Romans Chapter 5
First Baptist Church
Des Moines, NM
Welcome to the Ministerial Alliance program here on KLMX radio. I’m Bryan Kimsey from 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines and I’ve been working through Paul’s letter to the Romans. We’re on chapter 5 this week. Yesterday I covered all of 5 words, but today I’m going to try to cover 5 entire verses! May God give me the words to speak and you ears to hear, to His glory, thru the name of Jesus Christ- Amen.
Here’s the passage we’ll look at today:
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Yesterday I looked at what the phrase "justified by faith" means, examining where our faith comes from and why. Today, I’d look at the next phrase which is "we have peace with God" and then we’ll move, with Paul, from "peace" to "hope." Let’s look at the implications of this phrase "we have peace with God". If we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul says, then what do we have prior to this? Many people think that there’s some sort of neutral ground on which they can stand, but as we’ll see later in Romans, that’s simply not the case. You are either at peace or you are at war. You’re either allies or enemies. This is particularly true when it comes to dealings with God and I will point to these verses as the foundation for this claim:
Mark 9:40 For he who is not against us is on our side.
Matthew 12:30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
Revelation 3:15-16 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Note that Mark and Matthew are not contradictions but apply to different contexts. In one case, Jesus is saying that he who is not against his works can be used to further the cause, and in the other, he’s saying that he who does specifically help further the cause is scattering. Two different contexts. The Revelation passage is clear- those who are lukewarm will be rejected. You should be hot or you should be cold, but those straddle the fence will be cast out. Therefore, when I see a phrase like the one in Romans- "we have peace with God"- I have to say that if you don’t have peace with God, then you are an enemy. Now, it would be easy to take that little phrase out of context and say "Oh, I have made my peace with God", but the rest of the phrase makes it clear that peace comes "…through our Lord Jesus Christ." Note that Paul, in this case, doesn’t say merely "Jesus Christ" but specifically say "our Lord Jesus Christ." This means that Jesus must be your Lord. Jesus is not someone who you have a passing acquaintance with and check in with once in awhile to see how He’s doing. I believe that would fall under the "lukewarm" category. In contrast, Jesus is "Lord" and calling him "Lord" means that you are His servant. You look to him for guidance in everything. Sure, you have some choices but those choices must fall in line with His will.
This Lordship is part of the Romans passage, but the part I’d like to focus on here is the "peace" part. Everyone wants peace, but true peace comes only through Jesus Christ. I said "true peace" because you might be able to have peace with your human neighbors, but there will still come a day when you die and stand before God Almighty to give an account of yourself. Certainly, God is concerned about your actions regarding your fellow humans, but we know from:
Matthew 22:35-40 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, (36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" (37) Jesus said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to "love the Lord your God…" and the second commandment is "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." You need to love God first, and then love your fellow human. If you do the latter, but not the former, you will fall short. But if you love God first, then love for your fellow man will naturally follow since we know from many passages that "God so loved the world" (John 3:16). If we truly love God, we will also love our fellow man. But if we love our fellow man, we can easily not love God- that’s precisely the definition of a "humanist", in fact; Lover of man, hater of God. Therefore, peace with God is critical and Paul tells us that peace with God comes through our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll see more of this later in Chapter 5.
Moving through today’s passage we furthermore see:
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Next, we see what I just said above- "…though whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…" It is through Jesus Christ that we have not only peace with God, but also "access by faith into this grace." Here again we see that it is by faith that we have access to God’s grace. Without this faith and without Jesus Christ, there is no access to God’s saving grace.
Paul pushes this point a little further with his next statement:
Romans 5:3-4 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
This is an interesting chain that’s Paul’s laid out. For many, tribulations would result in despair, but for the Christian, tribulations should result in hope. We find this theme in several other passages, including:
James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
James says that testing of faith produces patience, the author of Hebrews says it produces the peaceable (there’s that word "peace" again!) fruit of righteousness, and Peter says that our tested faith will result in praise, honor, and glory. The author of Hebrews makes it clear that testing is not easy when he says "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present…" and Peter also acknowledges the difficulty of testing when he says "…you have been grieved by various trials." Difficult as they may be, a Christian should welcome tribulations, knowing that they will grow his or her faith and result in a stronger relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And what gets a Christian through his or her troubles is hope. We hope for a better day, for a time when evil is gone from this world and we can live in true peace with God and with each other. This hope is not a weak form of the word, either. It’s not a wishy-washy, "Oh, I wish this were so" kind of hope, but concrete and sure hope of things to come. Here’s what Paul says:
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
A little later in Romans he says:
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The reason our hope is not wishy-washy and unsure is because it rests in promises made by God Almighty. This was much of the point of discussing Abraham’s faith. Let me review that passage again:
Romans 4:20-22 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, (21) and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (22) And therefore "IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Abraham believed that what God had promised He was also able to perform and because of this "it was accounted to him for righteousness." And so it is with Christians. We believe that God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, into the world. We believe that, unlike us, Jesus lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to his Father’s will. We believe that through this perfect obedience that Jesus was then able to take the punishment due us for our disobedience. We believe that Jesus died- not passed out, not seemed to die, but actually died- on the cross. We believe that Jesus was laid in the tomb, dead. And then we believe that- because Jesus had no sins of his own for which death could claim Him- that death was not able to hold Him and that God raised him from the dead and restored Him to glory. Christians believe that because Jesus’ righteousness is laid to their account that God will likewise raise us to life, just as He raised Jesus. We believe that since Christ took our sins upon Himself and made payment for them and since His righteousness is likewise laid to our account, just as it was to Abraham, that we now have peace with God and will be able to stand in His presence and bask in His glory when the time comes.
Watch for these beliefs as I re-read our Romans passage to date:
Romans 5:1-8 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What about you? Do you believe in these things? Consider them in your heart and ask God to apply the righteousness of Christ to your account so that you will be saved.
Join us tomorrow at 9:45 here on KLMX radio as we continue on through Romans, Chapter.
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