A Brief Provisional Outline of Biblical Teaching on Non-resistance and Peacemaking
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AffirmationThe Bible teaches non-resistance and peacemaking. This is the only conclusion to which onemay arrive from a
reading of the New Testament. For example, it is clearly taught bythe life and teaching of Jesus and the teaching of the apostles.EvidenceProphecy: Jesus is called the Prince of Peace in the prophecy of Isa 9:6.The angelic announcement of Christ’s birth: It concludes with the benediction, "Glory to God inthe highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:1).The example of Jesus: Jesus did not resist the violence to which he was subjected—beatings,lashing, and the cross—even though he could have called upon the armies of heaven to rescueHim (Matt 26:53). Furthermore, he did not retaliate in any way. Instead, he trusted God (1 Peter 2:21–23).Selected teaching given by Jesus and His apostles:
Blessed are the peacemakers
, for they will be
called sons of God
Do not resist an evil person
. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Love your enemies
pray for those who persecute you
may be sons of your Father in heaven
(Matt 5:39, 44, 45).
Do not repay anyone evil for evil
. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peacewith everyone.
Do not take revenge
, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: It ismine to avenge; I will repay,
says the Lord. On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feedhim; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcomeevil with good
(Rom 12:17–21).But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then
full of mercy
and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in
harvest of righteousness
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing
, because to this you werecalled so that you may
inherit a blessing
. For, whoever would love life and see gooddays must
turn from evil and do good
; he must
seek peace and pursue
it (1 Peter 3:9–11).
, that you should
follow in his steps
. Whenthey hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.Instead, he
entrusted himself to him who judges
justly (1 Peter 2:21, 23).Selected examples of appeals for peace and unity made by Christ and His apostles.Jesus’ prayer for unity: John 17Paul’s appeal to unity based on the example of Jesus: Phil 2The symbolism of the Lord’s Supper: 1 Cor 10The purpose of the death of Christ: Reconciliation between God and people, in other words, theremoval of enmity and the restoration of peace.The consequence of the reconciliation of God and people: Peace and unity between people and people groups.ConclusionPeacemaking and non-resistance appear to be the overriding characteristics of the story lived bythose who are disciples of the Prince of Peace and children of His Father.