“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ….” (Rom. 5.1a; NIV). Concerning this peace, we might ask a question: “What does this peace do for us?” Or, in other words, “What are the benefits of this ‘peace-with-God-through-Jesus’?” Horatius Bonar answers the question well:
1) It calms our storms. In us the tempests rage perpetually. The storms of the unforgiven spirit are the most fearful of all…. But peace comes, and all is still. The great Peacemaker comes, and there is a great calm. The holy pardon which he bestows is the messenger of rest.
2) It removes our burdens. A sinner’s heaviest burdens must ever be dread of God, lack of conscious reconciliation with him, uncertainty as to the eternal future. Peace with God is the end of all these. A sight of the cross relieves our burdens, and connection with the sin-bearer assures us that these shall never be laid upon us again.
3) It breaks our bonds. Sharp and heavy are the chains of sin, not merely because sin is a disease preying upon our spiritual nature, but because it is guilt which must be answered for before a righteous Judge. Unpardoned guilt is both prison and fetters. Forgiveness brings with it peace, and with peace every chain is broken. Our prison doors are opened; we walk forth into liberty.
4) It strengthens us for warfare. Without peace we cannot fight. Our hands hang down, and our weapons fall from them; our courage is gone. So long as God is our enemy, or so long as we know not whether God is our friend, we are disabled men. But when reconciliation comes and God becomes our assured friend, then we are strong, well-nerved for battle, fearless in the conflict, full of hope and heart: ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’
5) It cheers us in trial. The peace of God within us is our chiefest consolation when sorrows crowd in upon us. Lighted up with this true lamp, we are not greatly moved because of the darkness without. Peace with God is our anchor in the storm, our strong tower in adverse times, the soother of our hearts, and the dryer-up of our tears.
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)