2009-09-05 - Bona Fide Peace
Ephesians 6:15, The Gospel of peace.
Faith in Christ brings peace. It brings peace of conscience, peace with God, and peace with our fellow-man. Trusting in Christ also brings a peace that doubles as freedom freedom from anxiety and fear. Consider a good thunderstorm no, I mean a really good thunderstorm the kind where you get in bed and pull the covers over your head, or the kind where you run for the basement seeking cover. Such a time is generally not a time of peace, but the next time you experience one of these manifestations of Gods power, may I suggest that you think of it that way. Think of the God who created the thunder, controls the wind, and makes the storm. If you are resting in Christ alone for all your hope and trust, for forgiveness of your sins then this is the God who you not only have peace with, but Whom you serve, and Who also loves you. It puts a whole new spin on the thunderstorm when we consider the God behind it. If we are living faithfully before this God, then the thunderstorm can actually be a peaceful, dare I say spiritual experience. Who has power like the Living God?
Jesus had some parting words about peace for His disciples 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 heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. Peace, or Shalom, was a common Jewish greeting (1 Samuel 25:6). It communicated all manner of good to the person. The Jews would both greet one another with the phrase and depart with the same. Jesus is about to leave His disciples and He wishes them peace. However, Jesus communicates a little more here than the simple peace we see as a Jewish hello or goodbye. He adds this phrase, Let not your hearts be troubled. The disciples had recently heard this from Him in John 14:1. The chapter starts off with, Let not your hearts be troubled, and we might take these two phrases as bookends which include everything in between. There is much in between these two phrases, but primarily it concerns the sending of the Holy Spirit after Jesus leaves. We could say in summary, Why should your hearts be untr oubled? Why should you have peace? Answer: Because if you have Me, Christ says, you will be OK.
Let us end by considering one more peace passage. Romans 5:1, Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you justified by faith? Do you have Christs righteousness imputed to you? Then you have peace with the Living God. You have peace with the One with Whom we have to do. You have peace with the One before Whom you will one day stand face-to-face and give an account. Through Christ there is peace between you and God. This is beyond huge. This is a life changing thought. God, who was once at war with you, is now, through Christ, reconciled. In the scope of eternity nothing else matters. We all have day-to-day concerns, and they are important, but this one truth is most important. We must have peace with God. If we fail here, we have failed in everything. However, if God has become our friend, then even the failures and struggles of this life need not cause us anxiety and worry because the one thing needful is secure. We will never know peace outside of Christ, but when we trust in the Gospel of peace, there can be, and is, lasting eternal peace.
Soli Deo Gloria,