In Romans chapter 5, the apostle Paul talks about peace. Over the past few days we’ve been reminded of peace bought at the huge cost of human life, through the terrible, yet sometimes necessary, act of war. Yet this peace is temporary and does not bring us ultimate peace. For ultimate peace, we need peace with our Maker, we need peace with God.
For all our efforts though, we cannot justify ourselves before God and earn our peace with him. Our sin puts us at war with God and is too great for us to deal with. God the Father, through God the Son, has generously dealt with it, that through faith in the Son we are justified before God and find peace with God.
God had no responsiblity on his part to fulfil, he could’ve left us in our sin. As sinners, we deserve his wrath because he is holy and just and cannot tolerate sin in his presence. However, because he loved us, Christ bore our sin and so bore the wrath due for that sin.
It is an amazing sacrifice that God the Son, the creator and sustainer of the universe, gave up his glory, taking on the wrath of God, for those who put their faith in him.
In Psalm 85, David asks God to bless his people. The definition of the church is the people of God. On the surface, this might seem selfish and inward looking. Looking at the history of the church, it could be said that when God revives his church, the nation prospers and is at peace with itself. Only through the revival of the church can the morality and worldview of the nation be affected and changed for God. Any attempt at a human level will prove ineffective. It was not through legislation and government initiative that Great Britain in the 18th century was turned around. It was through the Holy Spirit of God, working through men like John Wesley and George Whitfield, speaking to the hearts of men and women and convicting them of their sin that Great Britain was changed, and God was glorified.
So it is not selfish to pray that God might bless his people, the church. For through it the nation is blessed. If anything, we should earnestly seek God’s blessing, that he might revive his church and that his Spirit might breathe his life into it and through it transform the nation for his glory.