“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
There seem to be many in our day who are seeking God. Yet they appear to be but feeling “after him,” in order to “find him,” as if He were either a distant or an “unknown God.” They forget that he is “not far from every one of us,” for “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Act 17:23, 27-28).
That He is not far, that He has come down, that He has come near — this is the “beginning of the gospel” (Mar 1:1). It sets aside the vain thoughts of those who think that they must bring Him near by their prayers and devout performances. He has shown Himself to us that we may know Him, and in knowing Him find the life of our souls.
With some who call themselves Christians, religion is a very unfinished thing. It drags heavily and is not satisfactory, either to the religious performers of it or the onlookers. There is no substance in it and no comfort. There is earnestness perhaps, but there is no “peace with God” (Rom 5:1), and so there is not even the root or foundation of that which God calls “religion.” It needs to begin over again.
Acceptance with God lies at the foundation of all religion, for there must be an accepted worshipper before there can be acceptable worship. Religion is, with many, merely the means of averting God’s displeasure and securing His favour. It is often irksome, but they do not feel easy in neglecting it; and they hope that by it they may obtain forgiveness before they die.