Today in God’s Word
1 Samuel 5-6; Romans 5; Jeremiah 43; Psalm 19
Romans 5 opens with the amazing news that justification by faith in Christ does more than clear our debt. We are not merely at peace with God, but the righteousness of Christ imputed to us in justification actually sets God’s favor (or grace) upon us. We now have a standing in grace rather than a neutral standing or as an enemy! For this we rejoice Paul says, but he does not stop there. This grace means that there is an unstoppable hope of glory for which we rejoice. This hope giving grace of God means that we can even rejoice in the process by which he delivers us to this glory. And this is because he has given us his Spirit to unite us to Christ and to keep us in the love of God. This hope is displayed to us wonderfully in our weakness. We see that God did not wait for us to be in a favorable state toward him…no, this would have meant universal condemnation. Jesus came and died for us while we were helpless and incapable of righteousness. God’s love does not react to our loveliness or to our performance or to our desire for him. His love conquers and draws our attention and our worship.
Paul says that it is the blood of Christ that has justified us. The life is in the blood and it is the life of Christ, the undefiled, perfect, holy, indestructible life of the Son of God offered up in sacrifice for me that has made me right with God. His death reconciled me to God but it is his life, his resurrection life that now holds me firm and delivers me from the coming wrath of God upon the world. It is his living petition for me and his righteous rule in heaven that delivers me and keeps me. My savior did not die and then rise and vanish. No, he lives to intercede for me before the Father and he stands to reject the devil and his accusations and he prays for my faith as he did for Peter and his life is in me by his Spirit such that I can say with Paul that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me! My worship of God and my thanks to God and my prayer to God is now all through my savior Jesus Christ as the mediator and as my access and as my reconciliation with God. It is by Christ that I am accepted and put in the favor of God.
Next in verses 12-17 Paul explains the ultimate human problem. We are condemned in Adam. We are guilty sinners by nature because we have inherited this corruption from the first man. Paul draws a comparison to how Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteousness work for us. We are all in Adam by natural birth and are therefore under the wrath of God. But in the same way all who are in Christ by spiritual birth are under grace. There is a federal headship described in these verses whereby we learn that if we would not accept that fact that God is just to condemn us under Adam’s sin then he would not be just to justify us under Christ’s obedience. We bear a sin nature in the first Adam and we who are in Christ bear a new nature in the second Adam. Alien righteousness is ours by union just as the union we have with Adam. But there is a difference explained. The gift and the trespass are different. The trespass by Adam was immediately confirmed in me and I walked in rebellion from the beginning and I was wholly under the power of sin and in slavery. I chose to walk in this sin. The gift however chose me. The gift did not come by my will like my active sinning does. The gift came by the gracious choice and action of God upon me and now the righteousness of God is slowly sanctifying me and changing me. I am more and more putting off sin and becoming enslaved to righteousness. Verses 18-21 explains that death reigned through Adam but now grace reigns in my life through Christ.
I wrote a poem here to communicate this…Find it here: “Grace Reigns Through Christ”
“Enticed by the fruit of a lovely tree that promised life, the first Adam brought death and sin into the world by disobedience. Committed in love to the holiness of God and the love of his brother, by obedience unto death upon a tree, the second Adam brings justification and life for all who will be united to him, in death, by faith.”
All praise to God through Christ Jesus our king!
Soli Deo Gloria!