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Romans 5:1-21: Justified! Our Benefits

When we arrive at Chapter 5 of Romans, it is as if Paul pauses and takes in a deep breath. I can see his hands waving, pointing backward, meaning that all that he has said so far is coming to a close, and he is transitioning to his next big thought. He says, “Therefore since we have been justified through faith …,” he has fully established “how” we are justified. In Romans 5:1-11, he explores the benefits of that justification.

A gavel representing our being justified.
Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

We have peace with God

Don’t mistake this for the peace “of” God – that somewhat subjective internal feeling that reminds us in God we are safe. We have that peace. But peace with God is about the harmony in which we now live – it is a state of being. We were once at war, so to speak, and now we are reconciled to God. This is the peace we have with God.

The result of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be
quiet confidence forever.

Isaiah 32:17 CSB

We have gained access to grace in which we stand

When we are justified in Christ, we gain access. The concept of “access” is difficult for us because we have few limitations in our access to places. BUT to Paul’s hearers, the Jewish people, access was a new concept.

Think back to the story of Moses at Mt. Sinai. God gives Moses instructions for the next day when He, Himself, would descend on the mountain. The people had to prepare themselves, they had to wash, to be clean. BUT they also could not get too close to the mountain or set foot on it. The penalty for doing so was death.

And then later, in the Exodus story, God directs Moses to build the tabernacle. It had three courts, the outer court, the inner court or Holy place, and the Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only on one day of the year. The priests represented the people to God in the inner court. People in general could only enter the outer court.

So having “access” directly with God, to grace, was new and shocking! We would do well to be in awe of this access we have to grace! We have been brought into the very throne room of God. And there we can stand, which denotes our certain security.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.

Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT

We confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory

We rejoice in this truth that those whom God calls, He justifies, and those He justifies, He also glorifies! This simply means that we can be totally confident that God completes the good work He has begun in us by bringing us to glory.

We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 CSB

We rejoice in problems and trials

Of course, this sounds counterintuitive at first. But what Paul is teaching us is that our trials develop in us the perseverance needed to run the race set before us. And since we can count on God to finish His work in us, we can find peace amid our sufferings. Our trials and tribulations intensify our hope!

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.

John 16:33 NET

The Holy Spirit is given to us

When we are justified, we receive the gift of the Spirit living within us. The indwelling Spirit is our guarantee that we belong to Jesus and that our inheritance in Christ is secure. The Spirit is our teacher, pointing us to Jesus and convicting us of sin. As our comforter, helps us in our day-to-day circumstances. Last, the Spirit is the source of our power to do God’s will.

And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Ephesians 1:13-14 NLT

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit

When we are made right with God, He floods our hearts with His love! Think about the extravagance of this outpoured love! God doesn’t just give us a little love, a pat on the back; His love is a total bear hug – love in excess! Rick Warren says, “God’s love is like an ocean. You can see its beginning, but not its end.”

And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:18 MSG

The Source of our confidence

Paul ends his tribute to the benefits of justification by explaining in detail how Jesus is far superior to Adam.

Through Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the worldThrough Jesus’ obedience, many will be made righteous
The result of Adam’s disobedience was condemnationWe can be made right with God and have peace with God because Jesus was obedient even unto death, death on a cross
Adam’s sin brought death into the worldJesus defeated death, and through Him, we can have eternal life
Sin ruled with death as the resultGrace rules with abundant life as the result
Comparison of Adam and Jesus based on Romans 5:12-21

We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual—a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 MSG

A Hymn of Praise

Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A Great High Priest whose name is love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
my name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
and tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Saviour died,
my sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied,
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
my perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
the King of glory and of grace.

One with Himself I cannot die;
my soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,

with Christ my Saviour and my God!

C. L. Bancroft
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