January 15 - Romans 5:1-5

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Romans 5:1-5 – Peace

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.

The word ‘justification’ is tossed out there a lot with the expectation that people automatically understand its meaning … and they don’t. They comprehend that it has something to do with salvation, but what does Paul mean by this? Justification is simply the act of being made righteous in the sight of God. It is the work that happens in our lives when we are saved. Salvation and Justification happen together. The moment we are saved is the moment that we are made righteous – or justified. All it takes is faith and Paul has spent the last chapter ensuring that we understand faith isn't something we do either. Faith comes from God. The only thing we do is accept it all and believe in Jesus Christ.

With that out of that way, Paul says that we now have peace with God. Everything that sin has broken in our relationship with Him is healed. We no longer live under God’s wrath, but in peace with God.

From this peace, comes joy. Even in the midst of suffering, we find joy because we know a few things about suffering. Paul is clear that suffering is not an opportunity to despair. There is too much at stake in our lives to fall apart from suffering.

The greatest suffering we will ever know is eternal separation from God … the suffering we face on earth is nothing in comparison.

Suffering produces perseverance … perseverance produces character … character produces hope.  And hope that comes from God does not disappoint us. This hope comes from God, who not only gives us love, but Paul tells us that God “poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:5). This isn’t fleeting love, or love that we have to conjure up for another person – this is God’s love and it has been poured out into our hearts. I think of the water pouring over Niagara Falls and that still doesn’t describe the power of God’s love being poured into our hearts.

This begins with peace, moves through joy into hope and ends with God’s love in our hearts.