Last time we met we talked about Abraham – We talked about the fact that he was called the “Father of faith” because he believed in what God had promised
He was also declared “righteous” (or justified) by God because he believed in Him
For the past few weeks we have been stressing the role of faith when it comes to God and ourselves
In Romans, the Apostle Paul zeros in on Abraham to tell us the importance of faith – The fact that Abraham was declared righteous (justified) not because of good things he had done, but because he believed in the Word of God
Abraham was declared righteous on the basis of his faith, and not on the basis of his works
What Paul is telling us is that, to be righteous before God, one has to believe in who God is, and what He has done for him/her
And this is not a New Testament concept, this is always the way it was – Abraham is a perfect example of this
So, now we come to chapter 5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 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. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been 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 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Are you afraid to die?
If you knew that today was going to be your last day on earth, the last day you would spend on this side of eternity, what would go through your heart?
Would it be terror or would it be peace?
Do you have peace?
When you look at your life, when you survey all that you are, all that you have, all that you don’t have, all of your dreams, all of your concerns, all of your passions
Can you say, “I am in perfect peace?”
In a way, this is the most profound of questions – We all want peace! – No matter who you are, where you live, what your circumstance, what your religion
Everyone, every single person on the face of this earth, everyone who has lived and died, in all ages, in all times, from Adam until this day, wants peace
I’m not talking about a superficial peace – A peace that comes as a result of not being at war, or a peace that results in not fighting with my family, my spouse, or my kids – No! – The peace I’m referring to is the deep inner peace that is only a result of God
It’s a peace that transcends understanding, a peace that can only be the result of God’s work in my soul – It’s a supernatural peace, a heavenly peace
This is what I’m talking about, and this is what Paul is talking about in this passage
He says in verse 1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1
We have been talking a lot about faith – I find it very interesting that Paul links the word “faith” with the word “peace”
If “peace” is the ultimate longing of the human soul then we must ask, “How is it attainable?”
How does one get this peace? – How can I experience this supernatural peace, this peace that surpasses all understanding?
Well, Paul makes it quite clear right here in verse 1 – We have peace when we have faith – But not just any faith – This faith has to have it’s origin in “our Lord Jesus Christ”
What Paul is saying is, “When we have faith in the person and work of Christ, this is when we experience supernatural peace”
Why? – Why is it through Jesus and no other?
The reason is because Jesus is the One who obtained peace with the Father, He is the One who did what we could not do
Verse 6 says, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” Romans 5:6
This word “weak” simply means “unable” or to be “morally weak”
In other words, we don’t have what it takes to obtain peace with God by ourselves – We are “unable,” we are “morally weak”
So, someone had to do it for us – And that someone is Jesus
This is why faith in Jesus is such a big deal – Because faith is believing in who He is and what He did for me
You see, the Bible teaches that there are only two kinds of people in this world – There are those that have faith in Christ, and those that don’t have faith in Christ
Ultimately, it comes down to only these two
There are those that are of Adam, and then there are those that are of Christ (Romans 5:12-21) – We will talk more about this next time
And the ones that are of Adam stand in judgment, and the ones that are of Christ stand in mercy
Listen to what Paul says in verse 9 (speaking to those that have faith in Christ)
“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his [Jesus’] blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” Romans 5:9
What Paul is saying is, “Because we have been justified by his blood, we will be saved from the wrath of God”
In other words, “The wrath of God will be poured out on the entire world, and it will only be spared on the ones that have faith in Christ (those that belong to Christ)”
Because the Bible teaches that we are “enemies” of God
Verse 10 says, “While we were enemies”
Ephesians 2 says that we are “dead in [our] trespasses and sins” Ephesians 2:1
Colossians 1 says that we are “alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” Colossians 1:21
You see, the Bible teaches that we are rebels, that we are enemies of the God who made us – He made us so that we would love Him, live for Him, worship Him – But we don’t
Instead, we do what the Psalmist says, and what Paul quoted in chapter 3, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” Romans 3:10 (Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3)
Also Isaiah says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” Isaiah 53:6
This is why we are enemies!
In Ephesians 2, we read that even though we were “dead,” God has made us “alive” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
In Colossians 1, we read that even though we were “alienated and hostile,” God has “reconciled” us, and has made us “holy and blameless” (Colossians 1:21-22)
This is what God does when someone turns from darkness to light – When someone begins to believe in Jesus Christ – When someone begins to align his/her heart with God’s heart
It’s called being “Born-again”
And this is the “good news” – This is the “gospel!”
And this is what Paul is talking about in Romans 5
This is why we have peace!
Because we have gone from being “enemies” of God to “children” of God – From being “alienated” from God to being “reconciled” to God – From being “dead” to God to being “alive” in God!
And this is why Paul could say what he does in verses 2 through 5
He says, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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 5:2-5
You see, Paul, as he considers his own life – As he thinks about what he did before he gave his life to Christ and what God has made him to be, he can say with confidence…
“I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, but not only that, I also rejoice in my sufferings, knowing that my suffering produces endurance, and my endurance produces character, and my character produces [godly] hope, and this [godly] hope will not put me to shame… Why?… because God’s love has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit who has been given to me”
Now that is peace!
Peace despite circumstance – This is the peace that every single person wants!
So, when your world is messed up, when it’s broken, when nothing is as you hoped it would be
- When your health is not what you hoped it would be
- When your job is not what you hoped to would be
- When your family relationships are not what you hoped them to be
- When your life is not what you hoped it would be
What will you do?
- Will you let your circumstances rob you of the hope that you have?
- Will you let the temporary things in your life control the eternal things?
- Will you let the joy that you have be replaced with anxiety?
No… Instead… despite our circumstances, (because of the great hope that we have), we ought to say like Paul, “I rejoice in my sufferings, because I have a hope that is far greater than anything this world can offer”
If we can do this, then we prove that we have the peace of God – The “Peace that surpasses all understanding” as Paul says in Philippians (Philippians 6:6-7)
Jesus spoke of this peace
What did He say when He encountered people – When He healed them, when He forgave their sins – When He saw their faith?
“Your faith has made you well; go in peace” Mark 5:34
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace” Luke 7:50
So, to answer the question, “How is this peace attainable?”
It is attainable only through faith in Jesus Christ
C.S. Lewis said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing”
That is why we are without peace and restless until we come to Him
Only when we give up our lives on the altar of faith can we attain this deep inner peace that Jesus spoke of
Only when we let go of the things that don’t really matter, the things that we cannot change, and instead embrace the One who can change them, can we experience this deep, satisfying peace
Only when we live our lives with the eyes of faith, seeing things as they will be, instead of what they are now…
Only when we make Jesus “the prince of peace” our foundation, the One to whom all our life and devotion is owed… (Isaiah 9:6)
Only then, will we attain this peace