Peace, Grace and Glory (part 1)

This pastoral passage was first written for LRBC on May 15 2015.

Evangelical Christianity has traditionally been very strong on the fact that through faith in Jesus Christ they are justified, or acquitted from the guilt of their sin. But I think we are not so strong on remembering the fruits of that justification. These are, as detailed in Romans 5:1-2, peace, grace and glory. These summarise the Christian life in relation to God.

Peace with God is the immediate result of being justified; a change in our status that has happened in the past. We do not think much on the fact of the just anger of God. But it is hardly a rare idea in Scripture, and it is what is implied in this verse by the phrase ‘we have peace’. We might better appreciate peace with God if we could recall a time when we have suffered a devastating loss of peace with someone, and have wondered if anything could set it right again, if we could be forgiven and reconciled to that person. The resultant feeling might help us better reflect on the magnitude of this first blessing (although the relationship between humanity and God is rather different to the kind of ruptured relationship I have suggested).

Is your outlook on the Christian life shaped by the fact that you have peace with God? If it were not for what Christ has done we could not have peace but only expect righteous wrath and fury (cf. Rom 2:8; Isa 48:22). I myself find it easy to forget this and live in thankfulness. Peace with God is a foundational blessing of the right standing we have with him through Jesus Christ, so let us remember it always and give thanks for his mercy to us.