Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 (ESV)
When I was a young girl, I remember coming home from school and asking my Mum why she didn’t have the radio on. For me the house was too quiet, and it felt all wrong, but my Mum simply said she was enjoying the peace and quiet.
Back then I didn’t appreciate the blessing of peace; however, I do now. Some days I feel that there is no sweeter sound than no sound at all. Returning to an empty classroom at the end of the day when the last child has finally gone home – what bliss! Or finding yourself walking alone in the countryside, somewhere far away from the noisy bustle of people and traffic – how wonderful!
But this is not the type of peace that Paul is talking about when he says, ‘we have peace with God’. The peace here is not the absence of sound. Paul isn’t talking about having peaceful feelings such as calmness and tranquillity either. Peace with God means that we have been reconciled to God. There is no more hostility between us, no sin blocking our relationship with Him.
Notice too that Paul is stating confidently that Christians already have peace with God. This is not something that we have to work up ourselves or pursue. But how did we get it?
We gain this peace through Jesus Christ. He literally takes our sin and guilt, along with its ultimate consequence of death and alienation from God and overcomes it in order to bring us into a right relationship with God. Jesus as our High Priest mediates our peace with God by cleansing us of our sins and clothing us with His righteousness. This is a reality we receive by faith, not works, or by anything we do.
What difference does this make for us? Well, for one thing, we do not need to work ourselves into the Father’s good favour, or cower in fear in case He is angry with us. Peace, biblically understood, is an active peace where those in a relationship actively seek the good of the other. It is not merely the cessation of conflict, but rather dynamic and intentional. How wonderful that God’s thoughts towards us are only for our good. That is indeed a blessing and the type of peace we all desperately need.
Our Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing of your peace. We understand it is a gift only made possible through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus Christ. In Him we are made righteous and are reconciled to you. We rest in this peace knowing all your actions towards us are for our good. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.