Romans 5–6: Grace & Reconciliation

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 3: Sunday

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1–2

Today’s Bible reading is Romans 5–6, and the “Therefore” of Romans 5:1 is momentous.  Paul’s Therefore is a hinge that looks back to the first four chapters, as he builds upon those truths to explain in the next four how the righteousness of God is realized in our new life in Christ.

Romans is the letter of the Gospel.  John Stott writes:

“The Epistle to the Romans is the fullest and most coherent manifesto of the Christian gospel in the New Testament. In it the apostle Paul unfolds ‘the whole counsel of God’—man’s sin and lostness, Christ’s death to save him, faith in Christ as the sole condition of his acceptance, the work of the Holy Spirit for his growth in holiness, the place of Israel in the purpose of God, and the ethical implications of the gospel. There is a grandeur, a comprehensive- ness, a logic about his exposition which has commanded the admiration and compelled the study of all succeeding generations.”

In Romans 1-4, Paul cuts the ground out from under any who think their works will justify themselves to God—then, having established that none of us are righteous and we are all are  accountable to God, he offers words of hope in 3:21, “But now…”  and we hear the righteousness of God is revealed through faith in the Lord Jesus for all those who believe in Him. In Romans 4, he further explains justification by faith as he teaches about the relationship between the Law, faith and righteousness.

“…this grace in which we stand…”  In Romans 5:1–11, the joy of the Gospel breaks forth as Paul exults in what Stott calls, “…the fruits or results of our justification.”   We read of peace with God, grace, hope, God’s love for us, reconciliation and life.

In 5:12–21, Christ is contrasted to Adam as Paul explains how this gift of righteousness is ours:

“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5:19–21

After writing of God’s abundant grace, in chapter 6, Paul answers the charge, “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?”  He vehemently cries, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” and explains that Christians have been united with Christ in His death and resurrection and what that means to us in terms of living in obedience to God. The last part of chapter 6 leads into chapter 7, but that’s for next week.

I want to go back to Romans 5, because this is the chapter through which I became a Christian.  I already believed that God existed, and I knew I was a sinner, but I remember my big question was, why did Jesus have to die on the cross—a question that is answered so many times here—in verse 6, verse 7, verse 8, verse 9, verse 10, verse 11, to the end of the chapter:  Jesus died on the cross to reconcile sinners to God.

I understood.  I believed.  I was reconciled.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

_________
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
John Stott, Men Made New, pp. 9, 11.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Believe, Christian Life, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, New Life, Peace, Read the Bible in 2011, Romans, Sin and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s