How Shall I Obtain Peace with God?
James Smith, 1865
I have sinned — and I fear God is angry.
I feel guilty — and I dread the thought of appearing before him.
I am anxious and disquieted — and can obtain no rest.
I try to pray — but am no better.
I read the bible — but it produces no change.
I hear the gospel — but it does me no good.
I know not what to do, which way to look, or how to get relief.
How shall I obtain peace with God?
This is an important question; it lies at the root of all our happiness and all our holiness. Peace may be obtained. It may be obtained by any sinner who really desires it. It may be obtained at any time, and in any place. The Lord Jesus Christ was our Substitute. He took our nature, suffered in our stead, and died in our place. His sacrifice was a full and sufficient atonement for all our sins. God is well pleased with him in consequence of it. He has placed him at his own right hand in Heaven. He looks upon him with infinite satisfaction and delight. He has placed him before us in the everlasting gospel — and has bidden us look away from self, from sin, and from all our deserts, to him; and promises everlasting life to all and every one that looks to, and places confidence in him and his perfect work. The way to obtain peace therefore is, to look simply, immediately, and alone — to Jesus; to view him as bearing our sins, suffering our deserts, and doing everything necessary for the salvation of every one that confides in him.
If I want peace with God — I must look to Jesus. I view Him as my Substitute — I see my sins laid upon Him — punished in Him — and put away by Him. He alone is my peace. I will not look at any thing, or to any one — but Him. He is enough.
There is infinitely more merit in Christ's atoning blood to save me — than there is in my black sins to condemn me!
I cast my soul upon Him, I rely on Him entirely, and I feel that it is utterly impossible to perish while I do so. His whole worth is placed to the account of every one who believes on Him; and every one who renounces self, confesses sin, and trusts simply in Jesus — stands before God acquitted, justified, and accepted — as really and as fully as if he had done all that Jesus did, and suffered all that Jesus suffered, in his own person!
With him — justice is satisfied.
For him — the whole law has been fulfilled.
To him — the whole work of Christ is imputed.
He has passed from death unto life, and shall never come into condemnation. This is the only way to obtain peace with God.
But may any sinner obtain peace with God in this way? Yes, any sinner! For He says, "All whom the Father gives Me will come to Me — and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away!" Nothing can induce Him to cast out a coming sinner. No matter how vile, how depraved, how sinful, how old, how hardened, how unworthy, the sinner is — if he comes, he shall be received, and received cheerfully, readily, and certainly!
Every one that comes to Jesus by prayer and faith — is instantly pardoned, perfectly justified, honorably reconciled to God, and put in possession of a title to everlasting life!
Every one who comes to Jesus by prayer and faith, is . . .
honorably reconciled to God, and
put in possession of a title to everlasting life!
There must be no reference . . .
to purposes of amendment,
to the failure of our promises in past times,
or to anything else!
You must look away from everything within you and without you — to the Lord Jesus Christ alone! And the moment you commit your soul, with all its sins, guilt, and dreadful depravity, into His hands, to be saved by Him wholly, freely, and forever — that moment you will have peace with God!
This is the way of peace — will you walk in it? This is the path of holiness — will you enter upon it? "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!" This is the Savior's word, believe it, act upon it, hold him to it, and everlasting life is yours! O Savior,
"Guilty and weak — to you I fly,
On your atoning blood rely,
And on your righteousness depend,
My Lord, my Savior, and my Friend!
Be all my heart, be all my days
Devoted to your single praise!
And let my glad obedience prove
How much I owe — how much I love!"