“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” – Romans 5:1

 

In Romans chapter 5 Paul is inspired by God to begin speaking of the benefits and blessings of justification by grace through faith in Jesus. To be “justified” (Greek dikaioo) is best understood as “A formal acquittal by God whereby He pronounces a sinner to be righteous because of that sinner’s faith in Christ.” [1] We might also define justification as a God imputed legal state whereby He sees us as just-as-if-I’d-never -sinned.

 Life can seem like deep dark waters, scary. What lurks in the seas of today, tomorrow, and beyond? Are there great white sharks ready to use their Jaws on us? There are predators and purveyors of falsehoods, waiting to bite down on our tranquil lives. Such thoughts rattle us. Many of our anxieties are in our mind. Peace is driven away and lost in the darkness. We grope for a Creator or have lost all hope there is one. Are we all alone? Are we doomed to peaceless existence?

Charles Ryrie, in his book So Great Salvation, tells a story of a Father and child that illustrates the practical nature of peace with God.

The 3-year-old felt secure in his father’s arms as Dad stood in the middle of the pool. But Dad, for fun, began walking slowly toward the deep end, gently chanting, “Deeper and deeper and deeper,” as the water rose higher and higher on the child. The lad’s face registered increasing degrees of panic, as he held all the more tightly to his father, who, of course, easily touched the bottom. Had the little boy been able to analyze his situation, he’d have realized there was no reason for increased anxiety. The water’s depth in ANY part of the pool was over his head. Even in the shallowest part, had he not been held up, he’d have drowned. His safety anywhere in that pool depended on Dad. At various points in our lives, all of us feel we’re “out of our depth” — problems abound, a job is lost, someone dies. Our temptation is to panic, for we feel we’ve lost control. Yet, as with the child in the pool, the truth is we’ve never been in control over the most valuable things of life. We’ve always been held up by the grace of God, our Father, and that does not change. God is never out of his depth, and therefore we’re safe when we’re “going deeper” than we’ve ever been. [2]

When we come to rest by faith in Christ, in peace with God, we rest in His arms. Resting in His arms, we should fear nothing in this life. By faith we receive peace with God. By faith we receive the peace of God. Then no matter how deep we go in life, God holds us, and we get through. “He leads me besides the still waters” (Psalm 23:2). No matter how stormy and rough the waters get, Jesus is there with His, “Peace, be still!” to calm the storms that enter our lives. The peace of God doesn’t mean we won’t have storms, it means Jesus will be with us in the storm and bring us safely through (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25). How can we experience such peace? That is what we will discover in Romans 5.

At War with God.

The primary benefit of justification is “peace with God.” That justification leads to peace with God implies that prior to being justified by faith in Jesus we are at war with God. The Bible states:

Isaiah 48:22 – “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

John 7:7 (NKJV) – The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.

John 15:23–24 (NKJV) – 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

Romans 1:28–30 (NKJV) – 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Romans 5:10 (NKJV) – 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Romans 8:7-8 – “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Ephesians 2:1-2 – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,”

Ephesians 2:12,19 – “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. . . 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”

Colossians 1:21 (NKJV) – 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

2 Timothy 3:4 (NKJV) – traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

James 4:4 (NKJV) – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 

There is no middle ground. A person is either at peace, or at war with the LORD. The Bible tells us that those who rebel and resist salvation in Christ are estranged from God, at odds with Him; they are at war with God. War with God or peace with God, which are you?

Life lived at war with God is a struggle. It is a struggle because there is an essential part missing and essential ingredient, an indispensable piece needed for the human to fit properly into life, to experience life as it was intended to be live; that piece is God. Without God, life is out of sync. Without God, humanity wanders the wilderness of life, living from moment to moment in the now, trying to deny the reality of the future and what it will bring. Without God, life is lived with a great unknown, a great big question mark about the purpose of life and what lays beyond life, a wonderment about what death brings.

Romans 5 presents the answer to all such wilderness wanderings. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1b). “Peace with God,” what does that mean? What does it entail? What good is peace with God? For those who have known the futility of war against God, peace with God is a tremendous blessing. In Romans 5 we will see that blessed state of peace with God.

What is “Peace”?

