A QUIET AND PEACEABLE LIFE
By John C. Carpenter
 
The apostle Paul wrote Timothy, whom Paul addressed as his own son in the faith, Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour (1 Timothy 1:17-2:3). What did Paul mean by leading a quiet and peaceable life?
 
First of all, let's define some terms. The English word lead is translated from the Greek word diago, which means to pass time, or live. The English word quiet is translated from the Greek word eremos, which means stillness, or tranquility. Eremos also means lonesome, wasteland, desert, desolate, solitary, or wilderness. When Paul refers to quiet, he is suggesting tranquility resulting from being alone or solitary, as one would experience if by oneself in a desert or wilderness place. The English word peaceable is translated from the Greek word hesuchios, which means keeping oneself sedentary, still, undisturbed, peacable, or quiet. Hesuchios is derived from the Greek word hedraios, which means immovable, settled, and stedfast. The English word Godliness is translated from the Greek word eusebeia, which means reverent, devout, piety, living according to the gospel scheme, holiness, or Godliness, whereas the English word honesty is translated from the Greek word semnotace, which means honorable, venerabaleness, probity, gravity, or honesty. When Paul speaks of leading a quiet and peacable life, he means making an effort to periodically become solitary, to get away from others, to get away from the world and all of its' stimulations, in an effort to promote a season of undisturbed peace and stillness of the body, mind, and spirit, resulting in a pious, devout, honorable, sober, and dignified life. Let us examine what the Holy Scriptures have to say about God's desire that we have a quiet and peacable life in Godliness and honesty.
 
WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THRUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
 
Because of their sin and guilt, worldly unbelievers are condemned by God [1 Cor 11:32, Rom 3:19, James 2:10, Rom 5:16-18]. Isaiah, as well, prophesied All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isa 53:6). Another old testament prophet, Jeremiah, put it this way: My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place (Jer 50:6). We were ...aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph 2:12), and alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them [us], because of the blindness of their [our] heart (Eph 4:18).
 
However, unbelievers, through coming to faith in Christ, henceforth be considered by God the Father as justified, holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight (Col 1:21-22). The result of this new relationship between the believer in Christ and God the Father is peace, as Paul explains: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace [to join, prosperity, quietness, rest, set at one again] with God through our [because of our faith in the] Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Rom 5:1-2). The apostle Paul further explains, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he [Christ] is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [and God the Father]; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even [specifically] the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph 2:13-18). Paul wrote the church in Rome, For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Rom 5:10), as well as those in Ephesus, now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13).
 
This type of peace, peace with God, involves making the believer one with God, breaking down the partition between God and man, abolishing of the enmity of sin and guilt, being brought nigh to God, and reconciliation to God. Although similar in some ways, this type of peace, I believe, is not the same type of peace Paul was referring to in our subject verses when he wrote Timothy.
 
TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE
 
There is a second type of peace, the type of peace the apostle Paul was referring to, a peace which can and should be experienced daily, a peace which results from our living a spiritually minded life. Paul wrote Roman believers,There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is [results in] life and peace [prosperity, quietness, rest, set at one again] (Rom 8:1-6). This is the type of peace which I believe Paul was referring to, and is the focus of this article. Paul also teaches that spiritually minded peace is, along with righteousness and joy, an integral part of the Kingdom of God. He wrote, For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another (Rom 14:17-19). Joy and peace are also related to our hope of eternal life, as Paul later explains: Now the God of hope fill you with alljoy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13). Paul instructed the Corinthian belivers, ...Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you (2 Cor 13:11). The scriptures also teach that God the Father is a God of peace (1 Thess 5:23 and Hebrews 13:20), that believers are to be at peace among themselves (1Thes 5:13), and that believers are to Follow [pursue] peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14). The apostle James taught that sowing in peace brings righteousness: But the wisdom [of God]that is from above is first pure, then peaceable [salutory, pacifying], gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:17-18).
 
YE FIGHT AND WAR
 
Contention and strife always involve quarelling, arguing, variance, provocation, anger, and debate; and none of these are God's will for the believer in Christ. Holy Scriptures teach us many things about these types of sinful behaviors. For example, pride is the cause of contention (Pro 13:10, Prov 28:25)). Scriptures describe that those who enter into contention are fools (Prov 18:6), and those who love God are encouraged, even commanded, to forsake contention (Pro 17:14). We are taught to Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out [cease]; yea, strife and reproach shall cease (Pro 22:10). There are even those who preach Christ, not out of love for God or man, but for the purpose of initiating strife, anger, and conflict (Phil 1:16-17), while many who preach the gospel of Christ experience suffering, shame, anger, persecution, and conflict, all of these resulting from contention and strife (1 Thess 2:2). Godly wisdom teaches that A wrathful [full of indignation, anger, rage] man stirreth up strife [quarreling, brawling, contention, discord]: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth [stillness, quietness, i.e., deliverance and freedom from] strife (Pro 15:18). The apostle James teaches us the true cause of wars is our lust: Ye lust [long for, covet, desire], and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight [quarrel, strive, dispute] and war [battle, make war against] , yet ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
 
Strife and conflict are nothing but destructive works of the flesh, and can even cause one to be excluded from the kingdom of heaven. Paul taught Galatian believers, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21). In two different verses elsewhere, the apostle Paul also explained that envying and strife are simply destructive works of the flesh: Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh,to fulfill the lusts thereof (Rom 13:13-14), and For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal [pertaining to the flesh, bodily, animalistic, unregenerate], and walk [live, behave] as [unregenerate] men? (1 Cor 3:3).
 
GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE
 
Many believers in Christ do not lead, as God desires, quiet and peaceable lives. We are often overstimulated, even satiated, by all types of sights or sounds: doorbells, streetlights, stop signs, advertising billboards, automobile or motorcycle mufflers, slamming doors, on-the-job noises and interactions, running machinery, the tick of clocks, lawn mowers, power equipment, screeching tires, sounds from a computer or other electronic devices, crying babies, barking dogs, loud neighbors, overtalkative relatives, or just plain old emergency sirens. Additionally, many folks, including believers in Christ, are anxious, angry, depressed, or agitated because we sit for several hours each day and participate in an activity which is overstimulating, largely negative and unproductive, and often vain: we watch television. Many young [and older] Christians listen to music of all kinds, including so-called Christian rock (if there is really such a thing). We are often in a hurry, rushing around to get to a dental or medical appointment, a basketball or football game, a date, to pick up the spouse or kids, to pick up a friend, or even to make it to church. We often worry about our jobs and superiors, our careers, spouses, children, relatives, money, health, security, home, or automobiles. We periodically have anxiety to the point that we need sleeping pills, tranquilizers, stimulants, or other drugs just to survive the day, or night. We have no peace with man, life, or God. But this kind of life is not God's will for believers in Christ. God the Father wants believers in Christ, as Paul taught, to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty.
 
When there is a lack of peace, it is the fault of man, not of God. God is not the author [creator, generator] of confusion [instability], but of peace [prosperity, quietness, rest, set at one again], as in all churches of the saints (1 Cor 14:33).Old testament prophet Isaiah prophesied that the work [action, activity] of righteousness shall be peace [result in health, prosperity, wholeness]; and the effect of righteousness quietness [be appeased, have rest, be settled, be still] and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable [healthy, prosperous, and whole] habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet [secure, at ease, without tumult] resting places (Isa 32:17-18). In the book of proverbs, we are taught that the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet [be at ease, rest, be peaceful] from fear of evil (Proverbs 1:33). Peace is of such value that Christ instructed His disciples when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy [deserving], let your peace [prosperity, rest, healing, restoration] come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you (Mat 10:12-13), as well as Salt [prudence, i.e., govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason] is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness [unable to be prudent, insipid], wherewith will ye season it? Have salt [prudence] in yourselves, and have peace [live in peace, quietness, rest, prosperity] one with another (Mark 9:50).
 
Scriptures instruct us that peace is part of God the Fathers purpose and plan for those who love Him and believe on Jesus Christ: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace [prosperity, quietness, rest, set at one again, to join] (Luke 1:68-79). Grace and peace are multiplied in our lives through our knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2), and those who want goodness and love in their lives must seek peace: For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it (1 Pet 3:10-11). As mentioned in our subject verses, our prayer and thanksgiving is also related to our peace. Job likewise understood and expressed the vanity of argument, contention, and strife: How forcible [irritating, grievous, i.e., powerful] are right [truthful, pleasant, prosperous] words! but what doth your arguing reprove [justify, anything right, i.e., accomplish]? (Job 6:25). Paul instructed the Philippian believers that strife is related to selfishness when he wrote, let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Php 2:3-4). Paul commanded believers in Thesallonica, For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness [desist from bustle or language, be silent, be undisturbed, peacable, be quiet] they work, and eat their own bread (2 Thes 3:11-12). For the believer, prayer and peace are directly related. Believers in Christ are to be careful [anxious, worried] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [watch over, guard, and protect] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).
 
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD
 
Quiet, seculsion, and isolation are essential if you want to be with God, hear His voice, and know His will. Jesus Christ spent many an hour alone in fellowship, prayer, and communion with His heavenly Father. After healing many with various diseases and casting out many devils, Christ, the following morning, rose up well before daylight, went out to a solitary place so He could pray (Mark 1:34-35). After going into various towns (Mark 1:38) and healing a leper (Mark 1: 40-42), Jesus went out into desert places (Mark 1:45).
After instructing His disciples to get into a ship and go to the other side of the sea, scriptures tell us what happened next: And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone (Mat 14:23). Christ expounded the parables He taught His disciples when they were alone (Mark 4:10, 34). After supernaturally feeding with only five loaves of bread and two fishes more than 5000 people, the Lord constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land (Mark 6:45-47). After His disciples plucked corn on the sabbath (Luke 6:1), arguing with the Pharisees about what is lawful to do on the sabbath (Luke 6:2-5), teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath (Luke 6:6), miraculously healing on the sabbath (Luke 6:7-10), scriptures instruct us that Jesus then went out into a mountain to pray, and continued [alone] all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12). Just prior to Jesus asking His disciples and Peter, Whom say the people that I am? (Luke 9:18), and Peter answered The Christ of God (Luke 9:20), Jesus had been alone praying (Luke 9:18). Even the Jewish high priest went into the temple alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people (Heb 9:7).
 
Holy scriptures teach us that It is an honour [full of splendor, a glorious thing] for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling (Pro 20:3), as well as Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth (Pro 26:20). The psalmist wisely instructs us to Be still [to abate or cease struggling, so we may mend, cure, heal, and be made whole], and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth Psa 46:10). Paul explained to Timothy the necessity and value of leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour (1 Tim 2:3).  AMEN.
 
 
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