Peace of the Church

The peace of the church is the unity of the Body of Christ, which is made by the destruction of mutual hostility by the cross of Christ, into which the nations are invited through the Gospel of repentance and faith in Him, and it is the norm of the fellowship of Christians according to the grace of God.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 4:13-18) In contrast to separation from God through sin and unbelief, out of which the hostilities of the world are born, the peace of the church is always to be characterized by "unity and purity". Peace without unity is mere tolerance. Peace without purity is a united hostility to God. ^[1]^ Thus, "the peace of the church" often appears in phrases which obligate leaders of the church to pursue and to preserve, the unity, purity and peace of the church.

  • I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
  • Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27)
  • ... complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (Philippians 2:2)

Historical reference

Other than the theological usage expressed above, the phrase The Peace of the Church refers to the period after 313 when persecution of Christianity was halted. ^[2]^ It is should not be confused with the Peace and Truce of God which is an expression for the Catholic Church's attempt to limit violence in medieval society signed 989; similar to a combination of the UN and Geneva Convention today. The Truce of God was a treaty signed in 1027 prohibiting conflict on some holy days.

Notes

  1. ? Revelation 17:13 - "These are of one mind and hand over their power and authority to the beast."
  2. ? See Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.