What does it mean to have the peace of God?

J.I. Packer gives the answer in his book Knowing God:

Too often the peace of God is thought of as if it were essentially a feeling of inner tranquility, happy and carefree, springing from knowledge that God will shield one from life’s hardest knocks.  But this is a misrepresentation, for on the one hand, God does not featherbed his children in this way, and anyone who thinks he does is in for a shock, and on the other hand, that which is basic and essential to the real peace of God does not come into this concept at all…

The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God; it is the state of affairs in which God, instead of being against us, is for us. No account of God’s peace which does not start here can do other than mislead. One of the miserable ironies of our time is that whereas liberal and radical theologians believe themselves to be restating the gospel for today, they have for the most part rejected the categories of wrath, guilt, condemnation and the enmity of God, and so have made it impossible for themselves ever to present the gospel at all, for they cannot now state the basic problem which the gospel of peace solves.

This has application for when we pray for people, especially. How many times have you prayed for someone who is not even a Christian, “Lord, give them peace.” I’ll raise my hand on that one. What kind of peace are we praying for? in a situation? with a friend? It’s impossible for them to experience any kind of peace, as Packer points out, unless they have peace with God himself.

The only way for anyone to have that peace is to receive Jesus as their substitute Savior — as the one who took their place on the cross in order to satisfy God’s wrath against sin. When sin, condemnation, and guilt are out of the way, a river of peace will rush in and overwhelm the most weary of souls.


Sermon 10: Three Big Words

Somehow I forgot to record my notes for Sermon 9 last week.  I think I lost my notes on the bulletin.  Sorry about that if you are really following along!  Let’s continue though with sermon 10.

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Three Big Words
Series: Redemption
Pastor Steve Moltumyr

Romans 3:21-26

  • What’s so great about Romans?  It shows how sinful, inexcusable, guilty, and speechless people are before God and then shows God’s solution to this mess.
  • When you read the first two chapters of Romans, someone may object, “There is so much wrong with the world, I don’t want to hear bad news about myself.”  But the truth is that there is bad news about us, but God has provided a way through his Son to be reconciled to him.
  • The three big words in this section are Justification, Redemption, and Propitiation.
  • Justification (v. 22-24): God declares you righteous because of his Son Jesus.
    • Paul writes that we are “justified freely by his grace.”  How is this possible?  It is possible “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”
    • This separates Christianity from all the other religions of the world.  Every other religion requires a moral performance record that God must accept.  For the Christian, Jesus is their perfect moral performance record.
  • Redemption (v. 24): To buy back or liberate through a purchase.
    • What Jesus is for us is a kinsman redeemer.  This has Old Testament roots in the book of Ruth.
    • There were three requirements for a kinsman redeemer in ancient times.
      1. You must be a relative.
      2. You must love the person.
      3. You must bear the cost of their debt.
    • Boaz did this for Ruth.  Everything he owned became hers.  His name became her name.   His life became her life.  Jesus is the ultimate Boaz for us — the ultimate kinsman redeemer.
  • Propitiation (v. 25): To satisfy anger; to turn away from wrath.
    • The wrath of God is not emotional crankiness.  It is legitimate, holy anger against sin.
    • Some people say that God should just be loving and good and not angry at sin.  It is love and justice that makes God angry at sin.
    • When wrong is done to you, either you make the offending person suffer or you suffer in forbearing their sin and forgiving them.
    • Some people get in a huff about God requiring a blood sacrifice.  They say it’s primitive or gross.  But Christianity is the only religion in which God himself shed his own blood.
    • God is more loving than man’s view of God.  God gave his own life for us.  The next time someone says the God of the Bible is not loving, ask them, “What did it cost your God to love you?”  More often than not, they will not have an answer.