Tag Archives: Christian Maturity

Peace of God, and Peace with God

Christian Peace

Peace with God, and the Peace of God

The word peace in the Bible, from the Greek word (EIREINEI), refers to a mental attitude of tranquility based on a relationship with God in the Christian way of life. It is a word which describes the result of a person’s correct response to God’s grace.

The Bible uses peace in two ways. There is personal peace with God which comes when a person accepts Jesus Christ as savior. Then, there is the peace of God which is available on a daily basis as the believer participates in the Christian way of life according to the plan of God.

So, where you find peace mentioned in the Bible it refers either to the reconciliation of a Christian in salvation, as in Ephesians 2:14,17, or to the mental attitude found in the believers described in 2 Timothy 1:7.

Peace with God – Peace in Salvation

Peace with God is never available apart from grace. The cross of Christ is the focal point of grace and is the source of peace. Jesus Christ is our eternal peace.

Romans 5:1Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace removed the barrier and made peace between man and God. So, when the unbeliever responds to grace by faith, the result is peace.

Ephesians 2:14-18 provides a good illustration of how God made it possible for anyone to have peace with God, with special emphasis on the fact that such different people as Jews and Gentiles have a clear opportunity for accepting Christ.

Verse 14 deals with peace as a product of reconciliation. Verse 15 explains that the enmity between God and man, that which we call the barrier, was abolished once and for all. Verses 16 to 18 explain that the enmity has been slain for both Jews and Gentiles so that now those who were near to God, the Jews, and those who were far off, non Jews, have been brought into union with Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Peace in the Christian Way of Life

In our lifetime we can experience peace on a daily basis. When the believer responds by faith to grace, God provides many blessings which can result in great inner happiness.

Isaiah 26:3,4Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

In the Christian way of life, peace comes through fellowship with God followed by daily growth and advancement in spiritual things which brings stability, a relaxed mental attitude, orientation to the plan of God, occupation with Christ and the ability to employ faith rest principles in all areas of life.

Read Philippians 4:6-9

Peace or tranquility, precedes the enjoyment of prosperity. It is part of the preparation for prosperity. One must have peace to have the capacity for prosperity. God may hold prosperity back until there is the capacity to enjoy it.

Acts 9:31Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.

Read Jeremiah 29:1-7

Any loss of peace is followed by adjustment to the plan of God. Confession and restoration to fellowship, faith rest a relaxed mental attitude and peace will appear in the new situation from God’s viewpoint and follower of Christ can choose to accept God’s best plan for you.

The man or woman who receive grace and peace from the Lord is in perfect position for spiritual production and reproduction.

Read James 3:13-18

The peace of God is shown through wisdom. The Christian has to choose to follow God’s wisdom which is first pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits which is unwavering without hypocrisy. The Christian can choose to follow the wisdom of the world which is leads to bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil thing. Choosing God’s wisdom leads to peace in every day decision making. God allows you to make this choice of which source of wisdom to follow every day.

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The Importance Of Doctrine

A Christian’s desire for the Truth, the Word of God, must be avid. A believer must give the highest priority in his life to learning Bible facts and principles. There are many examples in the Bible of the great effort made by people of God to obtain truth.

John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Matt. 6:28-34

Psalm 119:72The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”

Psalm 119:127, 162.

Prov. 23:23Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction and understanding.

Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name.”

Examples of Eagerness for Truth

Temple worshipers in the time of Christ: Luke 21:37,38

Samaritans: John 4:39-42

Cornelius: Acts 10:30-33

Bereans: Acts 17:10-13

Col. 1:9-13, 21-23; 2:1-8

Eph. 1:17-23; 3:14-19; 4:11-16

Reasons Why Bible Teaching is Important

The Bible is the only source of knowledge of how to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as “love at first sight” in spiritual things. The believer must get to know Christ very well, and this requires the daily intake of knowledge about Christ through the Word of God, which is “the mind of Christ.”

I Cor. 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

Phil. 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

Daily Bible study leads to occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ, a daily walk with the Saviour.

Heb. 12:2,3 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Bible doctrine, learned under the faith principle of applied teaching, produces confidence during the believer’s lifetime.

2 Cor. 5:6-8 “Therefore, we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, and not by sight). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

See also Job 5:24-27

The Bible is the only source of God’s viewpoint.

Isaiah 55:7-9 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Bible doctrine is the basis for orientation to God’s plan during the believer’s lifetime.

Isaiah 26:3,4 “The one who is steadfast of mind thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting rock.”

Bible knowledge produces sanity and stability of mind. It is very important to get the Word of God into the mind before the times of pressure come. It is not too likely that an unstable person will respond to the Word of God. God’s deals with the pressures of life using “preventive maintenance”.

James 1:8 “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Bible doctrine is the basis for divine guidance.

Romans 12:1,2 “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Without the Word of God, the believer’s mind will be corrupted by Satan and will become a repository of world-viewpoint and false teaching.

