Friday, May 29, 2020

Fruits of Justification

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)

God had declared us righteous in His court, not on the basis of anything we have done, but solely on the basis of what His Son has done for us. In Romans 5, Paul highlights for his readers some of the most important results of this legal justification.

First, we have peace with God (v. 1). We were engaged in battle with God, and God was at war with us. Now, however, there is a cessation of hostilities. The war is over, and we have lost it. We realize that God is an enemy who loves His enemies. He was at war with us, but seeking our welfare all along. We are glad that He has won, and is now at peace with us.

Second, we have access to God (v. 2). God’s warfare with sinners in the Old Testament meant that cherubim with flaming swords kept men away from His presence in the Garden of Eden. It meant that there were many curtains and walls between Him and His people in the tabernacle and temple, barriers that it was death to transgress. Now, however, the veil of the temple has been ripped in half from top to bottom, signifying that at last a man has been given access to God, because at last God is at peace with a man. In union with the man, Jesus Christ, we must also have peace with and access to God.

Third, this access to God is access to a place to stand (v. 2). The book of Revelation pictures this standing place as a sea of crystal before God’s throne (Revelation 4:6; 15:2). Our standing place is in heaven, and we stand upon the firmament itself, always watched by God our Father. As Christians we can have complete confidence in God and His covenant. We can have complete assurance that we are His, and that He will take care of us. Because we have this firm place to stand, we can act boldly and without fear for the sake of the kingdom of God.

Fourth, we can rejoice in hope. We think of hope as a wish, as when we hope our favorite ball team will win the pennant. Biblically speaking, however, hope is a sure and certain confidence in the future. We are absolutely certain that we shall participate in the glory of God in the resurrection. We have seen the future, and it is ours because it is God’s and we are His.

Rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God is not just some inward attitude. It means that the community of the saints actively praises God in worship. Through the Spirit, the church stands on the sea of glass before God’s throne and praises Him. Consider Romans 5:1–2 as it relates to worship as you prepare to go to church this Lord’s Day.