Faith that Rejoices

Romans 5 is packed with the glorious treasure
imagesof the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul continues to describe the effectual working of the gospel in the life of the believer. In chapter one and chapter sixteen he expresses his purpose in writing this letter to the first church in Rome; “to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,” (1:6; 16:26) He keeps building upon the precepts of God’s grace, showing the power and authority that is in His word, to His own glory.

From the pit of degradation described in chapter one we are brought to chapter five to see the glory of the saint that is saved by the power of the gospel that was given to Paul. (Some of what I am saying is redundant, but well worth repeating.)
From the word, “Guilty, guilty, guilty,” God brings us to, “Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice.”
From the wrath of God, because of our disobedience, we are brought, through His own promise, to obedience. And what a glorious promise it is that brings us to this faith. It is the faith by which we are justified. No longer is God angry with us, because He has brought us to Himself through the death and resurrection of His own Son ~ what greater love than this! What would be the natural fruit of that justification, but rejoicing in hope of this promise? This “great salvation” (Hebrews 2:1-4) through Jesus Christ is the greatest news on earth and in heaven. The angels rejoice when one sinner is brought to Christ. (Luke 15;10)

We remember that the gospel is the word of God given for revelation and salvation. Christ is the living word of God, sent to save His people. (Matthew 1:21) He still speaks today through the written word, even as He lives and reigns at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. The power is in His Holy Spirit to finish the work of salvation that was promised, planned from the beginning, and which Christ came to fulfill.

 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

Our justification is proven by His love for us (vs. 6-111 John 4:9). Jesus Christ is the heart and love of God given for sinners. We could not know or imagine such a God or His plans for our justification. We are but dead in our trespasses and sin, until He quickens us through His word to new life and faith. This is the power of the gospel that brings us to peace with God.

 “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.” Romans 5:2

This grace that has saved us is the grace in which we stand; the grace in which we live, and are being prepared to share His glory ~ the same glory that Jesus has with God the Father. The work of justification is the beginning of the work of sanctification for our glorification. The Holy Spirit carries on the work within each believer so that we rejoice in hope for what He has promised for the future ~ sharing the glory of God.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing……………………………….

 The power of the gospel in the believer, the grace in which we stand enables us to rejoice not only in the good times but also in adversity. There is intelligence in the gospel, knowledge of its power to build upon our faith (for obedience) and to create the image that God has planned for those who will share His glory. It is His grace, His image, for His own glory. (See also Colossians 1:11; James 1:2-3)

The experience of faith is that of knowing what His grace does in and through us.

knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,

Water-pitcher-pouring
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  
Romans 5:3-6

It is this love, by which He accomplishes all that He planned in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:9)

It is through His own will, His plans, His way, His power, that He is creating a people for Himself, conforming us to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)

This world and the suffering that has come through the power of sin no longer have a stronghold on God’s people. This is our deliverance in Christ; that we live, enduring the cross that we must bear for His sake. This endurance produces the character of Christ in us, which adds more fuel to our hope, with the understanding and reality of God’s love being continually poured into our hearts.

This is what the gospel does when it brings us by faith to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

It is not something we wait for after this life. Because Christ died for us while we were yet in our sin, dead and unable to respond, we are now reconciled and have begun eternal life in Him. By His death we are reconciled. By His life (His resurrection) we live, now and eternally in Him. If we hear and believe what Paul is saying it sounds as if we are already there. Yes, but not yet. This is the power of the gospel; that we live in hope and light of the promise that is ours in Jesus Christ.  All of true life is Christ; all is centered in Him.

“We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:11 

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Dear Father, thank you again, and again, for your love poured into our hearts that brings us to yourself and spreads throughout our lives.  Thank you that we know this love as Christ, your Son given for us, for our justification, our sanctification and our glorification.  Let us live today knowing your mercy and grace, your love, joy, and peace, your presence and your power within; to love you with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourself.  Make Christ evident ~ faith that is the evidence of things not seen, the assurance, the substance of our hope ~ in our lives today.  In Jesus’ name I pray and praise you.  Amen.

The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans

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