"Benefits of Salvation" Page 1 of 4 (series: Lessons on Romans)
by John Lowe
(15) Introduction to Chapter 5
In the fifth chapter of Romans, Paul answers one of the questions that would naturally arise in the minds of those who had read this epistle to this point. He has told us that we have been saved by the redemption we have in Christ, the redemption that was purchased upon the Cross at a tremendous price. It delivers us from the guilt of sin so that the sin question has been settled. This means that we will not come before God for judgment which will determine our salvation. It means that an eternal home is waiting for those who have trusted Christ. Now, the question Paul will answer is this: What about the here and now?
In this chapter, Paul is going to show us that there are certain benefits that come to the believer right here and now when he trusts Christ, when he has been justified by faith in the redemption that we have in Christ. Actually, there are benefits that the world in very much concerned about, and would like to have them.
Many people are spending a great deal of money today trying to attain the things that are the present benefits of every believer. That doesn’t mean that all believers are enjoying them. However, God has placed them on the table for you, and all you have to do is reach over and take them. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Notice, that these are spiritual blessings. The simplest way to explain this is to contrast them with the blessings of Israel under the law. In the OT, a faithful, obedient Jew was rewarded with long life, a large family, abundant crops, and protection from his enemies (Deut. 28:2–8). The blessings of Christianity, in contrast, are spiritual, that is, they deal with treasures that are nonmaterial, invisible, and imperishable. It is true that the Old Testament saints also enjoyed some spiritual blessings, but as we shall see, the Christian today enjoys blessings that were unknown in previous times. Our blessings are in the heavenly places, literally “in the heavenlies.” Instead of being material blessings in earthly places, they are spiritual blessings in the heavenly places.
(16) Benefits of Salvation
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
In chapter 4, Paul went back to Abraham and David to explain how God declares believing sinners righteous; now he goes all the way back to Adam. Adam’s sin passed sin and death on to the whole human race, but Christ’s obedience gives righteousness and life to all who trust Him. In our first birth, we became condemned children of Adam; but in our second birth, we are the forgiven children of God. Make a note of the blessings that come to the children of God:
• Riches (1–5). Peace, access into God’s grace, joy, hope, love, the Holy Spirit—what riches we have in Christ! And trials work for us, not against us, and develop Christian character. How rich we are
• Reconciliation (6–11). We are at peace with God and need not be afraid. If He did so much for us when we were enemies, think what He will do for us now that we are His children!
• Reigning. Will be covered in topic 17.
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace is one of the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Paul lists in the fifth chapter of Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” (Gal. 5:22). In both the Old and New Testaments, peace is described as the result of having a right relationship with God, and with others. Spiritual peace is a sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on having His presence within. Spiritual peace is experienced by any believer who walks in the Spirit despite the turmoil that surrounds him. The true “peace of God” protects the hearts and minds of believers from worry, fear, and anxiety. It transcends all logic or rationale—“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). The God of Peace, who offers salvation, also promises His presence and power in the lives of His children. His presence creates in us a quiet confidence, regardless of circumstances, people, or things. True peace is part of the “armor of God”—“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:11, 15). According to the apostle Paul, salvation produces peace that allows us to walk boldly into spiritual battle, and to survive all kinds of difficulty and danger. Where the peace of God is present, there is no room for worry.
Therefore, having been justified by faith. Paul says that at some point in the past, without our help, God justified us, that is, He declared us righteous and began to treat us as if we were righteous. It is by faith that we lay hold of God’s arm and of his strength, and so are at peace—“…let him take hold of My strength, That he may make peace with Me; And he shall make peace with Me.” (Isa. 27:5). There is more in this peace than just an end of hostility, there is friendship and loving-kindness, for God is either the worst enemy or the best friend.
We have peace with God. Peace with God is one of the benefits of salvation. This is not the peace of God, but peace with God. This is not a feeling of peace but a state of peace. Between the sinner and God there exists a state of antagonism, hostility, and animosity. Sinners are the enemies of God—“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Col. 1:21)—until a state of peace is declared. Christ called his disciples friends—“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:13–15). Could any man need any more to make him happy than to have God as his friend!
Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have a peace treaty with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Mediator between the two parties at war—“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Tim 2:5–6). As our Mediator, Jesus Christ has worked out our peace treaty with God. But since He made peace through His blood, He is our peace with God—“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace…making peace…And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near” (Eph 2:13-18).
2 Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Through whom also we have access by faith. If you have ever attempted to call the President of the United States, you know how relatively inaccessible he is. To the unbeliever, God the Father is even more inaccessible than the President. He cannot be reached, since there is no common ground and no mediator between the unbeliever and God. To the believer, there is free, abundant, and immediate access to God, because He has justified (saved) us. Jesus Christ provides immediate and consistent access to God for all those whom God has declared and treats as righteousness. Also, we enjoy access into an indescribable position of favor with God. We are accepted in the Beloved One; therefore we are as near and dear to God as His own Beloved Son. The Father welcomes us as sons, not strangers. This grace, or standing in favor with God is as perfect and permanent as Christ’s, because we are in Him.