Peace with God



Romans 5:1-11

What does peace with God look like?

Peace with a neighbor might mean minding one’s own business and not bothering the neighbor.

Peace in the house might mean giving up the TV remote on occasion.

When I think of peace in relationships, I think of calm, tranquil relations, free of strife and contentions. The word peace brings to our minds a tranquil, calm morning. Peace means things like: tranquil, calm, restful, quiet and still. The twenty-third Psalm brings peaceful images to our minds when it says:
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. (Psalms 23:1-2 NLT)

Calm, peaceful, tranquil relations with God certainly seem to be indicated when we say we have peace with God. However, Romans 5:1-11 speak of so much more that comes with our having peace with God.

Romans 5:1 says:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 ESV)

Observe, “…we have been justified by faith.” Justification is important here because sin is the obstacle that keeps us at enmity with God. All our works are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), not because God is picky, but because our hearts are “...deceitful above all things, and desperately sick...” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) God, for His part, has always wanted peace. He searched for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they sinned. He continued to pursue humanity through the millennia. He even gave His Son in order to bring about peace. However, humanity has loved sin and evil deeds more than peace. In Isaiah 65:2, God says:
All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. (Isaiah 65:2 NLT)

When we turn from our sins to the open arms of our Father God, we are justified by faith. In other words, when we believe in Jesus, God declares us righteous. To justify means to declare righteous. Righteous means to be morally right, justifiable or virtuous. (Google Dictionary) When Romans 5:1 says we have been justified by faith it is telling us that God, Himself, has removed the obstacle that kept us at enmity with Him. Now we have peace. This peace is through Jesus Christ our Lord. The famous commentator Matthew Henry says of this peace:
There is more in this peace than barely a cessation of enmity, there is friendship and loving-kindness, for God is either the worst enemy or the best friend. (Matthew Henry)

We receive immeasurable treasure when we have peace with God. Romans 5:2 says:
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 ESV

The immeasurable treasures are contained in this word grace. Grace means unmerited favor. In other words, God favors us even though we do not deserve it. Salvation is so much more than the forgiveness of our sins. When we are saved, we gain peace with God and a standing in His favor.

By standing in His favor, we partake of His tremendous riches in glory. This is the grace in which we now stand. In speaking of the grace in which we stand, in another place the Holy Spirit says:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV)

Here, in this passage, the “immeasurable riches of his grace” are spoken of. Because we have been justified and thus have peace with God, we partake of these “immeasurable riches.” Romans 5:1-11 begins to explain and enumerate some of these “riches of his grace.” By no means is this an exhaustive study of these riches, but it is instructive and helpful.

Verses 2 through 5 of Romans 5 speak of our rejoicing in the glory of God, rejoicing in suffering, and gaining hope, perseverance and character. Each one of these is part of the immeasurable treasure, but they pale in comparison to the real treasure of these verses. Verse 5 says, “...because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” The Holy Spirit then is the source of the hope, endurance and rejoicing mentioned in these verses. The Holy Spirit pours out God’s love in our hearts. The Holy Spirit transforms us and gives life to our inner person. Notice that the text of Scripture says, “...who has been given to us.” Think on this. The Holy Spirit is God, a member of the Trinity. God is perfectly one yet existing in three persons. God has given us Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. This is made possible by the peace we have with Him.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is immeasurable. We cannot put a value on such a gift. However, in explaining how we received peace with God and the accompanying gift of the Holy Spirit, Romans 5:6-8 goes on to say:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

The grace in which we now stand includes the price that God was willing to pay for peace. The text references the fact that God was willing to pay this price while we were still sinners. Verse 10 makes it clear that we were enemies of God. God demonstrates His love by these actions. The best reference to this love is John 3:16, “...For God so loved the world...” Before God gave the gift of His Holy Spirit, He gave the gift of His Son. This truth is the demonstration of the fact that we can have no greater friend than God. Romans 8:31-32 puts it in these terms:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 ESV)

God gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit. God gave us the gift of His Son. It is impossible that God should withhold from us any good thing. Romans 5:9-11 continues with the benefits of our peace with God by saying:
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:9-11 ESV)

We cannot improve on these words. Having been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. Our salvation is certain. Nothing is more certain in all of life than the salvation of anyone who trusts in Jesus. These verses say “much more” twice and then “more than that” once. There is a building up to a high point. We are justified, much more, we are saved, much more we are reconciled, more than that we rejoice in God. The might and power of this salvation go beyond what we could even ask or think.

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, symbolizing the access to God the Father we are all given through Jesus Christ, our Lord. To say we rejoice in God, points to this unrestricted access we have been given. God gave us His Holy Spirit, God gave us His Son and God has given us Himself. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Does your life lack the peace that passes understanding?

Do you find yourself unable to rejoice in God?

Are you experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life?

From what we looked at today, the problem is not with God.

Jesus said:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 ESV)

Why then are we weary and heavy laden?

We find ourselves not enjoying these benefits of peace, because we love our sin. We are no better than the Israelites of whom God said:
All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. (Isaiah 65:2 NLT)

Are you ready to give up your own evil path and crooked schemes?

There is a way that leads to peace with God.

If we turn to God’s outstretched arms, He will instantly receive us and accept us, giving us peace.

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