Obtaining peace with the God of the Bible
We are living in a time of dreadful suffering. A time when medical professionals may want desperately to help everyone but may have to make Heart wrenching decisions. The reality of the situation they face will dictate their actions. The constant question before them again and again. “Can this dear person be saved?” Knowing their limits, they must admit at times certain ones are beyond the scope of their ability to help. Patients are monitored in the hope that there is a change… a kicking in of the immune system… an improvement for whatever reason that changes things and requires a re-evaluation. Then with great joy, the doctors and nurses work to prevent the life of the precious soul from being taken away.
This is a message from the Bible about the God of all Christians. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, true and trustworthy. In it we read of the gospel, or “good news”
The good news is sent to mankind by the God of the Bible. It is offered to everyone, but there are conditions. The word of God makes these conditions clear.
Like the triage of a hospital, when we turn to the gospel, the message of hope sent to us by God, there are a number of mindsets, a number of beliefs people could hold that would render them outside the conditions of this good news.
There are some who can be helped and some who cannot without a change of mind.
One problem is the belief there is no God.
This person would not move toward a God they believe does not exist. They would not seek a relationship with HIM. (Ps 14:1, 53:1) Twice in the Psalms God points out how unwise this is! The letter written to the (Hebrews 11:6) states clearly that faith in the existence of God is a requirement.
Another person may have no opinion about God. Like Adam & Eve after they sinned, the tendency is often to seek to hide from any thoughts or interactions with God. Again, the letter to the (Hebrews 4:13) states that eventually we will all be held accountable to the God of the Bible. (Amos 4:12) prepare to meet your God. (Rom 13:11) awake!
Or one may think God exists but does not care. This brings to mind the verse called “The gospel in a nutshell” The gospel of (John 3:16; John 3:16 CSB)
16For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Another may think of God “He is totally good, and I am not, so I cannot have peace with HIM”
For whatever reason some may believe “God cannot, or will not, save them”.
There is also those who think their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds, so they are OK, they are good enough. They are doing their best. They do not need to be saved.
Without a change of mindset these folks fall outside the conditions of the gospel. A change is required if they are to enjoy the gift of God through the gospel (Rom 6:23); that is eternal life!
But if you are listening to this message, it is most likely you are not solidly in any of those mindsets. Hopefully you are open to hear from God.
We cannot know where you stand in all this, but we hope and pray the requirements for salvation will be part of your journey through this wilderness before that journey ends.
And so, our message to you begins like a trip though the mall. We approach the “Information Sign” and look for the first required piece of info. An arrow points to the words “YOU ARE HERE”.
Those people described above would not trust the Bible as a source for the answers to life’s most important questions.
We believe it is the only place to find the absolute truth about these crucial issues.
Therefore our “Information Sign” to show us our starting point is the Bible.
In the letter written to the Christians at Ephesus, Paul the apostle, describes the Christians there before they accepted the gospel of their salvation. He describes them as having been
“DEAD in trespasses and sins”. (Eph 2:1)
Oh, they were alive physically back then before salvation, but once that life ended the gospel of John states they would
“DIE in their sins” (John 8:21,24)
It may be I am speaking to someone in that situation. You have not figured out the gospel and made sure you have complied with all it’s conditions. You do not feel certain it has brought you safety, peace with God, eternal life!
It may be this is your starting point. And while this does not sound like a pleasant place to be, it accentuates the need for the good news.
But we also wish the “Information Sign” to guide us to the desired destination. When your journey here ends where do you want to be?
A missionary was speaking about his work with the natives of the Canadian north.
Although people around the world have different outlooks on what they desire… what they feel they need, the folks he works amongst desired “PEACE WITH GOD!”
There are a number of reasons someone may feel they are not at peace with God.
When entities are not at peace, there is a separation between them.
In the prophesy of (Isaiah 59:2) we read “your iniquities are separating you from your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you”.
In the letter written to the Christians at Rome (Romans 10:15) we read of “the gospel of peace”. And the next verse reveals it is something that is obeyed or disobeyed.
5 times over in the NT we read of the “God of peace”, and twice, the “gospel of peace”.
And so, we can conclude God’s goal is peace. But how is the separation caused by sin to be dealt with? Again, in the letter to the (Romans 5:1,16,18) (CSB) Rom 3:19,24
1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Present: Justification – removing guilt, to cause someone to be in a proper or right relation with someone else
These folks who have accepted the gospel, who had met all its conditions are described as having been given a great gift – they have been brought into a right relationship with God.
