sky with orange light, field of white grass

Musings on Romans 5, Part 3

sky with orange light, field of white grass

We have peace with God, says Paul, and then moves to a further thought in vs. 2. We have already — past tense — been granted access into something. God has initiated for us a new condition of being, a different law of life than we are used to, a state of grace which might better be called an assurance of receiving kindness.

Vs. 2. Through him we also have obtained by [his] faithfulness access into this kindness by which we stand. We rejoice in the [future] hope of [witnessing personally] God’s glory.

Paul’s obscure syntax and vague terminology could use some simplifying. The message of vss. 1-2 could be paraphrased as follows:

Already in the past, because of Messiah’s faithfulness, we were made right with God. So we have peace with heaven. And we also stand in a place of kindness because of it, a new condition we can depend upon. The revelations are not over, but we wait for the ultimate disclosure, when we will personally see God’s vivid light at Messiah’s homecoming.

Romans 5:3-5

Vss. 3-5, then, describe how the eternal truth of God’s love affects a present situation the brothers and sisters at Rome find themselves in. Suffering does not defeat us because the end is assured. Trials mature us into the new life Messiah has given us. When we see our strength through Messiah we have hope that the life of the coming age is really forming in us. Following this persevering and believing we do not fail in shame, but we are empowered by God’s love which is energized in us by the Spirit. So we exist in a new state with unassailable assurance. If we persevere in trials we find a new strength given to us which we never had before. This is the new life which Messiah was raised to and which he communicates to us by his Spirit. It produces love in us.

Romans 5:6-8

Vss. 6-8 are about God demonstrating his love. The demonstration is something objective, not merely a claim or a feeling. God has proven that he is for us, not against us, by sending Messiah to die for us while we were still weak and sinful. We think it is remarkable if someone dies for a good person. Messiah, sent by God, didn’t hesitate to die for us while we were bad. This is the basis of our assurance. God is for us and nothing we do or don’t do can cause us to deserve it.

Romans 5:9-10

Therefore, vs. 9, we have no reason to fear God’s wrath. If Messiah’s justifying blood was gifted to us while we were sinners we know even more that God’s intention is not punishment but to show us kindness. And in case Paul hasn’t said it clearly enough, vs. 10, the Son was sent by the Father to reconcile us while we were enemies. Would God do that and stop short? No, all the more so we will be liberated from guilt and condemnation by Messiah’s life. Messiah was raised to new life — the kind of life that will be in the world to come. He includes us in his share of this life.

Romans 5:11

So, vs. 11, more than merely feeling assured, we experience something even greater: unrestrained joy in God through Messiah because we know we have been reconciled to the Omnipotent.

Is God against us? Do we need to do anything first — such as follow a synagogue course of instruction in the Torah — to be loved by God? No, says Paul, to his somewhat confused Roman brothers and sisters. God did it all and showed his love by sending his Son, our Lord and Messiah. He died to this present life and was raised into the life of the world to come. God did this for us while we were enemies and so we know all of the reconciliation was initiated by him.

His love was prior. Messiah’s gift came first. We did nothing but receive. We suddenly found ourselves joined to this mystery.

Since we did nothing to deserve this, we can do nothing to un-deserve it. There is no wrath of God for us to fear (in spite of what certain teachers were telling the Romans). Neither will trials and dangers from the authorities be able to separate anyone from the love of God.

Rather, we have the opportunity in trials to find a new strength inside us — which is Messiah’s Spirit. As people unavoidably destined for the life of the world to come, we now have the power to live life like it will be then. The Spirit gives us new strength to love like God, Messiah. We are saved, liberated, and able to rejoice no matter what because we have our place secured with the Infinite.

1 Comment

  1. I appreciate how, through the passge, Paul points out the ways we can boast as a result of Messiah’s life here on earth and His sacrifice: first, in the hope of God’s glory, second, in our suffering, assured that our suffering ultimately will result in hope that “will not disappoint”, because of God’s outpouring of love in us through the gift of yhe Ruach HaKodesh in us, and finally, we boast in God through Messiah Yeshua, whose death and resurrection reconciled us to God. Therein lies our peace with Him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *