Friday, February 1, 2013

Peace with God; the catalyst for the transformation

Rom 5:1  Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Here in a nutshell is the catalyst for true and real spiritual transformation. Grace via the gospel of Christ Jesus is the source of the peace. Peace with God means the removal of all fear of God, and removal of all fear of God removes all fear of punishment. Being made right in God’s sight by faith is the love that casts out all fear (1John 4:18.)

So then, peace with God produces love for God. Once all fear is gone, and one is resting in the goodness and grace of God, amazing love for God is the result. Grace is the offer that one cannot refuse. The gospel message is really truly good news. Look at this passage from 2 Corinthians 5. It is a very concise statement of the gospel. 2Co 5:19-21 NLT  “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.  (20)  So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!"  (21)  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Peace with God comes from being reconciled. This leads to a deep profound love for God.

Basking in the peace of God brings about the ability to reflect on what pleases God without fearing God. This is the source of real spiritual transformation… transformation that results in genuine loving obedience. This is almost nonexistent in today’s evangelical environment. The reason is simple. Current evangelical doctrine focuses on self-induced obedience. It focuses on self-reformation.  This is impossible to do because of the nature of our flesh. It drives us to the depths of fear and discouragement because of our failures. People who are involved in reformation secretly are miserable and devastated. The reason is that self-reformation of necessity involves legal obedience and self-righteousness. Ultimately the saint involved in this always ends up unable to really rest in Jesus and have true peace with God.

That is why peace with God is so very, very important. Peace with God eases the mind. It produces joy and love… joy with, or in spite of our circumstances... and also love for God. It actually produces the fruit of the Spirit. Peace with God produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.  How you ask? The answer is simple… it casts out all fear.

Isn’t it interesting that having faith in God’s unlimited grace does just the opposite of what most evangelicals fear. So often I hear folks say that if you teach grace people will feel confident in sinning. Isn’t that the most absurd idea you have ever heard? Actually, God’s unlimited grace produces peace with God that leads to spiritual transformation.

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