The most wonderful thing about the grace of God and the process He has put in place through faith in His work in Jesus Christ is that we now can have peace with God.
Are you aware that before coming to Christ you were actually at war with God? Did you know that you were God's enemy before coming to Jesus Christ? And if you are not currently with Jesus Christ you still stand as an enemy of Christ and thus an enemy of God. And if you are an enemy of God, you cannot have peace with God.
But as Paul says in this one verse, through Christ we now have peace with God. Even more than that, the peace of God rests upon us through Jesus Christ and we can hold onto His peace through the working of the Holy Spirit as we walk with Him.
So let us briefly look at what this peace is and why we have it now.
Enmity with God
The scripture in Romans 5:1 says,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since we now have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ, the reverse of this must also apply before coming to him. That is, prior to coming to Christ we did NOT have peace with God.
We stood opposed to God because of sin. When man chose to sin rather than to obey God, he put himself at odds with God and became an enemy.
Today whenever a person chooses to disobey rather than do what is the right thing and is the way and will of God, they are choosing disobedience and stand opposed to God.
It is sin that stands between man and God and it is sin that makes us an enemy of God. We may not even realise that this is the case, but consider this, whenever a person does the opposite of what God's will is they are opposing the will of God.
Think of a similar situation in the world such as a parent and their kids. When children rebel against the wishes and will of the parents they stand opposed to the parents and are subject to punishment for their disobedience. It is the same with man and God.
The parents still love their children, but they may get angry at them and subject them to various forms of punishment depending on the nature of the disobedience. Likewise God may still seek what is best for people, for it is His desire that none are lost, but those who do evil or do the wrong thing will still suffer the consequences of their wrongdoing.
And while we are at odds with God, standing in His judgement and under condemnation, we are not at peace with God.
However, God established in Jesus Christ the pathway to reconciliation. We do not have to remain as enemies of God any longer.
Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins to enable us to be reconciled to God the Father. In Jesus Christ we are set free from our sin, which are are taken away from us, and we are set from the law never to break it again.
The ministry of reconciliation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and by being obedient to the word of God, which is to believe in Jesus Christ.
I have covered much of this process how the reconciliation works for it is based in the teachings of baptism, and this has been covered in some detail in the past few posts. Rather than cover it again, if you wish to know more look back at the past few posts or do a search on this site of the tags on baptism, freedom from sin, freedom from law and the new covenant.
Suffice to say that it was the will of God that we be reconciled to Him so that we could have peace with God.
Why? Because it was only when we were no longer enemies that He would be prepared to help us to find the pathway to righteousness.
God will help those who want to be helped and who seek Him out. An enemy will not seek help and an enemy will not help another enemy. But in Christ Jesus we cease to be the enemies of God and through faith we receive God's grace to help us to find the pathway to His kingdom.
Path of Peace
When Jesus left the earth He made this statement to the disciples. He said in John 14:27,
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The path of peace begins with accepting Jesus Christ as saviour and lord and humbling ourselves through repentance to Him.
The peace we then receive from The Lord is the peace of God. It is not like any gift given amongst men for there are no strings attached to the peace or the gifts of God. We cannot repay Him for His gifts for there is nothing we could give in exchange.
Besides, it is God's good pleasure to help His people find all good things, especially peace.
In this world there is no peace. There is only strife, trouble, wrath, fear, angst, competition and worse. There is evil, sin and man taking advantage of his fellow man. There is no peace. At best there is compromise but there is no lasting peace.
But in Christ we have no reason to fear any of these things and if they do befall us, we have faith and confidence that The Lord can and will sort the issues out. Thus in Christ we have peace within for we turn to Him and rest on his power to resolve all things.
And all of this is traced back to the peace we have in Jesus Christ with God. Because we believe and have faith in God, he is prepared and willing to help us in our times of need and to forgive us when we make mistakes. This is the power of having peace with God.
Peace with God is a wondrous and wonderful gift from God. Knowing that He will be there on our side when we need His guidance and His help is a great comfort and a reason for us to remain at peace.
And if we have peace with God and are at peace within ourselves, nothing can take it away. If we rely on external things to make us happy and give us peace, they can be taken from us. But the internal peace that comes from God and the knowledge that we have peace with Him regardless of what happens cannot sway us and we remain strong. The testing of our faith then helps strengthen us and the peace we have with God, which we will look at in a post coming up shortly.
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