Peace Be to Thee

3John 1:5-14 Beloved, thou does faithfully whatsoever thou does to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shall do well: Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow-helpers to the truth. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence among them, receives us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and you know that our record is true. I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name. 

‘Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church’ Gaius had taken care of the visiting ministers and also Christian strangers, and had done many works of charity (3Jn. 1:5-8).

‘Taking nothing of the Gentiles’ these ministers preached for Christ, not for personal gain or advantage. By all means, they showed themselves disinterested in income (3Jn. 1:7-8).

‘Diotrephes’ who this man was is unknown. Regarding character, he is known as being proud, ambitious, exclusive, malicious, inhospitable, despotic, and rebellious against apostolic authority (3Jn. 1:9-10).

‘I will remember his deeds which he does’ this is the only threat in John’s writings, except in Revelation. He had apostolic power and threatened to use it to bring judgment on this rebel, as Paul threatened the Corinthians (1Cor. 4:16-21).

‘Follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God; but he that does evil has not seen God’ do not follow this kind of man (3Jn. 1:9-11). Do good, for this, will be proof that you are of God and know Him.

‘I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face’ in both 2John and 3John, the apostle expressed his hope of seeing the ones to whom he wrote (2Jn. 1:12).

‘Peace be to thee’ John speaks the peace of Christ over his fellow-believers as given in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you.” Jesus left the disciples with His dying legacy – peace; not the kind the world gives. Men have peace societies, temples, and plans, but arm for war all the while. They killed the Prince of Peace (Acts 4:27) and ignore Him still, so they will have no peace until He comes to reign (Ps. 2:1-12; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Cor. 15:24-28).

Peace

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

As the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), Jesus leaves us with His peace that passes all understanding. We must permit this peace to garrison or keep our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ (Php. 4:7). Start with renouncing all worry and then by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, make all your requests known to God (Php. 4:6; Jas. 4:7). We must always think on the right things (Php. 4:8) and keep our minds stayed on God (Isa. 26:3). Use the weapons of spiritual warfare (2Cor. 10:4-6) when the enemy attacks your mind and put on the whole armour of God so that you are able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18). Have faith in God (Matt. 6:25-34; 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24) and live and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 6:14-23; 8:1-13). Do not cast away your confidence in Him (Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:11-12; 10:19-23, 35-39) but cast all your cares upon God (1Pet. 5:7).

According to 2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love, and of a sound mind. He gave us a Spirit of boldness (Rom. 8:15); a Spirit of power (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 1Cor. 16:10; 1Tim. 4:14); a Spirit of love (1Cor. 13:4); and a Spirit of a sound mind, understanding, and judgment (Gal. 5:22-23). The spirit of fear mentioned here is the Greek word deilia meaning cowardice. When we do fear we lose our power, love and sound mind. That’s why your mind becomes frenzied in fear or with worries. This is one of the first stages of backsliding. What you fear will come over you. You give permission to fear to manifest it in the physical reality. That is the enemy’s greatest power against all men. He brings the thought, we think upon it and make it ours and it will come to pass (Job 3:25).

‘Power’ the Greek word dunamis means a power to reproduce itself, implying the need for constant activity and use for continued reproduction. From this word, we get our English dynamo and dynamics – the branch of mechanics dealing with the principles of motion or active operation. Just as a dynamo needs to be in motion to produce power, so one needs to stir up into flame the gift of God in his life (2Tim. 1:7; 1Tim. 4:14).

Known By Their Fruit

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Mat. 7:20 

This is a statement from Jesus Christ Himself. Mt. 7:15-23 There never was a statement made that is truer than this one. It plainly teaches that there are ways whereby all men can know who is right and who is wrong, who is for the truth and who is against it, who is a true Christian and who is not, and who is a true teacher and who is a false one. The ways whereby man can be discerned is “by their fruits” and not by their outward appearance and refinement, which can be so deceptive. A rotten apple may have an attractive coating of wax on the outside and it may be colored with the most beautiful paint, but a bite into it would be a bite into corruption. A most perfect and beautiful fruit tree outwardly will sometimes be so diseased inwardly that it produces the worst kind of fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, and a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree brings forth of its own kind whether it is good or bad. So it is with false teachers and those who follow them. Such people can be ever so good outwardly and they may be more refined and correct in life than many true Christians, but this does not prove that they are of God. We all have seen false teachers and rebels against God and the Bible who have been so nice, refined, polite, well-mannered, polished, high toned, and poised until one would think they were gifts from Heaven, but in reality, they were destitute of all truth and spiritual experience and bitter enemies of the Bible.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer. 17:9-10 KJV

