“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 (Read Romans 5:1-11)
A common Biblical greeting is the word “peace” (Shalom in Hebrew and Eirene in Greek). But the word, as it is here used in the Bible, does not refer to earthly peace among nations but to peace with God. What does it mean to have peace with God, and how can we have that peace?
When we remember that all of us are by nature enemies of God and in rebellion against Him – not loving Him, trusting Him or seeking to honor Him with our lives by obeying His commandments – and that we are, as a result, under the wrath and condemnation of God our Maker, the prospect of having peace with the LORD God restored is indeed inviting, for not to have this peace is to stand condemned to eternal punishment in hell.
To have peace with God is to be pardoned and forgiven. It is to be acquitted by Him for all our transgressions of His perfect and holy law, and it is to be accepted back into fellowship with the LORD God who fashioned and made us in our mothers’ wombs. And that peace was won for us by the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of God’s only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in our stead, and it becomes ours when we trust in Christ and His perfect sacrifice for sin (cf. v. 5-11; 2 Cor. 5:18-21).
The Bible says: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:13-18).
Whether Jew or Gentile, Jesus won for us peace with God the Father by the shedding of His holy and precious blood in our stead, for all sins. And that peace of sins forgiven is ours not by anything we do to please God but through faith in what Christ Jesus has done for us when He died on the cross and rose again in victory over sin, death and the devil.
For Christ’s sake, God is gracious to us and offers to us in the Gospel His pardon and peace that we might repent of our sinful ways and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His cross for forgiveness for all our sins and life everlasting.
And, when we have God’s pardon and forgiveness through faith in Christ, we also “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (v. 2) and “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (v. 11), for we have the certainty that, as Christ was raised up from the dead on the third day, so we will be raised up on the Last Day unto life everlasting with our God and Savior!
Dearest Lord Jesus, we thank You for shedding Your blood on the cross and making atonement for all our sins that we might have peace with God and the certain hope of the eternal joys of heaven through faith in your name. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]