PEACE – the war is over
When WW2 was over, there was great rejoicing in the streets all around the world. We
went from a state of war to a state of peace and that brought joy and great prosperity. Our war machine came to a halt and the baby boom started. Peace brings joy. Peace brings fellowship once more between previous enemies. Old hatreds can be forgotten. New relationships are possible. However, real peace costs – total surrender. We were at war with God as his enemies, but He paid the ultimate price to restore our relationship with him; and we need to take him at his word and believe to the point of our own total surrender. To live now in fear and unbelief is to reject his peace offering, just as if we were to continue to shun the Japanese or Germans who are now our allies now. Yet men do it all the time with God as they continue to try to appease God and avoid his wrath by their religious duties. They live in fear of God as if they are still at war with God trying to buy his favor. However God did everything that was necessary to allow us to live in peace and joy with him forever more; a peace that is unending. Thank you Jesus, now we can live rejoicing in you.
Peace and Joy
Rom 5:1-11 use this link for the NIV or use your favorite version of the bible. Highlight verses 1b, 2b, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11b.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of reconciliation. In your lost aggressive state against me – I died for you to reconcile you back to me. I paid the price. I opened the locked door. I paved the way. I have done everything necessary for you and me to have peace, fellowship, and joy in a reunited relationship together. What are you waiting for? There is nothing you need to do to better yourself first. There is nothing you have done which is too bad that I cannot, and have not already forgiven. Just believe my promise like Abraham did and let me give you the peace of my salvation.
I AM the God of peace, hope and love. Peace cost me dearly. While you were still my enemies I made peace with you through the death of my Son because I love you. He paid the price with his life so that you and I can be at peace. You can have a sure settled hope and joy, and not fear of judgment, provided you accept my payment on your behalf. This was not a price you could pay in any way. There is nothing you can do to earn it, nor appease my wrath at your sin. The only thing that you can do is take me at my word that I will do what I promise and trust me.
I AM the God who justifies and saves. Like Abraham, when you truly believe, I will make you holy like me. I will give you my righteousness in Christ so that when I look at you, all I see is Christ in you. Your sins are forever gone; you are no longer enemies but are now my children. As Christ raised from the dead and has life, so will you – forever.
Why Christianity is the “Happy religion”
The dramatic picture above was on the front page of the Newspaper on the day that WW2 ended showing the celebration of the end of the war and new era of peace. When Christ rose from the dead he became victorious over sin, Satan and death. Now we can rejoice in God because he has made peace with us. We don’t have to walk in fear of his wrath anymore! Rom 8:1 “Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We don’t have to live in fear of sin, death and judgment. We can rejoice in his love and in our hope in God as well as in our sufferings. This is why Christians sing happy songs of joy, salvation and hope. Because he has given us his unconditional love and forgiveness, his life, and hope of future reward in heaven. We can rejoice in the hard times because in spite of their difficultness, he is always with us and is using them to mold us into his Son’s image. We can rejoice in that we have gained access into his grace and favor by faith and not by our constant need to perform good deeds. We can rejoice because we can enter into his throne without having to go through any mere human representative. We can rejoice because God has given us eternal life right now in this present life, not just some day to wish for after we die. Christianity does have much to rejoice about, none of which is deserved as Romans 1-3 showed us.
The War is over – now we can rejoice
Once peace is established between two entities, there is nothing more for them to do but enjoy the new relationship. Japan took hold of that concept and changed to become an economic superpower. Germany embraced the concept and eventually reunited with their eastern brothers. Yet religion teaches that we need to continue to try hard to earn God’s pleasure and continue to work to appease his wrath by our good deeds. This is crazy. It is like having someone buy something from the store for us and then we insist on paying the cashier anyway. We should rather just say thank you to the one who paid the price and enjoy the item as well as the person who bought it for us. Their gift is a token of their desire for a relationship. God desires to have a relationship with you and perfectly paid the price to redeem you back from the slavery of your sin and future punishment. It is a done deal. There is nothing to do but say thank you and enjoy God forever. God has purchased your salvation. He has redeemed you. He has reconciled your sin debt. He has paid the price for your freedom. He has signed the peace accord. He has imputed his righteousness to you. You are accepted now in the eyes of God. The war is over. Take him at his word and believe so you can enjoy and rejoice in God.
More to come,