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Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
What a profound statement, we have peace with God. I continually find myself drawn to this verse. The implications of what this verse is stating overwhelms me. Think about it, peace with God… PEACE WITH GOD! Perhaps the reason I am being drawn to this verse is the realization that most people are not even aware they lack peace with God.
In Romans chapter one Paul lays out a fundamental truth that strikes at the very heart of any who are honestly desiring to hear the truth. A truth that should cause all who read it to tremble at the thought; God is, as it is written in Psalm 7:11 … angry with the wicked every day.
Paul writes, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Romans 1:18) The WRATH of God is revealed. The God who spoke into existence creation itself, the One who judges all the earth, He who considers all the nations to be a “drop in the bucket” is ANGRY with the wicked EVERY DAY.
This the begs the question, who are the wicked; who are the ungodly; the unrighteous; them that hold the truth in unrighteousness? WE ARE!
Us! Every one of us, all men and women.
Everyone? Yes, everyone.
Certainly, there are some who we more readily consign to deserving God’s anger. You know the ones where there is no need for guessing whether they are righteous and Godly, as their unrighteousness is on display for all the world to see. They are easily recognized by their attitudes and their speech which is ultimately patterned after what resides in their hearts.
Psalm 14:1-3 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
There! They are ones deemed “the wicked”. Not so fast…
See, it is easy to point a finger at someone who has openly denied the very existence of God as one towards whom God’s anger would/should be directed, but we are never too quick to point the finger at ourselves. It is a simple thing to look with disdain upon those who seemingly have no sense of owing a debt to a Holy, Sovereign God who rules the universe. However, when it comes to examining our own posture before the same Creator, well, that’s not so elementary. Typically when we look at ourselves we see “good people”, right? I mean, I am not a criminal, or at least I always have good intentions in everything I do. I have not openly denied God.
Scripture rejects that reasoning altogether, notice Psalm 14 “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men”, God looked down upon ALL men- every man woman and child ever born to see if they would seek after Himself, and they did not- NO, NOT ONE. You did not and neither did I.
Paul restated Psalm 14 with perhaps a bit more precision in Romans 3:10-11, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” There is NONE righteous. We all stand before God in a state of unrighteousness and it is towards us ALL that the wrath of God is directed, not just to the fool who denies God’s existence, but towards everyone ever born. Hear the warning…
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Perhaps you are wondering, “So what?”.
In Ephesians 2 it is written that men have no hope when they are without God. So great is the separation between Holy God and sinful man that there is no hope of man ever attaining right standing with God, there is nothing unrighteous man can do for himself to change that- he has already come short. Again, there is not a single thing that a man can do to render himself righteous. The prophet Isaiah saw this clearly;
Isaiah 64:6-7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
What does it mean to be separated from God having no hope? It means you have no hope of ever experiencing authentic and purposeful love in your life. No hope of ever realizing the potential that you were born with. You continually occupy a position of having no hope in this life or in the next. No hope for any true peace of mind concerning your eternal state.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence. (NET)
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
This is why we live in a society so replete with men and women hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol where despair reigns. To deny God is to deny oneself any access to hope, peace or love. All potential in life dissipates, life becomes devoid of value and meaning when God is relegated to a place outside our daily lives. Suicide, murder, escapism, and aberrant lifestyles quickly find a place within mainstream society as men attempt to fill the void left when the natural relationship of creature to Creator is unrealized. Look around and see the despair seething just under the surface, anger and hostilities are more the normative than compassion and mercy. Despair and hopelessness breed these attitudes.
There is hope. Beyond all possibility there is HOPE!
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Somehow, someway, miraculously there is a way that man can enjoy peace with God. Sinful, rebellious, wretched man can be reconciled with a Sinless, Perfect, Holy God- through Jesus. It is in the substitutionary sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, that man can then be found in a right standing before a Righteous God. Jesus bore on the cross ALL the guilt and ALL shame of ALL our sin paying the penalty owed, clearing the debt incurred. Hear the words:
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:8-11 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
There! There it is written- We shall be saved from wrath through Him. Who? Jesus. We “were” enemies, now we can be reconciled. Atonement has been made. The sinless, spotless, perfect “Lamb of God” has been offered up as a sin offering on our behalf. And because of this His righteousness, that is the Righteousness of Jesus is now imputed to us, if we will but receive Him.
Justified by faith, meaning we believe that His sacrifice does indeed wash away our sin debt. We believe that He alone is the method of our salvation. This believing is then manifest in our lives as we relinquish control to Jesus as our lives are no longer to be lived for ourselves, but for Him- we have been redeemed by Jesus, purchased by Him, we are His and no longer our own. This is shown by our devotion and dedication and service to Him- ever grateful, ever thankful for the gift given. Jesus becomes the Sovereign in our lives as He brings grace, mercy, peace, joy… hope into the places destined once to receive only wrath. Sin and the desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh are no longer nurtured, Holiness unto God and righteousness are the things sought after.
Romans 6:5-8 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Romans 6:14-23 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” There is hope, and there can be peace between you and God, you but have to ask for the gift that has been offered. Surrender your life to Jesus, submitting to His will. Will you step out of darkness into His marvelous light? Would you rise up from death into life- into life, and that life eternal?