Justice is the Foundation of Peace
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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. – Galatians 5:22-24
What do you think of this quote?
Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace. – Martin Luther
I’m not quite certain I understand it. But my mind is no match for that of Martin Luther! He saw things so very clearly, expressed truth so powerfully, and impacted the world. Or, better put, God impacted the world through him. He is quoted as saying, “I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. … I did nothing; the Word did everything.” So, perhaps you can vet out the meaning of this quote about peace. Perhaps it is just a reminder that peace is not a “Can’t we all just get along?” feeling. But a gift of God founded on justice.
And there’s the rub. Justice seems so far removed from us. Drug lords, human traffickers, Hollywood moguls, sports stars, and political hacks all seem to get a larger piece of the pie in any arena. I don’t begrudge the money or even the fame. But All too often the justice of their cause is more self-serving or image-propping than a quest for justice.
No justice…No peace! is the cry of the oppressed. And while I seldom join their chorus, I must agree. Peace without justice is simply denial. And that is not good.
So it is vital that we understand the foundation of true peace is God’s justice seen in Christ.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. – Ephesians 2:13-18
Justice has been established in the foundations of reality through Jesus’ death on the cross. His resurrection proves this to be so. And his first word to his disciples on that Eater morning was, “Peace.” More than a greeting it was a blessing, a gift, a legacy that followers of Jesus are to treasure and embody.
The Holy Spirit’s work is to bring glory to Jesus (John 16:14). Certainly when we are reminded of Jesus as the Prince of Peace, and the One who has made peace between us and God, Jesus is glorified. I hope somehow to embody that in my life today. How might we do that…together?