A Voice in the
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" Peace with God through Jesus Christ "
- Romans 5 -

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice on the hope of the glory of God." (vs1-2)

What is the one thing that eludes the world? Both globally and individually, people seek for peace. Nations desire peace, but are continually jockeying and positioning themselves, often through war, for some advantage. While the Middle East continually has 'peace talks' some commentators suggest that total peace is not possible in the region, as long as the world is made up the way it is now.

At the individual level people struggle for peace and contentment. People are fearful for the future. They strive to attain riches in the hopes that that will bring peace. But as my ex-wife used to always say, about that "darkness" deep within her; when she left, she did so to serve -her- 'gods'. She left to 'find' that which was "missing" in her life. But without God, she is still lost in that darkness.

"There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked." (Is57:21) You see, in the beginning, God created man in His own "image". (Gen1:26) It was meant to be a 'relationship' of fellowship. But something happened to make us "enemies" of God. (vs10) We -BECAME- "without strength" (vs6) and "sinners". (vs8) Mankind did not start out in this condition, but in perfection. (Gen1:31) God called His creation "Very good".

We are told that "through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned." (vs12) We've talked about the "Law" in past studies, and how that 'speeding ticket' could not be written for speeding if there was no speed-law. God's Law came through Moses. But there were -centuries- of time between Adam and Moses when there was no Law. Just like we spoke of the person driving too fast, crashing and being killed, even though he had not broken any 'speeding laws' so, too, "death reigned from Adam to Moses". (vs14) God had promised, "..in the day you eat of [the fruit], you shall surely die" (Gen2:17) In Gen ch3, Adam and Eve ate of it. And death has reigned ever since. It doesn't matter whether or not there was a Law. Death is death. It is separation from the Holy God. It is enmity. The fellowship God had intended at creation, is not possible. It is not that God 'doesn't want' fellowship. It is the 'sin' "..but your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing." (Is59:2)

How did we get to this place? Adam sinned, and by 'heredity' the whole world is in sin. "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Ps51:5) Why does it seem that everybody is 'fighting' against God? Sin causes us to be "enemies" with God. We have "offended" God. (vs15,17) We are under "condemnation". (vs18) We are guilty. Deserving of God's "wrath". (vs9,1:18) We are in no position to ask God to "come along-side" and become our "friend" as long as we are in sin. He will not countenance us.

However, let us consider what it is that happens when we have "repented toward God"(Acts20:21) and "received" Jesus Christ (Jn1:12) in "faith". (Rom4) How does Jesus Christ bring about "peace" (vs1) and "reconciliation" (vs10) with God?

Jesus "died for the ungodly".(vs6) Let us consider the nature of this sacrifice. Jesus did not die for "friends". People that He was "buddies" with. For those 'equal' to Him. As humans, if we are out with friends and/or family, and one is in peril of some situation, a person might risk life and limb to save that person out of a burning building or from a rushing stream. But if a gutter-bum were on the edge of peril, how many people would jump in to save such a person? But this is what Jesus did for us. We were less-than 'bums'. We were "sinners" and yet God loved us so much that He sent His Son (Jn3:16) Who died for us. (vs8)

What does Jesus' death do? It..

    1. saves us from God's wrath (vs9),
    2. reconciles us to God (vs10), and
    3. gives us joy. (vs11)
  1. Where we were sinners and under condemnation, we are now "justified". (vs16) Our account has been stamped with "Paid in Full". Notice, again, that this is not something that -we- 'do'. Jesus did it with His death. It was all His efforts, love and grace. It is a "GIFT of righteousness". (vs17,Eph2:8)

    While we will go into more detail on this in ch6, we were under the sentence of death, due to the sin of Adam. (vs18) The death of Christ brought about "justification of life". Adam's -life- of 'disobedience' brought about sin unto death, Jesus' -death- in 'obedience' brought about righteousness unto life. (vs19)

  2. So many preach a false gospel of God being 'reconciled to man'. Bringing God down to our level. But when Christ died, he made atonement before God, as our High Priest, by sacrificing Himself "once for all". (Heb9:28) But He did not stay 'dead'. He rose again, and is presently seated at God's "right hand" making intercession for us. (Heb7:25) He is our Advocate. (1Jn2:1) As such, He has brought about reconciliation (vs10), bringing us before the Father, we can come "boldly" before the Father (Heb4:16) because He "-IS- our peace" (Eph2:14) as he "confesses" us (Rev3:5) before the Father. He has broken down the dividing wall of enmity. The Law that would condemn us. He has made us a "new man" (Eph2:15,2Cor5:17), and thus, "peace".

