Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As we begin Romans chapter 5, Paul’s writing now turns to the assurance provided by the gospel: the hope of salvation. This theme will take us all the way through chapter 8.
The first eleven verses transition us from the theme of justification to the nature of the new life that believers enter. The good news from these verses is: The person whom God has justified is also the person with whom God has made peace with, and as such they are assured of salvation in the Day of Judgment.
By this point in Paul’s letter, some of his readers may have been wondering, “What are the benefits of justification? Does it really work?” Paul’s answer would have been a resounding “Yes!” To prove it, he listed major blessings that every believer possesses. As we’ll see, these blessings flow through Christ; He is the one who all God’s gifts are channeled through to us who believe.
What are these gifts or benefits that are given to the one who places their faith in Christ?
The first benefit is peace! Paul used the word peace similarly to how it was used throughout the Old Testament: to describe well-being, prosperity, safety from harm, and deliverance from enemies. However, this peace was more than just the absence of conflict; it was the result of having been declared righteous by faith. In other words, you’re not responsible for having peace in the sense of making it (you can’t earn it), but in the sense of enjoying it. Remember, it is a free gift. Think of it as a war being over and all hostilities have ceased. Because of Christ’s finished work on the cross, all the reasons for hostility between our souls and God have been removed. The war is over—and by God’s grace we’ve been changed from a foe to a friend!
The peace that believers experience is an objective reality. Col. 1:21-22 tells us that “21 Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with Him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions. 22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame.” What an amazing place to be—holy, faultless, and without blame!
We long for peace. I think of the events over this past week: a suicide bombing in a Coptic Church on Palm Sunday, chemical gas attacks on civilian populations, gang turf wars that leave innocent people injured and killed. This is just what’s going on around our world; I’ve not even mentioned the turmoil that goes on inside people. When you boil all the turmoil we see down, it really is enmity with God that is at the bottom of it all.
People everywhere need to be freed from the war that rages inside them with God. We can have peace, more importantly, peace with God, through Jesus. He has made a way for us to be brought back into right relationship with the Father—He has brought peace through His shed blood on the cross.
Think about what it means to have peace with God. You might think about your life before you put your faith in Christ. What were the different ways you were at war with God? What does peace look like?
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible.