Short Meditations on Peace 3. Peace with & from God
Rom 5:1 we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
We left the previous meditation somewhat hanging but I wanted us to realise that without a living relationship with God any person WILL lack peace because God has designed us so that deep down, until we get it resolved, that is how it will be.
Now of course we cannot ‘get it resolved’ on our own. Because Sin is inherent within us we are helpless to get rid of it. That’s where Jesus came in. His work on the Cross, the New Testament tells us, includes taking the punishment we deserve for our Sin, all the wrongs we have ever thought, said or done. That, it goes on to say, is so that we can be at peace with God with justice having been satisfied, so we can enter into a relationship with Him. This is why the apostle Paul uses the word ‘reconcile’ or ‘reconciliation’ (e.g. Eph 2:16, Col 1:20, Rom 5:10).
The work of Jesus is all about restoring us to God (reconciling us to Him and Him to us) and thus restored, we may know peace with Him. He is not angry about our Sin because Jesus dealt with it; it no longer separates us from Him. We no longer have to be fearful of Him because we now know that He is the One who set up the whole plan of our salvation from the beginning of time, for us to receive today. The wonder is that we can do nothing to be ‘more saved’, we just are.
Everything He does is an expression of His love for us. To say that in this position we have peace, almost feels like an understatement but it is true; it is like peace is a background ‘environment’ for our lives. God’s love now brings all the features of the Christian life into our lives but peace is there as the background scenery on the stage of our lives. As good as I think that picture is, it doesn’t fully explain what takes place in our lives, because we said in the previous meditation that there is peace both in respect of God and from God.
We’ve just considered the ‘in respect of God’ bit but how does it comes ‘from God’? Well, it comes through His word; that’s how we hear about it, whether we read it ourselves or someone preaches it. As we hear the Gospel, as we come to understand our sinfulness and the wonderful work of Jesus on the Cross, so the Holy Spirit convicted us that this was the truth and we responded to him in repentance.
In what the Bible calls ‘the new birth’ – being ‘born again’ (Jn 3) – or converted, we were forgiven by God and justified (made right according to justice) AND He places His own Holy Spirit within us, i.e. His presence indwells us from then on, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (e.g. 1 Cor 3:16). Wherever He is, there is peace. Peace now indwells us. That is the starting place – but it can be disturbed, which we’ll see as we move on.