A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Peace With God in Jesus Christ – A Few Thoughts for the Lord’s Day

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ, because of the perfect righteousness which He has effected for all who trust in Him for their justification, the Apostle Paul says we have peace with God. It is an objective peace — hostilities have ended. And it is a subjective, inner peace because the fear and terror of God’s thundering voice at Sinai has been replaced by the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, and objects of His love.

In contrast, consider the condition of the wicked:

Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. (21) There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Now, consider this carefully. As so many of you know, the wicked who abuse the oppressed are very, very often cloaked in a convincing disguise of “godliness.” In fact, they have the reputation in their churches of being the most eminent of saints. It seems that they live and breathe, eat and drink, their Christianity. They are the “go to” guys in their churches. Nothing they won’t do for people. If you want to know the “deeper things of God” they are the ones to see. They excel in Bible knowledge, it seems. They order their marriages and families in strict, “biblical” fashion. They have “wisdom” on virtually any aspect of life. You always feel inferior to them, less than them, never measuring up to their level of piety.  Why?

Let me suggest to you that such people are “abnormal.” I don’t mean this in the sense that they are different from the world — that should be true of every Christian, and indeed it IS true because a real Christian is radically changed from what they were. No, I mean that these eminent ones are “abnormal” in the sense that they are not real. You are not at peace around them because they are never at peace. Whether you are cutting firewood with them or on a camping trip, or at a church picnic, their “god” is in the middle of everything, and they frequently remind you of it, especially if this god disapproves of what you are doing or not doing.

They are “abnormal” because they are not at peace with God, and they know it. There it is. Their faith is a false faith. It does not issue in peace with God because it is a counterfeit faith. They sense it, and thus the quest for a right standing with God continues. Turning God into an idol of their own making – a “god” who can be appeased by the works of man’s hands – they set out to win His approval. They cannot tolerate the real sons of God. The genuine peace they see in us agitates them. They come to us, as Paul says in Galatians, to “spy out our liberty” and to bring us into the same bondage that they are in. But it never works. They never find real peace, and they cannot rest. Their apparent “godly” zeal isn’t godly at all. It is a rejection of Jesus Christ. It is idolatry.

Christ is the end of the law for all who believe. Christ is our rest. Christ is our peace, hope, and joy. Stand firm, and don’t let even an apparent angel from heaven tell you otherwise.

11 Comments

  1. Brenda R

    Thank you Jeff C for those words of comfort this Sunday morning and a great start to begin the Lord’s Day. It is sometimes hard to prepare my heart for worship, at least for me. To be uplifted and reminded of the Peace that only Christ provides this way makes it all the more special.

    • Jeff Crippen

      You’re very welcome, Brenda. Grace and Peace to you!

  2. Otter

    Love this blog post. I think that’s one thing I’ve really narrowed down about abusive people. No matter what attempts you make at peace, healing, and restoration, they will use it as another opportunity to create chaos and pain (for control). Even the loving, caring things you do will be distorted and warped into harmful things they will then use against you. This is because they are living as gods, and they can’t remove themselves from the center of their self-perceived universe. They see every action as a threat against their power instead of desperate attempts to restore love, sanity, and calm. This is because a Christian victim is busy continually submitting to God’s will (ultimate healing), but the abuser can only see this as a constant attack on their godlike will. Nothing comes before them.

    I’m amazed when I look back at the two years I spent trying to love my abusive ex-fiance out of his “tossing sea.” I think it’s so important for counselors, church advisers, and supporting friends to understand that putting a victim back with an abusive person is like throwing them into a stormy sea to be drowned. The church must do a better job of seeing the patterns of abuse and helping victims safely back to land.

    • BeginHealing

      “I’m amazed when I look back at the two years I spent trying to love my abusive ex-fiance out of his “tossing sea.” I think it’s so important for counselors, church advisers, and supporting friends to understand that putting a victim back with an abusive person is like throwing them into a stormy sea to be drowned. The church must do a better job of seeing the patterns of abuse and helping victims safely back to land.”

      So very very well said Otter. ❤

      "Trying to love them out of their tossing sea" Boy if I could only get my church family (they have only known us for 2 years) to see that I have spent 20 years exhausting and denying myself trying to help him. To go back and do it one more time would drown me.

  3. BeginHealing

    Thank you Jeff. One of my biggest blessings and Romans 8:28 awakenings is finding peace in Christ. With my long history of emotional abuse in the hands of narcissists, I saw God in a very unfortunate way. I didn’t see the unconditional nature of his love or his mercy and grace. I saw a God that I could disappoint or who would reject me if I didn’t do everything perfectly. I feared Him and doing anything wrong. I saw Him the way I saw my abusers. Through this trial I have been so moved and overwhelmingly blessed to feel and discover God’s unconditional love and the amazing peace time with Him can bring. There is nothing else like it. I am so grateful to Him. I am so blessed to have His love. I am healing with the peace He brings.

    “For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ❤ All things even heartbreak at the hands of a sin filled evil man. God can use that too. Our God is so faithful and amazing. Have a blessed day.

  4. MeganC

    I love this, Jeff. Thank you for this this morning. My ex would holler, “I just want PEACE”, meaning, he did not want me to disagree with his immorality or ask him to desist from the pain he was causing the children and me. His “peace” was leaving him be to do whatever he wanted to the rest of us without my raising an objection. That is not true peace. His, also, was a harsh ruler/master who was waiting to punish him for his sin.

    What joy to be away from that mindset and to fully experience the peace of God . . . restored relationships with God and with others are fruits of the peaceful spirit and heart that comes from salvation. Such good news!!

  5. Almost myself again

    suddenly, my ex-abuser’s holier than thou attitude makes sense. blaming me, for him falling out of relationship with God…. when really, he was trying to make himself a god, and had no real relationship with the One True God. .. thank you.

  6. Christ is the end of the law for all who believe. Christ is our rest. Christ is our peace, hope, and joy. Stand firm, and don’t let even an apparent angel from heaven tell you otherwise.

    Amen in spades.

  7. His Child

    Jeff, your post is very timely. I was just reminded of this verse which was like an anchor to me during the tough times. Thankyou, God, for the peace of Jesus Christ that is like a thick, impenetrable shield around my mind.

    Don’t you feel sorry for the abusers who are tossed in their turmoil, forever floundering in their search for peace, never finding it.

  8. Finding Answers

    Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I have a dream of finding peace……
    …..and I have a dream peace will find me.

    Other than nightmares, I no longer dream……
    …..and my dreams have become a nightmare.

    Peace was in my dreams?

    I gave my dreams to God, to match, to see…..
    ……if my dreams were His for me.

    I have finally found my peace with God…..
    …..His peace is yet to find me.

    I no longer dream.

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