“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” Romans 5: 1, 2 For many of us finding peace in our lives has not been an easy task. Past mistakes come back to haunt us, and we seem to obsess over missed opportunities and what could have been. We beat ourselves up over regrets and our life is left in tatters because of the actions of others that were beyond our control. Throw in the usual list of suspects, financial problems, marital squabbles, unsure future for your children and life can become scary. Then along come these humble words of the Bible, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Notice though, this text says we have “peace with God” and it is “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This reconciling with God is the first great blessing of justification. Just prior to this verse Paul had been talking about Abraham and Sarah and how Abraham believed God’s promise, that He would provide a child to them even though Sarah was very old. Paul writes about Abraham’s trust, “That is why his faith was ‘reckoned to him as righteousness’. But the words, ‘it was reckoned to him,’ were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in Him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” Romans 4: 22-25
Our peace with God is based on nothing that we do or think, it is a gift of God to all who believe that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected for our justification. In other words, for all of us who believe Jesus died and rose again, we are declared to have a right relationship with God and because of that relationship we have peace. The peace that we have with God is the assurance that God has forgiven our past sins, our present sins and our future sins through Jesus death on the cross. God’s peace puts us into the safety and security of His love and care. Peace with God tells us that we have a secure future and that we have the assurance of eternal life. And all that is required from us is to believe in His love.
“Through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” Romans 5: 2 John Stott commenting on this passage writes, “Justified believers enjoy a blessing far greater than a periodic approach to God or an occasional audience with the king. We are privileged to live in the temple and in the palace. Our relationship with God, into which justification has brought us, is not sporadic but continuous, not precarious but secure. We do not fall in and out of grace like courtiers who may find themselves in and out of favor with their sovereign, or politicians with the public. No, we stand in it, for that is the nature of grace. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.”
Yes, life can be a heavy burden and full of discouragement and setbacks, but when we trust God we are lifted above this turmoil in a spiritual sense. We have the assurance that God’s love never leaves us alone or abandons us to the pressures of this world. We have the assurance of salvation and everlasting life. There is nothing in this world that could ever take the place of having peace with God and what is amazing is that this peace is a free gift to all who ask. Yes, war in Syria, turmoil in our nations and personal struggles all are to be taken seriously, but they are not what define us or control us. Our faith in God and His promise that, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3: 16b) is why we have peace with God. I have to quote John once more, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10: 28, 29
Paul reminds the Philippians, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understand, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6, 7 Take your anxieties to God in prayer and leave them in His hands and you will find that peace that passes all understanding. God loves you, never gives up on you and will never let anything “snatch” you out of His hand.