Consequences of Christianity (Romans 5:1-2)
Justification comes through faith. It is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight. This is only possible because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and it is only received by faith alone. Sinners are justified on the basis that Christ paid their penalty on the cross, and only those who trust Christ for salvation are justified. Flowing from this “wholesome doctrine, full of comfort,” there are three privileges or consequences that Paul mentions in these verses:
I. Peace with God
The peace described here by Paul refers to the objective aspect more than the subjective. There are certainly subjective consequences, but it is primarily an objective and immediate result of justification. It is not a state of mind, but our relationship defined. It is not a change in our feelings, but an alteration in God’s relation to us. In other words, it is not so much “we are at peace” but “God is at peace with us.” His wrath has been satisfied and justice has been accomplished “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is the perfect work of Christ Jesus alone that deals with the enmity between us and God. The communion between God and man that was broken by the Fall is now re-established. God is at peace with all who believe in Jesus!
- We have peace with regard to the accusations within that say, “How can you be at peace with God? Look at you! Look at your heart! How could God love you?” We have peace with regard to the accusations without when the devil accuses us, reminds us of our guilt, and deceives us. Christ died and was raised again for our justification, and therefore we have peace. Justification by faith in Christ alone answers every accusation! How do you respond to accusations of your unworthiness of God’s salvation? Are you prone to look to yourself and doubt, or look to Christ and remember the peace you have with God through Him?
II. Introduction Obtained
Just as we have been given peace because of Christ, so also we have been given access into grace. While in sin, we have no right to come before God. We were not welcome in His presence. But now, because of justification through faith alone in Christ alone, we have been introduced to our gracious standing before God Himself. It’s important to see that we are not just tolerated by God, but royally received! We stand forgiven, free, righteous in Christ. What amazing grace! Christ Himself has become our “Introducer” into this grace, and because of Him, we “stand” there. Though we had fallen with the rest of humanity in Adam and were rejected and condemned, we now stand in Christ, welcomed and accepted.
- Do you doubt whether or not you belong in such a place as this, before so great a King? Remember, the King’s Son has introduced you! He has dressed you in His robes and prepared you for the royal reception. Spend some time considering the character of the One who has Introduced you into this grace and the certainty of “this grace in which we stand.”
III. Exulting in Hope
As those who have been justified, we now experience a triumphant confidence. Our peace with God and our gracious introduction in Christ now lead us to this glorious hope because of the confident assurance we have of eternity. Our justification is coupled with the absolute certainty of glorification (c.f. Rom 8:30). As Paul says, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). We have the certain hope of the full redemption of our bodies that have been so affected by sin and the Fall. We will be “raised up imperishable, and we will be changed.” As Charles Wesley described it:
“Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place;
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!”
- We are not waiting for the wrath of God to be poured out on us, but rather, we are anxiously awaiting the unveiling of God’s glory. Are you fixing “your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ?” How does the certainty of your glorification in Christ affect the way you live today?