Romans 5:1–11, 15, 20–21comment (0)
September 22, 2011
By Robert Olsen
Related Scripture: Romans 5:1–11, 15, 20–21
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Assistant Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
It’s All About Grace
Romans 5:1–11, 15, 20–21
We Have Peace With God (1)
It has already been established in Romans 3 that everyone has sinned and as a result of sin, there is separation from God. This is a theme found throughout the Bible. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide [His] face from you so that He does not listen.” God is a holy God, and as such, He punishes sin. However, if we have all sinned, then how can we be reconciled to God? The answer is that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. As the mediator between God and man, Jesus was punished on our behalf so that those who believe in Christ and His atoning work on the cross may be declared righteous. Christ enabled us to have peace with God. While once we were objects of God’s wrath (see Ephesians 2:3), now we have been reconciled to God through Christ.
We Have Christian Hope (2–5)
Now that we have this guarantee of salvation, it changes the way we live. We live with a strong hope in our eternal security. Because of this, we do not face suffering as unbelievers do. Instead Paul said we rejoice in our afflictions. While no one wants to face trials, we understand that through trials, God is producing character in us, which produces hope. He has a plan for us, and because we can trust God and know that He loves us, we can face trials knowing that we are in His hands. Another reason that we need not fear suffering is because we have a hope for our future, a future spent in eternity with God. This hope is not just some sort of wishful thinking. Because Jesus was raised from the dead and defeated death, we can be assured that all His promises to us are valid and will be fulfilled.
We Have God’s Love (6–11)
This passage contains some of the strongest verses about God’s love for us. Once again, it is important to emphasize that everyone is guilty of sin. As such, why should God bother to care for us? We all have insulted a perfect, righteous God and justly deserve death and condemnation. However, in spite of our lowly condition, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us, while we were still sinners. There are times in human history when a person is willing to die for another person. For example, a soldier may sacrifice his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. But how likely would it be for a soldier to die for enemy combatants? Imagine Gen. George Patton dying so that Adolf Hitler could live; that makes no sense. As sinners, we are God’s enemies and He does not owe us anything. We do not deserve any mercy at all, and yet in spite of this, God loves us so much that He was willing to have Christ, perfect God and perfect man, die for us. Christ was sinless — He did not deserve to die. In fact, He is the only man who was perfect, and thus was the only one who could be an acceptable sacrifice on our behalf. As man, He took our punishment, and as God, He is able to be a worthy sacrifice. Now, because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we are declared righteous in God’s sight. While we still sin, God no longer counts our sin against us because Christ has paid the price for our sins and we no longer have to face God’s wrath. This is the beauty of the gospel.
We Have Eternal Life (15, 20–21)
Paul now affirmed that salvation is for all people, both Jews and Gentiles. Even though the Gentiles did not have the law given by God to the Jews, they were still guilty of sin demonstrated by the fact that they still died. God gave the law to His people so that they could see their sinfulness, which should have driven them to seek Him and His mercy. Adam’s sin separated all men from God and brought death into the world, but Christ’s death and resurrection reversed the final result of Adam’s sin. Adam’s trespass brought death but Christ’s death and resurrection bring life to the believer. This eternal life is available to all who accept Christ as their Savior. This is God’s supreme gift of grace to us.