“and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
Yesterday, we left off to discuss further this concept of peace with God which Paul writes about in Romans 5. Earlier, we touched on faith and the free gift of God – our righteousness – and that grace and faith are really one and the same in terms of the gift.
At the end of Romans 3 and all of chapter 4, Paul makes a distinction between obeying the law (works) and living by faith, and how faith is the only means we have to be justified. In chapter 5, he goes on to explain the benefit of all this. In my bible, chapter 5 has five paragraphs, four of which begin with either the words “therefore” or “for.” So, we know there are lots of conclusions for us to learn. All these can be blurred a bit, so let me try highlight the main points.
Romans 5, Paragraph 1, Verses 1-5
Main Point #1: v. 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This concept is huge and can only be appreciated if we understand the true nature of our depravity – that we are doomed because of our willful disregard, disobedience, and rejection of God. Each and every one of us.
Main Point #2: v. 2a Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
First, our faith has garnished us peace with God. Now, we find that it opens the door to grace, which might be described as unmerited favor from God. Perhaps peace can be figured as God no longer executing his wrath on you; grace is him bestowing favor or blessing.
Secondary Point #1: v. 2b and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Because we now have peace and grace, we now have reason to hope. Big time hope. We will get to see God, in peace. Who wouldn’t rejoice in that?
Secondary Point #2: v. 3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that sufferings produces endurance…
What’s more, we have a whole new mindset on life! Who in their right mind would rejoice in suffering? Christians, that’s who. Why? Because God uses sufferings (trials) to mold us like Jesus. How cool is that?
So, our faith throws open the door to peace and hope. That’s huge. Furthermore, we are given a mindset that allows God to transform us and in which we are more than completely happy with.
I don’t know if you catch this or not, but all this is at God’s initiative. We don’t justify ourselves. We’re not the one who declares peace. We’re not the ones handing out grace. Our efforts don’t give us hope nor do they allow us to benefit from suffering. None of this would happen had not it been for the mercy of God who has made it perfectly clear that it was not because of something we have done. In fact, it is DESPITE of our actions. We’ll dig into that tomorrow when we tackle the SECOND “therefore.”
Father, it’s all here, in scripture. If we take the time to study your word, we find the answers we need. The one I don’t have is why you chose me. And, I see that you aren’t sharing that. I’m ok knowing that. Perhaps you’ll share that with me once I’m in heaven. Maybe you won’t. No matter because I trust you. Not only for my life, but for all of humanity. You know what you are doing. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers