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“Having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
᛭ INI ᛭
((5. Oops!: God’s God, and you’re not.))
You’re not God. We think we are. It’s been our problem as human beings since Adam and Eve. They “wanted to be like God,” so they ate the fruit. And human beings have been thinking we’re God, we’re in charge of things, ever since. But God’s God, and you’re not!
That makes us uncomfortable, to say the least. We like being in control of things, and when things get out of control—just look at the news!—well, we don’t like that very much. It makes us uncomfortable because we want to be the one calling the shots. We don’t like other people being in charge and calling the shots, and that includes God. No matter how hard you try though, the hard reality is this: God’s God, and you’re not!
((4. Ugh!: We think God’s out to get us.))
Now, that reality makes us uncomfortable because we actually think God’s out to get us. But we don’t actually think that all the time. When things are going well in our life, we don’t. God’s an afterthought in prosperity.
“In all time of our prosperity,” our Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit, and even Jesus often becomes an afterthought in our devotions, in our prayers, our church attendance, and our offerings and tithes.
What about in adversity? What about during hard times? Then God’s often the problem, like I said. We think He’s out to get us. He’s the one who sent trouble our way. For whatever reason we come up with. Maybe we’ll soothe ourselves with the phrase, “He’s got a plan,” all the while we’re thinking, “This is a terrible plan!”
We’re always afraid that God’s not in control of things, at least not in control the way we think He should. We’re afraid He’s out of control, lashing out at us for what we’ve done. So we hide from Him. We exclude ourselves from Jesus and His Word and Gifts, just like Adam and Eve hid themselves.
((3. Aha! GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU.))
Repent. None of that’s true. God’s not out to get you. We think that either because we want to be God, or just because of our doubts. Or a little bit of both. This isn’t rank unbelief that there’s no God because things are terrible. Though “the devil, the world, and our sinful nature,” tempt us to such “despair,” that kind of complete unbelief.
The truth is: GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU.
That doesn’t depend on you at all! Not on the good you do. (Are you really that good? Only compared to others you are…) It doesn’t depend on your sins either. The enmity God would have for you isn’t there because “having been justified by faith,”
GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU.
((2. Whee!: GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU all because of Jesus.))
This happens really all because of Jesus! “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He bore our sins as His own. He was “a faithful High Priest,” (Heb 4). “He bore our own sins in His own body on the tree, by His wounds you have been healed,” (1 Pet 2) forgiven, justified. We receive this forgiveness, this justification, “by faith,” that is, by trusting in Jesus.
This is our ever-present reality. This is true each and everyday, come hell or high water. GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU. It’s not “we had peace,” but we “have peace with God through Christ”—right here, right now. He made peace “by the blood of His cross,” (Eph 1) “nailing the record of debt that stood against us to the cross.” (Col 2) As Paul says in many places.
And “when we are faithless, [Christ] remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (1 Tim) We are His, and He is ours. He claims us as His own—here and now. GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU because of Jesus’ ongoing work among us. He specifically comes to us to make sure peace happens. Just like He “went way to the region of Tyre and Sidon.”
He went there for her. He comes here for us. Again and again He delivers forgiveness and peace. He delivers forgiveness through His means of grace: Baptism, Absolution, the preaching of the Gospel, and His Supper. Each time His forgiveness is delivered in a specific way, “peace” is also declared. The rite of Holy Baptism, Corporate and Individual Confession and Absolution, the dismissal from the Lord’s Supper, all end the exact same way: “Depart in peace.” The blessing after the Sermon also includes that word: “Peace.”
GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU is on display at Calvary. “GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU” is announced at the Font, in the use of the Keys, from the Pulpit, and at the Altar.
((1. Yeah!: We’ve actually got reason to boast because GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU.))
And now we’ve got reason to boast. You can boast because GOD’S REALLY AT PEACE WITH YOU. You can “boast upon the hope of the glory of God.” That you’re saved, that you’re forgiven, that you’re justified, that you have peace with God not because of anything you’ve done or haven’t done, but because of everything He’s done. “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1)
You’re forgiven because of Calvary. You have “peace beyond all understanding” (Phil 4) because you’re baptized, you’ve been absolved, you’ve heard the Good News, you’ve received Jesus’ body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins. And, beyond anything that makes any sense, you believe this to be true!
And in faith, with all eyes and ears on Jesus, peace through Him alone, we can boast in things that don’t make sense according to human thinking. It’s not just the Lord’s gifts, but the Syrophoenician woman can boast in being a dog! “Yes, Lord, but even dogs get crumbs.” We can “boast in our sufferings.”
We don’t boast because we’re so awesome at the faith thing. It all flows—pun intended—from this: “because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
The Love God is in Jesus Christ our Lord—Calvary, Easter. The Holy Spirit delivers that to us in Jesus’ Word and Gifts. And, really, the Spirit’s ours, too. Ours in Baptism (“washing of rebirth by the Holy Spirit,” Tit 3) and ours through the Word (“Sword of the Spirit,” Eph 5)
Still more and more proof: