What Is The Difference Between Peace With God And The Peace Of God?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is there a difference between having the peace of God and being at peace with God?

No Peace for the Wicked

Nobody really can be at peace in this present world because there really isn’t anything that’s permanent. There may be peace now, but for

how long? Eventually, war breaks out between nations, friends, co-workers, and sometimes, family. The peace that there is now, can be gone in an instant. The Bible flatly states “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22), which he repeats again in Isaiah 57:21. This is no different than the Apostle Paul’s writing about the wicked that “the way of peace they have not known” (Rom 3:17). Why haven’t they known the way of peace? Paul answers, because “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18). Since we can’t know the way to peace on our own, we’re in dire need of help. Why is there no peace in the world today? Because mankind chose for himself the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2), and decided to do what was right in their own eyes…and mankind’s been a disaster ever since.

what-is-the-difference-between-peace-with-god-and-the-peace-of-god

Separated from God

When sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve, mankind became separated from God. Isaiah the Prophet describes our state by writing, “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2), so the problem is we must end the separation we have between we, who are sinful creatures (Rom 3:10-12, 23), and a Holy God, Who is without sin. God is so holy He cannot even look at sin. Isaiah gives us a great glimpse into our nature before Christ, as he writes: “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6). That is why you won’t really ever be at peace in the world because there is no peace in the world. You can’t find it there, because it’s not there to begin with.

Having Peace with God

Since we know that we were cut off from God by our sins, and that our sins had separated us from God, what do we do about it? We can know. Just as Abraham’s faith was “counted to him as righteousness” (Rom 3:22), it “will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 3:24-25). This means, “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). Our peace with God came at the expense of the wrath of God being placed on Christ during the Passion and the cross. Jesus is the very reason we are able to make peace with God, but really, it’s God having made peace with us (through Christ). Having peace with God means the enmity or hostility between us and God has ended by Christ’s suffering and death. Every one that God brings to repentance will put their trust in Christ. That doesn’t mean they’re sinless…but they should sin, less over time. When a person is born again, they now have a peaceful relationship with God, so you cannot be at peace with God without believing in Jesus Christ. The way God looks at us now is radically different than before, but only because it was for “our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2nd Cor 5:21). At this point, you are at peace with God and He with you. God has made peace with you through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1). These two verses (Rom 5:1 and 2nd Cor 5:21) are the gospel. The condemnation has permanently been lifted for all Who are in Christ (Rom 8:1). When we are pardoned, we are brought into a peaceful relationship with God, and He is now at peace with us. Thank you Jesus!

The Peace of God

There is no peace for the wicked and you cannot even think about having the peace of God until God has made peace with you. We shouldn’t get this backward; it is we who were at war with God and His natural enemies (Rom 5:6-10), so God had to make the first move and so He first loved us, before we ever loved Him (1st John 4:19). He had to make peace with us through Christ, but for the wicked, there is no peace. There is no peace for the unrepentant. There is no peace when sin prevails. There is no peace in the world. There is only peace through Jesus Christ. If you have trusted in Christ, you have made peace with God. Actually, God has made peace with you, because He wasn’t the problem; we were! Just before going to the cross and then returning to the Father, the disciples where anxious about Jesus going away. He had been their one and only Teacher, Lord, and Master…and now, He was leaving them? They had thought He was going to stay forever and set up His kingdom then and there, but Jesus tells them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Later, Jesus adds, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Notice, this isn’t their peace, or the world’s peace, but “My peace I leave you.” Jesus leaves us peace…and Jesus gives us peace…and hopefully, peace of mind.

Conclusion

For the child of God, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7), or at least it should. It’s not the peace of God that’s the problem. It may be our believing it, and then resting in it. Since it is up to us to receive this peace of God, and to take God at His Word, Paul puts it as if we have to participate in the process, and wrote, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col 3:15), so if we have to choose to “let it rule” in our hearts. We have great reason to have the peace of God, because our separation from God has been ended through Jesus Christ, allowing God to make peace with us, and then receiving the peace of God. The world has no peace of God because they have no fear of God. That’s the problem in this world.

Something more that might interest you: Finding the Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Bentley September 30, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Dear Mr. Wellman,
first I’d like to thank you for all the wonderful articles that you write. I love reading them. I’ve been alone, (worldly wise), for most of my life. (I’m 52) Jesus has always been with me. My friend, my Lord. I know His story and how He never planned for life to be this way for His creatures. Whenever asked how I am I always say “I’m waitin’ on the Lord”
I have a question for you if you don’t mind, I know that you can find any help for ones life in Gods Word, but I never know where to look. Whenever I read His Word I always ask the Holy Spirit for guidance but if you could give this lonely woman some pointers of where to read I would be so grateful. God bless you and thank you in advance…………… Kathy

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Jack Wellman October 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Hello Mrs. Bentley, I am glad you wish to know more about God’s Word and where to begin. For me, personally, the Gospel of John is where I began to read the Bible and then I went to Genesis, then back to the gospels..so it is really up to you. Perhaps you could have a Bible reading plan as we have created an article with just that in mind at this link: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/where-is-the-best-place-to-start-reading-the-bible-for-a-new-christian/ I hope I have helped. May God bless your study in the Word.

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Pamela Rose Williams October 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hello Kathy,

I saw your comment and wanted to offer my point of view as well for reading the Bible. I know you have been a believer for quite some time, but I believe you might find an article that I wrote helpful as well. I think you will see that my brother Jack and I offer almost the same advice. No coincidence there! Blessings to you: http://www.christianityeveryday.com/index.php/the-bible-where-should-you-begin-to-read/

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Kathy Bentley October 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

Thank you to the both of you. God bless you. Your info is a huge help!

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Kay October 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I have to say, I’ve been reading here a while but never posted a comment. I believe this is called “lurking”. 🙂
But I read this blog through tears I’m still wiping away. Peace with God…. Peace with God! And the peace OF God! I’m 57 and didn’t have a ‘road to Damascus’ conversion experience. It was long ago and crept up on me. But right there in the midst of my cosmic high treason against the Most High (SIN), He saved me!! It was like He said, Light be! voilà, Isaiah 9:2 and 2 Cor 9:6! Who is a God like Him? 🙂

As I read I was reminded again of one of my favorite passages, because it upholds the holiness and justice of God, and displays ‘the great love with which He loved us’. I hope you don’t mind that I put it here (from the ESV)–

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.
It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:21-26)

Just AND the Justifier! God’s righteousness upheld by the only one who could have done it– God. The debt I incurred for my treason was paid by Christ in a way I know I cannot truly fathom, yet for which I am so thankful.

Who is a God like Him, abounding in mercy and lovingkindness to all who put their trust in Him?

Thank you, Jack, for writing this article that God used to fill my heart with praise. It’s gonna be easy to do the dishes tonight. 😉

Reply

Jack Wellman October 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Hello Kay. God’s grace is infinitely amazing. I cannot receive any credit, for anything that I do was from God my Lord (1 Cor 4:7), and without Him, I am nothing (John 15:5), so all glory, all glory to the Holy, Holy, Holy God. See you in the Kingdom Kay!!

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