The Old Testament word for “peace” is the Hebrew shalom which occurs 285 times. The first occurrence of this term is found in God’s promise to Abraham where He states, “Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age” (Genesis 15:15). Shalom is a term that has a very broad application in that it means much more than merely the cessation of conflict. Shalom means safety, but it also includes the idea of health, wellness, happiness, friendship, welfare prosperity, peace. This is a word that refers to an overall wellbeing from God.

In the New Testament the word translated “peace” is the Greek eirene and occurs 94 times. Eirene means peace, prosperity, quietness, rest, set-at-one-again. This last sense of the term may come from the primary verb eiro from which eirene is believed to come. Eiro means to join. Therefore, the idea of eirene implies a restoration of relationship. We might add the sense of eirene also includes the idea of harmony, concord.

“Peace” may include the idea of a state of tranquility on a national level. The opposite of peace therefore would be rage, havoc, rioting, war. But the peace being referenced in Romans 5 is one that involves the restoration of a relationship between God and humanity. The restoration of peace with God has many benefits, e.g., security, safety, prosperity. Christian peace involves a tranquil state of the soul that is assured of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the absence of fear relating to God and security that comes from God’s oversight.

The Possibility of Peace with God

Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

It is possible to be at peace with God. It is possible for the war to stop, and when that happens, we find that the One we have been resisting and rebelling against is the One who loves us most.

“Therefore” – Whenever you see the word “therefore” in your study of the Bible, you should always ask, “What is ‘therefore,’ there for?” In this case Paul draws a conclusion based on the preceding doctrinal teaching he has been inspired to make. Human beings as a whole have been proved to be utterly sinful (1:18-3:18). Justification or right standing before Holy God has been shown to be unattainable by good works or keeping the law, but only attainable by God’s grace through faith in Jesus (3:19-31). Paul has shown that this is no new doctrine but is seen in the lives of such OT greats as Abraham and David (4:1-25).

“Having been justified by faith,” – “Having been justified,” (Aorist/Passive/Participle) points us to something that has taken place. Romans 5:1 marks a transition from doctrinal statements about justification to the life application and consequence of it in a person’s life. When a person places faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, this is what happens.

Faith is the means God uses to declare a person justified (just-as-if-I-had-never-sinned). Paul will now explain the benefits or consequences of being justified by faith.

The Promise of Peace with God

God promises peace in the Bible. Prophetically God foretold of peace that He would make available. We see this in the following verses:

Isaiah 32:17 – “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”

Isaiah 54:13 – “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

Isaiah 55:12 – “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Isaiah 57:19-21 – “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “And I will heal him.”20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”

There is no peace for the wicked. This is acknowledged as a truth in life for those who honestly measure and meditate on their lives without God. But how can we experience the peace of God promised in the Old Testament? How can we settle the war and receive God’s promised peace?

How Can We Receive Peace with God?

In the Psalms it states:

Psalm 85:8-10 – “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints; But let them not turn back to folly.9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.10 Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.”

These verses are realized in Jesus Christ. Righteousness and peace kiss on the cross of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus paid the debt of our sin, we can now have peace with God. There is no peace for the wicked, but there is peace with God in Christ. This is the good news of the gospel as Paul later affirms when he states:

Romans 10:15 – “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 1 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

In this verse Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7 and the peace promised in the Old Testament is made available by God through the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.

Peace with God through Jesus Christ

Romans 5:1b- “. . .  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

The word “peace,” is translated from the Greek term eirene which means, “peace; implies prosperity; one, peace, quietness, rest, to set at one again.” [3]

When a person is justified by faith, they are brought to “peace with God.” The sinner is at war with God (Isaiah 48:22; James 4:4; Colossians 1:21). But while “peace with God,” does include the cessation of war, it does not only mean the cessation of hostilities. This is not merely a temporary cease-fire. To the Jewish readers Paul was addressing they would view “peace,” in terms of the OT word Shalom which means, “peace; completeness; welfare; health.” [4] From the OT perspective, “peace,” does not simply refer to two warring parties lined up against each other who come to an agreement to coexist separately. Shalom means a complete and full peace based on reconciliation and the warring parties being joined together in a relationship.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ

Peace with God can ONLY be received through faith in Christ, no one or nothing else. Notice also it describes Jesus as “our Lord,” if Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. There is no true peace in any alternative to Jesus Christ. The eastern religions teach that peace is emptying one’s mind of all, and that emptiness is peace. Other religions teach that peace comes through hard work. But none of these alternatives deliver eternal lasting peace with God, only Jesus can do that.

