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by E. L. Jorgenson

(Reprinted from the December, 1918 Word and Work Magazine)

      Some of us know that our sin-account is fully settled, that there is not one thing between ourselves and God, and that our case, having been up before the Highest Court, is settled beyond all reopening. “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace.” But it was not always so.

Peace With God  

     We were once at war with God, seeking to enthrone ourselves over the universe— for all sin means just that— “alienated and with God enemies” by evil works. (Col. 1:21). If God had taken the same bitter attitude toward us in those days that we took toward Him, the gulf could never have been bridged, for there would have been no one to take the initiative. But while we were His enemies, He was our friend, He loved us notwithstanding all, and His love followed us everywhere to do us good. At last, when we could hold out no longer, we inquired about an armistice, we sent, so to speak, an ambassage asking conditions of peace (Luke 14:32), and so we yielded to the mighty Conqueror, who, by His love had kept open the road to reconciliation. Looking up into our Father’s face, we said with all our hearts^

“0 love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee— ”

      From this we may draw the practical parallel, that if we take the same bitter attitude toward friends and brethren who “fall out” with us that they take, the gulf will never be bridged; for then we will never go to them to settle the trouble, and they will never come to us— not even if they repent of their wrong; for if we have wronged them in the meanwhile, and if they know we have bitter feelings toward them, the courage to come will doubtless be lacking. Let us learn from the Lord how to keep the road open to “a just peace” with those who may have wronged us.

Peace Among Men

     Equally interesting and instructive with God’s way of making peace between Himself and men, is His way of making peace between man and man at the outset of their Christian experience. When the time came that in the promised seed, Christ Jesus, “all nations of the earth” were to be blessed, God faced the problem of reconciling men, not only to Him, but to each other. “out of every nation under heaven,” with all their varieties-of thought and custom—how can they ever co-operate and “get along” together? And this was God’s answer: With a single stroke he took out of the way the main cause of enmity and differences, the law, which after all consisted only in shadows of the true spiritual realities (Heb. 1 0 :1 ), and which was not of universal application. That was the first step.

     When we disagree we usually ask a man to come right across all the way to our side, and we will have peace only on our terms. But God did not ask the Jews to turn Gentile nor the Gentiles to become Jews; but He built a new institution, the church, in which to reconcile “both in one body through the cross.”

     That was the second step. And to this day God is reconciling and harmonizing the dissonant, inharmonious elements of men “out of every nation under heaven” in the church. There the races are reconciled— for He undertook the race problem long ago; there the classes are reconciled— rich and poor, high and low, educated and illiterate. There all racial, social, financial, and educational lines obliterate so far as our standing in Christ and our love for one another are concerned. God’s church is neither white nor black, nor red nor yellow, nor brown, neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but we are “all one man in Christ Jesus.” The cliques and classes and special exclusive circles in our churches may as well break up now— unless they do not wish to stand before the throne with that innumerable white-robed, palm-waving, praise-singing multitude which is to come “out of every nation, and of all tribes and people, and tongues.” (Rev. 7 :9).

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Philippians 4:13