“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” are the words Paul expressed to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:3. The key words to having peace in a church are “endeavoring”, “keep”, “unity” or “bond”, and “spirit”. If you study what each of those words mean, you will see they give richness to what is being obtained – PEACE. You will readily understand peace is a product of the efforts of “endeavoring”, “keep”, “bond”, and “spirit”. Peace does not come before these things. Peace is brought into a life or relationship from commitment, love, and devotion to the God of peace and the Christ who brought peace. As Galatians 5:22,23 says, peace is a “fruit of the Spirit”.
That great exhortation in Ephesians 4:3 is something not only a church needs, but other relationships need. With all the turmoil witnessed in marriages, families, workplaces, communities, sports, etc., peace would be a welcomed guest. Although, it may be desired in all those relationships, the problem is bringing peace to relationships that have been divided for so long. Bringing peace into lustful, carnal, and selfish hearts is where the problem lies. It is difficult to have peace where peace has never lived.
The words of Colossians 3:15 are what make peace possible. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..” The peace which comes from Christ is not in the form of a written contract or agreement as some may think peace is obtained. It is humble acceptance of letting Christ lead and live. His peace must abide within the heart of those pursuing peace. This is made possible by surrendering our will to obey His will.
People who want peace often have a hard time surrendering their way. If peace is what we desire, then we must “come to the table” to resolve the conflict. Rather than trying to figure out how much we have to surrender, you have to determine what is most important – Peace or Division. Peace in any relationship is only possible in Christ. Paul shows us that in Ephesians 2:11-16. The Jews and Gentiles were divided. There was not an amendment in the land which could be created to resolve their separation. Jesus was the only solution. “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making PEACE”. (v.15)
What Jesus did to bring Jews and Gentiles together in one body, He can do to bring marriages, families, a church, a workplace, and a community together. Wherever there is a conflict, the solution is the “Prince of Peace”. Until we reconcile ourselves to this,“the peace which passeth understanding” (Philippians 4:6) will never abide in our hearts.