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Romans 5:1-11

Peace with God through Jesus Christ

There are little islands of peace all over the world. I am referring to men and women who have peace with God.

The key to Romans chapter five is the word "rejoice." The person who has been justified by faith in Jesus Christ can rejoice because of the results of believing on Christ. This is obvious from the opening word in chapter five, "Therefore." Because of our new relationship to God we can rejoice in our spiritual position, we rejoice in our present circumstances and we rejoice in LORD God.

WE CAN REJOICE IN OUR COMPLETE ASSURANCE (5:1).

We have a new spiritual position before God.

We have been justified by faith.

Paul restates the great truth of Romans chapters three and four. "Therefore having been justified by faith . . ." (5:1).

The Bible makes it very clear that we have sinned. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are still sinners. There is no denying that fact unless we are completely naïve and self deceived. We know from personal experience that we have failed God.

When the Bible speaks of justification it means to declare righteous. When a convicted sinner puts His faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for his sins a righteous God declares righteous the believing sinner. God the Father sees our faith in His Son and forgives us our sins against Him. The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us of every sin. We now have a new relationship with a holy God. We are justified by faith in what Christ did for us on the cross.

Since the Father is satisfied with His Son, He is also satisfied with those who believe in His Son's death and resurrection.

God sees our faith and declares us right with God! Pardoned! Forgiven! Acquitted! It is a once and for all act of God whereby He declares us righteous in His sight.

Keep in mind Paul's declarations on justification in Romans. "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" (3:28). He sums up his illustration from the life of Abraham. He says, " . . . for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification" (4:24–25).

How can Paul make such declarations? It is based upon the death of Jesus for our sins. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while 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" (5:8–10).

In Galatians 2:16 Paul makes the greatest statement of salvation by grace through faith as opposed to a salvation by works. He writes, "a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified."

How do we become a child of God? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).

Here is Paul's formula for evaluating the basis of our assurance of salvation. "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation" (Galatians 6:15). For him it was not a matter of being a member of the Jewish nation, or having the sign of the covenant. The crucial need was to be born spiritually. For us today it is not our good works, or baptism, or church membership, or taking communion. Our eternal life depends on our relationship to Christ. Am I a new creation? Have I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for a right relationship with God? You fill in the blanks. "For neither is ________________ anything, nor __________________, but a new creation." What are you depending upon for being right with God?

Only Christ will do.

Justification by faith illustrated

"Justified" and “faith" were explained and illustrated in the life of Abraham. He was declared to be God's friend. Abraham entered a close relationship with God when he believed God would do what He had promised. This intimate love relationship with God was given as a gift. There was no merit involved. It was by faith alone, believing that God would do as He had promised.

Justification is a legal declaration by God the Father pronouncing the lost sinner acquitted because he has put his faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save him. The moment you believed God declared you just in His eyes. Some other things happened, also. For more discussion on this topic please read Abiding in Faith.

We have "peace with God" (v. 1).

Since we have been justified by faith, the first result Paul says is we have peace with God. If you have really believed on Christ, you will have peace with God. If you are justified you are a member of His family. There is no longer any hostility between you and God. You are at peace with Him. We are no longer held in fear of God. We don' t have to worry about dying and facing God. The prospect of death does not hold a dreadful fear or terror over us because we know we have peace with Him. Because we are justified, we have lost our fear of God. We now have an intimate love relationship with Him. Christ has resolved our most basic fears in life. Perfect love casts out all fear. It is now a loving relationship with God because we have been reconciled to Him.

"Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . ."

Why do Christians have this deep inner peace with God? Because we have been declared righteous by faith in Christ. The implications of this for the Christian life are extensive. We ought not to wait around thinking that the Almighty is sitting on His throne, just waiting to pounce on us! The great truth of the gospel is that at that very moment we were completely forgiven. Moreover, because of that forgiveness, we now have peace with God—a peace that can never be taken away. Furthermore, as Paul goes on to elaborate in Romans 5-8, because we have this peace with God, we now can grow in grace. In other words, since we have been completely forgiven, we now have the potential to be changed into the likeness of God’s Son. It is impossible to think of justification without sanctification. Paul is not saying that at the moment we trust in Christ as our Savior we were completely changed, and made sinless. We still sin even though we struggle not to. We are sinners, but we are sinners saved by grace.

How can God give us this forgiveness and peace with Him? It is "through our Lord Jesus Christ." The foundation is the substitutionary death of Christ on our behalf. The Apostle Paul declared: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (5:6–8).

Christ died for us, not because we were Jewish or not Jewish, good and righteous, Baptist or Catholic, but because we were plain old sinners.

