Peace and hope
5 “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.”
The importance of foundations to a building is well known, or should be. When we extended our family home the foundations were inspected by a Building Control Officer from the local Council before a block could be laid. We recognise the foundation a loving family or a good education provides to children and I would contend that there are foundations as far as our faith is concerned which allow us to develop and mature, and know security as those who trust in Jesus. Romans 5 bring to our attention some foundations on which our faith rests and the first of these involves a change of status.
The term social distancing is one that was unknown to most of us 12 months ago yet today it is familiar and after the weekend is very much in the news today. After human being fell into sin our relationship with God changed fundamentally. We became offenders and enemies of God having transgressed his law. An act of rebellion! As a result a gulf was fixed between us, a boundary set which we could not cross. Here though in 5:1 Paul introduces a change of standing saying that we have been justified by faith. What does that mean? It means that when we came to faith in Jesus Christ something happened to us, a big change took place. Having once been offenders we were declared just, upright or innocent not just of one offence, but of all offences against God. This is not of our doing, nor do we somehow prove our innocence by our faith. It is something that happens to us from the outside, a status which God confers. Practically the fact that God confers it means that we can’t lose it when we fall to temptation and sin, or when we turn from the way in which God would lead us. Yes we may suffer the consequences of our disobedience through the outworking of our stupidity or weakness but we do not have to be saved all over again. We have become members of God’s family; he has adopted us, we are his. So when we read that every sin was laid on him it includes sins past, those of the present and all in the future.