Part 4 – The Peace of Advent
At Christmastime the world enjoys singing and quoting “….and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests”, but the unbelieving world has no idea what it is they are proclaiming. They think that this “peace” is either a ‘peace of mind’ that eliminates worry and anxiety, or they think it speaks of the day when there will be no more wars and we can all live in peace. As a matter of fact, the world speaks and sings about this peace as if it is a human possibility – if we all would just cooperate and love one another.
Now, although the Lord did promise to His children a peace that passes all understanding, which means they will be given an extra dose of the Lord’s grace, love and power which will enable the Christian to work through tough times with the ‘peace of mind’ knowing that God is sovereign and will get the believer through the trial; but that peace, again, is for the believer. Wars won’t cease until Jesus comes back; and fallen man is absolutely incapable of bringing about any sort of permanent peace within their own hearts in their own strength.
The ‘peace on earth’ that the angels proclaim is the peace that will come to the repentant sinner when the Lord God reconciles Himself to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The scriptures are resplendent with references that speak of not only man’s spiritual dead condition before God, but that we are all rebels, thus enemies of the Lord God. We are at fault and the Lord God is under no obligation to save any of us, or reconcile any of us to Himself. But according to His great love, the Lord God chose to have His son Jesus Christ die in our place – taking upon Himself our sins and the guilt of our sin, and thus enabling the Lord God to forgive us, and grant us eternal life. In other words, through the death of Jesus Christ, we who have been called of and by the Lord God, have been reconciled, justified, made right, declared righteous and holy in His sight, so that we are no longer at war with the Lord, but rather are now at peace with God.
We were enemies – but now through Christ we have been made friends and family members. We are at peace with the Lord. And because we are at peace with the Lord (having now been reconciled to the Father through the sacrifice of the Son) we can experience that extra dose of grace that I spoke of earlier – the peace of God. As Romans 5:1 tells us, one of the benefits, fruits or evidence that we have been justified by faith is that we are now at peace with God, and as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more rewarding, calming, encouraging, and joy-producing.
Are you at peace with God? That only comes from coming to faith in the finished work of Christ granted to you by God’s grace and the repurposing power of His Holy Spirit. If you sense that need in your heart, then it must be the Holy Spirit calling or speaking life into you. Call on Him today while He can be found. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!