Today, I seek to encourage you with the Bible’s assurance that there is peace between you and God despite sin.
Peace Isn’t Easy
Peace is hard to come by. No matter who you are or where you are, there seems to be always something that disturbs your peace.
There’s a pandemic that causes great anxiety and sickness. There’s noise. Something happens to a friend or family member that worries. Someone gets mad. Someone wants to take something out on us. A health scare arises. There’s a misunderstanding. There’s something you must do at an inconvenient time. …. It never ends.
We have to work at keeping the peace. Paul, the inspired Apostle of God, the one who met Jesus on the road to Damascus, knew this. He had been thrown into prison several times, beaten, chased out of cities, yelled at, and more. He knew that peace was hard to come by for anyone.
Peace Between You and God
Paul can’t take away the noise, misunderstandings, and such things. But Paul does provide reassurance of the most important kind of peace.
Paul wrote a letter that explains to people that “we have peace with God ….” (Romans 5:1)
Who is this “we” that has peace with God?
Paul, at the outset of his letter, says that his letter is to “all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people ….”
Who does God love? Who are called to be his holy people?
God loves everyone. Most consider everyone to be called to be holy, including by Jesus (see, for example, Matthew 5:48). And Paul’s letter to people in Rome is nearly universally viewed as applicable to all persons, not just persons in Rome.
It appears to me that the “we” Paul is referring to is everyone.
And that “we,” that everyone, includes you and me.
Peace with God
Pause on this for a moment. Don’t take it for granted.
Peace. With God. You have it.
It’s huge, having peace with the divine, with God.
You and I have peace with God, the creator of the universe, even though we are not doing everything God would have us do and am not not doing everything God would have us not do. We sin.
God knows we don’t live up — we can’t live up — completely. We sin. Yet the Bible says that we have peace with God.
Why and How Do We Have This Peace?
We certainly don’t deserve it. Why and how do we have this peace?
The Bible explains that this peace is “through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (Romans 5:1-2)
We have it through Jesus, through our faith in Jesus, and now we stand in this grace.
Not through standing on avoidance of sin.
Not through standing on our efforts to be righteous.
Not through correctly figuring out what is and is not sin.
But through Jesus, faith, and grace.
We stand in grace. We have peace.
What if I Still Sin?
Of course you do. I do. We try to do the right thing. Sometimes we do the right thing. Sometimes we doubt what some people claim is and is not sin. Sometimes we do the wrong thing. Sometimes we aren’t sure. Sometimes we know we sin. Sometimes we don’t.
But the Bible assures us, “Christ died for the ungodly. … God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Jesus did not wait for repentance before dying for us. Jesus knew and knows we are sinners. Jesus died for us knowing this and while we were sinners.
All people that God loves and that are called to be God’s holy people — including the “ungodly,” including sinners, including … — has peace with God. (Romans 5:1, 6-8)
Everyone has peace with God through Jesus, per the Bible, including you and including me, sinners.
Peace is hard to come by.
Think about your life and the bad things that happen out of the blue. The noise, the frustration, the hardship, the damaged relationships, the worry, the challenges, ….
With much in our life, we do not have peace.
Think about how much you would like to have peace with all those things.
But now consider you have peace with God through Jesus, according to scripture.
Peace. With God.
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Sources / Notes
All scripture quotes from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
This article includes part of a sermon I delivered.