Romans 5:1-2 ESV
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.”
Literally this should read, “Therefore, being justified by faith, let us have peace with God.” This translation is based off the majority of manuscripts; it would appear (1). And, this perfectly fits with what the scriptures teach, overall, as well, regarding our salvation and our eternal life with God.
For, the scriptures teach that we are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns, and our salvation is complete. And, they teach that faith also must be continuous and enduring to the very end if we want to have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Co. 1:18; I Co. 15:1-2; Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 3:6, 14-15; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:5-9; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; I Jn. 2:24-25).
Not only that, but they also teach that how we live our lives day by day determines our salvation, as well. This is not saying that we work to earn or to deserve our salvation. No! But, it is saying that salvation is a process that must be continuous and enduring to the end, and that if we don’t endure, and if we don’t walk according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, that we don’t have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6; Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; Jn. 15).
Therefore, we are being made right with God through continuous God-given faith which endures to the end. For, IF we walk (in practice, in conduct) in the light (Jesus Christ, truth, righteousness), then we have fellowship with God and with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin (1 Jn. 1:8). And, if we walk according to the Spirit of God, and not according to the flesh, then the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us, and then we have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; cf. Lu. 9:23-26).
But, this is not our own doing. Again, this is not us trying to earn or to deserve our salvation. It is only by God’s grace, through God-given faith that any of us can be saved and have eternal life with God. But, the faith to believe is from God, and thus it submits to the Lord, and it repents of sin, and it walks in obedience to his commands (1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jn. 14:23-24).
And, peace with God is absence of conflict with God, for it is unity with God. We no longer are living as his enemies, but now in oneness with him.
And, God’s grace to us is not just an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die. His grace frees us from our slavery to sin, and it empowers us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And, it instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Also, suffering is a normal and expected part of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. For, God uses suffering in our lives as one of the ways in which he teaches us endurance, which then produces character, which then produces hope. And, this hope is not solely centered in getting to go to heaven when we die, either.
It is the hope that, through faith in Jesus Christ, which is continuous, we can endure suffering, and we can walk in holiness, and we can resist Satan and flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. It is hope that God will provide for all of our needs, and that he will speak comfort to our hearts, and that he will give us guidance and direction. And, it is hope that we have a purpose, and that God wants to use us for his glory, etc.
Through suffering our Lord is pruning us, he is purifying us, he is making us holy, he is conforming us to his likeness, he is strengthening us in our walks of faith, he is maturing us in Christ, he is guiding us in the way that we should go and he is teaching us to rely on him and not on ourselves. So, suffering is for our good, to make us who God wants us to be.
Romans 5:6-8 ESV
“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.”
Again, there is not anything we can do in our own flesh to deserve or to earn our own salvation. For, Jesus died for us while we were sinners. He died for the ungodly. He didn’t die for us because of our goodness, but because of his righteousness, and because he is love, and he loves sinners.
But, he died for us to buy us back for God, that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives. He died for us, too, so that we might die with him to sin and be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And, he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Eph. 4:17-24).
Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die, but in order that he might put sin to death in our lives, so that we would no longer walk in sin, but that we would now be slaves of his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23).
Romans 5:9-11 ESV
“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.”
Again, this should literally read, “Being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.”
And, again, this is completely consistent with the teachings in the New Testament regarding both our faith to believe in Jesus Christ, and regarding our salvation. They are in process.
It is as we walk in the light that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin. It is as we walk according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, that we are assured of eternal life with God. Jesus’ sheep listen to him, and they follow (obey) him, and they are the ones who can’t be snatched out of his hands (Jn. 10:27-30; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Rom. 8:1-17).
We are instructed in Romans 8:12-14 that if we walk (in lifestyle, in conduct) according to our flesh, that we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we have eternal life with God.
And, in Romans 6:16 it teaches us: “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
If we obey sin, it leads to death, but if we obey obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life with God (Rom. 6:16 & 22).
Again, our salvation has to do with how we live our lives. For, Jesus died to transform our lives, to give us new lives in him, to make us holy, to conform us to his likeness, and that we might abide in him and him in us, and that we might abide in His Word, and that we might bear much fruit for his eternal kingdom (Jn. 15:1-11).
One day we are all going to be judged by what we did. If what we sowed in this life was to please our flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (death). But, if we sowed to please the Spirit (by the Spirit) then from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; cf. Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10).
So, don’t think you can be saved from your sins, be bound for heaven, but still walk in the ways of your sinful flesh, and that how you live your life doesn’t matter to God. It matters for your salvation.
O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth
Author: Samuel Medley (1789)
O could I speak the matchless worth,
O could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I’d soar, and touch the heav’nly strings,
and vie with Gabriel while he sings
in notes almost divine,
in notes almost divine.
I’d sing the precious blood he spilt,
my ransom from the dreadful guilt
of sin, and wrath divine:
I’d sing his glorious righteousness,
in which all perfect, heav’nly dress
my soul shall ever shine,
my soul shall ever shine.
I’d sing the characters he bears,
and all the forms of love he wears,
exalted on his throne:
in loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
I would to everlasting days
make all his glories known,
make all his glories known.
Well, the delightful day will come
when my dear Lord will bring me home,
and I shall see his face;
then with my Savior, Brother, Friend,
a blest eternity I’ll spend,
triumphant in his grace,
triumphant in his grace.
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