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Romans 5:1-5


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I'm not sure what to say this morning...

 

I want to say that the past few days have been very busy (and they have), but I feel like that's an excuse...that regardless of how busy life gets, I need to still keep You priority number 1. I need to start my day with You, regardless of demands and distractions.

 

So, ok, I'm sorry. I haven't been doing that. I think I haven't been doing that because I've been in a funk. Things aren't bad or great, just blah. I think I've been using legitimate busyness to avoid this study, and I'm not sure why. I know it's not because I'm afraid...I have the ability to push past that. Perhaps part of it is discipline...I've never been one to adhere to routines...I like the things that spontaneity brings.

 

I don't know...just sitting here thinking about it, trying to figure it out, is making me tired so I'm going to just do this next study and let it go for now.

 

May Your Holy Spirit bless this study today, opening our eyes and hearts, and feeding us spiritually.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

1. Therefore having been declared righteous on the principle of faith, we have peace towards God, through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

2. Through whom also we have obtained access into this Divine favor wherein we are standing: and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

 

3. And not only so, but we also exult in the tribulations [which beset us]: knowing that tribulation is working out endurance;

 

4. And endurance [a sense of] approvedness [by God]; and [the sense of] approvedness works out [a state of] hope:

 

5. And [our state of] hope does not make us ashamed: because God's love [for us] is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

 

Watchman Nee comments on verse 1, and the word "towards" stating, "Our journey into God through our being justified out of faith has not yet been completed; thus, Paul used the word toward, not with. Grace is for our standing, and peace is for our walk."

 

The rvbv writes, "This great chapter naturally falls into two parts:

 

In the first eleven verses we have the blessed results of justification by faith, along with the most comprehensive statemen tin the Bible of the pure love and grace of God, in giving Christ for us sinners.

 

In the second part, verses 12 to 21, God goes back of the history and state of human sin, (which in Chapters 1:21 to 3:20 have been before us) to Adam, as our representative head, who stoof for us, and whose sin became condemnation and death to us; and shows us Christ, as the other representative Man (whom Adam prefigured), by His act of death on the cross bringing us justification and life. The emphasis in this great passage will be in each case upon the fact that the act of the representative, and not of the one represented, brought the result to pass.

 

Verse 1: Therefore having been declared righteous on the principle of faith - We must note at once that the Greek form of this verb "declared righteous," or "justified," is not the present participle, "being declared righteous," but rather the aoist participle, "having been declared righteous," or "justified." You say, What is the difference? The answer is, "being declared righteous" looks to a state you are in; "having been declared righteous" looks back to a fact that happened. "Being in a justified state" of course is incorrect, confusing, as it does, justification and sanctification. "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever." The moment you believed, God declared you righteous, never to change His mind: as David says, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not reckon sin" (Rom. 4:8). If therefore you are a believer, quote this verse properly, and say, "Having been declared righteous on the principle of faith I have" - these blessed fruits and results which are now to be recorded.

 

The Epistle takes on a new aspect in each chapter: in Chapter Three, Christ was set forth as a propitiation for our sins; in Chapter Four, Christ was raised for our justification; in Chapter Five, we have peace with God through Christ, a standing in grace, and the hope of the coming glory.

 

We have three blessings, then, in this first part of our chapter: (1 ) peace with God, in looking back to Calvary where Christ made peace by His blood; (2 ) a present standing in grace, in unlimited Divine favor; and (3 ) hope of the glory of God - of being glorified with Christ when He comes.

 

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ - "Peace" means that the war is done. "Peace with God" means that God has nothing against us. This involves:

 

1. That God has fully judged sin, upon Christ, our Substitute.

2. That God was so wholly satisfied with Christ's sacrifice, that He will eternally remain so: never taking up the judgment of our sin again.

3. That God is therefore at rest about us forever, however poor our understanding of truth, however weak our walk. God is looking at the blood of Christ, and not at our sins. All claims against us were met when Christ "made peace by the blood of His cross." So "we have peace with God."...

 

...Our peace with God is not as between two nations before at war; but as between a king and rebellious and guilty subjects. While our hearts are at last at rest, it is because God, against whom we sinned, has been fully satisfied at the cross. "Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" does not mean pace through what He is now doing, but through what He did do on the Cross. He "made pace" by the blood of His cross. All the majesty of God's holy and righteous throne was satisfied when Christ said, "It is finished." And, being now raised from the dead, "He is our peace." But it is His past work at Calvary, not His present work of intercession, that all is based upon; and that gives us a sense of the peace which He made through His blood. (The Romanist will go to "mass" and "confession"; and the Protestant "attend church"; but neither will find peace with God by these things. Prayers, vows, fastings, church duties, charities - what have these to do with peace? - if Christ "made peace by His blood"!)

