Romans 5:1-2 says, “Brothers and sisters: Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” These verses come from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, the longest of Paul’s epistles. They provide a message of peace and grace for the Third Sunday of Lent, faith leader Jeremiah Johnston told Fox News Digital.

Johnston said, “God treated Jesus as if He lived your life and mine, so He could treat you and me as if we lived the life of Jesus.” He is pastor of apologetics at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Christian Thinkers Society. That, he said, is “the glorious gospel of grace on this third Sunday meditation of Lent.” He added, “Without Jesus, we do not know the way of peace. Indeed, it is unattainable.”

Johnston noted that peace eluded St. Paul prior to his conversion to Christianity. He said, “A statement of God’s peace freely offered would have stunned the pagans of the Roman Empire in the first century. In the Roman world, the gods were feared, even despised.” The gods of the Romans “offered humans no peace, no assurance of salvation. In short, the gods had no love for humanity. They cared not a whit.”

Conversely, “meeting the risen Jesus changed everything for Paul,” said Johnston. “In Jesus, he found peace. He found joy. And he found life.”  Discovering the true meaning of peace will “transform your life,” Johnston suggested. “For Paul and us, Jesus is our shalom: peace. In Jesus, we experience peace with God and the peace of God,” he said. Through His death and resurrection, “Jesus established a lasting, eternal peace for us,” he said, a peace that “is available to all of us on the basis of not works, but of faith in him.” Faith, said Johnston, “is what you believe. It’s not what you feel.

He continued, “We place our faith — our trust — in Jesus Christ, who is not only worthy of our trust and worthy of our honor but is also a worthy object of our faith. Faith does not equal certainty; rather, faith equals trusting God through the uncertainty.” Christians, said Johnston, may fall into a “trap” of equating that feelings of peace mean that they are “OK with God.” He said, “But here’s the key: Even when I feel emotionally out of sorts, the truth of the Scripture is that because of Christ, God’s got me.”

“We all find ourselves on emotional thin ice at times or experience times when our physical bodies are not well. But that doesn’t change the objective truth found in the Word of God.” Emotions, said Johnston, can “cloud biblical truth.” He added, “Emotions are real, but they do not transcend biblical reality and promises. Yet, nowhere more clearly is the basis of our peace proclaimed than Romans 5:1, ‘Justified by faith … we have peace with God.'”

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