I would love to have and hear any feed back you would care to share after reading it.
“The Word” that Paul preached was the resurrected Christ as “the Spirit of life” indwelling the believer’s spirit as God’s full provision for all the things believers encounter in this life. The only thing necessary is for the believer to know and trust in His indwelling Spirit in order to enjoy the life and peace that Christ “is” within our spirit. “… to be spiritually minded (Gk. phronema, purposed in mind) is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
Some Christians may honestly say, “Okay, faith and continuing trust are keys to enjoying life and peace of Christ. But what if I just don’t have continuing faith?”
First, let me make clear that while under the grace gospel, a believer may lack faith for their daily living, as I did for many years. I recall that it was in 1994 that I confessed that though I trusted God for my eternal salvation I had an awful time trying to trust Him for my daily living. Thankfully, Paul says my lack of faith is not condemnable because I am “in Christ.” “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”(Rom 8:1).
Lacking trust in Him for our daily living does however prevent us from enjoying rest and peace in our soul. I personally suffered the stress of it for many years. It led me to a stress induced heart attack at age 49. Suffering that heart attack has brought me to see the truth and to a degree of cure for my lack of trust in Him for my daily living. Thus, I was blessed with suffering a heart attack.
To understand faith in God as the key to peace we need to understand “peace” in a deeper way. “Peace with God” is one thing and “the peace of God” is quite another. I had long had “peace with God,” but I had not enjoyed “the peace of God.” Christ is the source of peace, working for us by placing our faith in Him. Both kinds of “peace” may be seen in these two verses.
“being justified by faith, we have peace WITH God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1) “The peace OF god, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philip 4:7).
Most fundamentally, to enjoy the “the peace of God” we must first experience “peace with God.” There was a great gulf that existed between God and mankind ever since Adam’s rebellion against God. Adam’s rebelliousness and Sin infection has passed to all men (Rom 5:12). Thankfully, God has made a way for man by bridging the great gulf between God and man, reconciling man to His self “in Christ.” God made peace with man by giving His dear Son Jesus on the cross for all “the sins of the world.” Every believer now has “peace with God” since they have believed and placed their faith in the work of Christ on the cross to justify and reconcile them to God. The Apostle Paul declared by divine inspiration that “(Christ) was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification.” Therefore, “being justified by faith,” we, who once were at enmity with God (Rom 8:7), may now enjoy “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 4:25; 5:1). Now, having God’s remedy, any man “in Christ” enjoys “peace with God.” We simply need to trust Christ’s cross-work for us.
The result of “peace with God” is “the peace of God,” present within every believer’s spirit by the deposit of “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a). Every believer then has the potential to enjoy the “peace of God.”
The “peace of God” makes believers able to stand in the midst of all the troubles of life. The “peace of God” is available to rule our hearts; but it’s the result of our continuing faith and trust in Him. This is why the Apostle wrote to this the believers at Rome . “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). There’s the key – “believing.”
Only those who are at “peace with God” can know and in fact should know “the peace of God.” Yet, it does not automatically follow that all those who are at “peace with God” necessarily enjoy “the peace of God.” Believers must continue to believe, to cling to Him, in order to enjoy the “peace of God.” The word for continuing to believe is “trust.” Believe from the Greek means to “trust in, cling to, and rely upon” Trust is a continuing belief.
Believer’s may and should take their concerns to the Lord, because they can trust Him. Believers can enjoy “the peace of God” as they practice Paul’s admonition seen here in Philippian 4:6-7.
“Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
The key to Philippians 4:6-7 is we approach the Lord in genuine thanksgiving; believing such that they can leave their concern with Him. Now note the promise (v7) that follows Paul’s instruction in verse 6.
“The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (verse 7).
Verse 7 does not indicate you get what you want. It simply indicates that “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Enjoying “the peace of God” is as “the brass ring” Christians seem to reach for, yet we do not need to reach for the brass ring, we simply trust Him.
We can trust because, as believers trusting in Christ, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). “Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means” (2Thes. 3:16). Therefore believers should not be constantly overwhelmed and defeated by the adversities of life. Rather, we should heed Paul’s exhortation to “Let the peace of God rule (Gk. brabeuo, govern) in your hearts” (Col. 3:15).
Since we are admonished to “Let the peace of God rule” in our hearts, then it is clear we have the role of “letting” if we are to enjoy Christ “who is our peace” (Eph 2:14). It is clear that the mark of Christian’s life working is the enjoyment of rest and peace. The key to rest and peace is FAITH, in the form of a continuing TRUST in the truths of “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) as presented by the Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom 11:13).
