“Make every effort to keep unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
In Ephesians 4:1-3, the Apostle Paul lists five key Christian lifestyle practices. Four practices are to “[b]e completely humble, gentile, patient and motivated by love.”
The fifth Christian lifestyle practice is for church members to be united by the Holy Spirit through everyone’s peace bond.
When we trust Jesus Christ to be our Savior, God puts his Holy Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit leads a Christian to be a local church member. Jesus prayed that Christians would be as united with each other as Jesus was united with his Father.
The bond of peace is very important. The English word peace is a translation of the Greek word eirene and the Hebrew word shalom. These peace words reflect the absence of war or conflict in a person’s life.
The Hebrew and Greek words of peace also reflect special religious roles in a person’s life expressed in three life relationships.
The first peace is a Christian’s close relationship with God. Christians have peace with God because they asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. This peace relationship grows as the Christian reads scripture, prays and relates daily with God.
The second peace is a Christian’s close relationships with members of one’s church, family and community. When church members are individually at “peace” with other church members, the church is orderly and effective in its ministry in the community.
The third peace is Christians’ positive relationship with who they are. With God’s help, Christians realize they are living very important lives, and each is the only person who can live that life. Christians, with God’s help, are at peace mentally with who they are.
The Apostle Paul’s bond of peace is peace’s religious role. Thus a Christian could be at peace even during a war. Christians at peace unite with the Holy Spirit in their church ministry. Peace, eirene and shalom to you.
Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo.
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