Lost peace or lost salvation

What can you do when you lose that sense of peace? The way to get back on track is not by working on your feelings. It is not by being saved a second time. Open your Bible and review your justification. Go back over the facts from God's Word. Remind yourself of what God has declared about you. God is able to perform what He has promised. Satan will always accuse you and try to destroy your peace with God. Talk to yourself. Remind yourself of this great positional truth in God's Word. "My acceptance with God does not depend upon me. It all depends upon Him. My sin does not cancel out my justification. God has dealt with all my sins in Christ's death and resurrection. Jesus died for me on the Cross. I rest upon that great fact. God has reckoned or imputed His righteousness to me because I believe He has death with my sin in the work of Jesus Christ. God has acquitted me. The Bible says, 'There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1)." Reckon upon God's promises and the fellowship will be restored. That experience of peace will be restored, as you trust Him.

"Reckon" on Christ's death

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (6:11). We have no merit in ourselves before God. No matter how long we are Christians, or how long we serve Him we can only stand on the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. We never deserve it, or merit it. It is his gift to us. In fact, the longer you walk with Christ the more you comprehend this great truth from His Word.

Don't let your conduct or behavior disturb your peace with God. The smallest sin destroys, for the time being, your sense of peace. The intimate fellowship is broken. You don't lose your salvation. You do not lose your eternal position in Christ. You lose you joy of fellowship with Him. How do you restore the fellowship? God has provided us a bar of soap and He wants us to use it daily. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us" (I John 1:9–10). Keep short agendas with God. Deal with sin daily. Don't let sinful behavior, thoughts or attitudes rob you of that sense of peace. Cultivate that sense of peace. Unconfessed sin, unrepented sinful behavior, bad attitudes will rob you of experiencing peace with God. Keep your heart tender toward God and you will experience His deep peace. We can rejoice because we have complete assurance.

WE CAN REJOICE BECAUSE WE HAVE CONTINUED ACCESS TO HIS ABOUNDING GRACE (v. 2a).

Through Jesus Christ "we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2). A. T. Robertson observes, "Grace is here present as a field into which we have been introduced and where we stand and we should enjoy all the privileges of this grace about us." Moreover, it is perfect tense. He has taken us into the presence of the king and introduced to Him! We now have a permanent access into the grace of God. It is a permanent possession. Now that we have been introduced to the king and we can go into His presence anytime we desire. We have a constant supply of His grace available to us. It is daily. It is moment by moment. A. T. Robertson adds, "The exhortation is that we keep on enjoying peace with God and keep on exulting in hope of the glory of God."

Ephesians 2:18–19 further elaborates on this same introduction to the Father and continuing access into His presence. Paul says, "For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household . . ."

I think this is one of the greatest truths I have ever learned in my Christian life. I begin my day, every day, with a simple commitment to Christ. "Lord Jesus, I give you this day. It is yours. You purchased it at Calvary. I am yours. Here is my life. You take it and live it through me. You be my Lord and Master. Come live your life through me today." You talk about peace! You talk about joy! Your daily life becomes an intimate walk with God. He is free to break in on you at any moment through out the day.

Why is this so precious to the believer? It is because when we became Christians we did not become immune to pressures, trials, tribulations and difficulties in life. We can now face life head on. We need a constant supply of God's grace. Because we are justified by faith, we have instant access to the God of all grace. We have continual acceptance before Him. We have all of His resources available to us to live the Christian life.

You determine how much wealth you receive from God. How big a vessel did you bring today? Do you bring a tiny tin cup, or a big bucket? What did you come expecting today? You have access to the fullness of God! He wants to give you the choicest of gifts! Why do you cling to sinful behavior, and bad attitudes? We have a constant supply of resources in our hour of need. We can rejoice in His provision.

WE CAN REJOICE BECAUSE WE HAVE CONFIDENT ANTICIPATION IN THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD (5:2B).

Furthermore, Paul says, "we exult in hope of the glory of God" (5:2b). The word "exult" means to rejoice greatly, or leap for joy. There is only one thing worth boasting about. It is Christ! The word of "exult," or "rejoice" here means, to boast, to glory, and is rendered to rejoice in hope of the glory of God. In v. 3, we "exult" in tribulation and in v. 11 we "exult" in God. In Philippians 3:3 we "glory in the Lord Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh."

This “hope” is linked with trust and yearning, and distinct from fear. The life of the righteous is grounded in a hope that implies a future because its point of reference is God. To hope is to trust. It is demanded even in good times. It is not our own projection but confidence in what God will do. Christ is our hope. It has nothing to do with the calculation that may give a false sense of security. We are not to trust in the stock market, or our own righteousness or our religious inheritance. God can shatter all our best laid plans. Politicians who build on calculable forces will be confounded. Hope looks to Him whom none can control. It is thus freed from anxiety and worry, but must be accompanied by reverence and awe of God. This "hope of glory" must be a quiet patient waiting on God. If God helps in present distress, He will finally put an end to all distress.