2 Cor. 11:3 “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Eph. 4:17-25

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Mental Attitude – A thorough article on the problems of mental attitude and how to grow into stability in the Christian Way of Life; how to have a relaxed mental attitude; how to avoid many kinds of neurosis.

Introduction

As a believer progresses in his Christian life, he experiences many profound changes in his thinking. His standards change gradually but radically; his frame of reference changes; his mental attitude soon becomes very different from what it once was. His previous way of thinking is replaced by the mind of Christ where God’s viewpoint becomes his own.

The greatest occupational hazard faced by a Christian is the failure to grow in Christ. Persistent personal sin carried on without repentance and confession keeps the Christian out of fellowship with the Lord and hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.

The normal Christian life is a supernatural life. This life cannot be lived apart from the daily intake of spiritual food, the sustenance which comes with the study of the Bible accompanied by the continuous control and ministry of the Holy Spirit. Inattention to the teaching of the word of God concerning the mechanics of daily Christian living results in failure to grow in Christ. The believer who will not overcome these problems will not be able to enjoy the benefits and blessings of the Christian life, and he will certainly not be productive as a child of God.

This article reviews several factors relating to the subject of the believer’s mental attitude. First, we note several categories of mental attitude sin which are the result of not thinking grace. Then we see the methods by which God arranges for human viewpoint thinking to be replaced with divine viewpoint thinking. This study will also show some of the important results in the life of the Christian who develops a godly mental attitude.

The Sin of Not Thinking Grace

A Christian decides many times every day whether he will follow God’s plan for his life. In decisions great or small he expresses either his dependence on the Lord or his desire to be independent of God’s direction. A believer has access to the perfect plan of God for his life, a plan which has certain predetermined divine standards by which every situation can be measured, by which every decisive opportunity can be judged. Many promises and blessings are available for use by the person who orders his life according to the patterns laid out in the Bible.

The person who is not positive to the plan of God, and who would apply his own human standards to life situations, does not operate by divine standards. He becomes involved in a variety of mental attitude sin problems stemming from his original decision to be independent of God. His life takes on the characteristics of one who does not think grace.

Grace is that characteristic of God which is an extension of His love for the human race and which causes Him to provide for every human need for time and eternity. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the work which made it possible for God to view every person as free from the guilt of sin and as an object of God’s grace provisions.

Failure to order one’s thinking according to grace involves several aspects of mental attitude sin, including the following:

  1. A Spirit of Pride: This is an exalted feeling based on personal success or position, or based on good training or education, on personal appearance or on some natural gift or ability. Sinful pride is an inner feeling of self importance which does not take into account God’s provision of every resource and quality which goes into one’s human traits and capabilities.
  2. Love of, or desire for, human approbation and praise: This is a secret fondness for being noticed and recognized. It is a love of supremacy, or it is the drawing of attention to oneself by various types of exhibitionism or by spiritual one upmanship.
  3. Self will: This is the concept of the stubborn or unteachable nature or implacability. Self will is a disposition to be argumentative, harsh, bitter, which causes one to be a nit picker or critical in the extreme, or to mind the business of others, or to fail to recognize the rights and privacy of others.
  4. Sinful reaction to social pressures: These are the sins of anger, impatience, touchiness or of having a sensitive nature. There is often resentment and retaliation when disapproved or contradicted. This area of sin generates jealousy, sour grapes, envy, the accompanying bitterness, hatred, carrying of grudges, revenge tactics and so forth.

Magnifying the faults and failings of others while emphasizing one’s own virtues.

  1. Negative disposition: This is peevishness, a fretful disposition, one that loves to be coaxed and honored. It is a dishonest, deceitful attitude. It is a disposition that tends toward discouragement and despondency under pressure along with the attempt to solve one’s problems by hysteria and tantrums.
  2. Apathy: This sin is that of indifference to doctrine and to the word of God in general. It is indifference to the lost condition of unbelievers or to the carnal condition of other believers.

Characteristics of a Believer’s Mental Attitude

The true character of a believer in Jesus Christ is determined by his mental attitude. Prov. 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…” See also 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:1; Heb. 12:3; Col. 3:1, 2; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2Cor. 10:4, 5.

A Christian’s mental attitude is not always apparent in his actions, but God always knows perfectly what a person is thinking. Heb. 4:12, 13; Prov. 21:2. The following are examples of mental attitude thinking.

Worldliness is a mental attitude of not the doing of something wrong; it is the thinking which takes place independently of God’s viewpoint. The remedy to the problem of worldliness is not in turning over a new leaf. It is a change in thinking or repentance rather than a change in activity. Divine viewpoint must replace human viewpoint before a change in character can be expected. One can have an outward life which appears good, yet be filled with mental attitude sins. Col. 3:2; James 4:4.

Toughness, strength and determination are mental attitudes. One is not beaten until he gives up mentally.

True Christian inner peace is a mental attitude. It is the relaxed mental state which enables one to enjoy the Christian life regardless of people or outward circumstances. With a good mental attitude, the believer can be joyful, relaxed and can even enjoy the battle.

