Grace Nuggets: Romans 5:1-11 (Blessings of Justification)

At the end of Romans 3, Paul explains justification and what that means for mankind. In chapter 4, Paul illustrates justification through the life of Abraham. And in chapter 5, Paul gives us the blessings that come through justification.

Justification means “just as if I’ve never sinned.” It means that we are made right with God by His free gift of grace through the blood of Christ. When we believe in this work of God by faith, we are justified or declared righteous right then and there. In Romans 5, Paul tells us about 7 amazing blessings that come to us through justification.

  1. Peace with God“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
    • James 4:4 says that when we were friends with the world, we were enemies of God. After we came to Christ, we are now justified through Him and we have peace with God.  We are no longer His enemy but His friend. Warren Wiersbe explains that, “Condemnation means that God declares us sinners, which is  a declaration of war. Justification means that God declares us righteous, which is a declaration of peace, made possible by Christ’s death on the cross.” It’s not a peace that comes and goes but a peace that is eternal. This means we can relax in our relationship with Him, freely talk with Him and enjoy fellowship with Him. We don’t have to try to earn or maintain peace with Him. We are free from the condemnation of the law! We can enjoy eternal peace with God because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. We stand in grace“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:2a
    • Being justified in Christ means that we stand in grace.Grace is undeserved, unmerited favor and God’s enabling power. Not only are we saved by grace, but we now stand in grace. Grace is not given to us at the beginning of our relationship with God but it is continual in our relationship with Him. David Guzik gives a beautiful description of what it means to stand in grace. “Standing in grace means that:
      • I don’t have to prove I am worthy of God’s love
      • God is my friend
      • The door of access is permanently open to Him
      • I am free from the “score sheet” – the account is settled in Jesus
      • I spend more time praising God and less time hating myself.”
  3. We have access to Him – “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:2a
    • Because we stand in grace, we now have access to God. Jon Courson explains that having access to Him through grace means, “we can plant ourselves in the presence of God and enjoy Him as long as we want, anytime we wish.” Friends, we have access to the God of the Universe, the Creator, the God of our Salvation! This is good news and is given to us as a FREE gift! Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” In every part of lives, we have access to the God who loves us unconditionally.
  4. A glorious hope“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2b
    • Another translation for boast is to rejoice. We can also translate hope into “happy certainty.” Warren Wiersbe explains that, “‘Peace with God’ takes care of the past: He will no longer hold out sins against us. ‘Access to God’ takes care of the 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!”  Because of justification we can rejoice with happy certainty (hope) that we have peace with God and can come to Him anytime we want through His grace!
  5. Christian characterNot only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 
    • Glorying in suffering is a blessing of justification? How is suffering a blessing? Because of what suffering produces in our lives. Suffering produces perseverance which is persistence during a trial or difficulty. Perseverance produces character which is the strength and integrity of a person’s nature. And character leads to hope which is happy certainty. This is a chain that leads us into growth and maturity in our faith. Many times we want the character and the hope without the perseverance and suffering. But in James 1, the apostle tells us to rejoice in trials because in the end we will be mature and complete. Guzik explains why we should not desire to be free from suffering in our lives: “A runner must be stressed to gain endurance. Sailors must go to sea. Soldiers go to battle. For the Christian, tribulation is just part of our Christian life. We should not desire or hope for a tribulation-free Christian life, especially because: God uses tribulation wonderfully in our lives; God knows how much tribulation we can take, and He carefully measures the tribulation we face; and those who are not Christians face tribulation also.” Suffering is for our good and for God’s glory!
  6. God’s love within“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
    • When we allow suffering to take us through God’s beautiful pattern to hope, we will experience God’s love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.When we go through trials and persist through it and allow it to shape our character, we have the comfort of the Holy Spirit to give us hope and love within. But it’s not just a little trickle of love but an outpouring, torrential, outburst of love! “The love of God is like light to a blind eye until the Holy Ghost opens that eye … may the Holy Spirit now be here in each one of us, to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts.” (Spurgeon) May we continually ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to the love that the Father has for us!
  7. We are saved from God’s future wrath and reconciled to Him “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:8-11
    • Justification saves us from God’s wrath and reconciles us into a right relationship with Him. A holy and righteous God cannot allow or overlook sin. But God made a way for sinners to be saved from His wrath – through Jesus Christ! “If we are justified by the work of Jesus, we can be assured that we are also saved from wrath through Him. The wrath of God that was revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men was placed on Jesus as a substitute in the place of the believer.” (Guzik) 2 Corinthians 5:21 says,God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We no longer have to fear God’s wrath because it was all poured out on Jesus Christ. When Adam and Eve were created, they were perfect and reconciled to God. However, when sin entered the world, they were no longer reconciled and became estranged from God. And because of that sin, mankind and creation was cursed. But because of Jesus Christ, our sins are atoned for and we are now reconciled back to relationship with God! Guzik explains that, “This reconciliation isn’t only helpful when we die; it also touches our life right now. God is forever done dealing with believers on the basis of wrath. He may chasten them as a loving Father, but not in punishment or payment for their sins. Chastening is always to provide loving correction and guidance.” We are free to enjoy our relationship to God because we are reconciled and at peace with Him now and forever!

Because of justification, we have peace with God, access to Him, and a glorious hope in Him because of our standing in grace. We rejoice in our sufferings because they lead us into maturity and open our hearts to more of God’s outpouring love. Not only that but we are saved from God’s future wrath and reconciled back into relationship with Him. The great news is that these blessings come by faith in the finished work of Christ. It has nothing to do with what we do or what we’ve done but what Christ has already completed. It is totally apart from the law and purely by His grace! Praise Him for making a way!

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