Peace and Joy, Rom. 5:1-11
“Therefore” is a key word in Paul’s writings. The past four chapters have firmly established that justification before God comes by the principle of faith, not works. So then, having been made right with God by faith, there are wonderful results. We have peace. This is not just the absence of conflict but a rich relationship with the sense that it is well with our souls. Through obedient faith we have gained access to God through Jesus Christ. “No one comes to the Father except through me,” said Jesus (John 14:6). There is one Savior, one Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). There is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). Being right with God gives us the hope of being in his glorious presence someday. Jesus has opened for us the King’s chamber. In eternity we will bow before the throne of God himself.
This blessed status enables us to rejoice even in our sufferings. The road to heaven is not paved with roses, but thorns. Paul told early disciples on his 1st journey, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:23). But hope keeps us going. Heaven is not a mere dream. It is the ultimate spiritual goal and we both desire and expect to be there. This enables us to persevere through difficulty and suffering. God does not disappoint. God has always been true to his word. He keeps his promises, and he creates in us the spiritual awareness that we need to keep on keeping on. The presence of God’s Spirit is encouraging to us. The knowledge that God lives within us enables us to fully know his love. The Holy Spirit is “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” (Eph. 1:14).
In his great scheme of redemption, God always does things at just the right time. Decades, centuries, and millennia have passed ever so slowly from the human point of view. But God always had a plan and he has accomplished this purpose through the death of Jesus Christ. “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son” (Gal. 4:4). We were in dire straits, unable to deliver ourselves. The world was perishing in sin, and at first did not appreciate the precious Son that God sent to us (John 1:10-13). The sinful world was not worthy of God’s love, but that is the beauty of divine love (1 John 4:10). Agape love is unselfish, undying concern for others. God loved us when we were unlovable. Would we take a bullet for someone else? For whom would we sacrifice our lives? Would it only be for someone that we find deserving? Had that been God’s criteria, we would not have a savior. God’s love is beautiful, plainly proven by the sacrifice of Jesus (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16).
God took the steps needed to justify and reconcile us to himself. Since he did that when we were so far away in sin, how much more will God stand by us since we are now reconciled! Jesus has promised to be with us throughout our life of service (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). If we walk with him, he will walk with us (1 John 1:7). We can endure anything since God supplies us with strength to go on (Phil. 4:13). Being right with God makes everything right. Let us determine every day to seek first his kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of the book of Acts. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.