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May 14, 2013

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 MAY 2013

As defined in Scripture, peace can have various meanings. Peace can be the harmony that a person has personally and with others. The emphasis of the Old Testament is upon God’s outworking of His purposes through the nation of Israel. In the New Testament, however, the emphasis is upon God’s choosing to work through a new society, which is composed of both Jews and Gentiles.

Peace (in the Bible)

At the time that Ephesians was written, the early church had recently concurred that both Jews and Gentiles, who heard the gospel and believed, had their hearts cleansed by faith, and therefore, God made no distinction between them (Acts 15). The prior alienation between Jew and Gentile was an outward manifestation of anger toward God. Both groups needed to be reconciled to God. Prior to the death of Christ, the Law of Moses was a “dividing wall” between the two groups. The Law was given to the Jews; consequently, they believed this granted them special privilege and status before God. As a result of Christ’s work upon the cross, the Law of Moses has been rendered inoperative (cf. Rom 10:4; Eph 3:6; 2 Cor 3:2-11; Heb 7:19); therefore, because God is satisfied with Christ’s work, both Jew and Gentile are able to have “access in one Spirit to the Father” through Christ (Eph 2:18). Both groups have access to God through Christ. The believer’s access to God is by grace through faith, and therefore those who trust Christ have “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

As members of “God’s household” (Eph 2:19), believers participate in the teachings of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament, and Christ Jesus himself who is the cornerstone. The unity of the church is based upon the person of Jesus Christ. God has accomplished the unity and commands believers to maintain it by “growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (2:21).

The believer’s access to God is beyond imagination. Not only have believers be reconciled to Him, but they are also united spiritually with God, having become his children (by adoption). The truth with regard to heavenly realities should seize perspective as regards all earthly endeavors and experiences.

Hope in the present—and for eternal life—is based upon salvation in Christ Jesus. We cannot fully comprehend what God has accomplished on behalf of those who trust Christ. God has not only forgiven believers of their sins, but has granted privileges and rights as His spiritual children. Such honor results in thanks because we are not worthy. Let us live in thankfulness for the hope and joy of God’s salvation, and live with an eternal perspective.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Georgia State Minister, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org

P.S. Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.