Tuesday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 5:1-5

So We Are Now at Peace with God

Through chapter four, Paul has discussed our helpless sinful state that God has answered with His gospel.  And that gospel is predicated on the work of God’s Son upon the cross as an atoning sacrifice in which his blood appeases the just wrath of God for our willful rebellion.  By taking our sins upon himself, God does not sweep sin under the rug but justly condemns it, punishes it, nails it to the cross, and thereby remains the just God that He is.  Those who now believe and trust in this God and what He has done for them through His Son’s death and resurrection are given a right standing before God and thus made right before God.  They are given this right standing, or righteousness, as a gift of His grace.  This righteousness is not theirs by nature since by nature they are children of wrath (1:18); it is for them what the sixteenth-century Reformer, Martin Luther, called an “alien righteousness,” a righteousness that by nature belongs to God but which He graciously gives to those who by faith cling to His dear Son.  We may say that God covers these with His own righteousness that He may be to them a loving Father rather than a God of wrath.

And what is the result of this exchange whereby God trades His righteousness for our sin?  “Peace,” Paul answers.  We are now at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are not here speaking so much of an inner feeling of peace as we are an objective and real peace that God has established between us and Him; in short, we have been reconciled unto Him and are at peace with God regardless of how we may feel some days (Moo, NICNT, 327). And we now have access to this grace through Jesus Christ, which is why in Trinitarian theology he is called the Mediator, the one through whom the plan of redemption is accomplished.

The next result is hope.  And so we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; that is, the future promise of the glory of heaven.  And it is this hope of heaven that carries us through life such that we may even rejoice in our sufferings.  The purpose of these sufferings is to produce in us endurance and godly character, which leads to even more hope as we grow in grace and draw closer to God and heaven, looking less like ourselves and more like Christ.  And hereby is the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, so that the objective reality of our reconciliation to the Father through the Son is matched by the more subjective and inward reality of the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit come to live within us.  The plan of redemption is so marvelous and mysterious!  Only our God could have dreamed it up.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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