It astonishes us to discover that we can know peace with God. By our wrong and evil deeds, we have made ourselves Godís enemies (verse 10); and his anger is rightly against us (1:18).
ĎPeace with Godí means a right relationship, or friendship, with him. It begins in this life when God forgives our evil deeds; and it will never end. We do not deserve it and we cannot earn it. It is Godís free gift to us when we have faith in him. In other words, we must believe God and we must trust him.
This free gift, this peace with God, comes to us because of Jesus; in particular, because of Jesusí death (5:6-10). At his death, Jesus suffered the punishment for our evil deeds so that God can forgive us (Ephesians 2:11-13; 1 Peter 3:18).
This peace with God is the result of Godís action in our lives when we are Ďjustifiedí. To be justified means to become righteous. A righteous person is a truly good person; to be righteous is to be truly good. A person can only be truly good if that person has a right relationship with God. Therefore, to be righteous also means to have (or to receive) a right relationship with God. So, we cannot make ourselves righteous, but God can make us righteous because of Christís death for us.
When we have faith (trust) in God, he justifies us (in other words, he declares us righteous). At that moment, he forgives us and we have peace with him. However, we may not immediately feel any sense of peace, for example a calm and content feeling. That is because our feelings are not reality. The reality is what God has done for us. So, we do not trust our feelings, but our faith. In other words, we trust God. He has begun a great work in our lives, and he will complete it (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:18-21).
Next part: The hope of Christians (Romans 5:2)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.