Posted by: forfreedomalone | 15/03/2015

Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?

Here’s a question for you.
Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?

Peacekeepers attempt to keep warring factions apart, they attempt to create a no-man’s-land where there is absence of war and call it peace. They have no part in helping the two sides to understand the problems or challenges of the other, no part in helping either side mature and come to a grown up resolution; because war is not grown up. They simply separate the two and maintain the buffer zone between, in a state of so called, peace.
This is all that can be done in some cases and it is better than all-out war, but it is not Biblical and it is not the role of a Spirit filled believer. We are called to be peacemakers. We are called to get involved and to actually bring peace to both sides, not just a zone in the middle.

How do we do this?
We follow God’s example and he started by showing us our lack of peace. When Adam chose which god to follow he lost his peace, because it was only available in God. He chose the wrong one.
God had to show man that this is where they were, he needed a way to make them see that they were not in a peaceful relationship with him, just because there was, currently, no war. The absence of war is not peace, it is a cease fire.

He gave them The Law to show them where they were in lack. The Law highlights our lack of peace with God.
Many people teach that we are no longer under Law, therefore, it is done away with and we are now in this nebulous thing called ‘grace’. This is just not true.

Firstly, many teach about The Law as though it were one complete and hermetically sealed unit. It is not, and, in my opinion, if you don’t get this bit you won’t be able to get any of the rest….or peace!

If Exodus is read carefully, which it rarely is, it is quite clear that God gave Moses tablets of stone on which was written ALL The Law, not just the 10 Commandments. Even the 2nd set had ALL The Law written on them.
So what is ALL The Law?
It is the Commandments (sacred will of God), the Judgements ( civil rules) and the Ordinances (religious rules).
In Col 2:14 Paul, according to King James VI & I, said “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”

The Ordinances were the part of The Law which contained God’s instructions about which sacrifices to offer and for what reason, and the role of the High Priest. Without this part of The Law the rest was a waste of time. THIS is what gave them their righteousness in those days. Many will tell you there is no righteousness in The Law, but that was not so when The Law was given.
Righteousness is right standing with God. These people had right standing with God, as far as it went, and it was based upon their obedience to his ORDINANCES.

There were rules and regulations about all of life, but at no point did God think anyone of the people keep them all perfectly. He knew they could not, so he gave them a way of atoning for the ones they broke, so he could keep them in relationship with him. The way was sacrifices.
There was a sacrifice for EVERYTHING. They were covered no matter what. Even on the Day of Atonement they were covered for everything they had overlooked, forgotten about or not even considered as sin. He was merciful to them at every turn. He was tying himself in knots to give them a way out, yet some say, he gave The Law to make them see their sin; as though he were malicious.
The Law did highlight their sinful state, you could not avoid thinking about your sin and worrying if you have it covered. You probably also worried that you would die before the Day of Atonement, because if you did and you had not sacrificed for a particular sin, you were not covered. There was a huge degree of fear associated with living under The Law.
But The Law also highlighted God amazing mercy, in that he provided a way for his people to escape the wrath to come.
When Jesus came he kept the Commandments, the Judgements and the Ordinances. He kept the whole Law. He had to; to be perfect before God on that account; but he would have, just like every other Jew to that time, observed all The Law because they is how they lived.
They all kept The Law. They kept what rules they could or felt like, but they all offered the correct sacrifices, in the correct way, at the correct time, and if they didn’t even do that…the High Priest offered the Atonement Sacrifice for all of them, for every sin, on the Day of Atonement. They were all right with God, based upon The Law.
Assuming they did not die between the Days of Atonement.

Jesus, however, change it all.

He elevated the whole thing to the level of love.
The Jews kept The Law out of religious duty and fear. Jesus kept it out of love for his father. He then became our sacrifice and our High Priest, which is what “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” is about. This part of The Law was fulfilled, it was complete, it was finished. Never again will a sacrifice be required for sin. This was the part which was keeping us from the peace of God.

The sacrificial system reminded the people constantly of death. The animals were crying in fear day and night, they were being slaughtered in their thousands, there was blood running in the Temple area constantly, the smell of death was everywhere. The people knew that ‘there but for the death of that bull go I’. They were fully aware, every minute of their lives, that The Law brought death. The death was ordained, it was in the ordinances.

The Law (in the shape of the ordinances) was a peace keeper. It fulfilled the terms of God’s conditions to not wipe these people off the face of the earth, but the people never knew peace with God. They knew peace FROM him, because war did not break out, but they never knew peace WITH him. They could live peacefully at a distance from God, but they could not live with him, in peace, because there was no peace MAKER to create that possibility.

