There is no peace without God’s pardon.
These are strong words if they are true. They are true irrespective of who says them or believes them. No one will find true peace unless God pardons his sin. Peace is not simply the absence of conflict. Peace is having a right relationship with God that is only given by God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
The word that this describes and that is the cornerstone of Christianity is justification. Justification is an act of God’s free grace wherein He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone. (The Westminster Shorter Catechism Question and Answer #33)
Pardon, righteousness and imputation are at the heart of what God has revealed concerning justification, being at peace with Him.
First, when God justifies a man or woman He pardons their sins. Every human being stands guilty before God. God is the supreme judge and sin is an offence against Him. Sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
The Apostle John wrote about every one of us. He wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) We are all guilty. We will all face God’s judgment, from which there is no escape.
I’m sure that you’re familiar with the Biblical narrative of King David’s life, especially his great sin. David committed adultery and murder. He fully expected to receive God’s justice which would’ve been death. But, by God’s grace, David was given eyes to see God’s mercy, his only hope. David recorded his prayer in Psalm 51 in which he appealed to God’s mercy.
You may not be a murderer or an adulterer, but you are a sinner. You and I have no basis upon which to cry to God for fairness. Not only are we guilty before God, but we’re all born dead in sin. Like David, our lives rest solely upon the grace of God even to be able to see our sin. God, who is rich in mercy, must act for us.
The next word under review is “righteousness.” The meaning of righteous is to do what is right, to do what God requires. The apostle Paul quoted the Old Testament in his letter to the Christians in Rome and said that no one is righteous. (Romans 3:10)
This means that no one does what is right. No one does what God requires. We can only look at actions, but the apostle is considering the heart. Paul declared that no man is motivated to do what God requires from his heart.
In understanding this inclusive statement, it is necessary to see what God has said concerning the heart of “natural” man. We don’t need to move too far past the Garden of Eden to read God’s view of mankind. Genesis 6:5 states “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
In other words, the natural man is incapable of being righteous before God. But, justification is God’s act of free grace by which He pardons our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight.
The third word, “imputation,” describes the means God uses to justify a sinner. As every professing Christian knows, justification is by faith alone!
We also know that faith is believing the truth, acknowledging it and trusting in it. We also know that the truth is a person Jesus Christ the only son of God. God does not ignore the sins of the faithful. He covers those whom He justifies with the perfect righteousness of Christ. He has declared that He does this only by faith. Note that faith is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8) Since the faith that we profess is God’s gift by which He declares us right with Him, we affirm that this great action of God is all grace.
No man has any room for boasting. “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 2:16a)
There is no peace without God’s pardon.
NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: Survivors are heroes, too
Recently, we attended the production of two one-act plays at Weatherford College, both under the excellent direction of Nancy McVean. The first, entitled simply “New York,” was set in a Manhattan psychiatrist’s office shortly after 9-11 as 10 different patients who had either been present at the Twin Towers or had lost loved ones in the disaster came seeking solace. Each survivor struggled with their own grief and internal conflict as the doctor listened and tried to help.
TISIONE: We worship the triune God
Many Christians recently celebrated the feast of Pentecost, which is sometimes called Whitsunday. Pentecost as you may know was celebrated in the Old Testament. The Bible refers to it as the Feast of Weeks. It was ordained by God to be one of the three mandatory celebrations in Israel along with Passover and the Feast of Booths.
Honor Flight Fort Worth – the trip of a lifetime
WOW! What an experience! I have done many things, been to many places, but I must say that the Honor Flight ranks right up there with the best of those occasions.
Letters to the Editor – May 23, 2013
America is being destroyed by voter fraud and the buying of votes by the followers of Karl Marx.
CNHI EDITORIAL: Seizure of AP phone records an insult to independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
NOW HEAR THIS: ‘What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate’
This famous quote addressing communication failure is a classic line from the 1967 movie “Cool Hand Luke,” starring Paul Newman. Strother Martin, who played the role of the warden in a southern prison, would use this phrase every time he gave Luke a good whack with his baton. The concept resonated so well with moviegoers that it was voted No. 11 of the 100 all-time favorite movie quotes according to the American Film Institute.
Letters to the Editor – May 19, 2013
Do you remember the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” sign that the personnel on the USS Abraham Lincoln displayed to greet President Bush when he went out to greet them?
Guest opinion: Campaign with honor
All politics is local and personal! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful summer, filled with relationship building experiences and times of relaxation. As you do all the things that re-charge us for the next round at work and involvement in community and political activities, let’s reflect on the 2013 local elections for a moment.
TISCIONE: Woe for calling evil good
You don’t often see “woe” used in an article. It’s a word that has fallen out of usage in our day. But it’s a word that ought to be understood and taken seriously.
Letters to the Editor – May 17, 2013
As mercury pollution threatens our waterways and carbon pollution-fueled climate change worsens extreme weather, we need someone in Washington who knows how to get things done.
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