Wars and rumors of wars are at the doors of every major nation. Agitation and turmoil are found in many hearts of men today. The Problem lies in the spiritual condition of the unsaved man’s heart. The Solution to all agitation, disturbance, and turmoil on a national level and on an individual level is to experience real and genuine inward peace. But there will never be peace in a man’s heart until he receives the Work of Righteousness in his heart.
The Work of Righteousness means the work of Christ in a man’s heart, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4). Every man is born into this world dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). According to Romans 5:12, because of sin, he is in a state of death (spiritual), which means he is separated from God. And the rule in his heart is self, pleasing the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Ephesians 2:2 says, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air…” Until the Work of Righteousness (Christ) is worked in your heart, you are against Christ. You are at enmity (hatred) with Him; (Romans 8:7a) “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.” This carnal mind is a mind that loves not God and His Ways, but loves the ways of this world, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (see Ephesians 2:3 and 1 John 2:15-17).
Our text says, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace” (Isaiah 32:17a). Christ is the Prince of Peace and He made Peace through the Blood of His Cross. “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20). This is speaking of Christ’s atonement on Calvary’s Cross, where He paid the penalty of sin, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He became the Sacrifice for sin and became our Substitute (Isaiah 53:1-12); wherein the Father was satisfied with Christ on our behalf.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23);
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
Then Paul wrote, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:13-14); for He is our Peace.
On the basis of Christ’s work on the Cross, the Holy Spirit of God in regeneration works Righteousness in the heart of the believer. This Work of Righteousness results in:
- An inward Peace in the heart of the believer, because now he has the love of God shed abroad in his heart. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalms 119:165). There is an understanding in the believer’s heart that he now is at Peace with God. He now stands in a position of reconciliation to God and in a justified position with God. He knows that he is eternally secure in the Righteousness of Christ.
- The believer now has works of Peace manifested in his life. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace” (Psalms 37:37). “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:18). See the examples of Abraham and Rahab in James 2:18-26. In fact, Romans 4:1-25 proves without doubt that Abraham did not work to get righteous, but his works came from the fact that he was Righteous.
Therefore, peace, true universal genuine peace, is a Work of Righteousness, or by the Work of Christ at Calvary, and by the Spirit of God working the New Birth in your heart, whereby you are given the ability to perceive your standing of Peace in Christ.
When this peace is present in you (Galatians 2:20), then “the Effect of Righteousness” is:
- “Quietness” which means that you are able to rest in God’s promises; which produces a serenity of mind or a calmness of spirit where you are not agitated or in a turmoil toward God or toward man.
- “Assurance forever” which is firm persuasion, a confidence which is based on Christ’s Work, on His Word, and by the witness of the Holy Spirit of God in our hearts. (Romans 8:14-17; 4:17-25).
I present the question again, “Do You Need Peace?” Are you in a constant turmoil? Are you agitated with those around you? Are you engaged in a war today? Are you in rebellion to God? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you need inward Peace. You need the Work of Righteousness in your heart. Therefore, turn to the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus. Present yourself as a fallen sinner worthy of hell in yourself. Confess your sins to Him and place your hope in His Finished Work at Calvary and receive the Peace with God that is provided in the death of Christ on Calvary’s cross as your Sacrifice, your Substitute, even your Saviour. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:23-28; 10:9-14.)
(This devotional was previously posted on November 9, 2010.)