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, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 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. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! 10 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! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
In verses 9-11 we read something interesting: it’s what has been done already, something that is a present reality, and something that is to come. This tension is found throughout the New Testament. It’s that tension between the “already not yet.” It’s the concept that believers are actively taking part in the kingdom of God, although the kingdom will not reach its full expression until sometime in the future. So we’re “already in the kingdom, but we’ve ‘not yet’ seen it in its glory.” We live between what Christ accomplished at His first coming and what remains to be done at His second, between our past and our future salvation. How do we see this? John Stott captured it when he wrote:
“We have been saved through Christ from the guilt of our sins and from the judgment of God, but we have not yet been delivered from indwelling sin or been given new bodies in the new world. So the best is yet to be! In our present condition we eagerly look forward to our full and final salvation. But how can we be sure of it? Here is the logic. If God has already done the difficult thing, can we not trust Him to do the comparatively simple thing of completing the task? If God has accomplished our justification at the cost of Christ’s blood, ‘much more’ will He save His justified people from His final wrath! If He reconciled us to Himself when we were His enemies, ‘much more’ will He finish our salvation now that we are His reconciled friends!”
What great news! It’s one of the blessings we find in our passages for the week—our justification—Christ’s death has reconciled us with God. Reconcile means to bring two hostile parties into friendly relations. Peaceful relations are restored between God and humanity on the basis of the work of Christ. Here’s why this is such great news: This concept refers to an objective state of peace, not simply a feeling of peacefulness.
This is why in verse 11 Paul said we can boast in God. We boast not because of our privileges, but in His mercies; not in our possession of Him, but in His possession of us! This truth both humbles us and fills us with joy which leads us to breakout in praise for God.
Think about what it means for you to have been reconciled to God. You are at peace with God. You’ve been justified by Christ’s shed blood; you’ve been saved from God’s wrath. At just the right time in your life, God rescued you. You were hopelessly lost. Think about that…there was nothing you could do. God revealed Himself to you through the gospel, and through faith you entered into grace—God’s unmerited favor. Because of all this, you can face anything that comes your way knowing that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope…a hope that will not fail!
*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.