    The extent of this reconciliation is demonstrated by the Law, which we could not keep. While Adam brought about death, God introduced the Law in order to show how exceeding sinful man is. (vs20) To show -just- 'how far' that chasm is between righteous, holy God; and rotten, sinful man. And, knowing how far separated we are from God due to sin; in turn, we understand 'how far' God reached to save us. How wide and broad His grace was, which entered our account with "Paid in Full." So that we might understand that to the degree "sin has reigned to death", to such a greater degree "grace [reigns] through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (vs21)

  3. Many 'christians' (small "c") do not have "joy", because they have not been saved. If we have truly understood the depths of our sin, and the extent of God's grace, the natural outcome and reaction to the transformation is "joy". When we realize -exactly-what- it is that Christ did for us when He died, then our reactions must echo Peter's words about Him, "..whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.."(1Pt1:8) If we have not experienced salvation, there is no -basis- for joy, or love for Christ. As Jesus said of the sinful woman who came to Him, "Therefore I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little. (Lk7:47)

    However, the Christian's joy is of a different variety than the world's. The world cheers for the new car, vacation trips, and money they may win on game shows. A young man gives his girl a diamond ring or necklace, and seeing the sparkles, she excitedly jumps to him, showering him with kisses, because he gave her jewels. After all, the commercials tell us that "diamonds are forever". But notice for the Christian... "we glory in afflictions..." (vs3)

First of all, there is a 'love' for Christ. As the old song states, "..how can I do less than give Him my best, and live for Him completely..after all He's done for me" The early disciples "[rejoiced] that they were counted worthy to be shamed for His name." (Acts5:41)

There is also a calm growth that occurs as He "disciplines" us (Heb12:5-11) to result in "peaceable fruit of righteousness". Afflictions bring about patience. Patience results in experience. Hope. And when we have been through His training, we have no need to be ashamed. When God deals with us in such a manner, and we have matured, we 'understand' His love for us. He doesn't merely 'save' us and let us wander about any ol' way we please. He nurtures us with His love, and we understand the Holy Spirit which is given to us. (vs4-5)

A little object lesson to illustrate... Years ago my cat got into a scuffle with another cat, who bit him -real-good- in his rear paw. It became infected, and required a vet to clean up the mess and stitch it up. He remained -indoors- for many months while recouperating. 'Had to be carried up and down the stairs to his food and 'box'. When the wraps came off, there was daily soaking for a period of time. Where he had been used to running and climbing at will, for a period of time he was dependent for 'personal' care and nurturing for everything. This healing time also caused a 'bond' to develope between him and me. During the healing as he began to chew on the stitches, when "no" was said a few times, by the 3rd "no" he would leave the stitches alone. He -understood-. When he was healed and now running loose again, when it was time to come in for the night, he would 'come' when called...rather than being out all night. If I walked down the street to visit a neighbor, he would come looking for me, meowing at me to "come home".

Same thing shepherds would do with wayward sheep. Only, they would -purposely- break a lamb's leg. (That's what the 'crook' was for.) Same thing would happen. As the lamb was -personally- nurtured back to health, a 'bond' would develope between shepherd and sheep, and the sheep would no longer run off and get lost.

The cat (and sheep) would be at 'peace', having been through 'affliction', and been nurtured through it. You see, God's salvation through Jesus Christ does not -merely- rescue us from God's wrath. He saved us by His own blood. He also nurtures us. It's a 'full-service' package-deal. His "grace through faith" (Eph2:8) is not anything we do. It is not of works. (vs9) But He does not stop there. "We are His -WORKMANSHIP-, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordeained that we should walk in them."(vs10)

So, just as an obedient child who has experienced a parent's nurturing 'looks forward to' the parent's return after being away, and runs into their arms; in the same way the Believer can come "boldly" (Heb4:16) to the Father as Jesus "confesses" us before Him. (Rev3:5) As we have "hope" (vs4) looking foward to His "glorious appearing" (Tit2:13) we are prepared to meet Him with "clear conscience" (1Tm1:5,19) and unashamed. (vs5)

With such an outlook regarding our Holy Father after He has saved us and nurtured us, there is truly "peace with God."

Amen!


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