Good morning to you my precious family and friends

Romans 5 verse 1 says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The first thing that we learn as a new Christian is that we are justified by faith. To help us understand what that means, Paul shares the example of Abraham in chapter four. Before the Law was given, Abraham was justified by faith. He was declared to be acceptable to God. He was God's friend. Abraham didn't earn that. He was given that right at the beginning of his relationship with God, when he believed God. That is what faith means. When Abraham believed that God could and would do what He had promised, Abraham was declared the friend of God and he entered into that close relationship with God that characterized his life. That is what it means to be justified by faith. You receive this with no merit on your part, but by faith alone, by believing God's promise, according to the work of His Son. That is justification.

Paul says there is a way by which you can test whether you really do believe that and have been justified by faith: Since we have been justified by faith, the sure result is that we have peace with God. As you think about your life and your relationship with God, if you really believe that God justifies the ungodly, you will have peace with God. You are in the family of God. The war is over. All the conflict between you and God is ended; you are at peace with Him.

I was so glad when the war between South Africa and Angola ended in 1989. This meant that no more lives would be lost and that peace could happen.  Many parents were also happy about this as their sons would not need to go to the border any longer, (including those of us who served on the border) and that we could rejoice that South Africa was at peace with their former enemies in Angola. That is what happens in our hearts when we understand that we have been justified by faith. The war is over; we are at peace with God. All conflict has ceased.

The first eleven verses of chapter 5 transition us from the theme of justification to the nature of the new life that believers enter. The good news from these verses is: The person whom God has justified is also the person with whom God has made peace with, and as such they are assured of salvation in the Day of Judgment.

The peace that believers experience is an objective reality. Colossians 1:21-22 tells us that “Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with Him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions.  But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame.”

What an amazing place to be—holy, faultless, and without blame!

Many young Christians, in that glory and first flush of love in their relationship with the Lord, really think that they are not going to sin again. They cannot imagine going back and doing some of the things they once did. But eventually they will be back doing some of those things.

What do you say to your accusing conscience that says to you, “Are you a Christian? Could you possibly be a Christian and act like this?” That is where justification by faith comes in. Remind yourself: My standing and my acceptance by God does not depend upon me. Even my sin doesn't cancel it out. The whole essence of this truth is that God has made a way to put aside my sin, by faith in the work of His Beloved Son on my behalf. In that truth, Lord, I confess my sin, and put my trust in You.

Our faith in what our Lord Jesus did on our behalf at Calvary transferred God’s righteousness to us. That means that born again believers are righteous. We’re not trying, hoping or wishing to get righteous. In God’s eyes, we are righteous and flawless. That’s great news. The sin that once separated us from God no longer has a hold on us. Our peace was purchased by Jesus' enormous sacrifice. God made sure the price for our rebellion was paid, but He didn't make us pay it because we could never have fulfilled that obligation. Instead, God paid it Himself in Jesus. That truth gives you peace.

Let us pray:

Holy and loving Father God, thank You for making peace and bringing me back to You at great cost to Yourself. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for willingly surrendering Yourself to the horrible cruelty of the Cross. Thank You that I'm not treated as Your enemy because of my sin, but as a lost sheep that needs to be found. Thank You for adopting me as Your beloved child. In Jesus' name I offer my thanks and praise. Amen.

Much love in Christ from Maurice and Margaret