2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
John MacArthur, in a sermon, “Peace in Every Circumstance”
This peace is defined for us in several ways in verse 16. First of all, it is divine. “Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you peace.” The Lord of peace is the one who gives it. He is the one who grants it. “Himself,” by the way, that pronoun is emphatic in the sentence and it’s emphasizing His personal involvement in this. “Himself, the Lord of peace, may He give you peace.” May God, the Lord, personally give it to you because it comes personally from Him. It is the very essence of His nature.
To say it simply, peace is an attribute of God. I don’t know if you think of it that way, you think of God being characterized by attributes of grace, and mercy and justice and righteousness and wisdom and truth and omnipotence and immutability and eternality and whatever. But do you ever think of God as being characteristically peace? He is peace. Whatever it is that He gives us He has and He is. God is love, we don’t argue about that. And God is also peace. He has no lack of perfect peace in His being. God is at all times at perfect peace. There’s no stress. God is never stressed. God is never in anxiety. God never worries, God never doubts and God never fears. God is never at discord with Himself. He is never at cross purposes, it’s never so that He can’t make up His mind. He is never troubled. He is never indecisive. He is never unclear. He is never unsure. He is never threatened.
God lives in perfect calm, God lives in perfect tranquility, God lives in perfect contentment. Why? Because He’s in charge of everything and He can operate everything perfectly according to His own will exactly the way He wants it all the time. There is nothing in the entire universe that goes on that He doesn’t know about and there is nothing in the entire universe that can withstand His purposes. He knows there are no surprises for His omniscience. There are no unknowns to His omnipresence. There are no changes, no doubts, no fears. Even His wrath is clear, controlled, calm and confident. There are no threats to His omnipotence. There is no possible sin that can stain His holiness. There is no sinner who can appear before Him who is beyond His grace. There is no threat to His immutable plan. There is no guilt in His mind. There is no shame in His mind. There is no regret in His mind for He has never done anything, said anything or thought anything that He would in any way change.
He enjoys perfect and eternal harmony within Himself. He therefore is peace. And here He is called “the Lord of peace, the Lord of the peace,” literally, the definite article is there. The peace, not the kind the world has, but the real peace, the divine kind. He is peace, He is the source of peace. And what Paul wants is that the Lord of peace would give His kind of peace. If you look at the trinity you find that it’s clear in Scripture that every member of the trinity is peace and gives peace. First Thessalonians 5:23 says, “The God of peace,” so does Romans 15:33, Romans 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 4:9, and Hebrews 13:20, a common name for God, the God of peace. He is the author of peace. First Corinthians 14:33 says, “He is not the author of confusion but of peace.” He is peace, the originator, the source and the author of it.
The second member of the trinity, the Son the Lord Jesus Christ is here called “the Lord of peace.” Interestingly enough at the end of 1 Thessalonians Paul refers to the God of peace, here to the Lord of peace…both the first and second member of the trinity equally being God, equally being Lord, equally being the source of peace. Ephesians 2:14 says, “Christ who is our peace.” He is called in Scripture “the prince of peace.” He is peace. He is the source of peace. Colossians 1:20, He has made peace.
Also the Holy Spirit is the source of peace. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. Romans 14:17 says the Kingdom is peace in the Holy Spirit.
So, God is peace. It is that divine peace possessed by the trinity…Father, Son and Holy Spirit…that Paul wants us to have, that well‑being that is deep‑down settled and confident that all is well with God.
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