Day 16 – A New Year with the Good News of God's Resolve
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Romans 5:1
As we begin a new year, of course it’s time for new year’s resolutions. There are many things we can resolve to do this year: build a better budget, cook something new each week, join a club, try a new diet plan, or exercise more. The list of course might go on and on. The goal of a new year’s resolution is normally to improve your life or become a better version of yourself, and even though many of these goals are achievable, most of us don’t end up following through. But the good news of the gospel is that even though we as human beings fail over and over again at producing better versions of ourselves, God hasn’t failed. Romans 5:1 reminds us that we have been justified, not by our annual self-improvement schemes, but through faith in Jesus, and the result of this justification is total peace with God.
First, what does it mean to be justified? It means that God removes completely the guilt and penalty of our sin and declares us to be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. No amount of good works or new year’s resolutions can justify you before God. It is only through faith in what Christ accomplished for us on the cross that we are counted as righteous and brought into a right relationship with God.
And the result of this justification is: Peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. R.C. Sproul writes this, “Christ is our peace, so for us there is no more war with God.” The justifying work of Christ puts an end to our separation and alienation from God and brings us into peace and a right relationship with Him, through faith in Christ. So as we begin this new year, let’s seek the Lord and draw even closer to the one who has counted us righteous and resolved to give us peace! No better version of ourselves is needed, we can come as we are through faith in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Dear Heavenly Father, we give You praise and thanks for the gift of grace, justification and peace through faith in Christ and what He accomplished for us on the cross. We thank You that we can come before You boldly as Your children, accepted and loved. In this year ahead may we draw near to You, seek to know You more, and walk in the truth of Your resolve and promises for us. May we put sin away and walk in the new life that is ours in Christ, and may we be filled with the peace of God. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Vita (Cornell University)
FREE OFFER: Get the "Seeking God Lifestyle" Bible Course Manual. Download this 67-page, 5-lesson course in PDF format.