Matthew Henry teaches us, “The way to preserve peace among relations and neighbors is to make the best of every thing, not to tell others what has been said or done against them when it is not at all necessary to their safety, nor to take notice of what has been said or done against them when it is not at all necessary to their safety, nor to take notice of what has been said or done against ourselves, but to excuse both, and put the best construction upon them.” He continues:
- It was an oversight; therefore overlook it.
- It was done through forgetfulness; therefore forget it.
- It perhaps made nothing of you; do you make nothing of it?”
- The ripping up of faults is the ripping out of love. “
…and nothing tends more to the separating of friends, and setting them at variance, than the repeating of matters that have been in variance; for they commonly lose nothing in the repetition, but the things themselves are aggravated and the passions about them revived and exasperated. The best method of peace is by an amnesty or act of oblivion.
The long awaited Messiah would come as recorded in Luke 1:79 with a purpose “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of PEACE.”
Luke 2:14 records the words of angels,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The word, “peace” means “to join.” This ‘peace on earth’ joined us to God, in fact every barrier to peace would be removed in Christ, who was born of the virgin Mary.
The first barrier to be removed was” sin imputed” to us from God Himself. This means that God had judged all of mankind to be “under sin,” that He might have mercy on all. See Romans 11:32, Galatians 3:22. To the person who simply believes on Christ, righteousness is now imputed to them. The “Sin imputed” barrier is removed by the greater judgment..
Barrier two, the “old sin nature” of man stands in the way, inhibiting peace. Because of this nature, inherited genetically, mankind sins. Christ bare our personal sins on the cross, in 1 Peter 2:24. Barrier two is removed.
Our natural birth into a body of death makes the third barrier. Sin’s wage is death but God offers us eternal life. For a believer, our soul never dies. Yes the body still dies, but we will get a new body at the resurrection.
Fourth barrier, emotional rebellion against spiritual authority, or otherwise known as “iniquity” must be removed. Caused by an infection from the serpent in Genesis, people rebel and feel they have been treated unfairly. Through the cross, Christ took away our iniquity. He bare it and does not impute it to us. Iniquity is removed through the intake of categorical doctrine which gives us absolute and total liberation.
All thoughts on barriers taken from Carl H. Stevens booklet, “Removing the Barriers to Reconciliation.”
Sadly, peace will by taken one day. Revelation 6:4 declares:
“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. ”
When this terrible red horse and rider go out during the Great Tribulation time, peace will be removed and men will “butcher” one another (from the Greek text.)
Friends never underestimate the value of peace. Charles Spurgeon speaks of a time 1000 years after the Tribulation when “there will be no more sea.” He remarks how ” The sea brings separation between us. It also speaks of change, fluctuation, and instability; subject to wind and the moon. But we will have “unbroken fellowship between all the redeemed family.” “…all mournful change shall be unknown, and with it all fear of storm, to wreck our hopes and drown our joy. “See Revelation 21
Christmas means “peace on Earth, good will toward Men.” The Prince of Peace has come to bring peace. He will save His people from their sin. Love Ya, Merry Christmas