Summary: Sometimes life doesn't make sense but God has a reason and purpose for everything.
The purpose of the daily grind Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now 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.”
The experience of salvation can be summed up in these three sentences, we are justified from sin, all of us will experience some form of tribulation and yet, we have the hope of heaven and all that entails. And it’s this hope that keeps us faithful.
I We’ll begin with justification.
Romans 5 is Paul’s explanation of justification and in the first eleven verses we’ll see the basis of our justification while in verses 12-21 we find that justification is the source of tremendous blessings in this present life.
If there were one word that could sum up the message of Romans it would be the word "justified." Justify was a courtroom term and it means "to render a favorable verdict or to vindicate." And here as I said it means to "be acquitted or pronounced and treated as righteous." So, when someone is justified, he is not only declared to be righteous but he actually becomes righteous because he receives the gift of righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
The problem is, many of us get hung up on the word justification because it’s not a word we use every day. Justification simply means that someone has been declared just or righteous. It is a legal term that means a guilty person has been acquitted. I think of the thief on the cross who was the last person saved while Jesus was on earth. The thief was dying on a cross and he couldn’t do anything or give anything or even share a word of testimony. If anyone could be considered hopeless from a human standpoint it was him; but Jesus saved him and listen, he was just as saved or justified as you or I.
You see, justification means that the guilty have been declared righteous in the sight of God. This means that when I arrive in heaven either by death or rapture my life will no longer have the trappings of my sinful past; but I’ll be clothed in righteousness.
I like how John Piper describes it,
“When you look up into the sky on a clear night you can see what is called the Milky Way, the name of our galaxy. It has about 200 billion stars in it. You can see maybe a 40-millionth of them on a good night. The disk of the Milky Way is about 100,000 light years across (about six hundred thousand trillion miles) and 2,000 light years thick. Our sun will take about 200,000 years to make a circuit. And besides our galaxy there are, some estimate, 50 million other galaxies.
Now, the God we are talking about made this universe with a simply command. He spoke and all the galaxies came into being and He holds them all together by the word of his power. This God is so great that any attempt to portray his greatness falls infinitely far short. But what we can see and feel is this: that if such a great God is angry at us, and has such indescribable power to back up his anger, then we are in the worst of all possible conditions. Nothing could be worse than to be opposed by the wrath of infinite power.”
And the only hope that any of us have is if God provides the way of reconciliation, which He did, when His Son Jesus paid the price for our sin on Calvary. And the really good news is that He not only saved us but sanctified or declared us to be holy. And the result is, we have absolute peace with God and He is no longer angry with us because His anger was poured out on Jesus at Calvary.
So, when someone repents of their sin and receives Jesus as their Saviour, they’re fully justified whether they’re served Him fifty years or repented on their deathbed.
I like Paul’s verb tenses in the first verse because he speaks as though everything is in the past. He says, “having been justified by faith, we have access by faith into this grace.” In verse 3 he says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations.” So, because we’ve been justified, we’re recipients of God’s grace and He gives us the strength to endure whatever tribulations He allows us to go through.