 

This peace with (or towards) God must not be confused with the "peace of God" of Philippians 4:7, which is a subjective state; whereas peace with God is an objective fact - outside of ourselves. Thousands strive for inward peace, never once resting where God is resting - in the finished work of Christ on Calvary. (The difference may be brought out by asking ourselves two questions: First, have I peace with God? yes: because Christ died for me. Second, have I the peace of God in quietness from the anxieties and worries of life in my heart? We see at once that being at peace with God must depend on what was done for us by Christ on the cross. It is not a matter of experience, but of revelation. On the contrary, the peace of God "sets a garrison around our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus," when we refuse to be anxious about circumstances, and "in everything (even the most 'trifling' affairs) by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known unto God." Every believer is at peace with God, because of Christ's shed blood. Not every believer has this "peace of God" within him; for not all have consented to judge anxious care and worry as unbelief in God's Fatherly kindness and care.)"

 

Watchman Nee has several comments on different words recorded in verse 2 - Through whom also we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast because of the hope of the glory of God.:

 

On the word "faith": "The very faith that justifies us and cuts off the flesh with its natural energy and effort also gives us access into God's grace. If we remain in the flesh with is natural effort, we will neither know nor enjoy the grace of God; but if we live by faith, we will enter into the full enjoyment of God's grace."

 

On the word "grace": "Grace is the Triune God Himself, processed that we may enter into Him and enjoy Him. Grace here, in the deepest sense, is the Triune God as our enjoyment. It is more than unmerited favor and more than mere outward blessing. We are not merely under God's blessing, we are in His grace."

 

On the word "stand": "Faith first gives us access into grace, then, a solid standing in grace."

 

On the word "boast": "Boast in Greek also has the meaning of exult. This indicates our enjoyment of God."

 

On the word "hope": "Our hope is that we will be brought into the glory of God, that is, into His expression. This will be fully realized in the coming millennial kingdom, where Christ will be revealed as our glory. Today we are in the hope of this coming glory."

 

The rvbv writes about verse 2: "Look a moment at the second benefit: Through whom also we have had our access into this grace wherein we stand - The word "also" sets this blessing forth as distinct from and additioinal to that of peace with God. Through Christ, in whom they have believed, there has been given to the justified "access" into a wonderful standing in Divine favor. Being in Christ, they have extended to them the very favor in which Christ Himself stands. Notice that the words "by faith" (as in A.V.) here should be omitted. It is not by an additional revelation, and acceptance thereof, that believers come into this standing in grace. It is a place of Divine favor given to every believer the moment he believes. In Chapter 6:14 we are to be told that we are under grace, not law. It is a glorious discovery to find how fully God is for us, in Christ.

 

Now, as to this third great matter: We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. This is the future of the believer: to enter upon a glorified state, glorified together with Christ, as it is in Chapter 8;17. It is not merely to behold God's glory, but to enter into it! "When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall we also with Him be manifested in glory" (Col. 3:4). "The glory which thou has given Me I have given unto them" (John 17:22). We shall speak of this furhter, in its place in Chapter Eight. The translation "exult" rather than "glory," or "boast," suits Paul's meaning here. So in the next verse, we exult in our tribulations. It is an inner, joyful confidence, rather than an outward glorying or boasting before others, although this latter will often necessarily follow!"

 

In verse 3, Watchman Nee comments on "tribulations", saying, "Tribulations are part of "all things" in 8:28 that God causes to work together for good that we might be sanctified, transformed, and conformed to the image of His Son, who has entered into glory. Because of this, we can receive tribulations as the sweet visitation and incarnation of grace and thereby boast in them. Through tribulations the killing effect of the cross of Christ on our natural being is applied in us by the Holy Spirit, making the way for the God of resurrection to add Himself to us (see 2 Cor. 4:16-18)."

 

On the word "endurance" he writes, "Meaning persistence. Persistence is the product of patience plus suffering."

 

The rvbv states in verses 3 and 4: "And not only so, but we also exult in the tribulations [which beset us]: knowing that tribulation is working out endurance: and endurance [a sense of] approvedness [by God]; and [the sense of] approvedness works out a state of hope - So now we find that not only does the believer look back to a peace made with God at the cross; at a God smiling upon him in favor; and forward to his coming glorification with Christ, but he is able also to exult in the very tribulations that are appointed to him. Paul constantly taught, as in Acts 14:22 and II Thessalonians 3:3, that "through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God," and that "we are appointed unto afflictions." The word means pressure, straits, difficulties; and Paul had them! "Pressed on every side, perplexed, pursued, smitten down"; "in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tulmults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by evil report,...as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, - yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things!" (II Cor. 4:8,9; 6:4-10). He regarded these as "our light affliction" said he, "which is for the moment, and is working for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory," (II Cor. 4:17); and so Paul "took pleasure" in them! (II Cor. 12:10).