When fixed on God, hope embraces expectation, trust, and patient waiting. It is linked to faith, as in Hebrews 11:1.

Observe how Paul continues to develop this idea in Romans. Our hope rests on faith in the finished work of salvation (Romans 8:24-25) and is sustained by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (vv. 26-27). It is an essential part of the daily Christian life (15:13; 12:12). It endures even when we see God providing before our very eyes, for its focus is not on what is to be given but on the God who gives it and will continue to maintain it when it is given. Endurance may be stressed in this life (5:2, 4-5), but our waiting is confident patient trust, for we are saved by hope (8:24).

This "hope of glory" denotes that which makes God majestic. Since God is invisible, it necessarily carries a reference to His self–manifestation when He returns in glory.

The Living Bible paraphrases verse two, "And we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God had in mind for us to be."

Everyone who has been justified by faith has this certain hope that Jesus gives when He said, "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19). He promised He would go to His Father and "I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, you may be also" (John 14:3).

The Apostle John writes, "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:2–3).

WE CAN REJOICE BECAUSE WE CAN CELEBRATE VICTORY OVER ADVERSITY (VV. 3-5).

The abundance of grace gives us hope to face tribulations, trials, persecutions and pressures that come today. This sense of "hope" gives a strong certainty.

Moreover, Romans 5:3–5 tells us we rejoice because God takes these pressures in life and uses them to bring glory to His name. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

It is more than to "rejoice." It is to "glory," or "exult" in the pressures in life. It is not even to submit to these tribulations without complaining and becoming bitter. It has the idea of glorifying God in the midst of these pressures. It reminds us of Paul and Silas in the prison in Philippi singing in prison. Where do you turn when you face difficult circumstances, the changes in your life, or when things don't go as you had planned? We don't get our strength from our circumstances. We get it from our continual access to the presence of God. His grace and power is continually available to us. We can draw near to Him in full assurance of faith in His sacrifice for us.

Even to endure and glorify God in these difficult times is a gift of His grace. He gives us His sustaining presence.

Because of the constant flow of grace we triumph even in our troubles. We can even glory in the pressures of life. "We can have full joy here and now even in our trials and troubles" (Philip's translation).

How can this be? God uses the terrible pressures in life to perfect patience in us. For those of us who are terribly impatient God allows the intense burdens of the spirit in our circumstances to teach us patience.

Did you notice the chain of growth experience? This growing patience produces strength of character. It tests our character and proves it to be solid. It proves that we have stood the test. The Holy Spirit causes the love of God to overflow. When that happens you can not help but be a statement to a watching world.

The goal of progressive sanctification is our being conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. How does God make us holy? He causes us to "rejoice in our tribulations" because He knows these pressures produces steadfast endurance. Here is the foundation for proven character and hope.

Our hope is not disappointed because God is transforming us into the image of his Son. This renewing of hope gives us encouragement to keep on drawing from the fountain of His grace.

We can rejoice because He cares enough about us to take us through His refining fire so we become more Christ–like. He saves us from the power of sin and makes us like Christ. He will not settle for less, nor should we.

WE CAN REJOICE BECAUSE WE HAVE AN ABOUNDING SENSE OF GOD'S LOVE (5:5-11)

His love came while we were "helpless" sinners unable to save ourselves. "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (v. 6). And it came just in the nick of time. It was in God's perfect timing! Verse eight says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

His death is substitutionary meaning someone else died in our place to pay our sin debt (vv. 6b-11). Christ died for (huper) instead of, on behalf of the ungodly. He died "for us." He died for you and me.

Because of His death on our behalf we are now reconciled to God (v. 8–11). "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while 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. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

His love will never leave us. He will never forsake us.

There are little islands of peace all over the world. When we put our faith in Christ we receive His peace and we have peace with God. Do you know that peace? Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and give you that peace. He wants to be your Savior today.

When man is at peace with God, he can be at peace with himself and others. This is the only way to bring lasting peace in our world.

We can live above the chances, changes and circumstances because of what Christ has done for us. He is our hope for today and tomorrow. Let Him become your peace today.

In this passage of Scripture it is crucial for us to bear in mind that we have been describing the Christian life. It begins with a spiritual birth. If you do not have this peace it may be because you have never been born again. That is where this kind of life begins. We are always ready to help you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Here is where you can find out how to trust in Christ as your Savior.

If you need help in becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.


Title: Romans 5:1-11  Peace with God

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.

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