Vol.XVIII No.IX Pg.7
November 1981

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Is there a difference in being "at peace with God" and having peace with God in your heart? D.L.


It is possible for one to be deceived — to "feel" right (at peace with God) on a purely subjective basis, when in reality sin separates from God, and God's word viewed objectively would offer no reason for any feeling of security. Hence, there would be a difference in being truly at peace with God, and in only feeling that all was well.

But the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7), and "the peace of God" we are to let rule in our hearts (Col. 3:15), seem to refer to an inner tranquility that is ours as a result of our complete trust in Christ — complete confidence that our sins have been forgiven and will continue to be forgiven if we maintain our walk with Him. Jesus has said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (Jn. 14:33). This fellowship with God, of which faithful saints may be assured, should be a "guard" or "garrison" of the heart; helping us to maintain our balance in times of strain and stress. I do not view this as some mystical "enabling power" distinct from my own endeavor, but, to the extent I trust God, a freedom from fear and anxiety.

When God's word tells me my sins are forgiven, and God considers me His child, I truly believe Him, and this peace is my strength and comfort. Bro. Turner:

I know animal blood, could not take away sin, but what was the difference in "forgiveness" in the O.T. (Num. 30: 5-12), and in the N.T. MHC


The citation refers to God forgiving a vow rashly made, when the father or husband "disallowed" it. Sins are said to be "forgiven" under the Old Covenant (Lev. 19:22), but in the light of the fully revealed scheme of redemption we must consider such language as accommodative.

The Hebrew writer (9:9) says those sacrifices could not satisfy the conscience of the worshipper. They could only "purify the flesh" or make clean ceremonially (v.13). In contrast, the blood of Christ can "purge your conscience" (v.14). Under the Old system the worshippers remembered their sins again every year (10:3), but "by one offering" Christ "perfected forever them that are sanctified" (v.14); and since God "remembers no more" (v.17), we can "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience..." (v.22). Sins are now actually and truly forgiven, not just ceremonially purged; and we can come before God with a clean conscience.

Christ's death was also retroactive, "for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament" (9:15). The traditional way of saying this is that the animal sacrifice "rolled sins forward" and Christ's blood "washed sins away." However stated, without the death of Christ there is no remission of sins.