“Peace with God”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Proverbs 17:1‐5
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance as one of the family. The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.
A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
Paul has been building a case about faith in Christ in the past several sermons. Last week we better understood that faith in Christ brings a real right relationship with God. This week we will understand what it means to have peace with God.
New Testament reading: Romans 5:1‐10
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!
God wants to rule our lives, and so do we. So, we have been at war, even though you might not have known it. But because of faith of Christ and in faith in Him, there is finally peace. The war is over. Jesus surrendered His body and won the war. We stand before God with nothing we earned, and our misdeeds and sin are forgiven. ~D. Moore
The word “hope” in the ancient world was a certainty. It was a future of certainty. A relationship with God will bring us into His presence someday to live forever in the peace and love of His presence. ~D. Moore
1. God’s presence helps us to find joy in the midst of sorrow. Suffering leads to perseverance, or a focus. It realigns our priorities. ~D. Moore
2. Perseverance leads to character. The word character means tested. It is the confidence that comes with having done this before.
3. What suffering does is remove those false places of hope we go to, when things are not going our way‐‐our talents, power, our friends, or our charming personality—we then know we can rely on God because we have been through the challenges before with God.
God has shown up before. Suffering drives us to a place of clarity and certainty in God’s providence for us. That is where our hope ultimately is. ~D. Moore
When hope comes, the benefits of justification of following Jesus, making Him our Lord is not diminished by suffering, it actually increases the benefits of following Jesus. ~D. Moore
To be able to rejoice through suffering, in the midst of suffering, is not just a gift, but it is a test. We are pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned. ~D. Moore
“Life with God is not immunity, but peace in difficulties.” ~C. S. Lewis
Suffering can refine us rather than destroy us because God himself walks with us in the fire. ~Timothy Keller
Hebrews 12:1‐3: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Suffering enhances our joy. And the way this happens is that when we are suffering, if we can look at the Cross and think about what Jesus suffered for us, then we can rejoice that our suffering is small in comparison. ~D. Moore
God wants to change you. More than He wants to change your circumstances.
Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.
Trials and suffering show us where our hope lies. If our hope is in Christ, our relationships will grow deeper. Will you allow God to change you through your circumstances?
Have a blessed week!