January 20, 2016
by Chris Durkin
What is Peace?
"What does the gospel of God offer us?
If we say “the peace of God,” none will demur - but will everyone understand?
The use of right words does not guarantee right thoughts. Too often the peace of God is thought of as if it were essentially a feeling of inner tranquility, happy and carefree, springing from knowledge that God will shield one from life’s hardest knocks. But this is a misrepresentation, for, on the one hand, God does not featherbed his children in this way, and anyone who thinks he does is in for a shock, and, on the other hand, that which is basic and essential to the real peace of God does not come into this concept at all.
The truth is... that God’s peace brings us two things: both power to face and live with our own badness and failings, and also contentment under “the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune"...
The peace of God is first and foremost peace with God; it is the state of affairs in which God, instead of being against us, is for us...
The peace of God, then, primarily and fundamentally, is a new relationship of forgiveness and acceptance - and the source from which it flows is propitiation. When Jesus came to his disciples in the upper room at evening on his resurrection day, he said, “Peace be with you”; and when he had said that, “he showed unto them his hands and side” (John 20:19-20).
Why did he do that? Not just to establish his identity, but to remind them of the propitiatory death on the cross whereby he had made peace with his Father for them. Having suffered in their place, as their substitute, to make peace for them, he now came in his risen power to bring that peace to them.
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). It is here, in the recognition that, whereas we are by nature at odds with God, and God with us, Jesus has made “peace through his blood shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20), that is where true knowledge of the peace of God begins."
*Excerpt taken from J.I. Packer & Mark Dever “In my place condemned He stood” pages 48-49