April 29, 2006

The purpose of the war... Peace

I have been reading several different books that I have started, but haven't quite had the time to finish. So, before I start any new books, I have purposed in my mind to finish these. One of the books that I am almost done with is How to Overcome Evil by Jay Adams. I have already written one post on this book titled, the other cheek, which was an eye-opening moment for me, regarding Jesus' statement about turning the other cheek when you have been struck on the first one.

The book itself is a practical exposition of Romans 12:4-21. So far it has been about our responsibilities in overcoming evil. (Hence the title.) As Christians, we have a Biblical command to make war against evil. War against evil doesn't involve evil though, it involves good. This goes contrary to the world's view of conflict. In the world we pay back evil for evil, but according to God's way of doing things we pay back evil with good. This is the only way that evil can truly be defeated.

Today I read a chapter in the book titled, Make War, Make Peace, which gets us to the goal of the war, which is peace. Romans 12:18 says, "If possible, so far as it depends upon you, be at peace with everybody." See, after all of this warring, fighting speech in the previous verses, there is this statement to, "...be at peace." That is the end statement of the war, its purpose.

Jay Adams says that if you set this as your goal at the outset of the war, "...it will condition even the way that you conduct the war. You will be careful to see that no unnecessary destruction takes place." For, you see, the true enemy is the evil, not the actual person.

This other person, with whom you might be in conflict with, may not have peace in mind though. That is why the verse says things like, "If possible..." and "...as far as it depends on you..." In some cases it is not possible to obtain peace, but this does not mean that you can give up on the goal. You are seeking peace because God has commanded it, not because of what you are going to get out of it. Many people's motives become clear at this point.

Some start out with peace in mind. They begin doing good in response to the evil that is coming their way, but when the peace doesn't come, they begin to fight fire with fire, so to speak. If you seek to do good and things don't turn out the way you think they should, don't give up. It is God who you are seeking to please, not yourself.

Anyway, it is an excellent book, and I would like to encourage you to check it out. I have put a link here from Amazon.com. It is amazing how cheap some of these books are when you purchase through them.

Check it out: