But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.—Ephesians 2:13-18
Peace is, next to love, one of the peak experiences humans most deeply desire. We desire to be in love and we desire to be at peace. What kind of peace does God offer us? The peace of God is much more than simply the absence of conflict—God's peace is security, assurance and serenity, produced by knowing God, by his grace, in a special and intimate way.
Because of Jesus we are now something we were not before. Because of Jesus we are not separated, we are near. Because of Jesus we now know God, as opposed to a time when we did not. Because of Jesus we now experience God's peace.
Before we accept Christ, we are, essentially, at war with God. We are not at peace with him, we are fighting against him. Unless and until we accept Christ, virtually everything we do is the opposite of God's ways. We are out to get what we want. We want our way, not God's way. We are hostile to God, because we feel that we are the center of the universe. We resent God—we don't want him involved in our lives. We don't want Jesus helping us—we believe that we can take care of our own lives. We seek our own peace, our own security and comfort by the acquisition of wealth and power.
Apart from Christ, our idea of peace in the western world is usually based on externals. It's all about what we can do. Humanly, there are several maxims regarding peace by external means.