We have two facts about the natural heart:

It is deceitful above all things and it is desperately wicked. Then the important question: Who can know it? No one knows how they will react in certain circumstances.  But the Lord searches our hearts and tries the reins, for the purpose of distributing rewards according to the ways and doings of each man.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance Mat. 3:8 KJV

The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is for character, not for power as the nine gifts of the Spirit are. Love is the crowning grace of all this fruit and is the impelling force of God in the true exercise of the gifts. A character may be complete with no gift, but it must have all the fruit of the Spirit in order to be Christ-like and normal.  Every element of the fruit of the Spirit should be in every life when one attains to all the fullness of God.  This fruit is expressed in 1 Cor. 13:4-8 as follows: Love suffer long [longsuffering], and is kind [kindness]; love envy not [goodness]; love vaunt not itself, is not puffed up [meekness]; doth not behave itself unseemly [temperance], seek not her own, is not easily provoked, think no evil [meekness]; rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth [joy]; bear all things [gentleness], believe all things [faith], hope all things [trust], endure all things [patience and longsuffering]. Love never fail.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 KJV

The Nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. LOVE.  Greek: agape (NT:26), divine love. A strong, ardent, tender, compassionate, devotion to the well-being of someone. Let’s have a look at the  Nine Ingredients of Divine Love:
  • Patience – love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things 13:4,7
  • Kindness – love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud 13:4
  • Generosity – love in competition: not envious or jealous 13:4
  • Humility – love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires 13:4
  • Courtesy – love in society: does not behave unseemly; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous 13:5
  • Unselfishness – love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge 13:5
  • Good temper – love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful 13:5
  • Righteousness – love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring 13:6-7
  • Sincerity – love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present
  1. JOY. Greek: chara (NT:5479), the emotional excitement, gladness, delight over blessings received or expected for self and for others.
  2. PEACE. Greek: eirene (NT:1515), the state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order, and security in the midst of turmoil, strife, and temptations.
  3. LONGSUFFERING. Greek: makrothumia (NT:3115), patient endurance; to bear long with the frailties, offenses, injuries, and provocations of others, without murmuring, repining, or resentment. 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 2 Cor. 6:4-6; Ephes. 4:1-2; Col. 1:11; 3:12-13; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2
  4. GENTLENESS. Greek: chrestotes (NT:5544), a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct. 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:1-2; Jas 3:17
  5. GOODNESS. Greek: agathosune (NT:19), the state of being good, kind, virtuous, benevolent, generous, and God-like in life and conduct. Ps. 107:9; Ephes. 5:9; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:27-32
  6. FAITH. Greek: pistis (NT:4102), the living, divinely implanted, acquired, and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says.

Faith is not only a natural ability or exercise of a created faculty of man, but it is a fruit of the Spirit and a gift from God. Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:4-11 When man uses his own powers of faith in God and His Word properly he makes contact with God in a supernatural way, and he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. 2 Pet. 1:3-4 He is then free to walk and live in the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit will naturally be evident in his life. Gal. 5:16-26 He should constantly add to his faith the virtues of God by yielding to God in daily life. 2 Pet. 1:4-10 This kind of faith becomes a natural fruit of the Spirit and of holy living. It is not an effort to have this faith. It grows in the life of one who is yielding to God and who loves God enough to draw near to God in daily conflict. It is a fruit, not a work. It is a gift, not something we earn by works Rom. 2:4-5; 12:3-11

  1. MEEKNESS. Greek: praotes (NT:4240), the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge.
  2. TEMPERANCE. Greek: engkrateia (NT:1466), self-control; a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions Prov. 23:1-3; 25:16; Dan. 1:8-16; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor 9:25-27;  Php. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:6-8; Titus 2:2-3,11-12; 2 Peter 1:5-10

I therefore choose to crucify my flesh with the affections and lusts; to live and walk in the Spirit.  Gal. 5:24-25 Jesus are the true vine, and our Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Him that bear not fruit, the Father take away: and every branch that bear fruit, He purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. We are cleaned through the Word which Christ has given unto us, if we abide in Him, and He in us. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can we, except if we abide in Him.  Jn. 15:1-4

 

Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints Eph. 6:18 KJV 

Finishing up on the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must always pray with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Pray without ceasing. 1Thes. 5:17 KJV

PRAYER is a  change of communication, a new approach to God. Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26; Heb. 10:19-23; 11:6; 1 Jn. 3:22; 5:14-16  Praying is not classed as part of the armor, but is an additional and very important part of the fight against spiritual powers of evil. Jas. 4:7; 1Pet. 5:8-9

Supplication: the Greek word deesis (GSN-<G1162>), and entreating; continued strong and incessant pleadings until the prayer is answered. Lk. 18:1-8 Translated as “request” Php. 1:4 “supplication” Acts 1:14; Eph. 6:18; Php. 4:6; 1Tim. 2:1; 5:5 and “prayer”.