The Path: Faith – “a firm persuasion,” a conviction , a firm commitment, a belief
The path they took to obtain it; the principle involved. It rests on a belief, but a belief in what?
The Prize: Peace – a harmonious relationship with God!
There is no more valuable place to have peace than with God!
What did the Hymn writer rejoice in many years ago?
As he considered his situation he could say “It is well with my soul” We see this also in (Romans 5:10) where Paul speaks of having been “an enemy” but having become “reconciled to God”
1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Person:” our Lord Jesus Christ”
When he says “our” he highlights the close relationship these folks have with the Lord.
When he says “Lord” he speaks of The Lord’s authority over them, and the need for submission to Him.
He mentions His name: Jesus – a man who came into the world to accomplish the will of His Father, God. He was here until He could cry the cry of the greatest victory ever won; “IT IS FINISHED!” The will of His Father was accomplished in full. The debt of sin was paid in full by His death.
Finally, He is Christ – the anointed Servant prophesied in the OT. His purpose was, as stated in Luke’s gospel (Luke 19:10 CSB)
“to seek and to save the lost.” But how are the lost to be saved?
We can see from many scriptures our salvation would be accomplished by our Lord, taking the place of a substitute for us, taking our punishment. As Peter tells us “He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, ” (1 Peter 2:24)
Paul explains the gospel to the Corinthians saying: (1 Cor 15:1,2,3,4)
1Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you,
~ ~ ~ ~~~~~
3For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Isaiah pulls back the curtain far enough for us to see clearly what is happening as our saviour pays for our sins on the cross. (Isaiah 53:4–7,8,10 NKJV)
4Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 10 When You shalt make his soul an offering for sin ,
Paul mentions to the Galatians “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ” (Gal 2:20)
And so we see salvation based on the sacrifice of a substitute. But the Lord’s purpose again is
“to seek and to save the lost.” But how are the lost to be sought?
In John’s gospel the Lord states:
44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
And the Lord says of Himself:
32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32 NKJV)
and the Holy Spirit speaks:
7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,
8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. (Hebrews 3:7–8 NKJV)
Does this not suggest the Trinity speak on the inside to people wanting them to come The Lord Jesus for salvation; wanting them to soften any hard heart and accept God’s mercy and grace?
But there is another God appointed witness. As seen in (1 Corinthians 1:21 DARBY)
~ God has been pleased by the foolishness of the preaching to save those that believe.
In time past we were preached to, and accepted God’s offer of mercy, deliverance from sin, and eternal life.
So now we are following God’s plan and preaching to you the same message that saved us.
But what, more exactly, are we preaching? We are preaching a person – The Lord Jesus.
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – He came with a purpose.
When on the cross He cried “IT IS FINISH” He was affirming He had completely fulfilled that purpose
We can summarize by acknowledging our RUIN
We can now turn back to ourselves. God says we have a sin problem (Romans 3:23 DARBY)
23for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(Numbers 32:23 DARBY) 23 ~ be sure your sin will find you out.
I have already mention that eventually God will demand accountability for those sins.
But our RUIN is not to be the end of the story.
God has paid that great price though the death of His Son. He now offers you His REMEDY
Those who have accepted the substitute God provided will rejoice. They will be able to point to God’s word where it states they are
“Therefore being justified by faith” (Rom 5:1)
“Being now justified by his blood” (Rom 5:9)
But God has also in His word made it clear we have a RESPONSIBILITY.
If we want His salvation, we need to ensure we meet the conditions He has set out in His word. No, not many conditions. Just TWO
The first condition has to do with how we see ourselves:
You need a change, a turning, to see yourself as God sees you. You can no longer assume you are OK. You need to see yourself as a sinner in need of salvation. This is taking sides with God against yourself. This is repentance.
We need to repent. This fact is mentioned by John the baptizer, Our Lord Jesus, and the apostles Paul, and Peter
The second condition has to do with how we see the Lord Jesus:
You need to believe what the Lord Jesus did on the cross; the work He FINISHED there, you need to believe it was for you, and completely solved your sin problem. The message to the Philippian Jailor is short and clear:
(Acts 16:31 DARBY) 31 ~ Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved ~ .
And Mark’s gospel sums it up with the words of our Lord:
(Mark 1:15 DARBY) 15 ~ The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn nigh; repent and believe in the glad tidings.
But when should we repent and believe?
(2 Corinthians 6:2 CSB) And God’s word states:
2 ~ now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!
(Rom 3:11) awake!
(Ephesians 2:8–9 CSB)
8For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—
9not from works, so that no one can boast.