Peace Because of Access to God’s grace.

Romans 5:2 – “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” 

Grace is God’s undeserved unmerited favor toward us. God’s grace is found in His presence. God’s grace is always aimed at leading us to a saving eternal relationship with Him. We stand or are established in a settled and certain life by God’s grace. God’s grace sustains the believer.

Apart from Jesus, a person does not, cannot, have access to God. This was symbolized in the Old Testament by the large veil in the Temple (and Tabernacle) that separated the Holy of Holies from the outer precincts of the Temple. Only the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, could enter behind the veil. Man’s sin kept him separate. But when Jesus died on the cross the curtain in the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51).

The word “access,” is translated from the Greek term prosagoge meaning, “admission; access.”[5] The idea is, “a leading or bringing into the presence of” (“to lead”), . . .  the thought of freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another. [6] This term speaks of “privilege of approach.” [7]

“If you have ever attempted to call the President of the United States, you know how relatively inaccessible he is. To the unbeliever, God the Father is even more inaccessible than the President. He cannot be reached for there is no common ground, no mediator between the unbeliever and God. To the believer, there is access to God because He has justified us. Jesus Christ provides immediate and consistent access to God for all those whom God has declared and treats as righteousness.”[8]

Jesus Our Peace Offering

Jesus is the means by which we can have access to God, His grace, peace, and heaven. Peace is only attainable by accessing the God of peace through Jesus Christ by faith. In this regard Jesus is our peace offering. Paul further describes this in his letter to the Ephesians stating:

Ephesians 2:14-18 – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (See also John 10:9; 14:6; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19).

In the Old Testament one of the sacrificial offerings presented in the Temple and Tabernacle was called the “Peace Offering” or “Fellowship Offering.” In this offering an animal was sacrificed to the LORD and cooked. The priest then ate part of the offering symbolizing God’s acceptance and fellowship with God. The worshipers and their guests would then eat the rest of the sacrifice symbolizing a meal of peace with God. The meal with God symbolized that relationship with God had been restored and God and those making offerings were at peace (Leviticus 3; 7; 22; Judges 20:26; 21:4.)

These peace offerings were offered on three occasions in life. First, a peace offering was offered to God for His unsolicited blessing. Second, peace offerings were offered to God as a pledge and vow in the process of making a request to God. Thirdly, a peace offering was offered as a spontaneous act of worship and praise to God. [9]

Jesus Himself is our peace. Because He offered Himself on the cross in our place, we can have peace and fellowship with God, we can sit down at the table of the LORD and eat a fellowship meal with Him. There is no other way to have peace with God. This peace can only come through the saving personal faith relationship we have with Jesus. Jesus removes the cause of the war, our sin, and thus opens the door for peace with God.

The Peace of God

We should mention here that peace with God is only the beginning. The Bible speaks of the peace of God. The peace of God comes to those who have their war with God ended as they trust Jesus as Savior. Then as they learn to live by a declared dependence on God in prayer, God washes over them with His peace that surpasses our understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Such peace guides us in life (Colossians 3:15). Such peace helps us maneuver through the bomb craters and mine fields of life. But you can’t experience the peace of God until you first end the war and live at peace with God through faith in Jesus.

A Peace that Brings Joy

The peace we have through faith in Christ is cause for great joy. Paul goes on to say, “And rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The word “rejoice,” is translated from the Greek term kauchaomai meaning, “to vaunt (in a good or a bad sense); (make) boast, glory, joy, rejoice.” [10]  And the grammatical form of the term means a constant action (Present/Middle-Passive Deponent/ Indicative). The idea here is to exude in the glory of God.

The peace of God and access to God that Jesus provides is reason for constant rejoicing in Him. GLORY!!!!

A Peace that Overcomes Trials in Life

Romans 5:3-4 – “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” 

Paul says, “We also glory in tribulations.” The word translated “rejoice” in verse two is the same word translated “glory,” in verse three. The person who is justified by faith can glory in, be joyful in, and rejoice in times of tribulation. How can this be?

“Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope”Because justification by faith brings us to a place where we have a relationship with God, we trust by faith and understand that God uses tribulation in our life to produce perseverance or staying power in our lives; and such perseverance leads to character; and character leads to hope. The secret to rejoicing in tribulation is to look beyond the present in hope to see the end of what God might be doing.

Though an attack may come by Satan (Job 1-2), God allowed it. Nothing can happen to us that God does not allow. And God allows tribulations to accomplish good in you. Paul points this out later when he writes:

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

The psalmist (Psalm 73) began to look at his trying circumstances and draw wrong conclusions. He only was able to cope and make sense of his circumstances when he brought it to God and gained the perspective on reality from God’s sanctuary (Psalm 73:16-17).

We are God’s workmanship, His poem. He uses everything in our lives to mold and shape us into the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:2-5). TRIALS GIVE US OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPERIENCE THE FAITHFULNESS AND LOVE OF GOD. THE KEY TO JOY IN TRIALS IS KEEPING OUR EYES ON THE ETERNAL ASPECTS AND DIVIDENDS OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

Peace with God Produces Pleasant Results from the Pressures of Life

The word “tribulation” (Greek thlipsis) means, “pressure” resulting from affliction, anguish, burdens, persecutions, trouble, or tribulation.[11] These are the inevitable things that we face in life. Life can be a pressure cooker that cooks us to the point of exploding. But when we have peace with God, those pressures can become productive.

The word “produces” (Greek katergadzomai) refers to something that is accomplished, finished, fashioned, performed, worked, and completed in a person.[12] What is it that is produced in us through trials?

Paul says the first thing produced in us is “perseverance” (Greek hoopomonai) which refers to a cheerful, hopeful endurance and constancy in attitude; patience and enduring continuance in life. [13] When you have peace with God, you persevere because your hope is in Him and you know that whatever befalls you, He is in control, and He will bring you through.

The second thing produced in us through trials experienced in peace with God is “character.” “Character” (Greek dokime) refers to being tested and found trustworthy. Character is the proof of trustworthiness proved through trial and experience. [14] A person can talk a good talk, but their words are only as good as their walk of their talk. It’s easy to talk a good game, it’s quite another thing to play a good game. Trials provide us with the opportunity to live out the life of peace with God. As we learn to trust God in all things, it builds proven character in us.

The third and last thing produced in the person who lives our peace with God is “hope.” “Hope” (Greek elpis) means to anticipate the future with pleasure or have a positive expectation and confidence that the end result will be good. [15] When you have peace with God, your life is settled; you know that whatever happens to you in this life, your future is secure with Him. Later Paul writes, “If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:30-31). In other words, if God is for us, if we have peace with God, it doesn’t matter what hell brings against us, nothing can separate us from His love and eternal life with Him.

A Peace That Rests on a Reliable Hope

Romans 5:5 – “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 

“Now hope does not disappoint” – The one who is justified by faith in Christ on the basis of His completed work, has a hope of eternal life that is unshakable because Christ’s work is totally reliable. Furthermore, when we get further down the road of life, we will see just how our loving God used the trials in our lives to build spiritual maturity and character.

Hope placed in God will never lead to disappointment. “Disappoint” means “put to shame because of disappointment” in unfulfilled promises. This affirmation concerning hope in God is a reflection of Psalm 25:3, 20-21 (cf. Ps. 22:5; Rom. 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6).” [16] JESUS NEVER FAILS. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.

“Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” – REGENERATION. Romans 5 began speaking of “faith” (5:1,2), moved to “hope” (5:2,4,5). Now we come full circle to “love.” The love of God is what drives the Christian and it is what the Holy Spirit pours out into our hearts at regeneration. One commentary states:

“The Holy Spirit is the divine Agent who expresses to a believer the love of God, that is, God’s love for him. The reality of God’s love in a believer’s heart gives the assurance, even the guarantee, that the believer’s hope in God and His promise of glory is not misplaced and will not fail. This ministry of the Holy Spirit is related to His presence in believers as the seal of God (Eph. 4:30) and as the earnest or down payment of their inheritance in glory (2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14). Later Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit Himself has been poured out in believers (Titus 3:6). Each believer has the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) in the sense that He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 John 3:24; 4:13).” [17]

