1. Peace with God is received by faith in what Jesus Christ did on our behalf.
This describes the judicial results of Christ’s work for all those who believe. We can have peace with God because Jesus, our representative, took our record along with the death sentence that went with it. Because of this, “There is now no more condemnation for all those who are in Christ.” (Romans 8:1) [See illustration here.] Have you trusted Jesus to be your representative? If so, by incredible unmerited favor - you have peace with God.
2. The peace of God on the other hand is received by the application of our faith in what Jesus did on our behalf.
This describes the experience that results when we learn to rest in what Jesus has done on our behalf - instead of anxiously striving by fear or fighting it with shame.
Anxiety often arises when we feel ashamed and/or afraid. (You learned this here as you examined why you worry). So when the Lord tells us, “do not be anxious” in Philippians 4:6, in essence He is reminding us that we are free and do not need to return to our shackles of fear and shame. Then in the verses surrounding this reminder He shows us that we can experience the reality of our freedom and teaches us how...how to stand firm in the peace we have been given with God:
1. We stand firm in our peace with God when we share it with others, living in relational harmony and forgiveness. How could we hold captive our debtors after being so radically set free from our debts? (ref: Matthew 18:21-35, Philippians 4:2-5)
2. We stand firm in our peace with God when we come to Him in prayer...boldly, as children, to make our requests known. We rest in His peace when our hearts overflow with gratitude, confident that there is nothing good that God withholds from us...He proved it by not even sparing His own son on our behalf. We have all things in Him. (ref: Romans 8:32, Philippians 4:6b)
3. We stand firm in our peace with God when we keep our eyes on the Giver and learn how to delight in Him above all good things and in all the good things that reflect His nature. (ref: Philippians 4:8)
4. And through all the above we stand firm in our peace with God, when we rejoice. Praise Him - we have been freed from our old record and our old name! We are now citizens of Heaven, under Christ’s name. Our present is being redeemed and our future is complete in Him. (ref: Philippians 3:20-21, Philippians 4:4)
As we stand firm in our peace with God, we are promised to experience the baffling peace of God. (Philippians 4:7)
Jesus gave you His record so you could leave your chains behind and live free. Do not listen to the crowds within and outside your heart that scream with shame and fear. You are at peace with God now, receive also the peace of God.