2008-06-25 - Summer Questions
2008 #2: Lasting Peace
Nahum 1:15, "Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace!"
Do you have peace? In today's world, peace is rare. I don't actually have in mind the contrast between war vs. peace, although that certainly takes away from our peace, but I have in mind peace of heart, peace of conscience, peace with God. Without that kind of peace, any peace we do have is only temporary and transient. We might cut straight to the matter here and simply state that there is no peace without Christ. Christ brings peace, and there are many ways to illustrate this, but let us simply remember what the angels said concerning the birth of Christ, "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among men," Luke 2:14. Even in His birth, Christ brought peace. The angels knew it, and until we experience new birth and regeneration, in Christ, we will always be seeking - but never finding - peace. Outside of Christ, true peace always eludes the seeker.
Peace with God is experienced when we know His forgiveness from sin in Christ. Reconciliation with the Holy Living God, who endures nothing unholy, when we are all sin, might seem difficult. And it is. It is beyond us to accomplish or bring about this reconciliation. There is no work, or works, that we could do to earn God's favor. Even the best we could do would only be what we should have been doing all along and could, in no way, make up for all our past failures. We said obtaining this peace was a difficult thing, but how is it difficult? It is difficult because sin must be atoned for, and there is no atonement for sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). We know this from the Old Testament, but we also know from the Old Testament that the sacrifice for sin had to be without blemish. We see this often in the Old Testament. The first time it is mentioned is in the institution of the Passover in Exodus 12:5, where we read of the sacrifice to be offered, "Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old." None of us is without sin, so we cannot offer anything blameless, without flaw, or pure on our behalf. The offering must come from outside of ourselves, and then must be applied to us. We cannot do it ourselves.
The only One to live an unblemished life was Christ. We are told in Hebrews 9:26 that He has "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." This is our hope. Christ is the only way to have peace with God. He accomplished the compensation due to God because of our rebellion. We deserve punishment, and our conscience tells us this. It is why we have no peace. But amends have been made between us and God, in Christ - who gives His righteousness, which is perfect - to all who come to Him in faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8.
This is where peace is found. It is found in Christ. We try to find peace in pleasure, work, relationships - really anything, but always fail. It is only found in Christ. As said, it is difficult to obtain, but not for us. The difficulty was put upon Christ when He bore our punishment, taking our sin upon Him, on the cross, and undergoing the punishment due to us. It was difficult, but not for us. The grace Christ offers is free, and it is had by faith. It is the wonder of free grace, and if you also would have peace of conscience, peace with God, today I would urge you to come to Christ in faith, seek mercy where it can be found, "and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus," Philippians 4:7
Soli Deo Gloria,
Editor's Note: The questions in this series are stated in the exact form sent by the readers - unedited, unproofed, in order to remain true to the reader's original wording.