It is well that we should be clear as to the distinction between the ground of peace, and that which is the spring of growth and devotedness in our daily walk; in other words, that we should understand the distinction between the work of the Lord Jesus for us, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The former is illustrated by the blood on the lintel outside; the latter, by the Israelites’ acting inside.
When anyone, through grace, receives the Savior, in the Divine efficacy of His accomplished work on the Cross, he is introduced into a position in which the Father can address him as to his conduct; he becomes the subject of loving parental care and child training. But then he must be careful not to confound the question of his walk with the ground of his perfect profound peace in the presence of his Father.
Many suffer in this way; they do not understand the fullness of the Lord Jesus for them, and their everlasting completeness in Him, together with the settled judgment of the Father about them. Now, while there is any dimness or uncertainty as to this there can neither be settled peace of conscience, nor any intelligent ground for true spiritual activity. Everything will be referred to the question of peace, rather than to the glory of the Lord Jesus, which should be our aim, and which will be our goal in proportion as we enter into the Divine reality of what we are in Him, through the infinite grace of our Father.
The more we realize the truth that everything has been accomplished on the Cross, for the perfect establishment of our peace in connection with the holiness of God, the more we shall see how futile every thought about ourselves is. A question as to the believer’s peace, is, in reality, question as to the accomplished work of the Lord Jesus. If you touch one, you touch the other; for “Christ is our peace.” Our Father’s estimate of Him and of us in Him is the same – “Ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” “As He is, so are we in this world.” “Wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Not that sin in not in us; for “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” It would not give us any peace to be told that the Lord’s people have no sin in them; but that He has not beheld it gives us peace to our heart. It is our Father’s grace that blots out sin, through the precious Blood of the Savior. He delights to do this; yea, it is His glory. “Thou hast cast all my sin behind Thy back.” This, Christian, should banish every fear from your heart. Your Father is not looking at your sin, but at the Blood of the Lamb; and in that He sees the fruit of His own love and triumphs in it.
Now, if the Father is not looking at your sin, why should you be dwelling on it? The spring of your fellowship is your keeping your eye and heart fixed on the same object that your Father is looking at and loving. If He is looking at His Son, and you are looking at yourself and your sins, of necessity there can be no fellowship and worship. How many are still anxiously occupied with the question of personal peace, which actually stands at the very threshold of the Christian course!
There is no reason why the believer should continue in a low or impoverished state of soul, unless he is deliberately trifling with the conscience, and grieving the Holy Spirit of God. It is his privilege to have the Lord Jesus, and all His divine fullness, between his soul and everything, no matter what – sins, infirmities, and circumstances; and when the eye is steadfastly fixed upon, and filled with the Lord Jesus, nothing can interfere with his peace.
- C H Mackintosh