Romans 5:11

“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Followers of Jesus should not just accept the fact that we are reconciled to God through Jesus’ death on the cross.  That reality should produce a natural human emotion within: joy!  Whenever the thought of God’s reconciliation comes to us, joy should permeate our souls.  Joy should erupt within our hearts.

Therefore, take some time today to remind yourself of eternal realities.  Remember your former condition: an enemy of God.  Once you were a hostile rebel against the One who created, loved, nurtured and cared for you.  

Yet he still came and died on the cross for your sins.  It’s amazing grace.  It’s incredible love.  You are now reconciled with God.  The peace treaty has been signed.  There is no longer strife in the relationship.  All hostilities have ceased.  And eternal enmity has been replaced with eternal friendship. 

When rightly understood, this reality should produce overwhelming, abiding, personal, intimate joy within the hearts of those of us who know Jesus paid it all.  All to him we owe.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:10

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God in the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life.”

Rejoicing in the cross of Christ should be a normal part of the Christian life.  When we ponder what Jesus did for us, it should cause great joy in our lives.

But you must first fully understand your own sinful nature.  Notice another word Paul uses to describe our pre-Christ condition: enemies.  It’s not a flattering word.  We were once intolerant, obstinate rebels, shaking our puny fists against a holy God, in incessant treachery before him.  

Yet in spite of our rebellion, Jesus still came and died for us on the cross.  He still came and poured out his love upon us.  It's not natural at all for humans to die for an enemy.  But it’s God’s eternal nature.  It’s the essence of his grace.

Through Jesus, followers of Jesus are no longer enemies of God but reconciled to him.  In fact, through Jesus, there’s no more enmity.  Instead, there’s friendship.  There’s adoption into his eternal family.  We now call God “Abba, Daddy.”  There’s intimacy, closeness in our relationship with him.  Enmity has been vanquished. 

Isn’t this reality reason to rejoice?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:9

“Since, therefore, we have not been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Those who trust in Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation are now justified before God.  We are declared not guilty, now in right standing before God.  This was accomplished by Jesus' blood poured out on the cross.  His blood was shed instead of ours to declare us guiltless before the One who created us.

Because of Jesus’ sacrificial, atoning death on the cross, Christians need never fear God’s wrath on the final day of judgment.  God’s wrath was poured out on his Son instead of those who believe.  For Christians, Jesus died the death they deserved to give them the life they don’t deserve.  That should have been our cross on which we should have died.

Practically, for followers of Jesus, this means that God is not angry with us anymore.  His anger is now satisfied through Jesus.

What daily praise and thanksgiving that should produce in our hearts!  Do you presently feel that praise and thanksgiving arising in your soul right now when you think about this reality?

It’s the natural result of knowing forgiveness.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:6-7 

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—…..”

Before Jesus’ forgiveness, note the word Paul uses to describe Christians.  We were “weak.”  There was no moral goodness or strength within us.  There was nothing within us that would allow us to pull ourselves up by our moral bootstraps and earn forgiveness and salvation.

At just the right time in human history, Jesus entered the world.  It was God’s appointed time.  It was the time that gave Jesus most access to the entire world.

Jesus died for the “ungodly.”  Note again this second phrase used by Paul to describe Christians before salvation.  Not only are we “weak,” unable to save ourselves, but we are “ungodly,” without God’s grace and approval.

Yet thought weak and ungodly, Jesus died for us.  A person might be willing to die for a good and righteous person.  But who would die for those who are weak and ungodly?

Jesus would.  Jesus did.  It shows the great love of the Father for us.

Do you know this love today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:3-5

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 

Not only do Christians look forward to our eternal glory with great joy (vs. 2), but we also have joy in our present tribulations and sufferings.  Why?  Because we know that God wastes no tears.  He uses everything in our lives, both good and bad, for our good and his glory.

But there’s more.  Suffering teaches us endurance like nothing else.  Under pressure, we continue to believe.  This endurance then produces character.  It forms us into the image of Christ.  Then this character produces hope.  As we see God working, we know he will continue to work in us.  And this hope never puts us to shame, especially as we ponder God’s judgment day, because through it all God has poured in abundance his deep and abiding love into our hearts.  

We are certain he loves us, even amidst the tough times.  This love is experienced by the presence of the Holy Spirit, God himself, within us.  We know there is nothing we can’t face when God is with us in the loving presence of his Holy Spirit. 

Do you rejoice in your sufferings?  Do you believe that God is with you in them?  Do you believe he’s working through them in ways you can’t understand?  Do you see that in the pain God is giving  you more of himself, more of his love?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:2

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into his grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” 

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christians now have “access” to the Father.  Before our sin kept us from entering into his presence, but now we can go to him any time, any place and ask him anything.  It’s a gift by faith that allows us to secure his grace.

We “stand” in this position before the Father.  It’s a position of eternal security.  It’s a blessed gift because of justification.  It’s now our identity.  Christians are not who we are by what we do but what has been done for us.   

And we rejoice in what awaits us: the glorified state of perfection in heaven.  The very thought of this perfected beauty fills our hearts with joy!  It is an eternal joy that never escapes our thoughts.

