Peace with God or Peace Among Men?
Read Romans 5:1-2, 10 (ESV)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God... For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Would you rather be at peace with God through Jesus Christ or be at peace with the world?
In our culture today, there seems to be a premium on keeping the peace between different groups of people. So much so that peace has been elevated in value over God’s truth and obedience to His Word. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is valuing a false and fickle peace between humans in place of peace with God. But friends, it is so much more crucial that we make our peace with God. When this life is over, all that will matter is whether or not we were reconciled to Him.
Why are we enemies of God in the first place? Because our sin offends Him. He is holy and we are not. We are deserving of His just wrath. So often, we are afraid of offending people but we really ought to be afraid of offending God. James 4:4 warns: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
In Luke 12:4-5, Jesus confirms this truth: “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” If we want to be friends with the world, if we ignore sin, we are enemies of God!
So, how can we restore our relationship with Him? How can we be at peace with God? The answer is through faith in Jesus Christ. In today’s passage, Paul explains that Jesus came to die for our sins so that we can be justified (made right with God our Father). Jesus took on the wrath of God that we deserved and bore it for us when He died on the cross. Because Jesus did this for us, we have access to God and can stand before Him unashamed.
Once we are at peace with God, we should seek to live out our lives at peace with those around us. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). Unfortunately, the truth of the Gospel offends many people. Jesus reminded us in John 15:18 that the world hated Him first so the world will hate us as well. We should seek to live peacefully in the world, but never at the expense of the Gospel.
Friend, you can be at peace with God by placing your faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, being at peace with God may put you at odds with the rest of mankind. But rest assured. Peace with God gives us eternal hope! We are saved, we are reconciled to God, we have been given the grace to stand in God’s glorious presence! What does peace with this world give you?
Father, I want to be at peace with You. Thank You for making a way for my sins to be dealt with so that I do not have to suffer Your wrath but instead, I can rejoice in the hope of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Remind me to value my peace with You more than I value peace with the world. Amen.