Romans 5:1-11- Peace With God

Explanation- Paul begins this chapter with the word ‘therefore’ (or ‘because of this’), which draws our attention back to what he had previously written. What exactly is this therefore there for? Because of the righteousness of God being displayed through the Law of faith, granting justification to the one who places their trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, ‘we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ This may be the greatest reality in all of the Scriptures! This word for peace is not being used in the sense of tranquility or serenity, but it is, ‘the objective state of being at peace instead of being at war with God.’[1] Through faith in Christ’s work we have entered into a covenant of grace in which we are now considered sons and fellow heirs with Christ. No longer does the wrath of God abide upon our fame, for we are beloved in the sight of our King, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God! Through this peaceful standing with God, we are now able to rejoice in our sufferings as well. No longer do we suffer in vain as the heathen do, but all sorrow serves the purpose of conforming us further into the image of our dear Savior! Christ’s death has brought forth this marvelous work in the believer’s life.

The beauty of this gift is that Christ did not wait until we possessed great strength and piety to die, but we are told that it was while we were yet sinners and in direct rebellion against God that Christ came to die? Who has heard of such great love? How difficult it would be to face death on behalf of one we love, let alone for our enemies and those who despise us! Yet Christ died for a people who were at war with Him. He died for a vile and wretched people who sought His death. We beat Him, mocked, and spat in His face. Yet Christ saw the glory of redemption that waited beyond His suffering and chose to lay down His life while those He sought to save were still in rebellion. If the love of God is such that He would send Christ to die while we were still sinners, then we are a people with the utmost assurance! What wrath remains for the people of God? Absolutely none! Christ’s death has once and for all justified the saints and brought reconciliation between God and man. There is no debt left to pay, and we are free to rejoice in the God of our salvation forevermore!

Application- Romans 5:1 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. There is enough awe-inspiring truth here for us to muse over for an eternity of eternities! The very fact the we, who have done nothing but sin and rebel against the Law of the King, can now enjoy direct communion with Him and even dine at His table, is a reality that should always be at the forefront of our minds. As Pastor John Piper once said, ‘The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.’[2] Such things are too high for our understanding to grasp! In our times of despair and doubt, let these words be the pillow on which we rest our weary heads. God has chosen to call us friends, and this is the greatest hope that we can possess!

[1] Quote taken from NT Survey II Lecture Notes, 10.

[2] Piper, John. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. CO Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2017.