The Three Parts of the Glorious Gospel
The gospel is a glorious message of three parts.
Peace with God
The first part is that man can have peace with God. Romans 5:1 explains. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The word justify is one of the great words of the Bible. It is a legal term meaning “to declare righteous.” Before the bar of Divine justice man stands. He is charged with being a sinner. His crime is the willful violation of the moral law which has placed him in a state of rebellion against His Creator. The Just and Righteous Judge finds the sinner guilty as charged. The sentence is death. The death is physical. It is appointed unto men once to die.
The death is spiritual. There is to be an eternal separation from the face of God. With the pronouncement of the verdict the case should be closed, but the accused sees, and hears, something that amazes him.
Before the bar of Divine Justice stands Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is there to plead on behalf of the accused. The Judge listens to the fantastic offer to bear the penalty in the place of the accused. It is possible for such a transaction to take place. In the Divine economy, Jesus Christ can bear the justice of the Law, and, in the Bible, it is recorded that He did.
The sinner beholds Jesus Christ as his Substitute. He watches as the execution of the awful verdict is borne by the Lord of Glory. Love cries out in gratitude, “My Lord and my God!”
With the wrath of God averted, with the justice of the Law satisfied, the guilty sinner is legally declared, in the eyes of the Law, to be justified. The Judge and the accused sinner are no longer at odds with each other.
There is peace.
Any person can have peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, there must be a realization of the sinfulness of self, and a willingness to turn from that sin to the Saviour. Through the centuries millions and millions of people have found peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus.
As the Person of Christ is loved, as the message of Christ is believed, as the commitment to discipleship is made, there is peace with God. He is no longer the Judge on the Bench, but the Justifier of all who accept pardon and mercy.
Peace of God
Not only can man have peace with God, but the Bible speaks about the peace of God. Philippians 4:7 declares, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God is that peace which characterizes the essence of God. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). In a society that spends billions of dollars each year on soothing drugs, the peace of God is a spiritual blessing to be sought. The peace of God is a grace gift to all who are at peace with God. There is a rest and contentment to be found in God’s children regardless of the circumstances of life. The poet wrote:
“I look not back;
God knows the fruitless efforts,
The wasted hours,
the sin, the deep regrets.
I leave them all with Him
that blots the record,
And graciously forgives,
and then forgets.
I look not forward,
God sees all the future,
The road that is short or long,
will lead me home,
And He will face with me its ev’ry trial,
And bear for me the burden that may come.
I look not around me;
then would fears assail me,
So wild the tumult of earth’s restless sea;
So dark the world,
so filled with woe and evil,
So vain the hope of comfort and of ease.
I look not inward;
that would make me wretched,
For I have not on which to stay my trust.
I only see my
failures and offenses,
And weak endeavors
crumbling into dust.
But I look up
up into the face of Jesus,
For there my heart can rest,
my fears are stilled.
And there is joy, and love,
and light for darkness,
and perfect peace,
and ev’ry hope fulfilled.”
~Anna Johnson Flint
Peace from God
Besides peace with God and the peace of God, there is also peace from God, which makes it possible to be different in the devil’s world. In Mark 9:50 the Lord bids the disciples to “be at peace” with one another. In Romans 12:18 the exhortation is given: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
Some people will not allow this to happen. There are those troubled souls that deliberately refuse to recognize kindness and gentleness, or seek reconciliation. Still, it is the prayer of the Christian to exercise a special peace from God towards others, and so the saints pray,
“Lord, make me
the instrument of Your peace,
Where there is hatred,
may I bring love,
Where there is malice, pardon,
Where there is discord, harmony,
Where there is error, truth,
Where there is doubt faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, Your light,
Where there is sadness may I bring joy.
Oh Master may I seek not so much,
To be comforted as to understand,
To be loved as to love,
For, it is in giving that we receive,
It is in losing our lives
that we shall find them,
It is in forgiving
that we shall be forgiven,
It is in dying that we shall
rise up to eternal
~ St Francis of Assisi
Peace with God, the peace of God, and the peace from God are spoken of in the Bible.
The questions that we need to ask ourselves are these:
“Am I at peace with God?”
“Has there ever been a time when my arms of rebellion were laid down, and Jesus Christ was embraced as Lord and Saviour?”
“Is there within my heart the peace of God that passeth all understanding?”
Unconfessed sin keeps the soul from knowing the peace of God. Returning to sin keeps the peace of God from settling in the heart.
Finally, is there the peace from God which allows my heart to live in harmony with others, despite the conflict of wills and temperament.
“blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
It is like the children of God to want to bring peace to others. For there to be peace it may mean that a person needs to apologize for a wrong spirit or attitude. Sometimes motives are questioned.
Sometimes insults are hurled thoughtlessly, and sometimes false images are conveyed. Whatever needs to be done to bring harmony to hearts should be done, for such are the children of God.