Peace

“Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was
imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him
who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our
offenses, and was raised because of our justification. 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 4:23-5:2).


     The gospel of
Christ is God’s power unto salvation (Romans 1:16). It is through this gospel
and the obedience to the faith that we have peace with God (Romans 1:5; Romans
16:26). Paul said that he stood in that grace; the grace he was talking about
was the gospel of Christ. “…I declare to you the gospel… in which you stand” (1
Corinthians 15:1). If some individual wishes to have the peace of God that we
are going to write about today, then they must be obedient to that system of
faith and stand in the gospel and grace of Christ Jesus.

     If the peace of
God is something that we have only when we are in Christ, then the opposite
must be true for those who do not stand in the gospel. While they may not have
the peace of God, that does not exclude them from other forms of peace. Jesus
said to His apostles concerning the Comforter, “Peace I leave with you, My
peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The world, then, has
the ability to offer some types of peace. It is because of the world’s peace
that many do not see the necessity of the gospel of Christ. The world may offer
financial security, peace from wars, or perhaps even peace within a family. I
know of an attorney who has a radio commercial that says, “Peace of mind is
just a visit away.”

     While the world
can offer various types of peace, it does not compare with the peace that can
be found through Christ. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians
4:7). David Lipscomb said concerning the peace of God Jesus promised in John
14:27, “The peace that Jesus
gave them was not peaceable and pleas­ant surroundings. It was not an outward
or external peace, but it was a composure and peace of mind and spirit that no
external surroundings or troubles can destroy or disturb. This is the only sure
and true peace on earth. Disturbances, trials, and troubles will arise in the
world, and the mind that is dependent upon the external surroundings for peace
will never find peace on earth. One who believe and trusts in Jesus, the Spirit
of God dwells with and imparts to him the Spirit of Jesus, and he becomes a
partaker of the peace that Jesus possesses. With the peace of Jesus in our
hearts, we may look without fear on all the troubles and disturbances of life.
This is unlike the peace the world proposes[1]

(Lipscomb).

     As brother
Lipscomb so eloquently stated, when an individual has the peace of God, there
is nothing in this life that we have to eternally fear. When we have the love
of God, we have an indescribable peace that “casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
When we read the writings of the New Testament authors, we get great examples
of this type of peace that comes through fellowship with God. Below is a
sampling of such peace.

“Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears,
and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned
him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named
Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud
voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said
this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:57-60).

“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on
the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:17-18).

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial
which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice
to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is
revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for
the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests
upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But
let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in
other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be
ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:12-16).

    It is this level
of peacefulness that we should all wish to obtain, but it is impossible to have
this depth of peace if we are outside of the body of Christ. I pray that
whatever may be keeping you from having the peace of God is quickly cast aside
in order that you may have the confidence that is offered to all who are in
Christ. The reason why the peace of God passes all understanding is that when an individual who is in Christ dies, they are able to continue to live on in Christ and experience a rest that is far greater than anything this world can offer.

“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them”” (Rev 14:12-13).


[1] Lipscomb,
David. A Commentary on the Gospel According to John. Nashville:
Gospel Advocate, 1971. E-Sword Version can be found at http://thecobbsix.com

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