This morning I handed a friend an evangelistic booklet published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association titles Steps to Peace with God. The immediate response I received was, “What is peace?”
It’s such a simple question. The answer, however may not be so simple. Peace is commonly understood as the lack of conflict. That is the simple answer.
It was prophesied in Isaiah 9:6 that God’s Anointed would be the “… Prince of Peace.” Since Jesus (God’s Anointed) there has definitely not been a lack of conflict. Jesus Himself said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51 – 53) What happened to this Prince Of Peace thing? What was God talking about in Isaiah’s prophecy? WHAT IS PEACE?
Peace IS the lack of conflict. There can never be peace on earth as long as Satan is in the world. Sin brings enmity with God. Can we who were made in the image of God and possessing a sin nature ever have peace? We as sinners can never stand before a Holy God. Our sin deserves punishment. Our sin deserves death; separation from God. Yet God desires fellowship with us, His creatures. We have a God whose Holiness, whose perfect justice, demands that retribution be exacted. In addition to being just, God is also merciful; perfectly merciful. How then is God to balance justice with mercy? Humanly speaking, it is not possible! However with God, all thing are possible. His solution was to send His Son, His only begotten Son, to be sin in our stead. God poured out His wrath, if I may be so bold, He emptied His infinite, inexhaustible, eternal wrath on His Son, Jesus. Jesus did nothing to deserve that punishment . The incredible thing was that this was not an infinite miscarriage of justice. Jesus, though not deserving of punishment, willingly accepted that punishment so that justice would be satisfied and you and I could be reconciled to God. God Himself, paid the penalty of our sin that we might have mercy. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has given us peace with God. A peace that surpasses all understanding because he has bought us with a price. The price of his suffering and death. Such is the grace of God!
Amazing Grace; how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see.
Thanks be to God!