For March 27, 2019
Our peace with God is the foundation on which our being, identity, choices, and destiny are forever changed. Through the vicarious and efficacious work of Jesus Christ, God deems us as having satisfied all of His righteous standards; suitable to have eternal, holy, and loving fellowship with Him according to Romans 5:1-2:
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 6:23 notes the wages of sin is death. In other words, someone had to die to pay sin’s price and reconcile us to God forever—Jesus did!
Our peace with God is complete and eternal because we are no longer at odds with Him due to our sinful past. (Jesus’ spilled blood at Calvary washes away our sins forever!) God accepts us into His family and into His holy presence forever. Jesus says those who come to Him will not be cast out in John 6:37. Also as the latter part of Romans 3:23 assures: “The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sometimes the Enemy (Satan) uses our memory of past negative experiences to perpetuate the lie we are worthless and cannot be loved or forgiven. People who struggle in this area will often say something like: “God will never love or forgive me…You don’t know what I’ve done!”
We should be ever mindful our past is immaterial since it has been erased and forgotten by the cross as Colossians 2:14 (NLT) states: “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He is aware of our past hurts as well as those “secret” sins no one else knows about. Yet He is willing to love, accept, treasure, value, and forgive us. Thus, we should be all the more willing to love, accept, treasure, value, and forgive ourselves.1
When we have peace with God, we can be at peace with others and ourselves. Here, we do not seek to avenge, harbor grudges, or express ill will toward the people who may have wronged us in the past. Nor do we express ill will toward those who are of a different color or culture. Instead, we give them all a “clean slate” and treat them as though they are precious in God’s sight—just as He does for us.
At Joppa, God reminded Peter that He shows no partiality, and He expects us to follow suit (Acts Chapter 10). There while Peter was ministering to the non-Jew Cornelius and his family, there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit similar to the one the Jews experienced at Jerusalem, as presented in Acts Chapter 2.
Ultimately through this experience, God shows how Christians are one body, and one family in Christ. Thus, today we can express genuine brotherly kindness (Greek: philadelphia) toward each other, or the social (or horizontal) dimension of our faith (the vertical dimension) in Christ, which allows us to fulfill our Lord’s prayer for unity:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20–23 (NIV)
Christians are a diverse people with Christ at the center. God loves, saves, and treats us as equals, while his Word and Spirit enable us to practice a loving fellowship (Greek: koinonia). This miracle of simultaneous unity and diversity under the banner of Christ validates our distinctive message of God’s grace and love.
The world is a cold, cruel, and lonely place, where smiles are rare, and where people are so busy that they do not have time to establish and maintain connections. Yet Christians yearn for opportunities to fellowship, because we enjoy our interconnection as a Christian family; where even strangers can feel welcome as we share their world and allow them to share ours.
Worshipping, praying, and fellowshipping, sharing a meal, spending time together, celebrating birthdays and special occasions, and attending events of mutual interest are all ways that we show the world that we are a family where no one is a stranger or outcast.
Over time, together we will affirm there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, by growing in His grace and not walking according to the flesh an its desires but according to His Spirit as Romans 8:1-2 teaches.
When we Christians show kindness, honor and prefer one another as Paul teaches in Romans 12:10, we show kindness, honor and prefer our Lord, who says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren [and my sisters], ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 (KJV)
Our peace with God results in a clear conscience that frees us from our past and opens new and exciting possibilities for our future. Now we can express positive, constructive feelings toward God, others, and ourselves.
- Active participation in a recognized Christian clinical treatment ministry or a certified recovery program in conjunction with a spiritual growth program within a local church can help us heal from the physical and emotional scars we sustained from past abuse. Also, developing and maintaining a support and accountability network can help ensure we stay on a path that leads us toward spiritual, emotional, and psychological healing and wholeness.