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And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Peace. The Greek word eirne appears in every New Testament book with the exception of 1 John and means peace, tranquility, unity, concord, and every type of blessing.
This is speaking of more than the peace that Paul shares in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (emphasis added). Peace with God comes to every person the moment that they believe and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, and it comes when our sins are forgiven, and we are declared to be righteous before God.
This is the peace that Jesus gives to God’s children who trusts and pray – “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27 (HCSB). All Christians have peace with God, but not all have the peace of God. Peace with God depends on faith, and the peace of God depends on prayer. The peace with God describes the relationship between God and the believer, and peace with God speaks of the status of the believer with himself. In the Old Testament, Isaiah spoke of this truth; “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3.
Paul says that it “surpasses all understanding,” the word surpasses (Greek (ὑπερέχω huperechō) huperecho from huper “over” and echo “to have”) literally means to surpass, to excel, to be superior. It is beyond what the mind (understanding – Greek nous), the seat of understanding in man is capable of knowing. As Paul states in Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Paul described it this way to the church at Colossae – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15). Peter taught the same truth as we see in 1 Peter 1:5 – “who by the power of God are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
This peace will guard (φρουρέω phroureō; from φρουρός phrouros) a word that means to protect by a military garrison from a hostile invasion. As Vine describes it, in this “passage, the idea is not merely that of protection, but the inward garrisoning of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 3:23). This speaks of a peace within while there is an outward battle that seeks to break down the outer walls.
What will this peace guard? Paul says, “your hearts and your minds….” Hearts (καρδία kardia) was understood to be the center of man, the seat of his will and emotions, while the mind (Greek noemata) was the where the thoughts emanated from. So, the garrison of the Holy Spirit will live in the believer and will protect against invasion our will, emotions, and thoughts. Further, this peace guards by keeping anxieties from our choices and our attitudes. The peace of God brings power to endure the onslaughts of the world around us.
J. Vernon McGee puts it this way in his commentary on Philippians,
“Notice that we entered this passage in anxiety, with worry, and we come out of the passage with peace. Between the two was prayer. Have things changed? Not really. The storm may still be raging, the waves still rolling high, the thunder still resounding. Although the storm has not abated, something has happened in the individual. Something has happened to the human soul and the human mind. In our anxiety we want God to change everything around us. ‘Give us this.’ ‘Don’t let this happen.’ ‘Open up this door.’ We should be praying, ‘Oh, God, change me.’ Prayer is the secret of power. We enter with worry, we can come out with peace.
Joy is the source of power, prayer is the secret of power.”
In this section Paul approaches peace from two slightly varying perspectives, having peace within troublesome circumstances (vv. 4-7) and constructing an environment of peace. (vv. 8-9)
We can have peace in the midst of trial and tribulation in our life through prayer, but Paul encourages the Philippian believers to build a setting in which we live that exudes the joy and peace that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul is about to offer eight qualities that will create this environment of peace for the believer.
 Wesley J. Perschbacher, ed., The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, ed. Wesley J. Perschbacher (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1990). Page 120.
 “Let us have peace with God” is the reading in four of the earliest manuscripts (א* A B* C), as well as (D L 33 1739*) Marcion. “We have peace with God” is found in two earliest manuscripts, as well as (א1 B2 F G P Ψ 0220vid 1739).
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 408.
 A garrison is a body of troops stationed in a fortified place, or the place where such troops are stationed. It is considered any military post, especially a permanent one.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 284.
 Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments – Volume 3, Vol. 3 (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008). Page 437. See also W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 296.
 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. V, V vols. (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 1983). Page 325. Emphasis in the original.