Romans 5:1-11

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 6, 2015 0 comments
by Katie Erickson

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 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! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:1-11)

As always, when we see a “therefore” in the Bible, we should ask ourselves what it is there for. In this case, Paul is building on his previous discussion about faith in chapter 4 (see here and here). Paul’s previous discussion has been about the law, sin, and justification. Because we have been justified through faith, Paul can now switch gears a bit to talk about the results of that justification.

We see in this passage three results of justification: peace with God (verse 1), access to God’s grace (verse 2), and the hope of the glory of God (verse 2). The peace of God is not just the absence of conflict, but it’s harmony with God regardless of the circumstances that arise in life. This peace is explained more in Isaiah 32:17-18. Also because of justification, we have access to God’s grace. More than that, we have continual access to God because we can live in his grace. Grace isn’t just a one-time gift, but a state of living. Finally, when we are justified, we can (and should) boast in the hope of the glory of God. This is the encouragement we have when we face times of suffering. That suffering shouldn’t detract from our hope, but rather strengthen it. The key is how do we respond - with perseverance, or by giving up?

The specific theme in this passage is hope: the hope of the glory of God (verse 2), the fact that hope does not put us to shame (verse 5), and the hope of being saved (verses 9-10). The world cannot give us hope, but if we are followers of Christ, we do have hope when we have been made with God because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! We have hope because God was glorified through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This hope cannot put us to shame, because God is on our side and we are loved by Him. We also have the certain hope that we will be saved by Him.

This is the good news part - that we have hope! But why did it take Paul into the 5th chapter of his letter to get here? Well, any good gift is appreciated more if you realize how much you needed it. We had to realize and fully understand that we’re all sinners and we’re all in need of God’s grace, in order to fully appreciate this. We have to realize that we need God’s justification in order to appreciate the results of being justified.

It is interesting that in verses 3-4, Paul writes about suffering. You may be thinking, how does that tie in to hope? Read those verses again and it may become clearer: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” When we go through tough times of suffering,, we mature in our faith through that. We learn to persevere through them, which builds our good character, which then gives us hope that it will all turn out ok. Suffering is rooted in God’s love for us, so we can be certain that even though it may be difficult to go through at the time, our suffering really does give us hope. We know God will do what He says He will because of His love for us (verses 5b-8) and because of His work for us in Christ (verses 9-10).

With yesterday being Resurrection Sunday (also known as Easter), this is a great time to be focusing on this part of the book of Romans! Without Christ’s resurrection, none of this would be possible. If Jesus Christ didn’t die as a sinless human being and take on the sins of the world, we would not have the opportunity to be made right with God simply by faith in Him. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is what it’s all about.

Is that true in your life? Do you see the results of being made right with God in your daily life? How important is the resurrection to you?

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