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Berean Expositor Volume 1
Peace with God.
Peace! What a word is this! How like a balm it soothes and mollifies. How often the
apostle was inspired in the opening words of his epistles to wish the saints "Peace!"
Peace is one of the Lord's blessings for His people (Psa. 29: 11). One of the titles of
Christ that Isaiah early uses is "The Prince of Peace." Again, it is in Isaiah that we read
that comforting passage, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on
Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah
is the Rock of Ages" (Isa. 26: 3, 4).
A most profitable study would be a consideration of the way in which this word is
used by the apostle Paul. In the epistle to the Romans we find the word used more than
in any other epistle. There it occurs eleven times. Speaking of man by nature the apostle
says, "The way of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3: 17), and he prefaces this with
the solemn words, "Destruction and misery are in their ways." What a contrast! Their
ways, and the way of peace. When we look back upon those ways, what grace, what love
it must have been that set our feet in the "way of peace." How accurate is the scripture,
"They are all gone out of the way" (the way of peace), singular, whereas "their ways" is
plural. Many are the ways of misery and enmity, but one way only is the way of peace.
If we would enquire the way of peace, we shall find it stated in chapter 5: 1, "Being
justified by faith, we have peace with God." The way of peace is not paved with good
resolutions; none enter there because they have "turned over a new leaf"; the entrance to
this road which leads to life and glory is "justification by faith."
This takes us back again to Rom. 3:; commencing at verse 23 we read, "For all sinned
(in the past), and are coming short of the glory of God (in the present)." Here we have
the hopeless and helpless condition of the unbeliever and believer alike, in themselves.
Notice the words "coming short," and the word "glory." Both are closely connected with
the thought of approval. God has a standard, but none have attained to it. Not till 4,000
years had rolled their course since the creation of Adam could the heavens open upon one
in whom the Father was well-pleased (Matt.3: 17). It is interesting to note that the word
"well-pleased" (endokeġ) is connected with the word "glory" (doxa). The Lord Jesus
alone of all born of women came up to the divine standard; all else have fallen short. In
the case of candidates for government posts, to fall short of the required height by half an
inch disqualifies as much as a foot; degrees there may be in sins, but not in sin--"All
sinned, and are coming short of the glory of God."
The sentence must not be finished here, for this has no word of peace for sinners. It
continues, "being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ
Jesus." Ah! here is the ground of my peace with God. There is no interval between
Rom. 3: 23 and 3: 24; no room for improvement. At the same moment that the sinner is
"coming short," that same moment he may be justified. Rom. 4: 5 emphasizes the same