“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1,2)
Peace with God can only be appreciated within the context of enmity. Consider these words from Matthew Henry:
“It is sin that breeds the quarrel between us and God, creates not only a strangeness, but an enmity; the holy righteous God cannot in honour be at peace with a sinner while he continues under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace. And such are the benignity and good-will of God to man that, immediately upon the removing of that obstacle, the peace is made. By faith we lay hold of God’s arm and of his strength, and so are at peace…There is more in this peace than barely a cessation of enmity, there is friendship and loving-kindness, for God is either the worst enemy or the best friend” (quoted from e-Sword).
We simply cannot speak too highly of the glorious work accomplished by Jesus for His people!
Charles Hodge writes,
When the soul sees that Christ bore his sins upon the cross, and endured the penalty which he had incurred; that all the demands of the law are fully satisfied ; that God is more honoured in his pardon than in his condemnation; that all the ends of punishment are accomplished by the work of Christ, in a far higher degree than they could be by the death of the sinner; and that he has a right to plead the infinite merit of the Son of God at the bar of divine justice, then he is satisfied. Then he has peace. He is humble ; he does not lose his sense of personal demerit, but the conscience ceases to demand satisfaction.
It is Christ, his righteousness, his obedience, the merit of his blood or death. We look to Him. We flee to Him. We lay hold on Him. We hide ourselves in Him. We are clothed in his righteousness.
It must be admitted, or rather it is fully acknowledged that every believer feels himself unworthy of the least of God’s mercies. He knows that if God were to deal with him according to his character and conduct, he must inevitably be condemned. This sense of ill-desert or demerit, is indelible. It is a righteous judgment which the sinner passes, and cannot but pass upon himself. But the ground of his justification is not in himself. The believer acknowledges that in himself he deserves nothing but indignation and wrath, not only for what he has been, but for what he now is. This is what he feels when he looks at himself. Nevertheless, he knows that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ; that Christ has assumed the responsibility of answering for him at the bar of God; that He constantly pleads his own perfect righteousness, as a reason why the deserved penalty should not be inflicted.
Friends, if these realities are true for you, continue to give thanks with a grateful heart! Many of the gifts for which were grateful on Thanksgiving Day pale in comparison to all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ (Eph. 1:3).