I don’t fully grasp the idea of having peace with God. Romans five tells me that being justified, I then have peace with God. I certainly don’t live like I believe this!
I’ve been reading a fantastic book called “A Gospel Primer” by Milton Vincent wherein he goes very in-depth in gospel truth and gospel implication. The Holy Spirit has been moving in my heart through the biblical truths presented. The Gospel is starting to appear more and more beautiful to me as I dwell on it daily.
In verse two of Romans five Paul tells us that we have “obtained access…into this grace” how amazing is that? We literally have access to the creator of the universes glorious grace! But what does that mean? It means that though we are deeply sinful and our hearts are desperately wicked, God through Christs saving work on the cross has peace with us despite us! This means we can have access to God because Jesus has purchased access for us!
I’ve noticed very practical ways this fleshes out (though very imperfectly). For instance the thought that God would have peace with someone as wretched as I used to be (and still am many times!) means that I should pursue peace if at all possible with all men and women around me. I can’t hold grudges and hate in my heart because I am so much
worse than people think I am, and yet Jesus still decided to save me out of my desperation!
How can we be angry with our spouses when we know we are deserving of God’s Holy wrath, and yet Jesus stands in our places? We cannot live the same as the world knowing this glorious truth.
And we don’t only know this truth, we have access into it through Christ.
Access, not just knowledge. Access means we don’t just recite words “i have peace with God” our whole souls are made alive and transformed and amazed at the grace of God.
Access to peace with God, Paul continues, means that we can know that suffering is not because of God’s impending wrath upon us, but rather it is producing a weight of Glory that we cannot comprehend. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good, including suffering. We may not know what His purpose is, but we can know it is not purposeless.
It’s basic logic to follow this line of thinking. If God’s wrath has been substituted into Christ on the cross, this means that God’s wrath cannot be upon those whom He has saved. Following this logic, then all suffering isn’t God punishing you for your sins, but rather it is God shaping and molding you to look more like Jesus. And if Romans 8:28 is true, then you can know that it will never be in vain. You can suffer with purpose because you have peace with God.
For me, dwelling on peace with God has helped me battle my sin. I always lived like God was ready to reprimand and look down with disgust at me every time i overtly gave into sin. But He already poured that all out on Jesus. So He can’t look upon me in judgement.
So how did this help me fight sin? If i know that God isn’t a begrudging frustrated father, but rather a kind and loving father, then i can know that His commands against sin is not because of some masochistic reason, but rather, He loves me too much to let one of his sons (or daughters) continue in their sinful habits and destroy themselves.
His reprimands don’t come from a place of wrath, but rather a place of love and fatherly correction. And when I know that God is for me and my ultimate good, that is a God I am happy to obey and serve, even when it may not feel good.