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.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...
When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.
TISCIONE: Finding a church
God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King!
NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?
Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service
We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.
PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church
Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...
Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories
Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.
KELLY: What do you think?
Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income.
TISCIONE: Signs and seals
God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'
Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.
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