1 “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

11 Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.” Romans 5:1-11

Have you ever wanted to know real peace? Well peace in the New Testament is a sort of technical term that means to have assurance of salvation. Paul in verse one is really saying we have assurance of our salvation because we are justified by faith. This has to be one of the most beautiful thoughts in all of Scripture.

What if we could only be justified if we proved ourselves worthy by being sinless for two years or had to show our devotion to God by giving thirty years of our life to foreign missions? Instead we are justified or declared right with God when we accept His wonderful gift of salvation by faith. There are no actions or amount of work for us to accomplish to appease God or prove our worthiness in order to be saved—it is a gift.

Paul also makes it clear that when we have a relationship with God that brings us into harmony with this gift of redemption we no longer are afraid of suffering. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this over the years and always come away impressed by how life for a Christian is so much more satisfying than for a non-believer. The reason is because of our attitudes towards suffering.

There is no doubt in any of our minds that we all suffer. No matter how wealthy or successful or beautiful a person is it is no guarantee against tragedy. Paul, says, “We rejoice in our sufferings,” because they are not an end in themselves. He sees suffering as an opportunity to grow in trust and faith in God. He actually says that suffering produces “endurance” and endurance produces “character” and character produces “hope” and hope never disappoints. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us.” Romans 5:5

Isn’t that an amazing thought? Suffering leads us to a deeper relationship with God where He pours into our hearts love, grace, hope, assurance, peace, contentment and rest. God never disappoints us because whatever His will in any given situation it is always the best decision and we can put our trust in that reality.

This love that is poured into our hearts comes through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is another of God’s good gifts to us. So when problems come in our lives, which they will, we do not have to stand around wondering, “why me” but instead trust that through these storms God’s will, will be done and it is always for the best.

In verses eight and nine are packed a number of amazing and comforting thoughts. There are three major themes stemming out of these two verses. First Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. This may sound like a no-brainer for us Christians but it is an amazing statement.

It is unfortunate that many Christians and non-Christians today believe that God only loves good people or people who are trying to be obedient and do all the right things spiritually. The result of this type of thinking leads to a belief that God really only loves people who are striving to be good and everyone else is kind of a reject. But, that is not what Paul teaches. While we were yet sinners Jesus died for us—that is all of us. And since we are still sinners, there are none righteous, Christ died for us all regardless of how good or bad we are.

That doesn’t mean we are all going to be saved. We are not Universalists. Unfortunately, many people are going to be lost and miss out on the privilege and joy of spending eternity in the presence of God, but that is their choice. What Paul is getting at is that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for a select few, but for us all. The invitation at the cross was to all humanity summed up by the two thieves on either side of him at his crucifixion. One man responded and the other didn’t and that makes the difference in who is saved and who isn’t.

Verse 9 reminds us that we are “justified by His blood.” We are never justified by anything we can do or wish to do. I have been asked from time to time why I am so hard on works in my blogs. The answer isn’t that I am against living a Christian life in harmony with the fruit of the Spirit. It is simply that once I start to put works into the equation of redemption I make Jesus sacrifice “of no account.”

To add anything to Jesus perfect sacrifice is to say that it is not perfect and that somehow we make it more real by adding our own efforts to His ultimate sacrifice. This is heresy and every Christian needs to be aware of it. The last of the three points I want to write about is the idea that “We are saved by Him from the wrath of God.”

God takes sin very seriously. No one is going into the Kingdom of God who lives a rebellious sinful life. In fact Paul calls upon his readers to be aware that God’s wrath is against sin. Someone, is probably saying “but you wrote earlier that we are all sinners so aren’t we all subject to that wrath?” No, we are justified by His (Jesus) blood and saved from that wrath by the grace of God. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us.” (v. 5)

We have just scratched the surface of these wonderful verses, but I hope that you take time to sit down with them and allow God’s love to pour into your hearts through the Holy Spirit. We have nothing to be afraid of including suffering and death because we are “in Christ.” We constantly have the “Comforter” the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us and to pour God’s love deep into our hearts. We have no fear from the wrath of God because we are justified by Christ’s blood and we are recipients of the Father’s free grace. How do we earn all this? We don’t. It is a free gift and we accept it by faith, nothing more or nothing less.

This is worth listening to…a testimony from Mike Weaver from the group Big Daddy Weave

* Please take the time to read some of the stories of Christians who are experiencing persecution for their total commitment to Christ. They need our support and prayers..  http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…