Our Peace With God
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1
Our peace with God is not as between two nations before at war; but as between a king and rebellious and guilty subjects. While our hearts are at last at rest, it is because God, against whom we sinned, has been fully satisfied at the cross. "Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" does not mean peace through what He is now doing, but through what He did do on the Cross. He "made peace" by the blood of His cross. All the majesty of God’s holy and righteous throne was satisfied when Christ said, "It is finished." And, being now raised from the dead, "He is our peace." But it is His past work at Calvary, not His present work of intercession, that all is based upon; and that gives us a sense of the peace which He made through His blood.*
This peace with (or towards) God must not be confused with the "peace of God" of Philippians 7:7, which is a subjective state; whereas peace with God is an objective fact — outside of ourselves. Thousands strive for inward peace, never once resting where God is resting — in the finished work of Christ on Calvary.**
"I hear the words of love,
I gaze upon the blood;
I see the mighty Sacrifice,
And I have peace with God,
‘Tis Everlasting peace,
Sure as Jehovah’s name;
‘Tis stable as His steadfast throne,
For evermore the same.
My love is oftimes low,
My joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same,
No change Jehovah knows.
I change, He changes not,
God’s Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place,
His truth, not mine, the tie."
* The Romanist will go to "mass" and "confession"; and the Protestant "attend church"; but neither will find peace with God by these things. Prayers, vows, fastings, church duties, charities – what have these to do with peace? – if Christ "made peace by His blood"!
** The difference may be brought out by asking ourselves two questions: First, Have I peace with God? Yes; because Christ died for me. Second, Have I the peace of God in quietness from the anxieties and worries of life in my heart? We see at once that being at peace with God must depend on what was done for us by Christ on the cross. It is not a matter of experience, but of revelation. On the contrary, the peace of God "sets a garrison around our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus," when we refuse to be anxious about circumstances, and "in everything (even the most ‘trifling’ affairs) by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known unto God." Every believer is at peace with God, because of Christ’s shed blood. Not every believer has this "peace of God" within him; for not all have consented to judge anxious care and worry as unbelief in God’s Fatherly kindness and care.
– William Reed Newell, Romans Verse by Verse
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