Shelby G. Floyd
To know and experience the peace of God is something that every person should seek as a priority in life. “The peace of God” can only come from “the God of peace.” This is stated very clearly in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The “peace of God” will act as a guard of our heart and mind: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 7). And then when we “put in practice” what God teaches us by the apostles and prophets, the “God of peace” will be with us to sustain that peace: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
Notice that Paul says what we have seen, heard and received from him, if we will put it into practice, “the peace of God” and “the God of peace” will be with us. How then can we maintain this peace that passes all understanding? In this context Paul outlines several principles that will help all of us to “keep the peace.”
First, in order to enjoy the peace of God, one must “stand fast in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1). “Stand fast” is from [ςτεκω-steko], and means to stand firm, persist, persevere, like a soldier holding the line against the enemy. No one can enjoy the peace of God unless that person takes a strong stand on Christian principles against our archenemy Satan himself. When each Christian decides to so stand fast in the Lord it should be with the same spirit that Captain Parker’s words on the Village Green in Lexington, Massachusetts inspired the ragtag army in 1776: “Stand your ground, no fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war let it begin here.” But the words of the inspired apostle Paul who was greater than Captain Parker should inspire all of us to take our stand in the Lord: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand”(Ephesians 6:12-13).
God wants his people to so stand fast in the Lord so they can gain the victory that is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that this exhortation to stand fast is repeatedly stated in the New Testament:
1. Stand Firm in the Faith: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 NIV).
2. Be Steadfast and Unmovable: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).
3. Stand Firm for Freedom: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 ESV).
4. Stand Firm in One Spirit and Mind: “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” ( Philippians 1:27 NASB).
5. Stand Fast and Hold the Divine Traditions: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NKJV).
Let us then my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, so stand fast in the Lord so we can know the peace of God that comes from the God of peace, and enjoy the victory that he has promised us when we are faithful.
Copyright © 2009 2015 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142