Word of the Month

Peace with God

April 2005

Wars and terror, revolutions and military coups, epidemics and diseases, storms, floods and earthquakes - there are indeed a great many things that could cause us to take fright. But the Son of God gave us His peace - not as the world gives - and encouraged us: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14: 27).

That is the result of divine peace. If this peace lives in our hearts, we will not need to be afraid. On the other hand this is also a measure of the degree to which the peace of God fills our hearts. How do we attain such peace? Apostle Paul refers to it in his letter to the Romans: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5: 1). And faith in turn comes from the word inspired through the Spirit. This is also something that Apostle Paul mentioned: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10: 17). And that is how the proper relationship between man and God is created: the righteousness valid before God.

Abraham is a wonderful example of how we can attain righteousness through faith. Because he believed, the Most High accounted it to him for righteousness (cf. Genesis 15: 6). By faith we accept the grace of Jesus' sacrifice with all our hearts - and that makes us righteous! Through this faith and righteousness we attain peace.

It is a wonderful gift to be permitted to receive the peace of the Risen One each time our sins are forgiven in the services. This is the source of strength we need in order to cope with illness, concerns for our livelihood, tests, and adversities. Apostle Paul professed that the peace of God surpasses all understanding (cf. Philippians 4: 7). We may have mastered many things through our understanding and reason - perhaps this has also helped us solve many a problem, and clear away many an obstacle in our path - but the possibilities are limited. The peace of God takes us further however. In concert with our faith it also empowers us to trust in the help and grace of God despite many a cross.

The intent of the Devil is to weaken us and rob us as quickly as possible of this peace: all it takes is a careless word, a small annoyance, or a bit of doubt, and already our peace is gone.

That is why we must be watchful and keep the peace in our hearts. Should it at times leave us then let us all the more vigorously grasp God's word and allow our faith to be strengthened. Then the words of Paul will come to bear, namely that we also "have access by faith into this grace" (Romans 5: 2) through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, and can rejoice in the hope of the glory that God will give us.

(From a service by the chief apostle)