As much as I’ve enjoyed making videos over the past several months for you all, the reality is that when I have a cold (as I do today!) that a pastor with the sniffles isn’t exactly the one everyone wants to listen to! So rather than make a video this week, I’d like to write my pastor’s note from my new blog: Word for Truth!
One of my New Years resolutions is to continue to write and use my writing for the glory of our Lord. What better way to do this than to write to the congregation that the Lord allows me to serve about topics and issues that don’t get dealt with often on Sunday mornings or other discipleship times.
As you’ll notice, this is the first of my blogs on this page – the first of many! From now on, I’d like this venue to be the norm for my Pastor’s notes to you all for a couple reasons –
- As much as I enjoy making videos, sometimes it is actually easier for me to communicate via writing.
- Writing is concrete – its something that people can refer back to, that they can chew on. Especially with the topics I’d like to cover on this blog for the good of the Church, the venue of writing allows me to put something there that you can come back to as a resource.
- It allows me to share links and further resources for your edification.
- The written blog allows me to be able to dig deeper into topics involving the original languages that I don’t always get to explain on Sunday mornings, insights that I believe are edifying and give a fuller picture of the meaning of the text.
With that being said, enjoy this first pastor’s note below!
Grace Fellowship Church – what a wonderful New Year it has been already! The Lord is working in my heart and yours, and he will continue to do so by his grace. We have been engaging in spiritual warfare since the beginning of this year and the effects of this have been felt throughout the congregation. My prayer is that you all have been edified and built up in Christ through the past several sermons on the Armor of God, and we have several more to go.
Our encouragement this week comes from Ephesians 6:15 –
“…And as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”Ephesians 6:15 ESV
I want to emphasize here that Paul calls the gospel – elsewhere in his letters he calls it the gospel of God and the gospel of Christ – here he calls that gospel the the gospel of peace.
peace – εἰρήνης – eirenes
Although Paul is certainly referring to Isaiah 52:7, the idea of the gospel, the good news of Christ, being a message of peace is not only found in Isaiah. Peace here is defined as a state of tranquility without war or strife. And the noun to which peace belongs to here is the gospel – the good news. Thus peace here is a state of salvation – a state where there is no longer enmity and strife between God and man – the message of the good news is that God has completely fulfilled the requirements for peace between God and man. The idea here is wrapped up in other words used in the New Testament like reconciliation and redemption. What Paul is referring to is the good news that God, through the death of Christ, is now at peace with all those who put their faith in him.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”Rom. 5:1-2 ESV
Note how Paul in Romans 5 connects the idea of peace in v.1 with the standing status of grace in Christ that all believers are in mentioned in v.2.
The message of peace with God is the message of reconciliation –
17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”2Co. 5:17-19
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself – God brought peace to a world that hated and defied him through his atonement for the sins of his people.
20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2Co. 5:20-21
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, what an encouragement this is! That the good news that we carry is literally the message of peace with God! We are ambassadors of peace – we are to be proclaiming the way of peace with God and be ready to do so not out of obligation but out of a deep sense of the reality of the peace which comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
Be encouraged this week and recognize that you have peace with God through Christ – he is no longer at enmity with you, he is no longer your enemy if you are in Christ. All of that was satisfied in the death of Christ when he became sin for us on the cross.
But also be encouraged that you are an ambassador of peace – you, as God’s people, are God’s mouthpiece to the world that in Christ there is true and lasting peace which comes from having peace with God by faith in Jesus Christ.