“The Source of Peace”, Psalm 85:10
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
Last week we learned:
- We cannot earn forgiveness, find salvation, and reach Heaven on the goodness of our own righteousness. We cannot be good enough on our own.
- Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
- Romans 10:3-4, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
- But we can find forgiveness and salvation and reach Heaven on God’s righteousness, which He imparts (gives) to us when we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.
- John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
- Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
- The root meaning of “believe” means “to have faith”, “entrust”, “to be persuaded”, “to rely”, “assurance”.
- You are persuaded that God is and what He says in His Word (the Bible) is true, and based upon that belief, you choose to repent of (turn away from) your sin and entrust or commit your soul to the care of His Son, Jesus Christ. You rely on Him for everything forever.
- Jeremiah 23:6, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
But what is significant about Jesus, that belief in Him can make us righteous in God’s eyes? And what does God mean when He says in His Word, “righteousness and peace have kissed each other”?
It is an unavoidable, fundamental fact of life that sin and death are inseparably connected. Read the account in Genesis 2:16-17. God has just created the father of all humanity, Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
It was the first and only commandment of God given to man at that time, in his innocence. God, as being Perfectly Holy and the Creator of mankind, had the authority to command Him. Adam and Eve, as being created by God and therefore under His authority, brought sin and its consequence, death, upon themselves and their descendants when they disobeyed that commandment. It is worth taking the time to read Genesis 3.
Though they did not immediately physically die, as we would understand God’s commandment, their once perfect bodies were now open to sickness and eventual physical death; where once they had walked with God, now they were physically separated from Him (Gen.3:22-24); and they were spiritually separated, as now bearing sin (Romans 5:17).
James 1:15 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
That is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve, and continues to happen to every one of us centuries later. But notice what happens in Genesis 3:21.
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
What had to happen for God to make coats of skins? An animal had to die. Blood had to be shed. It was the first sacrifice. Now jump back up to Genesis 3:14-15.
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This is where Jesus comes in. The Offspring of the woman that bruised the serpent’s (Satan’s) head was and is Jesus, when he died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead three days later. In the same chapter that pronounced the physical and spiritual death of man, God pronounced His promise for a Saviour.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Through the seemingly slow movement of time and history, God worked in the lives of his people — Adam to Noah; Noah to Abraham; Abraham to Moses; Moses to David; from David to Jesus — to make His presence known and perform His promise. The Old Testament is a most exciting, fascinating read.
When God rescued His people Israel from Egypt, before ever bringing them into the Promised Land, He spent time in the wilderness teaching them how a naturally sinful people could approach sinless God. You can read the account in Exodus 19 – 31; in 12 chapters God sets forth the law, the design of the tabernacle where the people could worship, and rules for sacrifices.
The law had several purposes. First, it set the nation of Israel apart from the other nations, as having a justice system that was radically different and fair from theirs. Second, it prevented the Israelites from using the same heathen religious practices as the other nations.
Third, it showed the people that they could not be perfect; that try as they might, they would sin at some point (Romans 3:23). Fourth, it literally demonstrated that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Fifth and final, it was a picture of what God intended to do through His Messiah.
In essence, the law was meant as a way for the Old Testament believers to admit their need for and show their faith in Jehovah God’s Messiah.
Matthew 27:51 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. Let’s read it together.
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,”
Get a-hold of this, ladies. Do not miss this. What veil was torn? It was the veil within the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. It was the room in which dwelt the glory and presence of God (Exodus 40:34-35).
Since the time God had instituted the tabernacle in Exodus, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and he could only enter once a year after carefully following specific instructions for purification.
That large veil was torn from top to bottom. Torn, as any would have seen it, all by itself. But it wasn’t; God Himself tore the veil that separated us from Him after the death of His Son Jesus.
Why? Because Jesus, the Son of God born of a woman, was sinless, had therefore perfectly fulfilled the law, and had therefore willingly died as the perfect Sacrifice for the sin of mankind.
Hebrews 10:12 says, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”
Adam had sinned and brought death on us all; Jesus has died and brought life to any who believe in Him.
Romans 5:15-21, “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A perfect, sinless God, who is so holy that formerly only a priest could approach Him once a year, has made a way to convey righteousness on sinful humanity, on any who will place their faith in the sacrifice made by His Son.
This is why “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
This is why Jesus is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS and the Prince of Peace. Because God knows that we can only have peace, that ultimate peace, is to be at peace with Him.
Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
If you are at peace with God, then you have every reason and right to be at peace with yourself and your fellow man. The worst of what you were, the darkest, ugliest parts of your soul you wouldn’t reveal even to a spouse, is no longer who you are.
John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Do you remember our first key scripture from all those weeks ago, Philippians 4:6-7? Do you remember especially the last two words of the second verse, “Christ Jesus”? According to our usual custom we broke that name down and then put it back together, and we found that the meaning is, “the anointed, consecrated Messiah sent by the Self-Existent and Eternal God to save”.
It was through this Christ Jesus that the peace of God is to keep our hearts and minds. He came from the beginning and depths of time for the very purpose of bringing us salvation, without which He knew we could have no peace (John 10:10).
We have seen that God’s peace is a peace above and beyond our circumstances. We have seen that God’s peace protects our hearts and minds. We have seen that God’s peace saves even our very souls. We have seen that God’s peace puts us at peace with Him, ourselves, and our neighbors.
But we can only have God’s peace through belief in His Son Jesus Christ. If you want lasting, meaningful peace that rides above the storms of life, the inevitable guilt that keeps you up at night (or that you’re too afraid to even face), then you need Him.
I will personally testify that in the depths of grief His comfort is real, and that even the struggles of life, singleness, parenthood, marriage, employment, unemployment are a joy as you place confidence in Him, and rest in the knowledge that nothing is impossible for Him, who loves you so dearly He died for you.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
So that even death, the worst possibilities in our minds, has no fear.
1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
You are surrounded by turmoil, inside and out. Won’t you call on Him today? I beg you, in the name of Jesus Christ, be reconciled to God.
Review Isaiah 26:1-2″In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” Only “the righteous nation which keepeth the truth” will enter the “strong…
Introduction Hello, ladies! We’re glad you’ve joined us. If this is your first time reading our lesson notes online, you can find last week’s by clicking the button at the bottom of the page. We miss you all, and would love to hear your reactions and answer your questions in the comments. Ice Breaker ⦁…
by Chelsea Gurney “The Source of Peace”, Isaiah 26:1-5 Hello, ladies! It’s been too long. We miss you all, and we’re glad you found us on the new church website. We’ll be posting virtual meetings here until we’re able to meet again. Though physically we’re apart, our prayers follow every one of you; and…