In what way is peace a fruit of the Holy Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit—the effects the Holy Spirit has on the life of a believer—generally relate to our relationships with others. Among other characteristics, Galatians 5:22-23 lists love, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness, all of which must be expressed toward an object. It's not enough to be kind in one's heart—one must show kindness to others.
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Peace is no exception. Biblical peace is more than the cessation of hostilities. It is harmony, safety, friendliness, and relational tranquility. Humans are incapable of creating such conditions, as five minutes' viewing of any newscast will prove. Only God can establish peace.
The peace of God begins with God's making peace between Himself and mankind. A true state of peace requires the unity of at least two parties. It also requires sacrifice as self-interest is subordinated to the good of the relationship. The peace between men and God is no different. God's contribution was to send Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), to submit His life (Isaiah 53:5). When we repent and respond in faith to the gift of God, He saves us, and peace is born (Romans 5:1).
When two people are at peace with God, they will also be at peace with each other. Jesus told the seventy disciples, "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you" (Luke 10:5-6). If the owner of the home had peace with God, he would naturally be at peace with God's messenger. Romans 14:13-19 shows that those who value the kingdom of God will live in peace. And Ephesians 2:14 says that Jesus is more than just an example of peace or the bestower of it; He is our peace.
God's peace will guard our hearts and minds during times of trouble (Philippians 4:7). It is a peace unlike anything the world can give and is the antidote to fear and anxiety (John 14:47). John 16:33 says, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." Peace with God overshadows conflict in the world.
Romans 8:6 explains exactly where peace comes from: "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." It's "perfect peace," according to Isaiah 26:3. As we allow the Spirit to develop fruit in us, we will have real peace with God and each other.
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