Peace Birthed in Regeneration

When a person exercises God’s gift of faith in Christ, they are justified, but at that point they are also REGENERATED. Regeneration is the bringing to spiritual life of the one who was once dead in sin. Regeneration is another word for being “born again.” This work of God in the believer is described in the following verses:

John 3:3,5 – “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” . . . 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Titus 3:3-8 – “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

Romans 5:6 – “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” 

Outside of salvation in Jesus, we have no spiritual strength. The phrase “without strength” is translated from one Greek term asthenes which means, “strengthless, more feeble, impotent, sick, without strength, weak (-er, -ness, thing).[18] It is a word that is used by Paul to describe Abraham as “not being weak in faith” (Romans 4:19). Paul describes the flesh or human sinful nature as weak when he comments of the inability of the law to save us saying, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin. . ..” (Romans 8:3). In Romans 14 Paul to describes a Christian who is “weak in the faith,” who has a limited or immature spiritual understanding (Romans 14:1, 2, 21; 15:1). The idea here is not that we were without the capacity to respond, but that any response we attempt to make doesn’t have enough strength to accomplish the task. There is nothing we can do in our own strength, separate from the work of Christ, that can reconcile us to God.

This spiritual feebleness and weakness are the state of the unconverted, and Jesus, therefore, died for the ungodly. Jesus died for one’s who were hopelessly lost and without the ability or capacity to save themselves.

Romans 5:7 – “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.” 

You might be able to find an occasional noble act of one dying for a good person. The problem is that before we come to Christ, we aren’t good. The idea here by Paul is to imply we weren’t worth saving according to mere human standards. ‘But God,” thankfully through and felt differently toward us.

Peace Rooted in God’s Love

Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

By dying for the ungodly, by the pure, perfect, sinless, compassionate, holy loving son of God dying for the weak, beggarly, sinful, rebellious, self-centered despicable sinner, God shows the depth and height and width and breath of His love.

“But” – A contrast is drawn between verse seven and eight. You’re not going to find anyone who would willingly die for a weak sinful person; BUT God is not like sinful man.

“God demonstrates” – The word “demonstrate” is translated from the Greek term sunestemi which means, to set together, to introduce, to exhibit; to stand near, to constitute; approve, commend, consist, make, stand (with). [19] It is a word used by merchants who want to show their merchandise in the most favorable light, to present it in a way that makes it attractive.

“His own love toward us” – The contrast (“But”) is continued by particularizing the love as “His own.” What is God’s love like? How did He choose to show His love to humanity? In Romans 1:19ff it stated that God revealed Himself to humanity in nature, but it took a very special work to demonstrate His love to humanity.

The word “love” here is translated from the Greek term agape meaning, “love, i.e., affection or benevolence; . . .  a love-feast: (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.” [20] The next phrase shows us how God showed or displayed His love to humanity.

“In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” – God, who is the One offended and blasphemed by sin, did not sweep sinful humanity off the face of the earth, but rather took the initiative in sending His sinless holy loving Son, God in the flesh, to sinful earth to die in the place of those who were slaves of sin, totally and terminally infected by sin, totally and terminally indulging in the selfish exploits of sin and at the height of sin rejected Jesus God’s Son; but nevertheless, God sent Jesus who died for us while we were still sinners. THAT IS GOD’S LOVE. GOD’S LOVE TAKES THE INITIATIVE AND GIVES TO THOSE WHO CAN’T GIVE BACK. God’s love is an act of mercy and grace to those in a helpless and hopeless situation but who are even blind to their own terminal predicament. That is God’s love. IF YOU EVER DOUBT THE LOVE OF GOD, LOOK TO THE CROSS AND DOUBT NO MORE!!!!!!!!!

Notice, when did God begin to love us? He loved us before we were lovable when we were still in sin (5:8). Yes, His wrath is on the ungodly and unrighteous (1:18), but in His holiness, in His perfect nature and Being, He is able to reach out in love to those due His wrathful fury. We see this on the cross of Jesus.

Peace Resting in Relief from God’s Wrath

Romans 5:9 – “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” 

Just as we have been justified by His blood, as surely as Jesus went to the cross and died for you and me, “much more” or even more certainly will we be saved from God’s wrath in the future judgment day. This means that Christians will not go through the 7-year Tribulation (Revelation 6-19) which is a time of God pouring out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting world, Christians saved from God’s wrath will be raptured out of this world before the Tribulation.

