Saturday, October 24, 2015

Romans 5:1-2a Peace from War

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peacewith God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Romans 5:1-2a NIV
I always start with the "therefore" because I need to know what it is "there for." The previous chapter talked about Abraham and his righteousness by nothing that he had done, but only by his faith. And that God will also credit righteousness for us who believe.

THEREFORE, we have peace through Jesus Christ because we have received grace through faith.

Here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary's full definition of peace.
1   :  a state of tranquillity or quiet: asa :  freedom from civil disturbance
b :  a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom (a breach of the peace)
2   :  freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions3   :  harmony in personal relations4   a :  a state or period of mutual concord between governments
     b :  a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity 
5 —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell 
— at peace
:  in a state of concord or tranquillity
There are several areas that we can have peace - within ourselves, in our community, across personal relationships, within our government or between governments.

But let's look at the descriptors that occur in the definitions:

  • tranquility
  • quiet
  • freedom
  • security
  • order
  • harmony
  • mutual accord
  • silence
  • calm

Don't you just take a deep breath, let our a loud sigh, and your entire body relaxes when you read these words? Mine does. Just reading the description of peace brings a feeling of peace to my spirit. And I appreciate that, but the peace we obtain through salvation is so much more.

I love the NIV footnote in the study Bible for 5:1:
"peace with God.  Not merely a subjective feeling (peace of mind) but primarily an objective status, a new relationship with God: Once we were his enemies, but now we are his friends."

You see, when I first read through the definitions above, my mind started to discount any reference to war or enmity between two factions. But I was wrong. Before accepting the gift of salvation, I had been at war with God. My life, actions, view of myself, view of others, etc. were all centered within me. My focus was how will I benefit, how will I be hurt, what will this gain me? That life philosophy was in direct opposition to a life surrendered to the Father. So I had made Him my enemy and was warring against Him.

But no more. There is peace from that battle. He is the ruling Master and I, His servant. And that fact not only brings a respite from war, but a tremendous feeling of peace that comes from the surety of His presence and control. Do I still go through times of turmoil, confusion, upheaval? Of course. I'm human, and I live in a fallen world.

But here's the cool thing. Even when I am in the midst of uncertainty, if I take the time to go to my Father, spend time with Him - pour out my heart to Him - read His Word, then I am in the Presence of peace and feel peace even in the midst of the storm. It's like sitting for a time in the eye of a hurricane and then being embraced in concrete when the calm passes and the storm hits again. I can withstand the wind and the rain because I have remembered Who is in charge and Who is my protector in the storm. That is peace.

Father, thank you for the peace of surrender to Your will and Your ways. Holy Spirit, help me remember to remain close to that peace in the storms. You are my fortress of peace. So be it.

Further Thoughts:

  1. Give thanks to the Father for the peace that has come through salvation. You are no longer at war.
  2. List the ways being at peace with God has transformed your life.
  3. Read Philippians 4:7.

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