In our trek through Paul’s Letter to the Romans, in the first 4 chapters, Paul’s been drilling into us that we need to be made right with God through faith and faith alone. In chapter 5, he starts with the word “therefore”. Whenever we see this in the Bible, we need to ask, “what is it there for?” In this case, Paul is following up the first 4 chapters with some uplifting passages. Romans 5 is very special to me, personally. God gave me these verses at a very tough time in my life. I shall explain.
Romans Chapter 5
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God [Shalom] because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:1-5
Between 2008 and 2010, I was unemployed — yes, that was during the Great Recession. I lost the house I had bought 2 years before, moved into a friend’s spare bedroom for a while, then into a bug-infested apartment until a friend helped me get into a better place. I memorized Romans 5:3-5 and kept saying that I’d have great character when this was all over.
It was over eventually and, yes, I learned a lot. The whole ordeal made me stronger. The main thing I learned was to trust and turn to God. I could not have gotten through it all without the support of my church family neither.
What we’re going through now with the whole COVID-19 crisis is way different than the Great Recession. But, this, too shall pass. And we can count on God to be our solid rock throughout it all. Because of the trial I spent 10 years ago, I’m going through this one with a “peace that surpasses all understanding”. (Philippians 4:6-7)
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Why is there Evil in the World?
Every time something bad happens people ask, “If God is so good, why is there evil in the world?” or “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Those are classic questions. Moreover, the answer goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 5:6-21
The Legacy of Brokenness Goes all the Way Back to Adam
We live in a broken world. However, Jesus’ Grace — His Gift to us — is what saves us from sin and death. All God asks of us is to have faith in Jesus. If it were religion, there would never be peace. There would never be joy!
When I was a Catholic, I was constantly wondering if I was good enough. I had a constant war with guilt.
When you surrender your life, you find REST in Jesus. That in turn, gives us joy and peace.
Jesus Transforms our Trials
I remember hearing a pastor from Haiti telling about miraculous recovery efforts after the earthquake a few years ago. He said, “God gives us tests so we can have testimonies.”
We have peace and joy because we know that this fallen world is NOT all there is!
All because Jesus died for us — us religious hypocrites and sinners.
If you want the peace and joy that only Jesus can give you along with the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!
- Part 1: From Catholicism to Prodigal
- Part 2: From Prodigal to a Progressive, Halfway Christian
- Part 3: From a Halfway Christian to a True, Born Again Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ
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