Topic: The Blessings of Justification
Text: Romans 5:1-11
Memory verse: Rom 5:1
In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul shows how the whole world may be held accountable to God (3:19) because of sin. This leads to the fundamental question: if sin is universal, how can anyone be righteous before God? The answer to this question is that righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ. For all who believe are justified by God’s grace as a gift (3:22, 24). In chapter 4, he proves this point by showing that Abraham himself had received righteousness as a gift. Furthermore, righteousness will be reckoned to us who believe in Him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord (4:24). In chapter 5, Paul builds on this basic premise by showing the results of being justified by faith in Christ.
The Blessings of Justification (Rom 5:1-11)
Paul begins Chapter 5 with the word, therefore. This therefore shows the consequences or the result of the previous discussions. And in this context, the theme that was talked about in the previous chapter is justification. In expository terms, the following thus constitutes the blessings of Justification:
- We have peace (v. 1)
There was a time when we were enemies (v. 10); but now in Christ we have peace with God. Peace with God means that the blood of Christ has settled our problem with sin. God is now our Father, not our judge because our sin has been dealt with
2. We have access to God (v. 2a)
Before our salvation, we stood in Adam and were condemned; but now in Christ, we have a perfect standing before God and can enter into His presence (Heb. 10:19-25)
3. We have hope (v. 2b).
Literally: We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Read Eph. 2:11-12 and note that the unsaved person is without hope. We cannot boast in good works that bring salvation (Eph. 2; 8-9), but we can boast in the wonderful salvation God has given us in Christ.
4. We have daily confidence (vv. 3-4).
Verses 3-4: The true Christian does not only have hope for the future, but also have confidence in the present trials of life. The ‘formula’ looks like this: testing plus Christ equals patience; patience plus Christ equals character (experience); experience plus Christ equals hope. Note that we do not glory over trials, or about trials, but in trials. Compare Matt. 13:21; I Thess. 1:4-6; and James 1:3ff.
5. We experience the love of God (v. 5)
The Spirit within sheds God’s love to us and through us. God revealed His love at the cross when Christ died for those who were without strength, who were ungodly, sinners, and enemies, thus proving His great love.
- God’s love poured into our hearts: this is the word used of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:17, 33 and Titus 3:6. It suggests a free flow and a large quantity – in fact a flood. This is because the verb is in the perfect tense, the thought is that God’s love having flooded our hearts fills them now, just as a valley once flooded behind a dam remains full of water. Thus every Christian is entitled to the enjoyment of a strong, abiding sense of God’s love. This is the work of the Holy Spirit on our behalf.
What are the implications of this in daily living?
How Peace with God was obtained (vv. 6-11)
God gives us peace but at a cost – it cost His own Son’s death.
- Christ died for us (vv. 6-8): Jesus Christ died in our place, as our substitute, because we deserved the death penalty. That was why He had to die. Paul makes it clear what our condition was like: helpless, ungodly sinners. In 6:23, he says, the wages of sin is death. This is the principle we must accept, that our own misdeeds and shortcomings are worthy of death. However, God did not wait until we got our lives straightened out before He sent Jesus to die on our behalf.
- We are saved from God’s wrath (v. 9). Because we have been justified, we are also spared the wrath of God. God’s wrath is not to be equated with human anger. He is not vindictive and vengeful in the human sense. His wrath is His displeasure with sin. It is the necessary exercise of His holiness. Sin incurs the wrath of God. The only way to be spared is to claim the blood of Christ. there is no other possibility of hope. We are either under God’s wrath or saved by Jesus Christ.
- We are reconciled by Christ’s death (vv. 10-11). With reconciliation our status before God has completely changed. We were His enemies, but He reconciled us (made peace with us). Jesus’ death put us right with God and keeps us right with Him, so we can experience a constant spring of intense joy. This new position is ours because of the change accomplished by reconciliation, a change from enmity to friendship and acceptance. We changed towards God by our repentance and faith and He changed towards us, so we are no longer under His wrath. Since we have received reconciliation, let us enjoy all the privileges it entails.
As we have studied Romans 5:11, it is obvious that Romans 5:1-11 deals with peace which is the absence of objective enmity, between God and humankind. It also looks at joy that can remain even in the midst of suffering that result from the knowledge that no matter what this life may throw at us we have an eternal life hidden in Christ with God that no one can damage or take from us.
- What does it mean to have peace with God?
- Through justification, we have access to God and hope. Explain.
- Narrate your personal story showing how you have experienced the love of God in your life.
- God gives us peace, but at a cost. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
- State three (3) processes involved in obtaining peace with God (Rom 5:6-11).
- How does the peace of God affect your daily life?