ROMANS 5:1 (NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
Notice that this is not the complete sentence… oh no… there is much more to this statement. But for a moment, let's obey the verse designations and ponder the first verse of Romans chapter 5.
Therefore ~ See the post from yesterday for a whole obsessed discussion about this word.
since ~ Paul is reminding his readers about his multi-chapter line of reasoning. He's already helped us come to a conclusion… and now he's launching off of it.
we have been justified ~ "We have been justified" is actually the first word of this sentence in Greek (Δικαιωθέντες). In English we feel compelled to put "therefore" first… but Greek sentence structure often calls for the topic of the phrase to be upfront. So it is that the emphasis and focus of this first phrase is 'justified'. Paul just completed a huge thought at the end of Chapter 4 about being credited as "right" even though we were wrong. Because of the fact that "we" (Paul and those he addresses in Rome) have been "made right" (NLT)… Since the reality is that "we" are "set right" (Message)… Since it is true that we have been justified… something cool is about to happen…
through faith, ~ The Greek word for "faith" here is πίστεως. Faith in this way means not a set of statements, but a deep, active, soul-full conviction of God in relation to one's life. This kind of faith in God actively trusts God for righteousness, for justification, for being credited… all in the realization that on human merit alone there is nothing someone can do to earn God's favor. "Justification" (being declared "all right" by God) comes about when someone becomes convicted and then engages in trusting God with one's life.
we have peace ~ My favorite Greek word of all time is the word for "peace" (εἰρήνη,n \pronounced i-ray'-nay). Dr. Bill Heth at Taylor University taught our class way back in 1991 that "because of Jesus we could have 'peace' on 'aye rainay' day." Get it? It's worked for me. Virtually every time it rains, I repeat to my heart, "I have peace today because of Jesus." It's a little English trick to remember a wee Greek word… but it is still remarkably profound. Since we have been made right with God, we have peace. Isn't peace what everyone needs? In the midst of chaos and uncertainty and war and broken relationships and non-stop-busyness… Isn't peace what we are all searching for? When Jesus was born, what did the angels proclaim? PEACE ON EARTH! (See Luke 2:14)
with God ~ The whole problem with humanity since the beginning has been a frictious relationship with God. Not God's fault. God didn't stop short… Romans 3:23… we did. Ever since we have had turmoil and heartache. But because we have been made right with God, we have peace with God. So simple a truth… and yet so amazing.
through our Lord Jesus Christ, ~ Jesus Christ is called "The Prince of Peace" for a reason. His governance is one of peace. His authority ushers peace through the gates. His lordship is a rule of goodness. THROUGH faith in Jesus we have been justified… THROUGH Jesus we have peace. I'm wondering who makes out best in this deal? Seems like Jesus is doing some amazing work of grace for us.
Note: Today is a great day to invite Jesus into our lives… whether we have not yet done so or even if we have. Jesus makes us right with God and Jesus gives us peace with God. If this isn't enough to convict us to place our trust today in Jesus then we might as well convert to all the man-made philosophies and religions of this world in which humans hopelessly strive to earn their way to the Divine. And then, when we reach the extent of our exhaustion, perhaps it'll be time to just place our faith in Jesus… inviting him to help us, or to be with us, or to make his ways true in our life. I've known a few people who gave their lives over to Jesus precisely because of this verse. All the human baggage of Romans 1-4 is set free in the half-sentence of Romans 5:1. What a great verse.