Here’s another beloved extraction from Bonar’s outstanding treatise, The Everlasting Righteousness. If you haven’t yet, run, don’t walk, to get yourself a copy of this book from Banner of Truth. It is full of tremendous reflections of the gospel of God which imbue the sinner saved by grace with the assurance that that salvation is finished — not because of anything in the sinner but wholly because of the Savior. The cross worked. It really did. And those who repent and believe are not only brought into the family of God at that moment of belief but are, likewise, enveloped in the peace of God. Or, as Bonar puts it, “the peace of the cross”:
The peace of the cross, what is it? . . . It is peace of conscience; peace with God; peace with the law of God; peace with the holiness of God. It is reconciliation, friendship, fellowship; and all this in a way which prevents the dread or possibility of further variance, or distance, or condemnation. For it is not simply peace, but the peace of the cross; peace extracted from the cross; peace founded on and derived from what the cross reveals, and what the cross has done. It is peace whose basis is forgiveness, ‘no condemnation.’ It is peace which comes from our knowledge of the peace-making work of Calvary. It is true peace; sure peace; present peace; righteous peace; divine peace; heavenly peace; the peace of God; the peace of Christ; complete peace, pervading the whole being . . .
The propitiation and the righteousness finished on the cross, and there exhibited as well as presented to me freely, are such as entirely meet my case: offering me all that which is fitted to remove dis-peace and unrest from heart and conscience; revealing as they do the free love of God to the sinner, and providing for the removal of every hindrance in the way of that love flowing down; proclaiming aloud the rent veil, and the open way, and the gracious welcome, and the plenteous provision, and the everlasting life.
Peace does not save us, yet it is the portion of a saved soul.1
Yes, indeed, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). The enmity and division which shut us off from fellowship with our Maker is no longer, because our Redeemer spanned that gulf for us. We are now justified in the eyes of the Father, meaning we are at peace with him. He looks on us and is satisfied because we are hidden in Christ’s shadow (Col. 3:3). As we begin this new year, may you find a renewed affection for the reservoir of peace which is given to you in the gospel of Christ crucified. May “the peace of God rule in your hearts,” settling your souls, ordering your lives, and quieting your minds (Col. 3:15).
Grace and peace, my friends.
Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness: or, How Shall Man Be Just With God? (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1993), 170–73.