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Romans 5:1-5

I. Introductions

Pauline’s Christian theology of peace with God is founded upon new life of holiness, love and hope brought to humanity by Christ. Classical Christian writers assert that Pauline emphasis in the Epistle to the Romans centres on God’s grace especially on justification by grace through faith.[1] This spiritual renewal forms the heartbeat of the epistle to the Romans especially in Chapter 5. Paul affirms that this new life as founded in the justification by faith through Christ, revealed to all humanity, is available for all who puts their trust in the crucified Christ. This fresh life of peace (Shalom) with God is entirely a gift from God himself through Christ Jesus as exemplified in the words of Rom 5:1. Those who are justified by faith thus are introduced into this saving grace with hope.

The Pauline assertion is that the renewed hope that rests upon peace with God through justification endures sufferings of the present day but awaits the glory of God in the future.[2] He therefore outlines in this section the glorious benefits of right standing with God as having peace with God, having access to God’s grace, and rejoicing in the hope of Glory awaiting in the future (Romans 5:1-5).

This life above signifies a life of reconciliation between humanity and God. Biblical scholars have argued that reconciliation is a process that transforms and restores a genuine peaceful relationship between God and His people that have been strayed by sin.[3] It is specifically about God making restoration with and between human beings as indicated in Romans 5:1-5. This restoration is made perfect by the act of the Holy Spirit in us manifested in love. This life is therefore a life of peace with God and rejoicing in the love of God.

II.A Christian life is a life of peace with God

A Christian life is about living at peace with God having been justifies by faith. Pauline declaration in this chapter is that we have peace with God having been justified through Christ (5:1). In this letter to the Romans, Paul seems to present a benefit inherent in justification as peace with God. The concept of peace includes the idea of our human soul’s health, happiness and well-being in God.[4] Peace with God is our status of reconciled relationship with God through Christ.

The passage indicates that in Christ we have entered into a reconciled state of grace in which Christians rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [5] The concept of reconciliation as a paradigm of being at peace with God is central to the Bible, primarily the action of Jesus on the Cross and restoration of divine human relationships with God. This is the Pauline argument in this chapter that a Christian life is a life of being at peace with God. Peace with God consists of restoration and fulfilment of God’s original and persistent purpose of his creation. It brings humanity to its original standing God (5:2). Thus in Christ, reconciliation is known as the fulfilment of God’s will, communion and harmony. This is entrance and access of God’s grace having been redeemed or sanctified.

III. A Christian life is a life of rejoicing in God’s loving grace

A Christian life is a life that glory in suffering and hopes in the future after having been showered by the love of God. The intent of Christian suffering is Christian maturity founded in the development of perseverance, character and hope. The ultimate intention of God for humanity is a life of Glory: uninterrupted communion in perfect love and presence in the Holy Spirit. Greathouse affirms that the indwelling of God’s Spirit in our hearts with his love assures us of this hope of the glory of God.[6]

As Christians rejoice in God’s glory, the unavoidable participation in the suffering and afflictions of life cultivates true Christian faith in patience and hope. This suffering is understood in the context of events and interactions designed to show the profit of justification. Believers therefore rejoice in suffering as a show of their love for God and participation in the justification experiences of Christ. The value for such anguish produces steadfast endurance suitable for tribulation denoting resistance pain.[7]

The glorying as Paul indicates is a state of life in the present but with the future hope to realize that hope. The love of God showered to us nullifies shame and produces hope for future glory of God. Through the sanctification power of the Holy Spirit, God has extended his love to enable our reconciliation. This was done by the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. This act of righteousness by faith and subsequent peace assures our security and triumph in such amazing grace.

IV. Conclusion

Chapter 5:1-5 has emphasised on justification along with reconciliation as seen against the background of enmity occasioned by sin. The argument is that we have been introduced into the privileges of a saint in this present life anticipating our future Glory. Paul affirms our privileged status of being in a unique standing with God considered peaceful relationship. We have therefore by virtue of being hopeful been assured of God’s love poured out on us through the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is therefore called into this redemption made available by grace through Christ.

Reference

Bar-Tal and Bennink (2004), “The nature of reconciliation as an outcome and as a process”. In Y. Bar-Siman-Tov (ed.), From Conflict resolution to reconciliation. Oxford: Oxford University, pg 11-38.

Dayton,Welber T., “Romans and Galatians,” in Charles W. Carter Ed. (1965), Wesleyan Bible commentary. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. P. 36

Greathouse, Willian and Lyons, George, (2008), Romans 1-8”, in New Beacon Bible Commentary, Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, p. 150

Harrison, Everret F. (1976), “Romans”, in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed. The Expositors Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, p. 57

Hillerbrand, Hans, 1964, The Reformation. New York: Harper and Row, p. 27

Murray, John (1965), “The Epistle to the Romans” in John Muray, The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

William Greathouse (1975), Beacon Bible Exposition: Romans, vol 6, Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, p. 88