In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on “Whatever You Do.” Here, he urges us to find our identity in Christ, to put on the Peace of God. Here are some excerpts:
Unless or until you find your identity in who God says you are, unless or until you discover your true identity in Jesus, you will never know who you really are. You will believe the lies our culture promotes. You will search for meaning and validation in all kinds of places, but it will leave you with an emptiness in the pit of your stomach. St. Augustine, the great North African church leader, described this reality when he said: “You, O Lord, have made us for Yourself; and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in You.”
Until we find our rest in Him. Only when we come to know and love God for who He is will we experience the peace of knowing who we are in relation to Him. I hope this peace is yours. I hope you have come to know this peace – the shalom of knowing God and His grace – in your life. If you have not, I urge you to come to Jesus in humility, in repentance and trusting faith, today. Confess the restlessness of your soul, and find your rest in Him. Let Him fill the void in your life that nothing else can ever fill…
You were called to peace. Where does peace come from? Real peace comes from God. God Himself is the author or source of peace. He is, the Bible says, “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33: Philippians 4:9). Paul writes in Romans 5:1 that “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace with God is the possession of pardoned sinners. J. C. Ryle has written: “Without justification” – without the act of being declared righteous by God, which is what it means to be justified –“it is impossible to have real peace. Conscience forbids it.
Sin is a mountain between a (person) and God, and must be taken away. The sense of guilt lies heavy on (our) heart and must be removed. Unpardoned sin will murder peace. The true Christian knows all this well. (Our) peace arises from a consciousness of (our) sins being forgiven, and (our) guilt being put away…. (We have) peace with God, because (we are) justified” (J.C. Ryle, Foundations of Faith).
The peace of God that brings peace with God is promised to anyone and everyone who trusts in Jesus for salvation and turns from their sinful ways. This peace is meant for you. No matter where or how you have strayed, no matter what you have done, no matter how you have messed up, God wants you to come – or come back – to Him and receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. In the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, God made peace with us and with everyone who will come to Him in repentance and faith. Maybe you have been holding out on God, turning away from God. Maybe you’re holding onto some sin or unbelief. Don’t hold out any longer. Come to Jesus. Come back to Jesus. Don’t wait any longer to get right with Him and receive the gift of His peace.
The Peace of God. Pastor Neil has much more to say on this topic. Please click on the link below to hear this sermon in its entirety.