Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Witness in the Spirit: Peace

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… (Galatians 5:22 NIV)

Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. When you enter a house, first say, “Peace to this house.” If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. (Luke 10:3, 5, 6 NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… (Romans 5:1 NIV)

The result of justification is peace with God. The fruit of the Spirit is peace, and the first words we are to use in house-to-house evangelism are “Peace to this house.”

It may sound funny to say that we fight the spiritual war with peace, but that is just the way we do it. Jesus said to Pilate,

“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36 NIV)

We, as evangelical Christians, have long ago abandoned the idea of evangelism associated with the Conquistadors or the Crusades. We are convinced of 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (NIV)

We do not use weapons of war in evangelism. But neither do we consistently present the good news in peace, as we should. We are all aware of evangelists, mass and personal, who seem to present the Gospel with a belligerent attitude. We must avoid this. The Prince of Peace went to the cross peacefully. The message of the cross should be presented peacefully.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:2 NIV)

(An excerpt from On Being a Christian by Jim Wilson)

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