...all that go forth to military service...
It is a blessed privilege to carry with us wherever we go the wonderful message of the Gospel of peace. This is a privilege that God has given to all His saints; it is not the prerogative of the preacher, although he has a special privilege in relation to God’s testimony. This preparation is not only for our speaking the word of the Gospel of peace, but that our every step should be marked by peace that is consistent with the Gospel. The Gospel not only brings us peace with God, but a life that is honoring to God, and in which are all beautiful features exhibited in Christ’s manhood here.
One of the requirements of a bishop given in 1 Tim. 3:3 is "not a brawler." Brawling is utterly inconsistent with Christianity, as is every other trait that would dishonor the name of the Lord before the world or bring disquietude among the saints of God. Our God is a God of peace, and one of the seven things that He hates is, "he that soweth discord among brethren." (Prov. 6:19).
Before the Gospel reached us, as sinners of the Gentiles, we were without God, and "the way of peace" we did not know. But now the Gospel has provided shoes for our feet, not only shoes of privilege for the house of God, like those given to the returned prodigal, but shoes of peace for the conflict. It is written concerning wisdom, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace" (Prov. 3:17). This is the path we are all called to tread and one that is so contrary to that of the natural man.
The steps of the blessed Lord Jesus were always marked with peace, even when meeting Satan--whether in the wilderness or at the cross--and even when meeting those whom Satan used, whether religious or political leaders, in seeking to hinder His work for His God and Father.
The exhortation to "follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord," was written to those who had received the Gospel of peace while contending for the faith (whether for its foundations or its superstructure). We are not to be marked by a contentious spirit, which belongs to the flesh, but by the Sprit of Him who said "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you." To the man of the world and the untaught Christian it will be an enigma that those whose feet are shod with peace can hope to stand for God in the spiritual conflict of Christianity. Paul, before the leaders of Israel, before Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa, exhibited the same peaceful traits as did his Lord and master before the chief Priests, Herod, and Pilate. With the Lord all was perfection; He never uttered a threat or spoke an angry word in the presence of all His false accusers, even though a word from His mouth could have swept all into perdition.