Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit…
I. THE TITLE. Mars amongst the heathens was called the god of war; Janus was worshipped in periods of strife; but our God styles Himself the God of peace. Although He permits war sometimes for necessary purposes, and has even styled Himself the Lord, mighty in battle, yet His holy mind abhors bloodshed. Peace is His delight.
1. This is so with all the Persons in the Trinity.
(1) God the Father is the God of peace, for He planned the great covenant of peace; He justifies, and thereby implants peace in the soul.
(2) God the Son is the God of peace; for "He is our peace," etc. He makes peace between God and man, in the conscience and in the heart, and in the Church.
(3) The Holy Ghost is the God of peace. He of old brought peace out of confusion, by the brooding of His wings. So in dark chaotic souls He is the God of peace. When by earthly cares we are tossed about, He says, "Peace be still." He it is who on the Sabbath-day brings His people into a state of serenity. And He shall be the God of peace at life's latest hour, and land us save in heaven.
2. He is the God of peace because —
(1) He created nothing but peace. See if in the great harp of nature there is one string which when touched by its Maker giveth forth discord; see if the pipes of this great organ do not all play harmoniously! When God made the angels did He fashion one of them with the least ill-will in His bosom? Go into the Garden of Eden: there is nothing of tumult.
(2) He restores it. Nothing shows a man to be much fender of peace than when he seeks to make peace. "Blessed are the peacemakers." God is the great Peacemaker. When Satan fell, there was war in heaven. God made peace there, for He smote Satan. But when man fell, God made peace not by His power, but by His mercy.
(3) He is the Preserver of peace.
(a) Whenever I see peace in the world, I ascribe it to God. So combustible are the materials here that I am ever apprehensive of war. "Whence come wars and fightings? Come they not from your lusts?" If, then, we desire peace between nations, let us seek it of God, who is the great Pacificator.
(b) There is an inward peace which God alone can keep. Is thy peace marred? Go to God, and He can say, "Peace, be still"; for He is the God of peace.
(4) He shall perfect and consummate it at last. There is war in the world now; but there is a time coming when there shall be peace on earth and throughout all God's dominions.
II. THE BENEDICTION.
1. Its necessity. Because there are enemies to peace always lurking in all societies.
(2) Ambition. "Diotrephes loveth to have the pre-eminence," and that fellow has spoiled many a happy Church.
2. Its appropriateness. We indeed ought to have peace amongst ourselves. Joseph said to his brethren when they were going home to his father's house, "See that ye fall not out by the way." Ye have all one father, ye are of one family. The way is rough; there are enemies to stop you. Keep together; stand by one another: defend each other's character.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;