The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 140 of 151
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The bond of Peace.
Rom. 12: 18 says, "if it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all
men". It will be noticed, that there are two qualifying statements. "If it be possible"
suggests that there will sometimes arise conditions that will render peaceableness
impossible. "As much as lieth in you" shows that a disturbing factor may arise from
without. "Peace at any price" evidently is not a maxim of Scripture.
The complete armour of the saint includes "feet shod with the preparation of the
gospel of peace". This shows that the believer has no conflict with man, but when all has
been said, no thought of giving up an iota of truth is countenanced by the Scriptures, even
though such an attitude bring not peace, but a sword.
The bond of peace is specific. It definitely refers to Eph. 2: It is really "the bond of
the peace", that peace connected with "the creation of the two into one new man, so
making peace" (Eph. 2: 14, 15). There we have the creation of the one body, and this is
the first item in the sevenfold unity of the Spirit. To attempt to introduce I Cor. 12: in
face of I Cor. 13: 10 ("in part", I Cor. 13: 10, and "in particular", I Cor. 12: 27, are
translators of the same word) is to introduce the passing things of childhood into the
experience of "the perfect man" (Eph. 4: 13). This will not keep the unity of Eph. 4:
This "peace of God" is to act as "umpire" (not "rule", Col. 3: 15), and is inseparable
from the "calling" of the "one body" as it is written:--
"Let the peace of God be as the umpire in your hearts, to the which also ye are called
in one body."
To allow any tampering with the sevenfold unity of Eph. 4:, to add to,
to subtract from, or to agree to differ, is not allowing the peace of God to be umpire,
but our own ideas of fellowship, usefulness, charity, etc. To deny the one body, its one
baptism and its one hope of glory, is to decide against the "ruling" of this very peace of
God, and shatters all semblance of true unity. The unity that we are enjoined to keep is
perfect and sevenfold, viz.:--
There are not two baptisms or two hopes any more than there are two Lords.
To us has been committed a sacred trust, a "good deposit" (I Tim. 6: 20;
II Tim. 1: 12-14, 2: 2). It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful--peaceable,
useful, charitable by all means, so long as the first element of stewardship be untouched.
Keeping the unity of the Spirit is part of walking worthy of our calling (Eph. 4: 1-6).
Let us not be tempted to "come down" from our glorious position, but humbly, yet
resolutely, set ourselves by the grace given us and by the power that worketh in us to
endeavour to keep as a sacred trust the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.