The Lord of peace Himself indwells every believer’s human spirit and so peace is ever-present as peace within the core of every believer. All we need to do is trust Him who “is our peace.” He is ever-present in all the situations of life. He’s the sovereign Lord and God of the universe. He is over “all things”; so nothing touches our lives unless He permits it for our “good.” Job is an example of this; the Devil had to get the permission of God to touch Job. Yes, Job suffered, but the end of Job’s situation left him better than before and he was now humbled. Shall we not trust Him in “all things”?
It is Christ’s enlivening and empowering resurrection life within the believer’s spirit that delivers us in this day of the age of grace. Today we live by the “faith of the Son of God” (Gal 2:20). In the KJV the word “of” is translated from the Greek “ek.” Here “ek” means “from and with.” We live by Christ’s life and Christ’s “faith” – it’s not our faith. It is faith we gain from having Christ with us; the Spirit of the very Son of God His Self is within us as our source of faith. It is not our faith – it’s His supernatural faith in us that we are to live by. As we “turn” our heart from self-reliance to rely upon Him, we are “letting go” of “trying” to fix the situations we face. His faith springs up to supply us, yielding rest and “peace of God” to our soul.
Patient faith is not a way “around” our troubles; rather, our new found faith in and reliance upon Christ is the way through our situation. Many Christians pray for peace for one another, i.e., “Lord give him (or her) peace.” Is this a legitimate prayer for believers? No, it is not. They fail to see that Christ Himself is the very peace of God within us, and our faith in Him is the only way to overcome our troubles in rest and peace.
Some might say, “I’ve read “faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20 KJV). I guess I have Christ as my faith within me, but its not working. How may I come to a trust Christ in me for my daily living?”
First, we must receive Christ, as “the Spirit of LIFE” into our spirit at our new birth (John 3:6, 1Cor 6:17). Then, now being one with Him in our spirit, the Lord uses the sufferings of our daily life to turn our heart to Him so He can flow His Spirit-life into our self-soul, to renew our soul (2Cor 4:16) to trust Him. As Lord of our life, He permits the situations and circumstances of life to come into our lives “for the good” (Rom 8:28). Now look at the very next verse to see why “all things are working” - “…that we might be conformed to the image of Christ” (Rom 8:29a).
Then we might then ask, “What is Christ’s image?” Here Paul reveals Jesus’ way of living - Jesus trusted the Father.
“Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience (to God the Father) to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!” (Philippians 2:5, 8, AMP)
Jesus trusted the Father’s hand in His earthly walk. Jesus trusted the Father unto death. Only Christ in us can carry us through the trials of life…by His faith in the Father. So, we must cling to (TRUST) Christ in us because He is our faith in the Father.
The Lord purposes that we would let go of believing our outward circumstances in the world around us to trust Him who has overcome the world.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation (Gk. thlipsis, pressure): but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Jesus said believers have but one work and that is – to believe.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work (ordained) of God, that ye believe on him (Jesus) whom he (God) hath sent.
We must come to “believe on Him” – that is to trust Him who is Lord over all things and who loves us unconditionally – He will carry us through.
Knowing our deepest need to be changed inwardly, in our soul, the Lord permits seemingly insurmountable situations to come into our lives in order to turn us from self-dependence. We’ve always depended upon our fallen sin-infected self-life, but the stress of our self-dependence is great because deep down we know we can’t control anything. By these situations, He works in us to bring us to see the truth and to cooperate with His work and His will in our lives.
The Father’s desire is that we rely upon Christ’s overcoming, uplifted, indwelling life. His life is able to meet our deepest needs, and to deliver us while we remain in the midst of trial. We are delivered by His life spreading from our spirit (His dwelling place) to our needy soul, which needs a new “mindset” or “attitude” (Philip 2:5) – a change from self-dependence to one of trusting Him as our all in Him.
When we receive His light into our soul, we are changed “from glory to glory.” This is the work of the “the Lord’s Spirit” (2Cor 3:18) as we turn our heart from Moses (the old way of the Law and “works”) to Christ within us (2Cor 3:15-18). We turn to His grace-filled life within our spirit. This turning of our heart is a yielding of our soul’s mind, emotion, and will to the Lord, permitting us to receive the current or flow of His life supply to be ours for our daily living.