Read: Romans 5:1-11
Consider: Earlier in his letter to the Romans Paul sets out justification by faith alone as the basis of our salvation. He now comes to discuss the result of being in Christ is that we have a new relationship with God that is characterised by peace. What comes to mind when you think of peace? Perhaps you haven’t ever considered what characterised your relationship (or lack of it) with God before you became a Christian.
In Romans 5:10 we read: For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Can you see what Paul is getting at? Think of it this way: before becoming a Christian we were in a state of open hostility and rebellion against God (his enemies) and now, in Christ, that state of hostility and rebellion against God is replaced with peace. In Colossians Paul speaks of us being enemies and being alienated from God by our actions: Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour (Colossians 1:21). Tough words! I’m sure that some who are reading this have never thought of themselves as being God’s enemies.
Thankfully the state of being God’s enemies is not the end of the story. In Romans 5:10 quoted above Paul speaks of reconciliation. This idea of bringing two opposing sides into harmony is reiterated by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, where we read: His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:15-16).
Could we ourselves do anything to bring about this state of peace? In Romans 5:6, 8 we read: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Take encouragement from today’s reading that the former relationship we had with God has been replaced with one of peace and that it has all been achieved by Christ, at the right time and despite our powerlessness and sinfulness.
Pray: Father, we praise you for the salvation you won for us in Christ. Thank you that our powerlessness and sinfulness mean that our new life in Christ is based on what you alone achieved through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Amen