By Tim Sullivan


I was sitting on the floor of my apartment trying to meditate in front of my makeshift altar of candles, incense and a statue of Buddha that my Japanese grandparents had sent me. I was shaking like a leaf - not because I was cold or because I was facing a difficult situation but because of my frayed nerves. I was only nineteen years old and painfully aware that there was something very wrong inside me. A thin lid of normalcy rattled over a pot of boiling anxiety.

A few months later I met a group of young people who introduced me to Christianity. I soon realized that they had something I had been desperately searching for, something that rendered impotent all of my sophisticated arguments against their faith. They had peace. It was written all over their faces. Thank God, before too long, so did I.

I cannot say that my life has been easy since the day I became a Christian. I can say my life has been infinitely more peaceful and to me that is far better. My case is not unusual. God promises great peace to all who believe on him.

Psalm 119:165:
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them [cause them to stumble].

Peace, quietness and assurance for ever - what I was looking for - I found in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 32:17:
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

My previous condition is well described in the Bible:

Isaiah 59:8:
The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

Knowing our desperate situation, God sent his Son "to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). You see, peace is not a destination. It is a way of life. When we wander from the way of peace, our reality is far removed from the promises of God.

Jeremiah 8:15:
We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!

Let us discover all we can about the way of peace, so that the testimony of God’s Word will be our testimony as well.


Jesus came to give peace to all.

John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

But what kind of peace did he bring? "MY peace I give," he said. Jesus did not come to bring world peace. He came to stir up controversy.

Luke 12:51:
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Jesus promised both peace and tribulation to his followers. In him, we will have peace. For his sake, we will face tribulation.

John 16:33:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Jesus did not come to give us peace with our unconverted selves. We are not to be complacent over the things that need correction in our life. We should be in a state of continual war with those things that interfere with our obedience to God.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

What peace did Jesus bring? The most important peace of all - peace with God!


In the Old Testament there were five major offerings presented before God to repair man’s enmity with his Creator. As detailed in the book of Leviticus, they were the BURNT offering, the MEAT offering, the SIN offering, the TRESPASS offering, and the PEACE offering.

Leviticus 7:37-38:
This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings;
38 Which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.

Each offering was a picture of the work of Christ, "the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things" (Heb. 10:1). The BURNT offering was "a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD" (Lev. 1:17). This offering was a picture of CHRIST OUR REDEEMER who gave himself as an offering and sacrifice for us.

Ephesians 5:2:
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

The MEAT offering was a flatbread baked either in the oven, in a pan, or in a frying pan.

Leviticus 2:1:
And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:

This offering was a picture of CHRIST THE BREAD OF LIFE.

John 6:51:
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

The SIN offering was made for anyone who "hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty" (Leviticus 4:22). This offering was a picture of CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus "who knew no sin" gave himself for us who did not know we were sinners.

2 Corinthians 5:21:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The TRESPASS offering was given for unlawful behavior, whether it was things that SHOULD have been done (sins of omission) or things that SHOULD NOT have been done (transgressions). This offering required the guilty party to both "confess that he hath sinned in that thing" (Leviticus 5:5), and "make amends for the harm that he hath done" (v. 16).

Leviticus 5:19:
It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.

The TRESPASS offering was a picture of CHRIST OUR JUSTIFICATION. Righteousness is God’s answer to our sinful condition. Justification is God’s answer to our sinful deeds.

Man’s SIN is his state of enmity with God. Man’s TRESPASSES are the ungodly things he does because of his sin nature. The "grace of God that bringeth salvation" (Titus 2:11) covers our SIN. The "grace wherein we stand" covers our TRESPASSES.

Romans 5:1-2:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Finally, the sacrifice of the PEACE offering (Lev. 3) is a picture of CHRIST OUR RECONCILIATION. Jesus is the mediator between God and men.

1 Timothy 2:5-6:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

He is our advocate with the Father.

1 John 2:1-2:
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

In the Old Testament sacrifice was required to win peace with God. Hebrews 9:22 says, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Likewise, Jesus Christ did not win our peace through negotiation. He gave his life so that we would no longer be at enmity with God. Jesus purchased this peace for us in the same terrible way he paid for our sins.

Isaiah 53:5:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Jesus forged our peace when he reconciled us with God through the blood of his cross.

Colossians 1:20-22:
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

It is difficult to fathom that we are "holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight." Praise God, the cleansing power of his blood triumphs over the stain of sin.

Jesus does more than give us peace. He IS our peace. He abolished the enmity that once separated man from God.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;


We Christians backslide just as often as our Old Testament counterparts. Anyone who claims otherwise is calling God a liar.

1 John 1:10:
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

However, because of Christ’s complete sacrifice, we do not need to return again and again to the altar of salvation. Christ was the final and ultimate sacrifice, once for all and once for ever.

Hebrews 10:10-14:
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

In the same way that the Israelites renewed their offerings, we are renewed by God when we confess our sins and seek his forgiveness.

1 John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


It is good to know that Jesus is our peace. However, it is still required of each Christian to walk in the way of peace. How is this done? First, we must grow in the knowledge of God.

2 Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

We must discipline ourselves to be spiritually minded.

Romans 8:6:
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

We foster peace in our lives when we mind the things which are not seen, "for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). We will continually stray from the way of peace until we learn to relinquish our cares to God

1 Peter 5:7:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Anxiety is the fruit of self-reliance. A Christian who is truly a believer puts his trust in God. This is the kind of person who has peace beyond all reason.

Philippians 4:6-7:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We must let the Prince of Peace rule in our hearts.

Colossians 3:15:
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

We must remember that it was not our works but the blood of Christ that gave us peace with God.

Romans 14:17-19:
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

When we follow after these things, the working of the Holy Spirit will produce peace − a fruit of the Spirit − in our lives. Let us walk in the way of Jesus Christ our Peace.



From the April 2010 issue of The Vine & Branches