Mental stability is the result of thinking from a proper frame of reference, that is, Biblical thinking. The Christian who has mental fear, who is a chronic worrier, who cannot think clearly under pressure, who blames others for his problems, who cannot make correct decisions whereby that believer is unstable. His emotions interfere with his thinking. Since emotion always follows thinking, emotional instability will always follow from incorrect thinking. God’s plan of grace leads to rock solid mental and emotional stability.

Man’s Ideas vs. Divine Viewpoint

Thinking requires vocabulary. Divine thinking requires divine vocabulary. “… Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) Under any kind of spiritual pressure, human vocabulary, or human thinking, is not adequate. Only God’s words can give the ability to think correctly under pressure. The Christian’s ability to think correctly is based on how much Bible teaching is resident or applied in the soul of the believer.

The Christian is commanded to have a new mental attitude. Col. 3:1, 2; 2 Cor. 10:4, 5; 1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5.

The warfare between two viewpoints in the believer’s soul must be fought from within, first by knowledge of doctrine, and then by the application of truth to the life. 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 John 1:9.

Every believer has a mind which is capable of looking at life from God’s point of view. Rom. 1:18 ff Mental attitude divine viewpoint is obtained only through Bible study accompanied by the controlling ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Christian who habitually studies the word learns to concentrate and to think from God’s point of view, and thus he becomes stabilized. The mind of Christ is the source of God’s viewpoint which is made clear in the Bible.

The Christian can be transformed by the renewing of the mind through study, knowledge and application of Bible truth. By this means his decisions and actions are most likely to be in agreement with Bible principles. This is the only sure sign of Christian maturity and victorious Christian living.

The Human Conscience

The conscience is located in the mind and is the center for the operating standards of the human soul. Titus 1:15 The conscience convicts the Christian of evil or wrongdoing. (John 8:9) The conscience establishes standards for both human and divine relationships. (Acts 24:16)

The conscience functions on thinking; and the believer in fellowship has a conscience which functions from resident or applied divine viewpoint. Rom. 2:15; 9:1, as related to applied Bible teaching. The conscience establishes standards for serving God. 2 Tim. 1:3; Heb. 9:14 But false operating standards in the conscience produce legalism. 1 Cor. 8:7

The more the believer uses applied Bible doctrine, the stronger his conscience becomes in using such thinking as the law of liberty and the superseding laws of love and sacrifice. 1 Cor. 10:24-29 Conscience is the basis for enduring mistreatment and misunderstanding without defending oneself. 1 Pet. 2:19; 3:16 The conscience can be damaged or destroyed with false doctrine and with a callused soul. 1 Tim. 4:1, 2

The Mechanics of Replacing Human Viewpoint with Divine Viewpoint

The Christian life is a supernatural life and cannot be lived without the filling of the Holy Spirit and the daily function of applied Bible teaching. Rom. 8:2; 7:6; Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:18 All changes must come from within and the Holy Spirit must originate divine good by applying doctrine to your life.

We begin a change of viewpoint at the moment of salvation. At that time we changed our mental attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 3:19 That was repentance and faith, and it resulted in our regeneration. John 3:16 At that moment many benefits were made available to us, blessings and promises from God which enable us to live in a manner which is both acceptable to the Lord and which also produces great happiness for us. We are given the ability to think those things which will bring honor to the Lord. Eph. 5:18; 4:23; Col. 3:2.

The choice of whether to make use of the divine operating assets is made by the believer every day. The power or our walk with the Lord depends on Bible teaching, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the believer’s positive volition. Daily Bible teaching under the controlling ministry of the Holy Spirit builds up divine standards in the human soul and conscience. 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 3:9.

The Benefits of Having a Proper Mental Attitude

With the proper mental attitude, the Christian will have victory, peace, power and mental stability. Phil. 2:5; 2 Tim. 1:7 The Christian can experience perfect inner peace, ever during times of difficulty and suffering. Phil. 4:7 Inner peace comes from what we think. Isa. 26:3 Divine viewpoint brings mental stability and eliminates discouragement, anxiety, instability, fearfulness and double mindedness. Stability of mind and character is a mental attitude of strength.

The believer with divine viewpoint has a gracious attitude toward others. He is a mature believer characterized by mental attitude love who is a channel of the grace of God. Deut. 6:5; 11:13. A mental attitude from divine view point produces confidences based on absolute values and standards. 2 Cor. 5:1-8

Mental Attitude and the Believer’s Ministry

The mature believer thinks grace, which is the mind of Christ. Therefore, the Christian’s life and personality are characterized by many of the qualities of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 8:29; Gal. 5:22 ff In every one of these characteristics the Christian has one basic ingredient which is correct thinking according to divine viewpoint. 1 Pet. 3:8-9

Therefore, the mature believer is gentle, compassionate, caring and has a gracious attitude toward others. These are essential life qualities in any believer who is a good witness for Christ. With these qualities, and with the knowledge of the word of God being acquired on the way to maturity, the believer cannot help but be an outstanding witness for Christ and a skillful practitioner in the use of his spiritual gifts.

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