Paul said, "And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves." (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13) We have considered some phrases in the previous blogs on this text, but notice one phrase that specifically gains attention.
Paul suggests that we “be at peace among ourselves.” When all of the elders are over all of the work of all the church, all of the time, there will be peace. A united eldership is essential for a united church. Some elderships are divided and consequently, the church is divided. How it must grieve the God of heaven to see the body of his Son torn by strife and division. God expects his people to be at peace. (Psalms 133:1; Ephesians 4:3) But it takes big men to “keep” unity in the church.
Every member of the church must be a promoter of peace and harmony. Paul wrote to the Roman brethren, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Again he wrote, “Follow after the things which make for peace….” (Romans 14:19)
What are the things that “make for peace? ”First of all, a recognition of the authority of God and elders would make for peace. In the second place, the possession of an unselfish spirit would make for peace in the church. (Philippians 2:4). Third, the practice of the golden rule would make for peace in the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:12) In the fourth place, returning good for evil will promote peace in the church. (Romans 12:20) Finally, the possession of a forgiving spirit will make for peace among the people of God.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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