Wednesday, 17 May 2017
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Paul had just implored his reader to “put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Now, in addition to that, he says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” In Philippians 4:7, he told the congregation that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In order to have the peace of God, it is necessary to have a knowledge of what Christ has done, and of what He promises for us because of what He has done. When we possess that knowledge, we can then let it rule in our hearts.
The word Paul uses for “rule” is used just this once in Scripture. It means “to be an umpire,” or “to arbitrate.” We are to let the peace of God be the umpire of our actions. But again, we can only do this if we have a knowledge of what God has done, is doing, and will do for us.
Through reading and understanding Scripture, we can see the ultimate end which is promised to us. In this, if we can just keep our eyes on what we know lies ahead because of Christ, we should be able to obtain and live in this peace. The saints at Paul’s time only had the Old Testament Scriptures. Today we have the whole counsel of God. In reading the words of the Bible, and in holding fast to what is recorded there about what lies ahead for the redeemed, we truly can possess the peace of God, even in times of the greatest trials and struggles imaginable.
With this knowledge, and the peace that comes along with it, we can comfort one another. We can reassure those who are downtrodden, and we can remind them of the glory which lies ahead. It is to this peace of God, ruling in our hearts, that Paul says we “were called in one body.” We are called to possess a knowledge of the word, and then to share it with others. Paul’s noting of the “one body” is reminding us of the words of verse 11 where he cast aside all external distinctions and said that we are all of Christ equally. There should be no division in this one body because of these supposed differences.
In this state of knowledge and harmony with other believers, we are to “be thankful.” Knowing the good end which is promised for us, and knowing that we are not below any other believers, but that we possess the same promised blessings as they do, we are to rejoice and give thanks to God. Paul will next expand on this as he shares the means of accomplishing these things.
Life application: Christ has overcome the world. He has also promised that we who are in Him will also overcome the world. Truly then, why should we be overly despondent about what happens in this life. It is natural to mourn when sadness comes, but in our times of sadness, or other negative emotions, we should not let them get the best of us. Instead, we should be uplifted in Christ at all times because of the surety we possess.
Lord God, we who have trusted in Christ Jesus possess the greatest surety of all. He defeated death, having come out of the grave in fulfillment of Scripture. Now, we are promised the same good end. We too shall overcome death and be raised to eternal life in a setting which we were originally intended to enjoy. Knowing this, how can we walk around mourning about life’s troubles? Let us rejoice and be glad in the glory that lies ahead! Amen.