Jesus was our peace maker. He made peace, by the total, unchanging, fulfilment of the Ordinances. It is interesting that all that was written about The Law, in Hebrews, was written about 2 to 3 years before the Temple was destroyed. Suddenly, the Jews had no way to offer sacrifices any more, they had no way to be right with God, they were completely unable to keep their peace with God. They must have been terrified. Their salvation (the blood of animals) was gone and they were left awaiting their fate
.
We have a perfect sacrifice who is also our High Priest, we are at peace with God, and He with us, and we need never fear that we will be wiped off the face of the earth for our sins. They are expunged in the blood of Christ, which, right now, is living and flowing on the Alter in the Holy of Holies in heaven, a perfect, permanent, eternal sacrifice.

God’s sacred will never changed, his wisdom on how society should function never changed, his desire on how those two should be brought to life, never changed. He always wanted us to live by grace; by his empowering presence; but until Jesus became our perfect sacrifice and our High Priest forever, we were stuck in a system where there was no peace.

For many people ‘grace’ means things like God is pleased with me, God likes me, God is not angry with me, I am no longer required to keep any law etc. It is nebulous and it, quite frankly, is powerless. This is not what grace is. Grace is the empowering presence of God in my life. When I live by grace I live by his ability working through me. I am strong in my weaknesses, because of grace.

Grace has also been adopted as the alternative for law. People quote “I am not under law” and believe that the WHOLE law was somehow done away with and no longer applies to them. Being UNDER law means being burdened by it, weighed down by its requirements, being squashed by its demands.Praise God I am no longer under law. But that does not mean the law has been done away with. The only part which was ‘fulfilled’ was the Ordinances. It is by his grace that I now can keep the rest of the law… and yes, I do mean that in both senses.

That statement will also rile many. “We are not supposed to be keeping the law” they cry. Really? Then why would he bother to write it on our hearts if he didn’t want us to keep it?
We become burdened when we look at the law and sigh as we pick up the daily grind of living a good life and being what God wants us to be. We become free when we acknowledge that the only way to live that life is by grace, God’s ability working in and through me. The only way to grace was through the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the ministrations of the perfect High Priest.

Under The Law the people indicated their acceptance of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. It was being killed for them and they had to indicate that they were accepting that substitution.
We are asked, today, to so indicate our acceptance of our sacrifice in the person of Jesus Christ. When we do we can access the peace of God in our hearts, which abides with grace, to enable us to live life as he intended. From his power, fuled by love and not fear, we live, effortlessly, in the perfect will of God and in harmony with man.

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Responses

  1. Ok, this is a really good article, but I think you might have forgotten to get back to one point you mention (unless I missed it of course). In the third paragraph you say “Many people teach that we are no longer under Law, therefore, it is done away with and we are now in this nebulous thing called ‘grace’. This is just not true.”. But you never address what you mean by that. In the end, you point out that we (my paraphrase) are enabled to fulfill the law by the atoning sacrifice and power of Jesus, but you don’t anywhere mention the “done away” part. I did read pretty fast, so I might have missed it. Just my thoughts, have a great week.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. I write pretty fast and must have just gone off on a different track.
      I will go back and attempt to clarify that, but I am commenting here for the sake of anyone else who read it and wondered what I was talking about.

      For many people ‘grace’ means things like God is pleased with me, God likes me, God is not angry with me, I am no longer required to keep any law etc.
      It is nebulous and it, quite frankly, is powerless.
      This is not what grace is. Grace is the empowering presence of God in my life. When I live by grace I live by his ability working through me. I am strong in my weaknesses, because of grace.

      Grace has also been adopted as the alternative for law. People quote “I am not under law” and believe that the WHOLE law was somehow done away with and no longer applies to them. Being UNDER law means being burdened by it, weighed down by its requirements, being squanshed by its demands.Praise God I am no longer under law. But that does not mean the law has been done away with. The only part which was ‘fulfilled’ was the Ordinances. It is by his grace that I now can keep the rest of the law… and yes, I do mean that in both senses.

      That statement will also rile many. “We are not supposed to be keeping the law” they cry. Really? Then why would he bother to write it on our hearts if he didn’t want us to keep it?
      We become burdened when we look at the law and sigh as we pick up the daily grind of living a good life and being what God wants us to be. We become free when we acknowledge that the only way to live that life is by grace, God’s ability working in and through me. The only way to grace was through the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the ministrations of the perfect High Priest.

      Does that help?

      • Yes. Although I wasn’t confused, I think your clarification is good.

        My paraphrase; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I can do nothing of spiritual value without Christ.


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