Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Romans 5:1-8 1
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.

Background

This might be called a lesson on hope. To be hopeful is to look on the future positively, to see opportunity in challenges (rather than challenges in opportunities), to “look on the bright side of life.” It is the ability to see the possible good in future events, especially when those events are potentially detrimental. Today we know that hope reduces feelings of helplessness, boosts happiness, reduces stress, and improves our quality of life. So let’s try to understand the Apostle Paul’s vision of hope for us all.

You and I have been made right with God, through Christ.

We don’t have to wonder whether we’ll be found acceptable when we stand before God. We don’t have to keep trying to earn our salvation. Why? Because of what Christ has done. For us, who so often fall short, have been made right with God.  Lets look at how.

We receive all this simply through faith.  Since people cannot or will not do what is right or righteous, we fall short of the glory of God. Consequently there is a chasm between us and God. Peace with God cannot exist. Christ is the only one and only way to bridge that chasm and restore peace with God.

  • Through faith in Jesus we are forgiven and counted righteous in God’s eyes.
  • Through faith in Jesus we are declared innocent and acquitted of any wrong doing.
  • Through faith in Christ we are declared guiltless and blameless.

Apart from Jesus that’s not possible. What kind of resurrection would it be if suddenly, we rose to face our sins, all of our sins! That’s not the kind of resurrection Jesus was talking about. When Jesus went to the Cross, He was offering anyone forgiveness and freedom from guilt. We are forgiven and made righteous. Remember the two thieves crucified with Jesus? The journey toward justification and acquittal before God starts when we acknowledge our guilt and place our faith in Christ alone.

You and I have been made right with God through trust in Jesus

Jesus challenges us to trust Him completely and follow Him, to move beyond our comfort zone. Jesus calls us, like the Disciples, to step out in faith and follow Him. It may not be safe, but it’s still a good thing. For when we put our faith and trust in Christ, and Christ alone, we are justified before God.

The word “Justify” has three different yet major uses.

  • First: it is a legal term which means the opposite of condemn; it means to show or give a satisfactory reason for having done something.
  • Second: it’s a printing term used to describe the process of taking the ragged edges out of a printing job by lining up both edges of the text and spacing the letters correctly. (Most Bibles and newspapers are printed this way.)
  • And Third: it’s a theological term which means to make one righteous through freeing them from the blame or guilt of sin through forgiveness.

And all three apply here.

  1. First, in John 3:17 Jesus says, “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
  2. Second, in the process of Salvation, God straightens up all our ragged edges and lines up our lives with Scriptural Holiness.
  3. Third, we are set free from the guilt of our sin and offered forgiveness. And that’s a joyous thing if we simply trust Christ and trust God.

You and I have been made right with God through our own suffering

As Christians, we are an optimistic people. We believe tomorrow will be better than today. Our rational is that we believe in a  God that holds the future. The light at the end of the tunnel is the light of God’s glory, the light of Christ,  not a train. The good news is that we can continue to have faith even if we should do wrong again, or if things should go terribly wrong in our lives. God will continue to be faithful. Because God is ALWAYS FAITHFUL. There is nothing we have to do to earn His faithfulness. It is given to us in the form of the free gift of GRACE.

Nothing that happens in this world is in vain if we entrust it to God. Most of us will say that some of the most valuable lessons we learned in life are learned through adversity. Paul sums it up like this: “We boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

To conclude these verses is to come to the understanding that this is very good news. All we really need for eternal life is to trust God and trust the faith that we claim. Fear often comes from the concern that our lives must go through some radical change and, unless we do, nothing we can do will count. When we are justified we are not nullified but rather dignified and classified and identified with the one who was crucified and glorified God. Our lives are purified and strengthened by the one who showed us the reality behind God’s love. And while it still remains a mystery on how we can be justified by faith to the one who was not happy with the world as it was, Christ teaches, strengthens and continues to revive our faith. That relationship certifies us as a child of God. And what do we get? We get peace with God through faith in Christ.

Items for Discussion

  • Why is mankind at war with God?  Or are they? Your opinion
  • What are some things man does so God will be at peace with him?
  • Does anyone know of an example of someone dying for a good person? Bad person?
  • Why is it bad to carry guilt? Is there any benefit?
  • How do you personally overcome the anxiety that is caused by the “world around us?”
  • Is there an upside to anxiety?
  • How do hard times bring about perseverance?
  • Can you give some examples of hope that disappoints us?
  • The three things this lesson tells us are that we are forgiven, we need to trust Jesus and we will suffer – How would you summarize this into a “statement of faith,” that is why you are a Christian?

Discussion Challenge

  • What is the role of the Christian Church during hard times?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
Share