“But the fruit of the Spirit is…peace,” (Galatians 5:22)
Mentioned 95 times in the New Testament-
εἰρήνη (eirēnē) n. fem. peace. The state of well-being and concord.
In the Septuagint, eirēnē is the usual translation of שָׁלוֺם (šālôm, “soundness, peace”). In the NT, eirēnē also carries some of the meaning of well-being expressed by šālôm. Thus, the phrase “go in peace” can function as a farewell phrase that simply means “be well.”
“…grounded in the Hebrew concept of shalom rather than in the Greek and particularly in the Stoic idea of serenity, a quiet mind, or the absence of activity and especially the absence of pain and other disturbances. The Jewish concept by contrast has to do with personal wholeness, with healthy relationships, in other words with positive relational concepts rather than the absence of opposition or pain or trouble…placed in right relationship with God who is a God of peace…which then affects the way Christians relate to each other and to outsiders…,” (Witherington, 1998).
Going back to day one of our LIVE study, we remember that Paul prefaces the fruit of the Spirit teaching by saying in Galatians 5:1; 13–
“1 For freedom Christ has set us free…13 for you were called to freedom brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
In context peace relates then to the use of “Christ-Freedom”, to our wholeness, and the way in which we are intentional about the relationships in which we are in & those we are building. In turn, the only way this can truly be accomplished is through the oneness we have with God…
“To have peace with God…is to be reconciled to him, and it is those who have been reconciled through Christ that have greatest cause to rejoice in God,” (Bruce, 1982).
This oneness with God produced through the reconciliation Christ brings, coupled with the movement of His Spirit within, bearing the fruit of peace, comes as a result of being rooted & grounded- by living the Psalms 1:3 life-
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Our “planted” life is thus rooted in the desire to see others benefit from the Life-Giver, Jesus Christ, releasing His life through us!
“…the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20b).
Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit, peace, produced through our reconciled & rooted life, has the ability to bring strength into relationship. It has the power to silence division. That even in the midst of pain and trouble a better way is revealed, a way that says be well, be whole, be at peace.
In turn our freedom, our deliverance from bondage, our life, is the very ground in which the seeds of the Spirit are planted, and have the power to yield a harvest of plentiful life-giving fruit for the Kingdom.
Consider this passage today…
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” (Ephesians 2:10).
As you ponder this today, the question remains how will LIVE-PEACE? In what way is God desiring to use your fruit-bearing life to bring His Kingdom come to the ones who surround you? What good works are to be accomplished through you today?
Selah…סֶלָה, be silent, pause, and consider…
This is The Story He wrote…
F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1982), 252.
Ben Witherington III, Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 409.
Major Contributors and Editors, “Selah,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).