God of Peace, God of War
I recently was informed of a "Bible contradictions" page that included the following:
Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
This is, of course, laughable. But as I was thinking about it, why would an unbeliever consider these things to be contradictions?
How can God be a God of peace and a God of war?
We can think of other supposed "contradictions" about God:
God is a God of mercy and a God of justice.
God is a God of love and of hate.
God is a friend and an enemy.
God is a God of wrath and a God of lovingkindness.
God is a God of life and a God of death.
And on and on we could go.
Why does this unbeliever think such things would be contradictions? What does he not understand?
Well, all we have to do is ask this: What makes the difference between God showing love and God showing hate? What makes the difference between God's being a friend and being an enemy? What makes the difference between God being a God of peace and a God of war?
It is the person and work of JESUS CHRIST! This person cannot understand who Jesus Christ is and what He did.
He would think that it is a contradiction that God is so holy that He cannot fellowship with anyone who is less than perfect, yet He fellowships with His people, who are less than perfect.
He would think that it is a contradiction that God cannot pour out His wrath on anyone who is perfectly righteous, yet He poured out His wrath on His Son, who is perfectly righteous.
God doing things based on imputation must be a flat-out contradiction to him.
He does not understand the basics of the gospel -- how God can be both just and justifier; how He can be both a just God and a Savior.
It all has to do with the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.
How incredibly great is that blindness, that darkness, that makes a person think that a God of peace and a God of war is a contradiction.
And you being dead in deviations and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom we also all conducted ourselves in times past in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of the understanding, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love [with] which He loved us, even we being dead in deviations, [He] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are being saved), and raised [us] up together and seated [us] together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, that He might demonstrate in the ages coming on, the exceeding great riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God; not of works, that not anyone should boast; for we are [His] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before prepared that we should walk in them. Because of this, remember that you, the nations, [were] then in [the] flesh (those having been called Uncircumcision by those having been called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands) that at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. And coming, [He] proclaimed peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but [you are] fellow citizens of the saints and [of the] family of God, being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being [the] cornerstone, in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in [the] Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in [the] Spirit. (Ephesians 2)