God’s love, justification, suffering, and godliness

In our church’s commitment to the Word of God, we are, in lieu of a Bible reading plan, practising a Bible writing plan. In Deuteronomy 17:18-19 a Bible writing plan was required of all the future kings of Israel, and this week the passage for our church is Romans 5:1-9 as we make our way through key sections from the book of Romans.

Remembering a passage of Scripture is always easier when the flow of thought is clear. This is no less true of Romans 5:1-9. Use this guide for your own devotion to God today, and use it as an example for any other passage too.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have been declared righteous by God because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore we are no longer enemies of God, but at peace with God.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

This peace with God that we obtained through Jesus Christ has welcomed us not only to the grace that saved us, but also enabled us to partake of the grace needed to stand firm in our faith. Therefore, not matter what happens to us, we always have a settled joy knowing that one day we will surely partake of the glory of God.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

But surely our faith is not only good for keeping an eternal perspective on God’s glory, but is also good for our current non-glorious sufferings. God’s grace that saved us made saints from sinners, surely then we believe that God’s grace that keeps us standing is able to produce sanctification from something as unpleasant as suffering. That is why suffering isn’t a shame for a Christian, because it too is of spiritual benefit.

The flow of thought is now complete: We are justified, that gives us access to grace that gives us the hope of God’s glory that also gives us the present joy of knowing even suffering produces godliness. Now the text returns to the very first point of justification again, and connects it to God’s love for us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The reasoning here is very simple: Christ died for us, something we would certainly not have done if we were in His position. That is indeed a great demonstration of God’s love for us. If God went to such extremes to show us the love we needed for justification, certainly then He will deliver us from the greatest suffering of all one day—the suffering of experiencing His wrath.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

Our hope for eternal glory with God is therefore guaranteed. We will not receive judgment; we will be saved from that judgement just like we were saved from our sins—by God’s unusual and exceptional love.

 

There are therefore two levels of worship required of us from this text. First, acknowledge these wonderful spiritual truths about salvation, Christian living, and eternal hope, and praise and exalt God for His love. Second, go, and make your life the testimony to one another and to the world of the maturing joy produced in us from even the worst of life experiences.

God’s love, justification, suffering, and godliness
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