WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SAVED - 4

ROMANS 5:1: WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH CHRIST

'Therefore since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ ... '

Here we look further into this aspect of salvation that was introduced in the previous thought .

'Peace' is the result of God's act of reconciliation in Christ.

This peace is multi-dimensional:

It is the removal of God's wrath against us and our enmity against God.

It is the removal of the constant need to be justified by our performance.

It is the removal of the fear and the presence of condemnation.

It is the removal of the alienation between us and God.

This peace, in all of these dimensions, is the present possession of every person who truly believes in Jesus Christ. It is real and it is there, whether we feel it or not. It has already been achieved and established by God through the death of Jesus Christ. It is totally unrelated to our performance or obedience: it is grounded in the justification granted to us as sheer gift.

However, it is only when we grasp hold of this truth, or rather, when we let it grasp hold of us, that we will actually live at peace with God, and at peace within ourselves.

Our common human inclination is to look at ourselves and our performance, and to assess our standing in the presence of God on what we see in ourselves. As long as we do so we will never enjoy this peace with God. We need to remember that God no longer looks at us as we are in ourselves as isolated individuals: for those who are united by faith to Jesus Christ, he looks at us only, ever and always, in Christ.

In this truth there is perfect peace with God.

[Scriptures: Romans 5:1; 1:18; 5:9,10; 8:1; 1 John 4:17,18; Colossians 1:21; 3:3]

COLOSSIANS 1:22: IN CHRIST GOD PRESENTS US HOLY IN HIS SIGHT ...

' ... he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation ... '

Here is a remarkable thing, a thing that seems impossible to believe: that God, through the reconciling death of Jesus Christ, presents us to himself 'holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.'

If this is true, if it is something God wants us to believe, then it is no wonder that the Bible says that the one who believes in Christ has peace with God, and it is no wonder that the Gospel is called a message of great joy.

These words tell us that when God looks at the person who believes in Jesus Christ he sees not the person, but Christ. Not only has God laid all of our sin and its punishment on his Son: he has also credited us with all of Christ's purity and righteousness.

This is totally awesome: God sees the believer 'holy ... , without blemish, free from accusation.'

We would accuse ourselves: God doesn't, for Christ has already taken all the accusation.

We would look at our spiritual spots and stains: God doesn't. He regards not us, but Christ - the pure, sinless one.

We would feel so unholy: but God counts us holy: his precious treasure purchased at great price.

Our common human practice is to see ourselves as isolated individuals who have to perform in order to maintain our acceptance with God and with others. According to the gospel of salvation God sees the genuine believer always, only and ever 'in Christ'. Holy in his sight. Without blemish. Free from accusation.

This is deep peace. This is deep joy.

This is indeed a powerful salvation.

[Scriptures: Colossians 1:22; Romans 5:1; Luke 2:10; Colossians 3:3; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 10:10,14; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:9; 1:8; Philippians 3:1; 4:4]

© Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2018