When God created the world he created it with peace in mind. From the moment he breathed the words, “Let there be light” he had a plan, a plan for peace.
When I think of all the ways I’ve heard people talk about the concept of peace (world peace, Greenpeace, peace of mind, etc.) I wonder how on earth the people who wrote Webster’s dictionary could narrow down a definition of the word. And in fact, they didn’t. They have five definitions listed for the word peace. I remember my dramatic debut as the angel in our church Christmas pageant who proclaimed, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men!” (See Shane’s post “Jesus brings Division” for more on this verse). This is a favorite Christmas verse and frequently misquoted to mean that God desires peace among men. What kind of peace were the angels really announcing? They were declaring and celebrating the birth of the “Prince of Peace”, the One who would fulfill the plan God had in place from before the creation of the world.
Colossians 1:15-20 ESV .. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Christ the Conquering King
When Colossians says that Jesus is the “firstborn of all creation” it means that he has the highest rank above all things. He is the image of God and we are created in his image. He is Supreme and Sovereign and our being made in the image of God was for the purpose of his glory and that we might be made whole in Him by being made like Him in spirit also, through Christ (John 3:6). God’s plan for peace from creation to the cross has always been for Christ’s reign of peace. I know it’s common for people to speak of God willing peace on earth now and among men now, and it’s also common to hear talk about peace between God and men. Jesus’ death on the cross did accomplish peace for some men (and women) with God, but that is only a part of God’s plan for peace.
1 Corinthians 15:22-28 ESV .. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
When Colossians 1:16 talks about all things being created through Jesus and for him (thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities) it ties in with this passage from 1 Corinthians. When Jesus returns he will come as a conquering King, bringing peace on earth by gathering the ones who belong to him and by quelling the rebellion of those who refused him, and they will face judgment. It will be a terrifying day that will finally end in the peace that was planned from the beginning. The peace God desires, and will bring to pass, is the end of rebellion against his throne and the means to that end is the offer of the “blood of his cross.”
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
God is patient. Our text from Colossians says, “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. The very fact that our earth is suspended in space without falling out of orbit or colliding into the sun is testimony of God’s power and patience. Our understanding of God’s plan for eternal peace should drive us to preach the good news of peace by the blood of Christ’s cross. 2 Corinthians 5:11a says, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others“.
A few months ago we visited Science World in Vancouver with our kids and we sat and watched a short documentary on volcanoes while we were there. That film reminded me again of why I fear the Lord. The temperature of lava can range anywhere from 700° C to 1200° C. There is an ocean of molten rock that lies beneath the earth’s crust known as magma. When the magma escapes through cracks in the earth’s crust it creates volcanoes. Just seeing the computer generated images of what it most likely looks like inside the center of the earth gave me chills. Our God is so mighty and yet so patient and merciful.
As we often do in our posts here, I would like to close with urging you to take the time (if you never have before) to examine your faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) in the light of God’s Word. Does your faith duplicate what Scripture says about the way a Christian’s life should look? (Look at the book of 1 John as a starting place.)
God has held things together from Day 1 of creation and his perfect peace and rest will begin shortly let’s be prepared and prepare the way together.
Group Study Questions
1. When you think of the word “Peace” what is the first thing that comes to mind? How does it line up with God’s sense of the word?
2. What is one thing you can think of in Creation that really causes you to fear the Lord?
3. In light of 2 Corinthians 5:11 (“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others“), who could you make an effort to share the gospel with this week?
Preparing the Way,