Much can be learned by the sincere seeker for truth by studying the apparent contradictions in the Bible. Here is one such “apparent contradiction.”
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government will be upon His shoulder: and His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
This is a prophecy of the Messiah, but when the Messiah came He said, “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
The universal reign of peace spoken of by Isaiah does not occur until after the second coming of Christ and this is one of the many reasons Christians look forward to His soon appearing in the clouds of heaven. That is why the angels sang at His birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).
Even though this universal external and internal peace will only be enjoyed after the second coming of Christ, nobody can experience this who has not first received inner peace. When Jesus left to His disciples a legacy of peace (John 14:27), this was an internal rather than an external peace because He said that they would not have peace on the outside in this world (John 16:33). This internal peace cannot be bought or sold or acquired by man’s intellect. It can be acquired only through Christ.
The first step in obtaining peace in your heart is to learn the lesson of penitence at the foot of the cross, because it is sin that has destroyed our peace. It is only as we surrender to the Lordship, the sovereignty, of Jesus, surrendering our will to His will, that we can receive forgiveness through the blood of the atonement that Jesus has made for us on the cross of Calvary. The gospel is a message of peace because only Jesus can bring to you peace on the inside.
When a person surrenders himself to Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to take possession of the heart and the life begins to be transformed. Sinful thoughts are put away and sinful actions are renounced and the anger, strife, and envy that are so much a part of human existence are exchanged for love, humility and peace.
There is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 57:21) but holiness of mind brings peace. Doing God’s will in dependence on divine power brings the peace of Christ into the heart. As we enter into communion with Christ we enter the region of perfect peace.