 

We need to take a lesson from the martyrs, who lived in the freshness and strength of the early faith of the Church of God, who often sang in the midst of the flames! We hear today of just the same courage where persecution and trial are greatest. We can but give here a testimony from Russia that will reach all our hearts. It is a classic on suffering for Christ's sake. (A letter that lately came out of Northern Siberia, signed "Mary," reads: "The best thing to report is, that I feel so happy here. It would be so easy to grow bitter if one lost the spiritual viewpoint and began to look at circumstances. I am learning to thank God for literally everything that comes. I experienced so many things that looked terrible, but which finally brought me closer to Him. Each time circumstances became lighter, I was tempted to break fellowship with the Lord. How can I do otherwise than thank Him for additional hardships? They only help me to what I always longed for - a continuous, unbroken abiding in Him. Every so-called hard experience is just another step higher and closer to Him."

 

Another recent letter from "Mary" reads, "I am still in the same place of exile. There is a Godless Soceity here; one of the members became especially attached to me. She said, "I cannot understand what sort of a person you are; so many here insult and abuse you, but you love them all'...She caused me much suffering, but I prayed for her earnestly. Another time she asked me whether I could love her. Somehow I stretched out my hands toward her, we embraced each other, and began to cry. Now we pray together. My dear friends, please pray for her. Her name is Barbara."

 

In a letter a month later, "Mary" writes: "I wrote you concerning my sister in Christ, Barbara. She accepted Christ as her personal Savior, and testified before all about it. We both, for the last time, went to the meeting of the Godless. I tried to reason with her not to go there, but nothing could prevail. She went to the front of the hall, and boldly testified before all concerning Christ. When she finished she started to sing in her wonderful voice a well known hymn,

 

'I am not ashamed to testify of Christ, who died for me,

His commandments to follow, and depend upon His cross!'

 

The very air seemed charged! She was taken hold of and led away."

 

Two months later, another letter came from "Mary": "Yesterday, for the first time, I saw our dear Barbara in prison. She looked very thin, pale, and with marks of beatings. The only bright thing about her were her eyes, bright, and filled with heavenly peace and even joy. How happy are those who have it! It comes through suffering. Hence we must not be afraid of any sufferings or privations. I asked her, through the bars, 'Barbara, are you not sorry for what you have done?' 'No,' she firmly responded, 'If they would free me, I would go again and tell my comrades about the marvelous love of Christ. I am very gladd that the Lord loves me so much and counts me worthy to suffer for Him.'"

 

The Divine process is as follows: God brings us into tribulations, and that of all sorts; graciously supplying therewith a rejoicing expectation of deliverance in due time; and the knowledge that, as the winds buffeting some great oak on a hillside cause the tree to thrust its roots deeper into the ground, so these tribulations will result in steadfastness, in faith and patient endurance; and our consciousness of steadfastness - of having been brough by grace through the trials, - gives us a sense of Divine approval, or approvedness, we did not before have; and which is only found in those who have been brought through trials, by God's all-sufficient grace. This sense of God's approval arouses within us abounding "hope" - we might almost say, hopefulness, a hopeful, happy state of soul."

 

Watchman Nee comments on the word "approvedness" in verse 4 and states, "Approvedness is an approved quality or attribute resulting from the enduring and experiencing of tribulation and testing."

 

In verse 5, he comments on the word "love" and writes, "The love of God is God Himself (1 John 4:8,16). God has poured out this love in our hearts with the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, as the motivating power within us, that we may more than conquer in all our tribulations...therefore, when we endure any kind of tribulation, we are not put to shame."

 

The rvbv in verse 5, writes the following: "And [our state of] hope does not make us ashamed: because God's love [for us] is poured out in our hearts thruogh the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Furthermore, then, no matter how much the world or worldly Christians may avoid or deride us, this hopefulness is not "ashamed," or is not "put to shame": because there is supplied the inward and wonderful miracle of the consciousness of God's love shed abroad in our hearts through that second mighty gift of God to us (Christ Himself being the first), - the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

Paul now takes up this "love of God" in what is, as regards God's sheer grace, the highest place in Paul's epistles. It is the greatest exposition in Scripture of God's love, as announced in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave - ." Ephesians unfolds the marvelous heavenly calling into which God's grace has brought us. But, as to God's love itself, what it is, we must come to the present verses of Romans: as John says, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10).

 

First of all, the indwelling Holy Spirit, given freely to all believers, sheds abroad in our hearts this love of God - making us conscious of it in a direct inner witness: and that especially in times of trial or need."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I feel a little better having done today's study, so thank You for that.

 

I still don't know what's going on with me but my heart just feels really distant, so all I know to do is the 'footwork'...each step a statement that I believe. I believe all that You are, so I ask that You would protect that, and keep me, until You bring me through this.

 

Bless the people who read this study today. Fill their hearts with Your holy peace, and may their trust be deposited with You, our Heavenly Father.

 

I do love You Father God.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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