Thursday, February 2, 2017

Romans 5:1-5 Peace with God

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

The desire of everyone who knows anything about God is to have peace with Him. Pagans of all stripes want peace with their image of God. Buddhists have an elaborate system of how to live in order to have peace. Mormons have a bizarre system of theology and works to generate peace with their god. Every false religion is based on works of some sort that the creature does to appease God and come to peace with Him and other creatures or nature itself. But take care to note how Paul structures this sentence: we have peace with God through Christ Jesus, Who has declared us righteous by faith. We who have been raised to new life in Christ are not seeking peace with God, we have peace with God; He has declared us righteous which is necessary to have this peace. Another reminder of how careful this statement is and how biblical truth differs from heresy.

We cannot have obtained access to God’s saving grace unless He declared us righteous and gifted us the faith to believe in Him. But since we have been declared righteous and do have peace with God, we have access into this grace in which we stand. What does Paul mean by this statement? Peter ends his first letter with a similar expression, telling his readers that he has declared the true grace of God to them and admonishing them stand firm in that grace (1 Peter 5:12). In 1 Cor 15:1 our apostle reminds us of the gospel he preached in which we stand and hold fast to that word. This same message is in 2 Thess 2:15 as we are told to stand firm and hold to the teachings that Paul and other apostles had delivered; not traditions yet to be thought of and handed down by church leaders in the 21st century. The Christian faith is an informed faith, built on the Word of God, which must be read and prayerfully studied.

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