1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Just one verse this morning, though as snow has ground London to a halt, I may have time later to comment on more of Romans 5. However, I wanted this one truth to be nailed into your heart today.
Paul has taken a long time to show that we are justified (made righteous) by faith alone. It is not based on anything we have done. For more information on what righteousness actually is, see here.
In Romans 1 he shows that God must punish any act of unrighteousness. In Romans 2, Paul shows us that religious ritual does not make up for actions of unrighteousness. In Romans 3, Paul shows us that we have all sinned – all of us due to the actions we have committed deserve judgment. In Romans 4, Paul shows us through Abraham that we are not declared righteous on the basis of our actions, but on the basis of believing in Jesus.
This is the gospel. Jesus bore our sins on the cross. He was made sin with our sin so we could be made righteous with his righteousness. If you believe that then you will benefit from it.
Romans 5 is a wonderful chapter of the Bible because Paul, having now shown us that we are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, starts to outline and tell us the benefits of being righteous by faith. And the first benefit of being righteous is possibly the most wonderful benefit: because we put our faith in Jesus Christ and are made righteous, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to say that out loud confidently: I have peace with God through my Lord Jesus Christ. This statement is the Bible! It is the Word of the living God. It is true: you have peace with God. God is not your enemy. He is not out to get you, He is not thinking up ways to harm you:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29.11, NLT)
God is at peace with you. If sickness is in your life – God did not put it there! He is your ally. He is at peace with you. When you go to speak to Him, He is at peace with you. He listens to your prayers, He responds to your praise, He enjoys your presence. God is at peace with you and you are at peace with God.
You have peace with God. You and God are at peace.
Let’s examine this five words in depth: we have peace with God.
In the Greek, “we have” is ἔχω (echō). This is verb is in the present, active and indicative tense.
Present tense means it is true now – not that it will be true, but that it is true right now. You do not have to do anything to have peace with God – you have peace with God. You do not have to ask God to have peace with you anymore than a cup of tea has to ask God to be a cup of tea. You have peace with God right now. You do not have to work at it, you do not have to strive for it, you do not have to ask for it. If you have believed in Jesus, you have peace with God. You cannot lose it, you cannot make God declare war on you – no matter what you do or say. You are at peace with God now!
Active tense means in this context that it is you that has peace with God. It is not borrowed peace, it is not lent to you to be taken back at any time: it is yours. It belongs to you. You cannot lose peace with God. You cannot wake up in the morning and it not be there anymore. You cannot lose your temper and lose your peace with God with it. You have peace with God, it is yours.
Indicative tense means that this statement is a statement of fact describing something that has really occurred. You really have peace with God. It is not a metaphor, not a dream, not a hope. You have peace with God – it is a fact.
Putting that together you could say it like this: you truly, genuinely, factually have peace with God right now at this moment, and it is yours to keep.
The Greek word for peace is εἰρήνη (eirēnē) which means: tranquility, being free from all war, harmony and agreement between two individuals, security, safety, prosperity, fearing nothing from God, content.
Think about this: you are at peace with God. You and God are not at war. God is not fighting you, He loves you. God is not out to get you, He is out to get you blessed. You and God are in harmony, are in agreement. You are secure because you are at peace with God. You are safe because you are at peace with God. You are prosperous because you are at peace with God. You need fear nothing from God – you need fear no punishment because your punishment has been completely dealt with on the cross. You can be content because you have peace with God.
Romans 5.1 is one of my favourite verses of the whole Bible. The whole world is looking for peace, and the way to peace is so simple: believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 1.20 says that Jesus made peace through the blood of His cross.
Many Christians lack a feeling of peace. But they are still at peace with God – they just need to be told this and convinced of it. After WWII, many Japanese soldiers were still fighting. They were at peace with America but because they did not know this or believe it, they still felt at war. Many Christians are the same: they do not know the war is over. But the war is over: you are at peace with God. Romans 3.17 says that unrighteous people do not know the way of peace. But you are not unrighteous if you have put your faith in the Lord Jesus, you are righteous, and you have peace with God. Enjoy it.
Bless His name forever,