What price peace?

What price for peace? We look back on the way we have hurt people and our insides are churned up. These words can seem merely aspirational –

we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God

Romans 5:1

The impact of my failure is worse than I realise. When I fall short of love other’s get hurt. In their hurt, they fall short of love. The effect cascades. Sin, defined as falling short, has consequences-

the wages of sin is death.

Romans 6:23

Sin cuts us off from God, the source of life, bringing spiritual death.

Our tendency is to blame others. Yet, for all those we blame, there are as many who blame us. We cannot hope to overcome the effects of death till we are right with the source of life for only life can overcome death.

God’s wonderful grace rules … giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:21

This grace and peace come when we ask forgiveness from God and receive life through Jesus. Jesus extends this life from us through faith when we who are forgiven extend his forgiveness to those who hurt us and ask forgiveness of those we have hurt.

I want to make light of the hurt I have caused, but I have to remember that paying for it cost Jesus his life.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Romans 5:6

What makes a Christian?

What is the difference between a Christian and someone who has yet to receive Jesus? The difference can be seen through what empowers their life: ‘Life’ or ‘death’. Our lives are an arena where these two sources compete to rule and bear fruit in our lives.

… when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions … were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Romans 7:5

Those who have yet to receive the ‘life’ of Jesus are in the realm of the flesh. The tragedy is to see people doing their best, yet however well intentioned, they succumb to their passions, fail to love unconditionally and bare fruit for ‘death’. Likewise, we who have the life of Christ stumble when we choose to feed our passions and bear that same fruit.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:4

We escape the power of ‘death’ through identifying with Jesus’ death on the cross; by renouncing allegiance to our sinful passions and receiving his ‘life’ as we identify with his resurrection. Having received his ‘life’ we belong to Jesus and can bear his fruit of love. Fruit must have a source, and only the power of Jesus who is love, can be the source of his fruit.