Our Scripture reading in the book of Romans continues addressing some of the great fundamental doctrines of our faith. The doctrines of sin, grace, atonement, justification and salvation are among the subjects of Paul’s letter to believers living in Rome. While the devotional schedule brings us to Romans 5 and 6, our devotional will be taken from chapter 5.
By beginning with “therefore” (5:1), Paul indicated he was continuing the discussion he began in earlier chapters (Romans 3-4). “Therefore,” in light of the universal sinfulness of man, and the debt of sin no man can pay by works or deeds of the law (3:19-20), sinners are saved and justified by God’s “grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). Abraham and David (4:1-8) had not placed their faith in circumcision or the law, but they believed God’s promises. Therefore, Paul had not preached a new gospel, but a continuation of that message by which all men, past, present, and future might be saved: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1).
What are the results of being justified by faith? (5:1-11)
“We have peace with God” (5:1a), through Christ and His sacrifice for our sin. We are able to approach God, not by any merit of our own, but by the assurance of God’s grace (5:2a). We have an enduring hope (5:2b), and a confidence that we are able to overcome tribulations (trials and hardships), and they work in us “patience” (endurance, 5:3). Persecutions, and afflictions build and fortify our character, and stir within us an enduring hope(5:4). Therefore, we experience “the love of God…in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (5:5).
Sinners were powerless to save themselves, but in God’s perfect time, “Christ died for the ungodly” (5:6). What an extraordinary truth! Understanding a man might give his life for “a righteous man” or “a good man” (5:7), we are left to ponder God’s demonstration of “His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (assuming the weight and curse of our sin, 5:8). Why did Jesus Christ die for us? Not because we were noble or good, but because He loved us.
Closing thoughts – Having been justified by the blood of Christ, we are saved from the wrath and judgment of God (5:9). As sinners, we are by nature the enemies of God (5:10a), but we are “reconciled to [Him] by the death of His Son” (5:10a), and by His resurrection, we have the promise of life eternal (5:10b). Though all men are born of Adam and under the curse of sin (5:12-14), we are reconciled to God by His grace, “by one man, Jesus Christ” (5:15b).
I conclude today’s devotional with an enduring promise of hope: “For the wages of sin is death [physical and separation from God]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
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