The Bible speaks much of creation’s need for peace, and sin is the principle reason for the lack of peace. Sin is man’s rebellion against God through thought, word, and deed. Sin brings division because the heartbeat of sin is for man to be his own god. One could say that sin is an attitude that lacks reverence or fear of God expressed in hostility towards God (Romans 8:7). The apostle Paul states as much in Romans 3:18 when he sums up sinful man as having “no fear of God before [his] eyes.” In short, because sinful man has refused to embrace his God-given role of reflecting the glory of God, he has turned away from God and is on a mission to define life according to his own terms, in the process committing violence against others. This is inevitable when all people seek to be their own god.
Not everyone thinks of themselves as violent, but not all violence is equally obvious or visible. Violence should not be measured in how loud and visible it is, but by the extent of the damage it brings. And the Bible is clear the most damaging thing to any human being is to be separated from God. Therefore, anyone who is not in right relationship with God does damage to himself, and he does damage to those who follow his example.
But the good news is that Jesus Christ provides for us a clear pathway to peace (relating to God and one another as God intended). Romans 5:1 says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace with God comes through repentance and faith. There is no peace so long as every person is in a contest to define life according to his own terms. There can only be peace when people confess their sin (rebellion against God) and look to Jesus Christ in faith and follow His example of seeking His Father’s will and glory above all else. Peace comes when everyone is committed to worshipping God as God, and living according to God’s design.
Rev. Andy Schuster, Guest Preacher