“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
~ Romans 5:1 (NKJV)
May we never minimize so great a peace! May we never discount what it means to be at peace with God. We may long for peace here and now, but may we ever so much long for peace in eternity. May we remember how far we have fallen away from the grace and favor of God and how far He has come to turn away His great wrath and grant us His peace. We now have the privilege of serving the Price of Peace. He who declares to the storms “Peace, be still”. He, who is Jesus Christ, and brings to us this peace which Scripture describes as surpassing our understanding. God’s peace does surpass our understanding, doesn’t it? Who can comprehend such mercy? Such love? That the sovereign and eternal God of heaven and earth, He who is holy, blameless and pure – He who the Bible says is comprised of unapproachable light – would justify poor sinners through the sacrifice of His own Son – and reconcile, that is join together, His lowly creatures back to Himself through and by His eternal and everlasting peace.
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.
~ Prayer of Basil of Caesarea (329-379)
[Biblical] doctrine is the framework of life – the skeleton of truth, to be clothed and rounded out by the living grace of a holy life.
~ Adoniram Gordon (1836-1895)
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV)
“There is a peculiar beauty in the Apostle’s expression, not only to preach Christ, but Christ crucified. There were a thousand excellencies in Christ Paul had learnt, and on which he had often dwelt, with holy rapture. But the cross included all. There Paul fixed his eye, his heart, his whole soul. And, what he felt so truly blessed, to himself, he longed to communicate to all the Lord’s people. Christ crucified, was peculiarly suited, to poor sinful men. It was worthy of all acceptation! Reader! how little do those men know of the plague of their own heart, who preach aught beside!”
~ Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary
“You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God a bull or sheep which has any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
~ Deuteronomy 17:1 (NKJV)
Why did the Lord God command Israel to only offer a sacrifice free from blemish or defect? Was God just be trivial and trying to make worship unnecessarily difficult for His people to perform? Of course not! The mandate to bring no blemished or defective animal before the Lord was to teach Israel a vital spiritual lesson – that God is most holy, perfect and pure -and therefore cannot accept anything less than perfection for Himself. Anything less is an affront to the nature and character of a righteous God.
Yet we know that these mere animals possess no real moral character and only symbolize and point to the one true sinless sacrifice that can claim moral purity and perfection – Christ Himself. Jesus alone fulfilled the Old Testament obligation and command to offer only that which was free of defect or blemish. He offered Himself in place of sinful imperfect man who are riddled with blemish and defect. Christ offered Himself that we, those who come to Him by His mercy and by our faith, are graciously no longer an abomination to the Lord.