Summary: This is the 8th of 30 studies on the Book of Romans and is about the Peace, Hope and Love we have in Christ.
1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
After Paul explained in detail how all the world, (Jews and Non-Jews) were in need of Salvation, and could be saved through faith in the work of Christ, he uses the word, ‘therefore,’ meaning that there is something more that his readers need to take note of. He goes on to say that since we have all now been justified (made righteous) by faith in Jesus, we now have ‘peace with God.’ This is something that the entire world is searching for in more ways than one. All people are desperately seeking to be at peace with God. Since the fall of man, man has been seeking to get right with God, and he has tried several ways and means to be at peace with God, but in vain. Nothing that we do or don’t do, say or don’t say, can help us accomplish this peace with God. But now that we have been justified by God Himself, we are now at peace with Him. He reminds his readers that this peace with God came through nothing we had done, but rather through the work of Jesus Christ alone.
Access to this Grace
Not only do we now have peace with God, by believing in Jesus, but we also have access into this grace of God in which we now stand. Paul is referring to God’s unmerited favour as a place we have now arrived at. God is now pouring out His favour on those who put their trust in Him. His favour includes His acceptance, His love, protection, provision, joy, presence, and so much more. We do not deserve any of this, but God has given it all to all of us freely – that’s why it’s called grace.
Hope of the glory of God
He goes on to say that because of these privileges that we enjoy with God, we can now rejoice in the hope that we have, the hope that we will see God one day, and live with Him forever. There’s no greater hope a human can ever possess. When he uses the word, ‘hope,’ he’s not using it in the context of wishful thinking. The word, ‘hope,’ here, refers to a strong sense of assurance. We now have the assurance that we will behold God Himself, and live with Him forever, when we pass from this world, or if the Lord returns before we pass on. He seems to be telling them that there’s no longer a need to fear death. That’s the one thing that’s on most people’s minds, especially during these days of the pandemic. Death is merely a step from this world to the next, where we will live forever with God Himself.
Rejoice in the Hope-Perfecting Process
Paul goes on to say that there’s more to rejoice about. He says that not only do we not need to fear death, but we can also rejoice in the process we go through in perfecting this assurance that we possess.
Every Christian will go through tribulation in life, and instead of grumbling about it, or trying to avoid it or praying it away, he says that we need to glory (rejoice) in it. At first read, this might sound strange that he’s telling us that we need to rejoice in tribulation. It seems especially strange in today’s context, when there’s so much false, yet popular teaching that’s prevalent, where preachers are promising a life of ease and comfort, and persecution-free living. But as we read on, we’ll understand the process better.
He tells us that we need to know (remember, realise, bear in mind) that tribulation doesn’t just do something to us as much as it does in us. Let’s look at what it does in us. Tribulation produces perseverance. We now get a glimpse of the fact that there’s something more that the Lord wants to see happen in our lives. Not only does He want to see us justified through faith in His Son Jesus, but He also wants to transform our lives into His image as well. That image of God that was destroyed in the Garden of Eden, is being renewed all over again, so that we may once again enjoy that wonderful relationship with God. By image of God, it refers to the character or nature of God, where we begin to reflect God’s character in our lives.