“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
What an astounding roster of benefits Paul enumerates in these short verses. What belongs to those who have believed the Gospel, and by means of faith have been declared to be in right standing with God – justified – declared righteous at the judgment bar of God the judge of all the universe.
4 things he camps on here:
1 – We have “PEACE WITH GOD.” Before believing, we were at war with Him. Traitors to His right to rule and reign over us. Renegades from our designed purpose to bear His image to the rest of Creation and make Him known in all of His glory, perfections, power and holiness. As Isa. 53:6 states it: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way”. And it was this great sin of rebellion – of each one of us going our “own way” which we needed both to be forgiven of and delivered from. And for which “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And this peace is not a mere truce or cease-fire – it is complete and full reconciliation. Restoration to sonship and full acceptance in the Beloved.
2 – And as if that were not enough – we have “gained access by Christ into this grace in which we stand.” Access. We might approach Him at all times confident we come to one who looks upon us with the dearest and tenderest favor. God never receives His justified ones begrudgingly – but always with open, inviting and joyful arms because of Jesus Christ. We never walk on eggshells around Him because we are the darlings of His favor. We live in the perpetual sunshine of His smile and goodwill.
3 – But there is more! We also rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. What? We rejoice that God has promised to grant us one day to stand in the radiance of His unveiled glory! To “see Him as He is.” To look forward to what the ancients called the “beatific vision.” To see and apprehend Him so fully as to be utterly transformed by it so as to find absolute fullness and infinite joy in Him forever and ever and ever. To be on the mountain with Him in His everlasting burnings but without the slightest fear.
4 – All of which then also grants us even now to: “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Enabling us to seize upon every pain in life and redeem it for a blessing in due time. And what suffering to the new creature in Christ is more painful than eruptions of our sinfulness? We grieve and groan over it. Rightly so. But we can also rejoice in the midst of it – for in the hands of the Redeemer, even these things are turned for blessing. What a Savior!
And all of this Christian, because as vs. 6 says: In due time, He died for the ungodly. You and me in our sin.
Hallelujah! Let Christ Jesus be praised in the highest.