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  • Chad Werkhoven

Romans 5:1-8 - But God

This is arguably the most important passage in the Bible!



 

Romans 5:1-8 (NIV)


5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.


3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.


6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin


We believe

that by the disobedience of Adam

original sin has been spread

through the whole human race.


It is a corruption of all nature—

an inherited depravity which even infects small infants

in their mother’s womb,

and the root which produces in man

every sort of sin.


It is therefore so vile and enormous in God’s sight

that it is enough to condemn the human race,

and it is not abolished

or wholly uprooted

even by baptism,

seeing that sin constantly boils forth

as though from a contaminated spring.


Nevertheless,

it is not imputed to God’s children

for their condemnation

but is forgiven

by his grace and mercy—

not to put them to sleep

but so that the awareness of this corruption

might often make believers groan

as they long to be set free

from the “body of this death.”


Therefore we reject the error of the Pelagians

who say that this sin is nothing else than a matter of imitation.

 

Summary


If these 8 verses were the only scripture we had, they would be enough. The entire Bible is summarized in the opening words of the first verse: since you're justified (just-as-if-I'd never sinned and always obeyed), you have peace with God.


We've set verses 3-5 to the side today, not because they're not important, but because, as is often the case with Paul, they're somewhat of a rabbit trail. You can see the direct line of logic extending from the end of v2 to the beginning of v6: You've been justified and therefore have peace with God (v1-2) because when you were nothing more than a powerless sinner, Christ died for you (v6, 8).


Notice the parallels between verses 6 & 8:


6 - when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.


8 - While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Before you can fully experience the peace that you already have with God, you must have a solid understanding of the wretched condition you're in apart from Him, which our Confession has been reminding us of these past two weeks. On your own you're a powerless, ungodly sinner.


But the amazing truth of the gospel is that even so, at just the right time, Christ died for you that you put you at peace with God and enable you to boast in the certain hope of His glory.



Dig Deeper


Even when we better understand the underlying mechanics of our salvation, we still have lots of questions, and often our questions revolve around God's timing. Why are we reading about this in Romans 5 and not Genesis 5? Why didn't God accomplish His salvation right away for His image bearers? After all, the moment after the forbidden fruit was eaten man was already a powerless, ungodly sinner!


Why did the great flood occur, and then later the enslavement of God's covenant people in Egypt? Why did they wander in the desert for forty years, and then when they finally settled in the Promised Land, why did their kingdom never really re-establish heaven on earth until God had enough and exiled them to Babylon?


Why in the time since Paul wrote these words two millennia ago has civilization just been one train wreck after another? Why take so long for the peace we already have with God to result in having peace with one another?


Certainly verses 3-5, which we've set aside today, along with the weeks we spent looking at the doctrine of God's providence help answer these difficult questions. But for today, just cling to the somewhat simplistic, but yet extremely profound answer v6 provides:


God's demonstration of His own love for us comes "at just the right time."



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who demonstrates His love for us through our Savior, Jesus Christ;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for putting you at peace with Him, and pray that you will trust in His perfect timing;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 24

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