PEACE WITH GOD
Eternal God, let a sense of Your goodness course through every fiber of my being until my lips declare Your praise. You are good; Your love endures forever.
Read ROMANS 5:1–11
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.’1
The opening verses bring together the great themes we have been considering and specify their relevance to us. There are great doctrines here, but there is life-transforming experience also. By the Spirit, God’s love has been poured into our hearts (v 5). This is truly heart-warming. Knowledge of divine love produces resilience in the face of suffering which, in turn, builds character and lifts our spirits (vs 3,4).
The theme of divine love has been little mentioned so far. Paul has been quite severe, but now that changes. Love has been behind everything that God has done. When we were powerless, ungodly, undeserving, unheeding sinners, God, in love, took the initiative. God’s grace was at work before we cast an upward glance. This is important for how we think of God. As a revelation of the Father’s love, Christ the Son has endured death (v 6) and, so to speak, drawn its sting and swallowed it up in the depth of the divine nature.2 The four words, ‘Christ died for us’ (v 8) are so full of meaning that we have yet to fathom their depths. Notice too the simple formula in verse 10: ‘how much more’. If God has done all this for us while we were enemies, how much more will this same God do now that we have been reconciled as friends? We need not fear future judgment (God’s wrath – v 9), or death, or what lies beyond death, or the dissolution of the present order, because in Christ there is life that will endure (v 10).
Now, Paul’s preoccupation is to eliminate all pretexts for ‘boasting’ (v 11). Boasting is a form of self-congratulation or self-exaltation. In the light of God’s love, there is one alone in whom we should boast: ‘in God through our Lord Jesus Christ’.
‘I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation’.3
How patient You are Lord. I must surely test Your patience. I thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. That turns my despair into hope.
1 Eph 2:13 2 1 Cor 15:54–57 3 John Wesley, 1703–91
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