputation’s sake.
The New Testament was written for the church, for corporate obedience. It is how we are to live together, not just privately, with the Lord.
Paul wrote, “Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom 14:19). Even in the most contentious relationship between the early Christian Jews and the Gentile believers, the objective in the church body was to practice peace: “He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Eph 2:16).
The “new man” is not an individual believer but a new body of believers who are at peace with each other as they are at peace with Christ. If Jews and Gentiles can live at peace, any group can.
The command is reiterated in Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body and be thankful.” This is also a plural command for a group to obey together. The rule of peace must govern all gatherings of believers.
Anything that would break this peace should be discouraged. Disagreements must be discussed under the umbrella of the rule of peace. When peace is broken, Christ is not honored, His church is disgraced, and His Spirit is destroyed.
“Live in peace” might mean giving up selfishness, pride, self–exaltation, conceit, and independence in order to keep peace. It requires a trust in God’s word that this command is of high value to Christ. Plus, it comes with a special promise: “The God of love and peace with be with you.”
“Lord, You have given me such amazing peace in my spirit, and now You ask me to be just as much at peace with my brothers and sisters in Christ. ”
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