Peace With God in Jesus Christ – A Few Thoughts for the Lord’s Day
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
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 And it is a subjective, inner peace because the fear and terror of God’s thundering voice at Sinai has been replaced by the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, and objects of His love.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.