Like gramma used to say, “You can only serve what’s cooking in the kitchen,” and so here’s what has been cooking in my kitchen.
The Gospel is the good news of freedom…freedom from that which holds us in slavery so that we can be set free for something. It is always freedom for something. “For freedom Christ has set us free…” (Galatians 5:1). We are never set free just to live in a neutral zone. We are set free so we can experience a life that is filled with unfathomable goodness and love.
After laying out for us the wonder of justification by grace, Paul starts Romans 5:1 with a huge “therefore.” “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace…not fear, not wondering, apprehension, timidity, no rebuilding of a relationship because of past wrongs…but peace. God, through Paul, says the number one thing that we are set free for is peace with him.
The word for “peace” in the Greek comes from a verb which means “to bind together that which has been separated” We have been bound to God. Picture this, you are standing face to face with God, so close that he has his arms wrapped around you, holding you tightly. And then you see someone making circles around you with a rope…always pulling it tight…snugging you tightly together. Loop after loop. Then finally they put a knot in the rope. There is no way you can break apart or get loose. It is impossible. You can’t even begin to untie the knot. (Bryan Chapell wrote that, “If God knew we were going to untie the knot of salvation his love would require that he deny us the opportunity.”)
That someone with the rope is Jesus. Colossians 1:20 tells us that he bound us to the Father with the blood of the cross, “making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Our having “peace” is not a reference to us feeling peaceful, quiet, serene or contented. To be at peace with God is to be in a state of reconciliation, to be bound back together. That is us today. Forever. Never to be changed.
NEXT BLOG: We are bound back together with a friend!!!