Back in the era of the ’60s, one of the more prominent objects on display was the peace symbol. It was painted on walls, worn as jewelry, plastered on telephone poles. Everyone knew what this symbol meant.
Like a lot of other trends, this symbol has passed. You don’t see it much any more, except on some old VW bus, and a new generation of youth have come who have developed their own signs and symbols.
I would like to draw your attention to another peace symbol. The peace symbol that stands before us is the Lord’s Table. It is God’s peace symbol to every person.
I. The Lord’s Table Represents Peace With God
Paul writes in
This peace with God is not primarily the inner peace that we often talk about. In this verse, peace is an objective status. It describes our legal and forensic standing before God. It is similar to the signing of a peace treaty between two warring nations. Peace is officially declared and two nations are no longer at war. Hostility is removed and replaced with reconciliation.
When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, we make peace with God. This objective peace means two things to us.
First, we are no longer the objects of God’s wrath. Before we accepted Christ’s forgiveness, we were sinful. Because God is holy, He hates sin. Therefore, every sinner is an object of His righteous anger and stands under His wrath. With Christ’s forgiveness, we are now holy in God’s sight and no longer under His wrath.
Objective peace also means that we are now the objects of God’s favor. He has made us His children and members of His family. He wants to give us every good gift.
In some dog pounds, they have a row of cages in which they put strays. These dogs are given so many days to be claimed — picked up by their owners or others looking for a pet. If they are not claimed by a certain time, they are killed. Every dog is under condemnation and the punishment of death. When someone claims a lucky dog, his status immediately changes from being condemned to being favored.
That is the situation of mankind. Every single person is sentenced to die because of his or her sin. We are under God’s condemnation. When someone accepts Christ and has their sins forgiven, at that moment God becomes their new owner and takes that person out of the condemned group. God takes him home to His family to enjoy the fellowship and love of God.
There is another element of this peace with God: It is the subjective peace we have. This type of peace speaks of our inner feelings when we know that God accepts us as His children.
We experience this subjective peace in several ways. One way is that our conscience no longer condemns us. Since our sins are forgiven, we are not guilty of any sin before God. When we look at these communion symbols that speak about God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ death, we realize we can come to God clean and pure in His sight. We do not stand guilty as sinners before Him, but stand completely cleansed.
Another way we experience this subjective peace is in our souls. As we quietly reflect upon God and our relationship with Him, knowing we are now at peace with Him should flood our souls with tranquility and serenity. The psalmist says of God, “you will fill me with joy in your presence” (
A final way to experience this inner peace is to enjoy the freedom we have with God. Through Christ, we have been set free from our sins and their power. We now can do what we know is right. We don’t have to give in to the powerful impulses of sin. We can live the way God intended us to live.
The Lord’s Table is God’s peace symbol. We have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, and the elements on this table represent Jesus and what He has done for us. Through Him, we can have peace with God.
II. The Lord’s Table Represents Peace With One Another
Not only does the Lord’s Table represent peace with God, it also represents the peace we are to have with one another. Christianity is not a private affair. To be a Christian is to belong to a body with others. It is to be linked together with other members of God’s family.
And while the Lord’s Table represents our vertical relationship with God, we cannot separate that from our horizontal relationship with people. One affects the other. The Lord’s Table also represents the peace that we are to have with one another.
Being at peace with one another is important because it tangibly shows that we understand and have experienced peace with God. God has forgiven us our debt of sin which was immeasurable great. Do you see how ridiculous it is to not forgive someone whose sin against us is immeasurably small in comparison with what our sin was against God?
Being at peace with one another is also important because of the witness to the world. Peace among Christians is necessary for unity in the body of Christ. Without unity, there is no body and there is no demonstration of God’s love shared among His people. As Jesus said, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” Peace with one another is synonymous with loving one another.
Negatively, to be at peace with one another means not to have something against another person. It means that you do not hold a grudge, that you do not resent a person, that there is no bitterness or hatred in your heart. It means that there are no lingering differences that remain unsettled between you and another person.
Positively, to be at peace with one another means to accept one another as we are. This is easy to do when we recognize that we are all sinners saved by grace.
The Lord’s Table is a symbol of peace between those who gather around it — those who show by their participation they have experienced the peace of God. Let the experience of our peace with God flow out to others.