“God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33, ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV) asserts Paul in encouraging the Corinthian church to exercise the spiritual gifts “decently and in order” (14:40).
Although none of my systematic theology books except Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994) classifies peace as an attribute of God, yesterday my family and I read what it says about the peace of God in our after breakfast Bible reading time. Grudem explains God’s peace as His actions being characterized by order and not by confusion. Some Bible passages referring to God as “the God of peace” are Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; and Hebrews 13:20.
When God sees His people as “afflicted…storm-tossed and not comforted” (Isaiah 54:11; Grudem notes that the word for “storm-tossed” in the Greek Old Testament means “in disorder, in confusion”), He promises to restore them and give their children “peace” (54:12-13). Similarly His plan of redemption includes peace for His children. Some Bible verses indicating this are:
– “Great peace have those who love your love; nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
– “Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal him” (Isaiah 57:19; God is speaking of the contrite).
– “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither in them be afraid” (John 14:27; Jesus is speaking to his disciples).
– “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the things of the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:7).
Because peace is a communicable attribute of God, we can and should display it too. Grudem suggests that this is indicated by the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 including both “peace” and “self-control.” Thus our lives should be marked not only by calmness but also by our contributing to order in our environment.