Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 31-33
New Testament Reading: Romans 5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:1-5).
Our justification is not simply a fire escape from hell and passport to heaven, as thrilling as that is, but it is also the source of tremendous blessings that we enjoy here and now. When God declared us righteous in Jesus Christ, He gave us spiritual blessings to be experienced in this life here on earth.
Paul tells us we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (v1). Unsaved people are enemies of God (v10) They are at war with God. Justification means that God declares us righteous, which is a declaration of peace made possible by Christ’s death on the cross. Because we are at peace with God, we can have peace in our lives. Not an absence of conflict, but a sense of inner peace, a calm assurance even during a crisis.
Paul goes on to say, we have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand (v2a). The Jews were kept from God’s presence by the veil in the temple, and the Gentiles were kept out by a wall in the temple. But when Christ was crucified, the veil was torn. Paul told the Ephesians, For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph 2:18). Because of Jesus Christ, Believers have access to the very throne of God the Father!
Paul then tells us, we boast in the hope of the glory of God (v2b). Peace with God takes care of our past. He will no longer hold our sin against us. Access to God takes care of our present. We can come to Him at any time for the help we need. Hope of the Glory of God takes care of the future. One day we shall share in His glory! We can be joyful today, knowing where we will spend eternity.
Paul then tells us, and not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions (v3). Justification is no escape from the trials in life. Jesus said that God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:45). He also said, I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world (John 16:33).
We can have peace and experience joy even amid affliction, because no amount of suffering can separate us from the love of God. Instead, trials bring us closer to Him. Suffering builds Christian character. Paul tells us we also boast in our afflictions because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (v3-5).
Faith (v1), Hope (v2), and Love (v5) all combine to give the believer patience in the trials of life. And patience makes it possible for the believer to grow in character and become a mature child of God.