Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Message Of Peace

I am working my way through the topical index of John MacArthur's study Bible and he puts Access to God in first place.

Here is a piece of John Calvin's comments upon Eph 2:17-18.  The Person of the Holy Spirit is a huge topic and I don't understand His work very well, He is always glorifying Christ, not Himself.  Anyway, Paul will speak of the Holy Spirit giving us access to the Father...for Jew and Gentile alike; the gospel is the message of peace.  Boy, I sure never heard this in I thank God I am hearing it now.
For one thing...I never knew God was angry with me and my sin...did not know I needed a saviour, many people are probably like that today.  Hope these words help both believers and those outside the faith or those struggling with the Law to find His peace.

The faith of the gospel would be weak indeed, were we to look no higher than to men. Its whole authority is derived from viewing men as God's instruments, and hearing Christ speak to us by their mouth. Observe here, the gospel is the message of peace, by which God declares himself to be reconciled to us, and makes known his paternal love. Take away the gospel, and war and enmity continue to subsist between God and men; and, on the other hand, the native tendency of the gospel is, to give peace and calmness to the conscience, which would otherwise be tormented by distressing alarm.
18. For through him we both have access. This is an argument from the fact, that we are permitted to draw near to God. But it may be viewed also as an announcement of peace; for wicked men, lulled into a profound sleep, sometimes deceive themselves by false notions of peace, but are never at rest, except when they have learned to forget the Divine judgment, and to keep themselves at the greatest possible distance from God. It was necessary, therefore, to explain the true nature of evangelical peace, which is widely different from a stupefied conscience, from false confidence, from proud boasting, from ignorance of our own wretchedness. It is a settled composure, which leads us not to dread, but to desire and seek, the face of God. Now, it is Christ who opens the door to us, yea, who is himself the door. (John 10:9.) As this is a double door thrown open for the admission both of Jews and Gentiles, we are led to view God as exhibiting to both his fatherly kindness. He adds, by one Spirit; who leads and guides us to Christ, and "by whom we cry, Abba, Father," (Romans 8:15,) for hence arises the boldness of approach. Jews had various means of drawing near to God; now all have but one way, to be led by the Spirit of God.

And He came and preached peace to to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
For through Him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Ephesians 2:17-18

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