The Gospel According to Paul: Peace Accord. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, April 23, 2018
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1–2).
With talk of war in the endless news cycle, it is a breath of fresh air to hear of the blessings of peace. It’s not that the news reporters do not talk about peace at all, mind you, but it’s often in the context of diplomatic relations getting off to a good start and then breaking down somewhere along the way. The peace of which we speak today is a lasting peace that transcends this world and this life, and transports us into God’s eternal kingdom.
As we discuss this peace briefly today, I would like to direct your attention to the contrast Paul taught us about our innate hostility with God and how He chose to handle it.
Here are examples of each:
“For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5–8, HCSB).
This is how God seeks to resolve the diplomatic problems between our wicked self governments and His holy government:“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation” (Romans 5:6–11, NET).
Do you think this is a good reason to rejoice?
Just When Things Had Broken Down
Paul taught that God took the necessary measures to create a peace accord with us. And, He did this while we were still innately hostile toward Him. God’s peace accord empowers His enemies to become friends. Isn’t that wonderful? We have access to this peace accord through faith, which empowers us to stand in His presence. He welcomes us into the throne room of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible is clear that only those who live clean lives with clean hearts can continue in His presence. When God makes us seen in heaven as though we had never sinned (justification), He gives us power to do all He commands. All peace accords have conditions. If we wish to be at peace with God then, on the condition of our constant faith in Him, we consent to be motivated by His power to do all He says and make no provision to disobey Him. If we do make mistakes along the way, we do have an Advocate that can recover the peace accord; His name is Jesus Christ. If you want peace with God, keep faith in Jesus.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?