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Summary: Justification by faith in Christ carries greater blessings that one could ever imagine.

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Introduction:

Receiving a compliment from someone you know is a pleasant experience. It is a pleasant one not just because of the compliment per se, but the greater effects it brings to the receiver.

In the same manner, to be judicially declared righteous in the sight of God by virtue of union with Christ carries with it greater blessings one could ever imagine.

The Apostle Paul after explaining God's way of declaring believing sinner righteous in His sight (Rom 3:21-31), and illustrating it in the lives of Abraham (Rom 4:1-25), goes on to indicate the blessings involved of having been declared righteous before God.

Body:

I. Peace with God (v. 1)

The passage begins with an adverb "therefore". This is only suggests that Paul's discussion here is the outcome of his previous discussion. In other words, Paul sets the stage to enumerate the greater blessings accompanied in being declared righteous in God's sight, a doctrinal concept he has been explaining in the previous chapter of his epistle to the Romans.

The first from his list of blessing involved in justification by faith is peace-peace with God. The Apostle Paul was so unequivocal to declare that this kind of peace is with God, not "from" or "in" God. Therefore, this kind of peace is not psychological or internal state, rather a relational one.

The New Testament calls this concept of being at peace with God reconciliation (cf. Rom 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:18; Col 1:20-22). The word reconciliation is the English equivalent of the Greek word, katallage, which actually derived from the verb, katallaso, which means, “to exchange, reestablish, restore relationship, to make things right, to remove enmity.” When applied to believers’ relation to God, it simply means that the enmity between man and God which is caused by sin has been removed through the death of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are no longer enemies of God but, through Christ, in favor of Him as stipulated in verse 2. To be in favor with God is to approach God freely without any fear of being rejected by Him.

II. Joy (vv. 2-3, 11)

The Apostle Paul mentions three elements of joy in this passage:

The first is the “hope of the glory of God”. That is, our confident expectation of the realization of God’s glory.

The second is “in our suffering”. If this statement seems surprising and strange for some of us, it would be proper to remind us that affliction and suffering are but natural experience of Christians (cf. Acts 14:22; Jas 1:2). Besides, Paul tells us that we are to rejoice in our suffering for it manufactures Christian virtues (vv. 4-5).

And the third one is “in God” Himself. The Apostle Paul is saying that we rejoice in God because in the first place it was Him who gave His Son so that through Him we receive reconciliation. For without the gift of His Son there would be no reconciliation.

Men and women alike pursue joy in every (wrong) avenue imaginable. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found.


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