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10/12/2009 / Test All Things

Peace With God

Because justification is by grace alone through faith alone, there is peace with God (Romans 5:1). This is not just peace, but wonderful peace with God. Between God and us there is fundamental agreement and subsequent good will.

This peace is not something I will have or might have, but it is something I have now. The present possession of this blessed peace is experienced in the way of remembering that we are justified by faith alone through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we would only consider our sin, then we would lose the sense of peace with God.

The devil loves to have us focus on our sin. He uses our conscience and other humans to point out our sins and our sinfulness. He wants us to think that we are not good enough. He wants us to compare ourselves to others, because this invariably makes us consider our works.

He just wants us to look away from the cross of Christ.

The devil loves to make us know such guilt that we can find no way out, but stay guilty and condemned. Over against the devil, God wants His children to experience guilt, but only as that which drives us away from the merit of works to the merit of the cross of Christ. For God, guilt is the doorway through which we must pass in order to come into the awareness of being justified.

We are justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ. We must look at Him, and keep looking at Him. His perfect work is the only thing that can merit complete forgiveness and perfect righteousness. Faith in His cross and His resurrection assures us of justification. And so real is this forgiveness and righteousness that no one can or may lay a charge against us.

“If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth”
(Romans 8:31-33).

If we are not justified, then we are condemned. And so the apostle continues, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

God makes us look at Christ’s work to assure us of freedom from condemnation and the possession of justification. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.” Christ, our representative head, died for us. But there is more, “yea rather, that is risen again.”

In Romans 4:25 we learn that Jesus was raised for our justification. It gets better, “Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” At God’s right hand Jesus intercedes for us, pleading the riches of the merits of His cross, so God declares us justified. There is nothing that can separate us form the love of God and from our righteousness in Christ.

That is why we have peace with God!

Forgiveness and righteousness are ours according to the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7). It is not according to the measure of our repentance nor of the exercise of our faith. God’s forgiveness is according to the riches of His grace. His grace is the only standard. Faith knows that we are God’s children by adoption, possessing every right of children, including an eternal inheritance. And faith knows that our righteousness can never be lost and that we are heirs of eternal life. Standing in His grace we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2).

Peace with God is the ability to rejoice. We rejoice that we are not our own, but belong to our faithful Saviour in life and in death. We need never be tormented by the thought that we do not measure up or are not good enough. Instead we have confidence in approaching God, our conscience free “of fear, terror, and dread.” The only acceptance that matters is God’s, and we are “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). When God loves His beloved Son, then we may know that we are accepted in Him and loved for His sake.

Therefore, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is all that Paul had to say in answer to the Philippian jailor. Realize how completely forgiven and perfectly righteous you are. This is the peace that passes all understanding. Then, O sinner, you may go home justified!

By Ronald Van Overloop

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