Live Peaceably With All Men


Elder Robert Willis (dec)

Romans 12:18, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

It is interesting that the Apostle Paul began verse 18 of Romans 12 with the words, “If it be possible.” The second part of this three part sentence finds him adding to the first part “as much as lieth in you.” By our fleshly nature, it is impossible to “live peaceably with all men” as we should. Hate to say it, but there are times when the flesh gets the best of us, therefore solidifying the fact that we are indeed sinners. This verse of course, is not written to the evil of this world as they have no desire to do good or live peaceably with anyone. Paul is instructing the saints in Rome to “live peaceably with all men,” knowing just how hard it is to do so. That’s why he said “If it be possible.”

The second statement he made was due to Paul knowing our fleshly nature and how hard it is to live peaceably period. As much as within us is, we should strive to get along with everyone we come in contact with. We do not have to embrace their wicked ways, if that be the case, but we should not seek a confrontation with those who differ from our moral, ethical, political, or religious views. Sometimes it is a good thing to agree to disagree. We should make every effort to have peace among the children of God. Notice what Paul said in Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another.” To follow after means to seek after. In I Corinthians 14:33 we find Paul saying, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” Again, how is it that we will be able to live peaceably with all men to the best of our ability to do so? The answer is by following the teaching found in Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

When we let the “peace of God rule” in our heart, we then can live peaceably with those around us much like Joseph and Moses did in the Old Testament days. We cannot bring God under obligation to us at any time as He is Sovereign in all things. Paul is not saying to Let God Rule (we can’t let God do or not do anything), but rather he is stating that we are to let the peace of God (by having the mind of Christ) be forefront (rule) in everything we set our hands to do.