“Wrestling With Romans”
The Gateway to Everlasting Happiness (Chapter 5 v1-11)
Therefore, because of all that has been said from chapter three verse twenty-one. Since through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the substance of that trust, we are justified in God’s sight, the effect is, we have peace with God (v1). Since it is God who has made this declaration we have nothing to fear, there is no longer any enmity between us and God (Romans 8.7), the war is over. Now to say we have peace may not sound like very much, but do we catch hold of the depth, the force of what is meant by that? In our hearts and lives, it means we do not have to fret inwardly about outward circumstances. The God who holds everything in his control has declared peace with us, looks favourably upon us, smiles even. Therefore, if he is for us who can be against us (Romans 8.31)? Yes, even if the world, the very universe is falling apart at the seams (Psalm 46.1-11), the Lord is with us, on our side and nothing can harm us. The word with is used in connection with a very intimate relationship, as in John’s prologue (John 1.1ff), where the Word was with God, in close, harmonious, and intimate relationship, in the bosom of Father. It is that closeness of relationship that Jesus has mediated, and brought us to. How wonderful.
It is Jesus who has opened this gateway into grace for us (v2; John 10.9). Yet people shun this gateway, they walk straight by it imagining falsely that they have peace and security, thinking that their moral efforts, will suffice. It will not. Because without God’s righteousness (Romans 3.21), there is no peace and security, their sin and guilt remains (Romans 2.3). What they think is peace will turn to disappointment (Romans 2.5). Having entered through the gate, we can rejoice in the great hope that is ours, the radiance of God’s glory, of which we have a foretaste, but the fullness we wait for with the consummation of our salvation. Surely this ought to cause us as Christians to be the happiest people in the world? That God’s kingdom has come to us in Jesus, giving us newness of life, forgiveness of sin, and reception into God’s favour, that surely is a happy life, true and everlasting happiness.
Who can cheer the heart like Jesus,
By his presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious,
O how blest to call him mine!
Is he yours? Have you trusted him? Is this peace, joy and happiness, is it yours?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)