Living in the Image of God M04S07
We discuss Christ teaching and explanation by Paul to understand that every person is individually responsible to seek a path to peace in every situation. Focus on the aspects that depend on you, irrespective of what others do or fail to do. To illustrate finding path to peace, Jesus paid the temple tax despite acknowledging unfair implementation of the tax law. Also, Paul recommended circumcision of Timothy despite a church ruling that circumcision of Gentile believers was not necessary. Other examples include Daniel negotiating a compromise diet of vegetables and water to avoid violating his relationship with God while obedient to King Nebuchadnezzar; and a city clerk in Ephesus that diffused a developing riot instigated by craftsmen concerned about their business shrinking because of growing acceptance of Paul’s message.
This bible study discusses the individual responsibility for peace based on Christ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and an explanation by Paul in his letter to Romans. Christ message declares God’s promise of blessing and binary classification of people based on performing the individual responsibility for peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” [Matthew 5:9]. Further, Apostle Paul explains the individual responsibility for peace by advising every person to seek a path to peace in every situation, focus on aspects that depend on you, irrespective of what others do or fail to do.
Both Christ and Paul also provide examples for finding a path to peace by avoiding battles that do not have to be fought even if they appear justified. Jesus illustrated this strategy for peace by paying the temple tax after acknowledging potential grounds for objection based on unfair implementation of the tax law. He paid the tax “…so that we may not cause offense…” [Matthew 17:27] to avoid potential issues that could distract people from his mission. In his illustration of the peace strategy, Paul recommended circumcision of Timothy (Acts 16:3) despite a church ruling that circumcision of Gentile believers was not necessary. He recommended the circumcision to forestall potential arguments that could distract people from his message.
Additionally, we discuss two examples of finding a path to peace through conflict resolution. One example comes from Daniel, regarding his negotiating a compromise diet to substitute unacceptable diet decreed by King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:8–16). The other example comes from Ephesus, where a city clerk diffused a riot instigated by craftsmen that were opposed to Paul’s message. The craftsmen saw their business of making shrines for idol worship was shrinking because of the growing acceptance of Paul’s message (Acts 19:23–41).Continue reading “Individual Responsibility for Peace”