‘Watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints’ Without this, prayer and Christian armor will be ineffectual. Mk. 13:33; Lk. 21:36; Heb. 13:17

Perseverance is the Greek word proskarteresis (G4343), to adhere firmly to; Be close in pursuit of; always intent upon your object in prayer. Rom. 12:12

Prayer is the offering up of our desires for lawful and needful things and things we want that are promised by God, with humble confidence that we will obtain them through Jesus Christ for God’s glory and for our good.  It is the pleading of our cause in God’s court.  Prayer is seeking help from God in matters that are beyond our power.  It is the personal appeal to a present God based upon His will and Word and our lawful desires.  It is co-operation with God’s willingness to manifest His goodness to all those who have faith in Him and depend upon Him for help.  Prayer is simply asking and receiving from God.

HOW TO PRAY?  Pray to the Father John 16:23  in the name of Jesus John 14:12-15 with the Holy Spirit’s help Rom. 8:26  with full understanding of rights and privileges, 1 Cor. 14:14-15 in harmony with the Word, John 15:7  in faith, nothing doubting. James 1:6  With praise for the answer Phil. 4:6 that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:12-15

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  Jas. 1:5-8 KJV

NOTHING DOUBTING – the Greek word diakrino (NT:1252), doubting; staggering. He who doubts is like a wave that is rising one moment, sinking the next.  One minute he believes; another he does not.  He says yes and then no to what God has promised, never making up his mind which way he believes.  He staggers like a drunken man, helpless in prayer.

I will make my requests known to my Father by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving without focusing on daily cares Php. 4:6 – for He cares for me!! Mt. 6:25-34

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat. 6:33 KJV

Take the Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation Eph. 6:17a KJV 

Still reflecting on the armor of God we are commanded to put, to enable us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must take the helmet of salvation. 1Th. 5:8 One of the different phases of salvation is repentance which means our minds must be renewed; Mt. 3:2; 4:17; Lk. 13:1-5; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 10:43; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 1 Jn. 1:9 which means we must have a change of mind, a new way of thinking:

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind  Eph. 4:23 KJV

To be renewed, the Greek word ananeoo (G365) means the whole course of life now flows in a different direction, 2Cor. 5:17-18 to be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity, Eph. 4:17  its darkness and blindness Eph. 4:18 and learning of Christ. Eph. 4:20-21

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

To be transformed is the Greek word metamorphoo (G3339) that means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change. 2Cor. 3:18 This change is by a renewing of the mind or spirit: Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Col. 3:10 KJV

The Word of God is clear when it states that we must cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2Cor. 10:5  The only way to change our way of thinking is by thinking on that which we are commanded in the Word – to think as God thinks, we have to consider every thought we allow in our minds and think upon whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, we have to think on these things. Php. 4:8

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa. 55:7 KJV

Feet Shod with Preparation

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace  Eph 6:15 KJV 

As we still contemplate the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace – being prepared and in readiness to bring the gospel that gives peace with every step we take, as the example was given to us through Christ Jesus’ life in 1 Peter 2:21-22:

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth 

We have been called to live our lives according to His example ascribed in the gospels and consistent with the instructions as given in the Epistles by the Apostles.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom Col 3:15-16a KJV

The Gospel or the law of Christ, Gal. 6:2 are the grace of Christ which was preached not after man or received of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. 1:11-12 It is that which justifies Gal. 2:16 gives the Spirit, works miracles, redeems from the curse of the law. It brings the promise of faith, as well as the establishment and generation thereof. Gal.3; Rom. 10:17; 16:25 It produces the new birth, Gal. 4:21-31; 1 Pet. 1:23 gives salvation, Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:13 nourishes spiritual life, 1 Pet. 2:2 imparts grace Acts 20:24 and brings liberty which we must stand in, that sets us free. Gal, 5:1, 13; Jn. 8:31-36

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Rom. 5:1 which means we have a change in mind, a new tranquility in God.  Jesus did give us this assurance in John 14:27:

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

We have been warned not to be troubled or afraid because fear will remove our strength, love and sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 I therefore choose to cast all my cares on my Heavenly Father and make my requests known to Him, always in thanksgiving. I will not tolerate anxiety or worry that will injure my soul and destroy my relationship with God and man.

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