Peace With God

Romans 5:1  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
 
The sinner is at war with God Whose judgment he cannot but dread. He is guilty and knows it, but the effort for him to forget it always is vain, still more so to hide it from God. Even conscience recalls the sins long committed, just when the remembrance is most painful and overwhelming. Nor does the Holy Spirit fail to apply the word of God where there is an ear to hear. All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light. This aggravates the darkness, and makes evident the unbeliever's total unfitness for God's presence. For indeed His glory is the standard; and how far sinful man comes short!
But the Lord Jesus is a perfect Savior, and the only one. And as He came from God, so is He gone to God. He came down in love; He is gone up in righteousness, and between the two He could and did say, “I if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me.” John 12:3232And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32). For He made peace through the blood of His cross. Col. 1:2020And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20). For whom did He make peace, if not for those who deeply need it? And as God sent His Son for this end, His heart welcomes the troubled penitent that looks to Him for it. Yea, God anticipates poor doubting man, and sets him at ease by gracious tidings which He now sends everywhere, preaching peace by Jesus Christ.
Of old God told His ancient people, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God. They have all turned aside; they are together becomes unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” So the apostle quoted from Psa. 53 and others, and from Isa. 59. Is it not as true of you in Christendom? Are you not as bankrupt in righteousness, in spiritual intelligence, in any real care even about God? Nay, it is true of all that they have swerved, and together been unprofitable in His sight, and not even one practicing good. Nor is there a member of man's body untainted by corruption or violence. What then but destruction and misery in such ways, and peace's way unknown? Ah! how true that no fear of God is before men's eyes.
But why perish in your sins? Why persist in guilty wretchedness, when God is calling to you, and calling you to Himself? The apostle in 2 Cor. 5 declares that God was in Christ reconciling, not worthy men, nor His ancient people, but the “world” to Himself; nay, more, not reckoning unto them their trespasses. May you believe it! He represents himself and others laboring in the gospel as ambassadors on behalf of Christ. For the counsel of peace is between Them both, Who would win you from the enemy and sin and its judgment, that you might have peace with God. We beseech you, says he, Be reconciled to God. Him Who knew no sin, Christ, He made sin for us that we might become God's righteousness in Him. There is no barrier on God's part, and He declares that in the cross of Christ He has made full provision for you, spite of all your evil. If you bow as a sinner and call on the name of the Lord, God assures you that Christ took your place in divine judgment of sin there to give you His place in righteousness and glory.
Thus the ground of peace, for the soul that is troubled before God, is Christ the propitiation for sins (1 John 2:22And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)) Him therefore has God forth a propitiatory or mercy seat through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:2525Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)). You might, as you are, justly dread His judgment seat. But divine grace has interposed, after the sins, and before the judgment. Oh, trifle with neither! Unbelief will not save but destroy you. Hear His word and believe Him now. “Behold now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6) For all that believe Christ bore the sins in His own body on the tree; and you may draw near in faith to God's own presence, for the veil is rent, and the blood is upon the mercy seat and before it. And why was the blood sprinkled seven times before it (Lev. 16), if not to give complete assurance to him that thus and now approaches God in the true sanctuary?
No wonder that you, believing God's testimony concerning His Son, are entitled to peace, to peace with Him now and evermore, Undoubtedly your sins were many and great, yourself unworthy and sinful. But the Son of Man, it is written, came to seek and save that which is lost. Salvation is therefore yours if on the warrant of God's word you believe on Him. It is all well if your soul has been deeply concerned as you weighed your evil life in God's sight. But no such exercises can ever give you peace; any more than the harrowing of a field can itself yield a harvest. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can avail for you. But if we believe God's estimate of His blood as in Rom. 3, Rom. 4 points us to his resurrection as God's proof of our justification. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justification comes out of faith, not out of works of law. The soul is justified on that principle, and on none other. But having been thus justified, we know that the burden of guilt is rolled away by a divine work brought home to us, and “we have peace with God.” It is through Christ alone meritoriously, but it cannot be ours save by faith. Believing, we have peace with God.
So Christ, with His death in view, left peace as His legacy to His own (John 14:2727Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)); and as He promised, so He performed (John 20:19, 2119Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19)
21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (John 20:21)
), on the resurrection day saying, “Peace be unto you.” He repeated it, both for their own souls, and for His work as His envoys to others. Without peace resting on God's word we cannot enjoy our real relationship as children of God, nor can we draw near to worship the Father in spirit and truth; the conscience is unpurged, and the affections have no due exercise, To have peace with God is the normal privilege of a Christian.