Jesus said His disciples would experience trails and hardship in this world, but He also assured us He had overcome this world (John 16:33). God allows trials in the believer’s life because they serve to mature and strengthen our faith (James 1:2-5; 1 Peter 1:6-9). Trials can serve other purposes of God that we don’t often understand while going through them (Job 1-2; 1 Peter 4:12-19). Satan and the world aim at trying to destroy the believer’s faith with trials (1 Peter 5:8-11).

But there is a future time of Tribulation that is coming that will particularly be a time of God’s outpoured wrath on a Christ-rejecting world (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19; Revelation 7:14). This time is specifically described as a time of God’s wrath (Revelation 6:17; 11:18; 16:1). Christians, as we see from verses 5:9 of Romans, are saved from God’s wrath and since the Tribulation is a time of God’s outpoured wrath, Christian’s will not experience it.

In the Old Testament we are told that God does distinguish between the righteous and the wicked; He does not indiscriminately judge the righteous and wicked together; He will not pour out His wrath on the righteous (Genesis 18:23-33). The purpose of Jesus coming was to make a way for people to be saved from God’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10). Therefore, we have peace with God because we know we no longer need fear the wrath of God, we are at peace with God. This is a blessed hope of the believers (Titus 2:13).

The means by which God will keep believers from His wrath poured out on the inhabitants of the earth during the Tribulation period is the Rapture. The Church composed of true believers, according to the Bible, will be “CAUGHT UP” (Gk. harpadzo – 1 Thessalonians 4:17 cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) to meet Jesus in the air. [21] This will cause great consternation and puzzlement to those left behind. The puzzlement over this great event as believers throughout the world instantaneously disappear, will only be exceeded by the grief of the Tribulation period.

Peace Based on “Much More”

Romans 5:10-11 – “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

As mentioned in 5:1, “peace” with God means more than mere cessation of war, it means what is stated in this verse, “reconciliation.” “Reconciliation” is translated from the Greek term katallage which means, “exchange (fig. adjustment), restoration to (the divine) favor; atonement, reconciliation (-ing).” [22] Therefore, we can say that those who are justified by grace through faith in Jesus, are brought into a position of AT-ONE-MENT with God, the broken and dead relationship with God is now repaired and the sinner is brought into a loving relationship with God.

“We shall be saved by His life” – Herein is a tremendous truth that is often overlooked. Not only does Jesus pay the penalty at the cross put to our account when we place our faith in Him (justification), but HIS LIFE IS PUT TO OUR ACCOUNT so that the blood of Jesus’ death covers sin that is future and replaced with the righteousness of His life. This is what it means to be clothed with Christ.

Isaiah 61:10 – “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Romans 13:14 – “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Galatians 3:27 – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

Ephesians 4:20-24 – “But you have not so learned Christ,21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:9-10 – “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,”

How do we put on Christ in this way? We put on Christ by faith. Just as we are justified by faith in Christ, sanctification is by faith. The only difference is that justification is a one-time crisis event, while sanctification is an ongoing process.

War and peace, which best describes your position with God? in the thick of the battles of war life can be very chaotic and confused. In the cloud of conflicts God has reached down and extended a hand to bring you peace. He has done that through His Son Jesus Christ. Look to Him. Accept by faith His extended hand of grace. Run up the white flag of surrender on your flagpole. Trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior and let God end your war with Him.

 

[1] Gary Hamrick, Stepping Stones to Hope – Romans 5:1-5. Sermon preached February 4th, 2024 at Cornerstone Chapel, Leesburg, Virginia.

[2] Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, 1989, p. 137ff.

 

[3]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[4]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[5]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[6]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[7]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[8]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

[9]Ronald F. Youngblood, general editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, consulting editors, Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary: An authoritative one-volume reference work on the Bible with full color illustrations [computer file], electronic edition of the revised edition of Nelson’s illustrated Bible dictionary, Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.

[10]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[11]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[12]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[13]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[14]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[15]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[16]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[17]Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

[18]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[19]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[20]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[21] The Latin Vulgate translation of the New Testament translates HARPAZO as RAPTUS, from which we get the English word RAPTURE. While the term “rapture” does not occur in Scripture, neither do the terms “trinity” or “millennium” and therefore this should not discount its validity.

 

[22]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

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