Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Can I Find Peace With God?

It is not enough to believe in God, to acknowledge that there is a God over us, a Creator. While that is essential, it is not sufficient to be in good stead with that Creator. Demons willingly acknowledge as much and are certainly not in good stead. So faith in God in its most general sense is not saving faith by any sense.

Doing as God commands is certainly a good way to live in view of God's actual existence, but it does not amend for not doing as God commands. A person could live for years faithfully abiding by all that God commands and on an impulse disobey one day. That one day would be sufficient to wreck the man's record, and his former obedience would not provide any absolution for him. Good works accumulated can never outweigh even the mass of one bad work.

Rightness with God cannot be achieved through banal generalities (e.g. "I believe in God"), nor can it be earned by any with even one bad work to their name (that's all of us). Rightness with God has to be a concession given by God to undeserving people. As such, the means and methods of that concession will have to be of God's choosing, not ours. We're in no position to bargain or call the shots.

Has God made such a provision? Biblical Christians say yes, in very definitive terms. Nominal Christians and other religions are not so clear about things. They either slough off the issue altogether ("all dogs go to heaven," or "if at first you don't succeed try, try again," or "there is no such thing as heaven or hell") or they get one to work hard and hope for the best (more or less).

If you know the turmoil of conviction in your soul, you know that platitudes, theories and uncertainty will not do. Some things have to be known, or there is no peace. So what is the definitive answer of the Bible? God made provision for humanity to be reconciled to him through the efforts of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins and rose from the dead for our justification.

If one can believe that Jesus Christ is God come to earth; that he died for our sin and rose bodily, literally, from the dead; and is therefore the one we should follow (the Lord), that one can be saved. If one relies upon what Jesus has done as the basis and means of standing right with God, reconciliation with God is accomplished. Of course there is a cost involved--not that we can do anything to earn it, or to aid it, but it will impact our future direction. Things will change.

Peace, you see, comes at the price of letting Jesus change your life.