Romans (11): Peace with God

Date: 8/24/2008
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Romans 5: An Exposition (11) - Peace with God
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * August 24, 2008

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we were declared to be God’s righteous people by faith, we have Shalom (peace) with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed King, 5:2 through whom we also have freedom to enter by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produce endurance, 5:4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, since through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, our love for God wells up within our hearts. 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good man perhaps someone might possibly dare to die. 5:8 But God commends His own love for us, in that while we were still fallen sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Thus, since we were declared righteous by His blood - now, how much more will we be delivered through Him from God’s wrath. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be delivered by His life? 5:11 Not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. (GS trans.)

Peace through Access to God’s Favor_______________________________(5:1-2)
Jesus was “delivered up because of our transgressions and was raised to-cause our justification” (4:25). The next verse (5:1) declares the powerful result of being declared one of God’s righteous people. We have peace objectively in the Hebraic sense - Shalom (wholeness, well-being, completeness) which should produce conscience-clearing rest/acceptance with God. Faithful Jews could (temporarily) enter into God’s peace-presence by the liturgy of the Temple, ascended as transfigured animal sacrifices. This kept the faithful longing in hope for a time of fulfillment. Chapter 5 says that the time has come! Now we have been justified (aorist) - past - through Christ and currently we have (present tense) peace with God and enjoy a state of reconciliation which yields fruit inside-out.

Hope through Love______________________________________________(5:3-8)
Hope is produced from the power of peace. Without peace, then a desire for a better future is just anxiety. Only from a standing of peace with God is real hope even possible. And this hope has a present benefit. “Through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, our love for God wells up within our hearts” (5:5). The nature of true hope, powered by the Spirit, transforms desert hearts into streams in the desert. Our motivation is that God saves us when we are “unsaveable” of ourselves. Sovereign grace in salvation calls forth the cry, “Lord, Why was I a guest? Why was I made to hear Thy voice and enter while there’s room when thousands make a wretched choice and rather starve than come.” (Watts).

Reconciliation through Christ’s __________________________________ (5:9-11)
The argument is from lesser to greater. Reconciliation through Christ’s death is even less (though it is powerful and complete) than the favor provided by being united in the resurrection life of Jesus. The conclusion of this section is that because of the Justification, Peace, Hope, Love and Reconciliation in Christ - We boast in God. Our “stock” and pride is not in ourselves, our ethnic status, our culture, but Christ alone.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more