Justification – Part 3
The result of being justified (Romans 5:1-5)
The result of being justified by God by faith is peace (Isaiah 32:17; Acts 10:36; Galatians 5:22). The reason for peace is that as sinners we were enemies of God (Romans 8:6-7). The wicked have no true peace (Isaiah 57:20). But the righteous have a quiet confidence and peace (Colossians 1:20-22; Philippians 4:7). This peace comes through Jesus (II Corinthians 5:19; John 14:6).
The means of access to the peace in Jesus is through faith (Ephesians 3:11-12). It isn’t something that just happens. The sinner is called upon to open the door to God’s grace (Psalms 84:11). We are firmly rooted as a result, rejoicing in our hope (Hebrews 6:17-19). We are confident in God’s offer because God keeps His word, but we express it as hope because we have not yet receive it and we might not obtain it because of our own weakness (Matthew 10:22; I Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 6:9; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 4:1-3, 11; 6:10-12;10:23-25, 35-38; Revelation 2:25-26; 3:11).
Because of the glory of God (Isaiah 60:19-20), we glory in tribulation. It is not that tribulation is fun, but that compared to what it brings, it seems a light burden (I Corinthians 4:17; II Corinthians 12:9-10). When it comes from the enemies of Christ, it indicates we are doing something right (Matthew 5:10-12). The way to deal with tribulation is to realize the benefits that it ultimately brings (James 1:2-4).
Tribulation brings about perseverance, which we need to reach heaven (Hebrews 10:36). Preserving under trials gives us a proven character. The word literally means a test that we have past (II Corinthians 2:9; 13:3; Philippians 2:22). And oddly enough that proof gives us hope – a cycle of continual strengthening.
That hope is not a false one (Psalms 22:4-5; Philippians 1:20). We are fully confident of seeing it fulfilled because we see the love of God filling us (John 7:38). It is done through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Isaiah 44:3; Acts 2:38-39; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Ephesians 1:13-14; Titus 3:5-6). Paul then expands on how God’s love fills us to overflowing.
1. Can a person face religious persecutions by being quiet about his beliefs?
2. Is life fair? Should it be fair?
3. Can John Calvin’s idea of irresistible grace be true? Why?
God justified us despite our sins (Romans 5:6-11)
While we were unable to save ourselves, at the proper time Christ dies for us so that we might be saved. The word asthenes means someone who is feeble from a disease, but here Paul applies it to all of mankind being spiritual ill and weak.
Paul is hinting at an answer to the question of why Christ didn’t come earlier to break the cycle of sin. There was a time that was perfect for this to happen and that is when Christ died for mankind (Galatians 4:4). All through the Gospels it is mentioned that there was a correct time for Jesus to die (John 8:20; 1:27; 17:1). Time had to have passed to prove to mankind that they could not save themselves. But also all the promises and prophesies had to take place to prove that God always keeps His word. Until everything was fulfilled, it could not be accomplished (John 19:30).
But there is something amazing about God’s rescue of men. Few people would consider laying down their lives for a just man or a good man. In fact, a great expression of love is to put your life on the line for a friend (John 15:13). But God showed a far greater love in that while we were His enemies, Jesus died for us (I Peter 3:18; I John 3:16). Here then is the reason for our hope: God who was willing to have His Son die on the behalf of sinners will not easily give up on those He seeks to rescue (II Peter 3:9; Romans 1:18; I Thessalonians 1:10).
It took the blood of the Son of God to purify us (Hebrews 9:22; I Peter 1:18-19). And by his blood we are rescued from the wrath awaiting the unrighteous (I John 1:8). The word “reconcile” translates the Greek word katallasso which literally means to exchange coinage. Our salvation was gained by exchanging the old man of sin for a new man who can have a relationship with God. The reconciliation was accomplished by being able to justly not count man’s sins against them because Jesus paid that price (Romans 3:24-25; 4:6-8). Justice was upheld (II Corinthians 5:17-19).
But the message doesn’t stop at the avoidance of God’s wrath. Because Jesus rose, we are offered life (John 14:19; 10:28; 11:25; Colossians 3:3-4). That is why the resurrection of Jesus is the core of the Gospel (I Corinthians 15:14-20).
Rather than fearing God’s wrath, we have joy through work of Jesus reconciling us to God (Habakkuk 3:17-18; Philippians 3:1; 4:4). The exchange is not a future hope. The reconciliation has been received now.