• Matt Beaney

#498 (8/12/21) PEACE RECEIVED



This week’s devotionals are based on Adrian Holloway's message from our recent carol service.


If Jesus is that bridge that spans the gap from us to God, how does one cross that bridge? Recently, Hammersmith Bridge has been closed for repairs and opened to pedestrians and cyclists only; how does one become someone who can make use of Jesus as our bridge to God?

The Bible makes clear that faith gives us access to all the blessings that Jesus wants to give to us. It’s by faith in Jesus that we have peace with God. Faith puts all its trust in Jesus for salvation. Paul writes,

‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.’ (Romans 5:8)

We are ‘justified through faith’. We have Jesus’ righteousness imputed to us. All of Jesus’ perfect obedience has been accredited to anyone who puts their faith in Jesus. This peace with God is objective and is based entirely on the work of Christ.


Biblical faith is more than knowledge of the facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The devil believes in Jesus but is not at peace with God! Faith is a dependence on Jesus and a heart-felt decision to follow Him as Lord in repentance. Saving faith is personal trust and commitment to Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Faith is not just believing that there is a bridge. Faith is not seeing the bridge, it's deciding to walk over to the other side in confidence.


We ‘have gained access by faith into this grace’. By faith in Christ, the grace of God is ours. This grace is all the good things that come to us through Jesus.


By faith, ‘we boast in the hope of the glory of God’. A massive part of the peace that is ours, is the security of knowing that God’s grace will never fail and so we will be in glory. We can rest in peace. We cannot be shaken from God’s love and grace. The bridge between us and the Father will never be closed!


So, no matter how you feel; no matter how life is going; no matter how much you have failed; if you’ve put your faith in Christ, you have peace with God. May we all sing with fresh confidence that Jesus is the ‘bridge’ that reconciles God with sinners.

‘Hark! The herald angels sing "Glory to the newborn King" Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled’


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.’ (Romans 5:8)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

 


3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


Many people believe that if they have the right relationship, meaningful career, family, finances, travel experiences… that they would have peace and fulfilment in life. The truth is that those with all of these things, still have a deeper need that only a relationship with God can fill.


i) THERE IS NO PEACE

There is no true peace without a relationship with God. Without knowing God we are missing the deepest meaning of our existence. Without Christ, we are condemned and our sin separates us from God. Left to our own devices, we cannot have true peace. Paul tells us,

‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.’ (Romans 3:23-24)

ii) THE PEACEMAKER

Thankfully, the Father has done something about our sin. We read,

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ (John 3:16-17)

ii) PEACE RECEIVED

Peace in life and peace with God is received through faith in Christ. The promise is for 'whoever believes...' The gift of Christmas is life through God's Son. The fullness of life and eternal life are gifted to those who asked Jesus to enter into their lives.

'O holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in; Be born in us today.'

Discussion questions

This week is SIV Week. Our community needs the peace that God offers to them in the gospel and He wants to work through our church to bring His love to them.

1. It would be good to share any of our friends who came to the carol service. Do you have any plans to follow up in any way?

2. How are you planning (or could you plan) to serve, invest and invite in your friends during this upcoming Christmas season?

3. Let's pray for our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to direct us in how to Serve, Investa and Invite during this Christmas period.


If you have time, here are some questions from Adrian's message:

1. In what ways, does our world encourage us to seek peace?

2. How is it that Jesus can give peace with God?

3. What does John 3:16-17 tell us about how one receives true life?







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