The Way of Peace

Posted: June 20, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

Look steadily at Jesus on the cross, if you want to feel inward peace. Look to anything of your own, and you will never feel comfortable. Your own life and doings, your own repentance and amendment, your own morality and regularity, your own church-going, your own Bible-reading and your prayers, your own almsgiving and your charities, – what, what are they all but a huge mass of imperfection? Rest not upon them for a moment, in the matter of your justification. As evidences of your wishes, feelings, bias, tastes, habits, inclinations, they may be useful helps occasionally. As grounds of acceptance with God they are worthless rubbish. They cannot give you comfort; they cannot bear the weight of your sins; they cannot stand the searching eye of God. Rest on nothing but Christ crucified, and the atonement He made for you on Calvary. This, this alone is the way of peace.

~ J.C. Ryle

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Comments
  1. kim/nannykim says:

    Ok, I have a question I have been thinking about lately -wondering if you can give some advice on this. Ryle says rest on nothing but Christ crucified, and the atonement He made for you on Calvary. Ok. Would this include then, resting on the grace he offers that comes from the atonement He made? Can we divide the grace that comes from the atonement from the atonement? The reason I am asking this is because the Roman Catholic Church rests on Christ’s atonement—they would include in the aspect of salvation the need for faith and works which both come from God’s grace which in turn comes from the atonement. I know Ryle was against RC….but I am trying to figure out if there is an actual difference here. It is the grace that God gives us because of the atonement …the grace of God that enables me to repent and have faith and do works. So can we really keep dividing everything up into slivers? or is it one bag. Also Ryle says our peace comes from resting only on Christ crucified…..and I John seems to infer that our assurance (and therefore our peace?) comes from seeing ourselves walking in the Spirit and thus loving, confessing our sin, obeying the commandments etc—so can we separate a walking in the spirit from peace>? Just would like to know your thoughts on all of this when you get time, kiddo!!

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    “so can we separate a walking in the spirit from peace>?”

    I think if we find peace in anything other than the unmerited favor of God towards us in the cross of Christ, we might have more of a schizophrenic assurance. One day we feel in the spirit (therefore at peace),the next day we fell dry and unspiritual (not at peace). So, for something unchanging to find peace in we should look to the unchanging love of the Father to all those who place there trust in the finished work of the Son. It’s the atonement to look at and hear Jesus say “it is finished” to find our greatest peace.

    “So can we really keep dividing everything up into slivers?”

    Good question, my initial reaction was no, but I think it depends on what we are looking at dividing.

    “Would this include then, resting on the grace he offers that comes from the atonement He made? Can we divide the grace that comes from the atonement from the atonement?”

    I don’t know if we can say He offers grace from the atonement. The atonement doesn’t activate grace. All through out the O.T. we see God show grace to people & cities.
    The forgiveness offered at the cross is an act of grace.
    Hope that helps a little.

    Blessings

  3. kim/nannykim says:

    I will think more on what you have said and I will reflect more on this whole topic. You are right, I think, about not knowing if we can say He offers grace FROM the atonement. It is His grace that has given us the atonement. What you said about “forgiveness being offered at the cross” being “an act of grace” is also true. I suppose I was thinking more of means of grace. How God often uses means to convey grace.

    We have peace with God because of His work on the cross –Col 1:20 “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel…”

    So as Ryle says, “Look steadily at Jesus on the cross, if you want to feel inward peace.”…It is the cross that made peace with God (according to Col ) and I guess meditating and thinking on this (Ryle says look steadily) should bring us some inward peace. I think this is partly true, but not the whole of it. Gal 5 says the fruit of the Spirit includes peace. So again I do think there is a bit more to the concept of inward peace. I do think it is an inward work of grace that comes from the Spirit…..it does not come just by fixing our minds on the work of Christ, although the Spirit will use this….Ryle does say REST on nothing but Christ crucified, so I would have to think about what he means by REST. I have often linked resting with fixing my mind on the thing. But it must be more than just a mind thing. It would include trusting.

    As I think about it all, I suppose my peace actually comes from trusting God’s grace. The work on the cross brought us peace, but I know I have to continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast as Col says—so I think, my peace comes from trusting that God will keep me in this. His work on the cross will do me no good unless it has been applied. So the work alone does not give me peace, and my ability to trust in it does not give me peace. My peace comes from God’s ability to keep me……This is ultimately where I think my peace comes from.

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