Receiving the peace of God changes us, Part 1 (Romans 5:1)

Romans 5:1

Last week we looked at how God made peace with us through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. Here we begin to explore some of the ways that receiving this peace changes us.

First, this peace changes how we view God. The late Bible scholar par excellence Robert Haldane once said: “While guilt remains in the conscience, enmity will also rankle in the heart; for so long as men look upon their sins as unpardoned and on God as the avenger of their transgressions, they must regard Him as being to them a consuming fire. But when they view God in Christ reconciling them to Himself, not imputing their iniquities to them, peace, according to the measure of faith, is established in the conscience.”

If that sounds like a lot to take in, let me say it again graphically. If a great thief knows his guilt, he will tremble on his way through the door into the courtroom. But, if he knows that everything he stole was paid back in full by the judge himself, his trembling will turn to joy. He has nothing left to fear. His heart now overflows with gratitude and joy before the judge, who paid his great debt.

Second, once we receive this gift of acquittal, we never need to worry about losing it. In Romans 5:1, the phrase, “by faith”, drips heavy with meaning. Nothing you did earned acquittal; therefore, nothing you do can cause you to lose it.

All other forms of peace we have in this world are fragile. The peace secured after World War II was quickly disturbed by the cold war, which then led to the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and now Ukraine. In our own lives, we know the peace we enjoy with friends and family could be disturbed by misunderstanding or, worse yet, a breach in the relationship. This peace God has given us, however, differs from all others. Once we lay our sword waving rebellion against God at his feet in submission to him, we receive full acquittal and with full acquittal permanent peace.

Are you longing for a peace that you cannot lose through abandonment or misstep? God holds out this peace to you in his Son, Jesus Christ. All you need to do is lay down your sword and accept his peace imbued embrace.

This peace will change your life in other ways too, but more on that next week.

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