February 10 (Reading for February 6-12: Romans 5. This commentary will be done in two posts: verses 1-11 today, and verses 12-21, tomorrow. (Today’s discussion is a preview of the Sunday, Feb. 13, sermon at ICF). Verse 1 begins with “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith” (NIV). The words “therefore” and “since” lead us to look back at the case that Paul had made in Romans 1-4 that our righteousness came to us from God through faith in Jesus Christ. Based on this truth, he declares: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1). We have peace, yes, and so much more!
(Romans 5:1-5)  We have PEACE: “…through (Jesus) we have gained access by faith into this grace…” (NIV). This is the peace that we all long for, to know that we are right with God, that we can approach Him and find mercy and forgiveness!
 We have HOPE: We have seen that as sinners, we “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). But, in Christ, we find “hope of the glory of God.” Hope is renewed in the expectation of knowing God’s glory as redeemed people!
 We have JOY: “And we rejoice in hope…but we also rejoice in our sufferings…” This hope that we have found in salvation brings joy. But why did Paul add that we can rejoice in our suffering? Follow the cycle he presented to see how even suffering brings hope. “Suffering produces perseverance,” which produces character (Christlikeness), which brings even more hope. We suffer but we don’t give up. In the crucible of purification, Christlikeness is formed. Becoming like Him, being drawn closer and closer to Him, we are inundated with the hope of all that He has prepared for us!
 We have LOVE: This “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Jesus said: “My Father will love (you), and We, (the Father and I) will come to (you) and make Our dwelling with (you) … the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. Peace I leave you, My peace I give you” (Jn. 14:23-27). All of the above, peace, joy, hope and God’s love are ours through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 5:6-8) Paul presented four conditions when we do not know Christ. We see the depth of God’s love when we see what Christ did to remedy each of these conditions. 1st, we are “helpless” (“powerless,” NIV). Contrast Romans 5:6 with 6:6, “so that our sinful selves would have no power over us” (NCV). On the one hand, without Christ, we are helpless victims under the power of sin. On the other hand, with Christ, sin has no power over us!
2nd, we are “ungodly,” “…without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). But in Christ, we are given access to God. “We celebrate in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2).
3rd, we are “sinners.” That’s the bad news. The good news: “While we still sinners, Christ died for us.” In Christ, we are justified and redeemed.
4th, we are God’s enemies and separated from Him. But look what Jesus did: “…while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (v. 10).
(Romans 5:9-11) Our salvation is complete: past, present, and future. Justification is the past tense and concerns what Jesus accomplished by His death: “we were reconciled to God.” Sanctification is the present tense and concerns what Jesus accomplished by His life: we are daily being “saved by His life.” Glorification is a term used for the final future phase of salvation when we will be given a new perfect body and we will live in heaven forever! Because of this, we “celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– Al Gary