Do you know this joy today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 5:1

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Whenever you see a “therefore” in the Bible you need to know what it’s “there for.”  This “therefore” connects 5:1 with the previous thought.  Christians now have an objective, legal, justified standing before God because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  We are forgiven.  We are righteous before God, justified by faith.  This is a forever reality.  It is finished, once and for all.

The great gift of God to believers is his wrath is no longer to be poured out on us.  Therefore, Christians have peace with God through Jesus Christ.  It is something felt internally, motivated primarily by his abiding presence.  But it’s also an eternal reality.  God is not angry with us any more.  We need never fear eternal separation from him.  We will be with him always, for all time.  Nothing can ever separate us from his love.

Do you know this peace today because of your justification through Jesus?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:25 

“…who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

Jesus’ death and resurrection are necessary for the forgiveness of our sins.  Both are necessary for our justification before God.  Both are needed to be declared “not guilty” for our sins by God. 

When the Father raised his Son from the grave, it showed that he fully accepted the Son’s sacrifice as total payment for all our sins.  Now, people who have accepted this free gift of eternal life through faith, have the Father’s favor upon our lives.  No longer do we live in fear of his wrath, for his wrath was poured out on his Son, not us.

Since believers’ lives are united with Jesus’ life, that means that when the Father approved of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, he approved of us.  When he accepted his life in resurrection glory, he accepted our lives in resurrection glory.  

This reality allows all who believe in Jesus to be justified before the Father.  That was the point Paul was trying to make. 

Do you believe this today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:24

“It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,…”

If Christians don’t have the resurrection, we are people most to be pitied.  The resurrection is the proof that the cross is sufficient for the forgiveness of our sins.  The resurrection proves God accepted the sacrifice of his Son for our sins to be forgiven.

We are forgiven.  In God’s eyes, Jesus’ death now proves our sins are no longer “counted” against us.  His life now living in us who believe is “counted” to us as righteousness.   

God no longer sees our sins.  They are no longer counted against us.  They are wiped away forever because of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:23

“But the words ‘it was counted to him’  were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.”

The fact of Genesis 15:6 was not only for Abraham but for us too.  Long before Jesus entered this world, God’s plan of salvation was through faith, not works.  The promise given to Abraham was also given to people living in the new covenant age who trust in Jesus. 

One of the major reasons to believe in the Bible is its amazing unity of themes.  From Genesis to the Gospels to Revelation, a time period that covers almost 1500 years, God’s plan was for all people everywhere to be saved by grace through faith.

Trust God’s Word.  It is true.  Its message of forgiveness through sins by faith gives new life and hope like nothing else.

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:22

“That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.”

Paul is talking about Abraham’s righteousness before God.  That was what Genesis 15:6 clearly stated.  His right standing before God was not given to him because of his works.  It was given simply because he believed God’s promise to him.

We can work as many good works as possible yet still not have enough “counted” by God to declare us righteous.  If we can never do enough good works to be counted as righteous, what is our only other option?  It must be done for us.  God must accomplish the work of salvation for us.  It’s a free gift given to us through Jesus.  His one work on the cross is “counted” to us as righteousness when received by grace through faith, not works. 

Do or done.  Those are the two options for all humans to be righteous before God.  One is achieved by works.  The other is achieved by faith.

Abraham knew the difference between the two. 

Do you?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:21

“…fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” 

Abraham was not only convinced that God would keep his promise, he was “fully convinced” that God was able to do so.  It was not a haphazard faith.  His cup of faith was not half-full.  It was completely full. 

God is able to do anything in this world.  He is able to do exceedingly above and beyond what we ever hoped for or imagined.  Nothing is impossible with him.

And if God makes a promise, our job is simply to be “fully convinced.”  It make take some time before the promise is seen.  That’s what happened with Abraham and Sarah’s wait for their son, Isaac.  From the time the promise was made to the time it was ultimately fulfilled was twenty-five years!  But God was faithful.  He did complete the promise.

Do you believe God is able to do anything in your life today?  Does your faith support this promise?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:20

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

Abraham refused to let unbelief enter his heart.  He knew how deadly unbelief is.  He would not waver.  He kept his eyes focused on the promises of God.

Therefore, his faith grew stronger and stronger each day, even though his body grew older and older.  He knew that God had given him a promise.  That’s all he needed to know.

There was an evidence to Abraham’s faith becoming stronger by the day.  What was it?  He gave glory to God!  He constantly praised God.  He praised God for what he knew he was going to do.  Though it hadn’t yet happened, he praised God as if it had already happened!

He believed he had received.  Praise proceeded from this faith.

Does this describe your faith today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:19 

“He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.”

Abraham’s faith didn’t weaken when he considered how old his own body was.  It was as good as dead.  He was about one hundred years old.  And Sarah had the same problem, just a few years younger!

Abraham knew this truth: faith can’t be built on circumstances.  It can’t be built on feelings.  Both fluctuate.  Both change regularly.  

Faith can only be built on God’s promises.  They never change.  They come from a God who never changes like the wind or shadows of life.  His compassion is steadfast.

So Abraham clung to God’s promises.  He refused to examine his feelings or circumstances.

As you contemplate God’s promises in your life, is this you?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:18

“In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”

God had promised that Abraham would not only have a son and become the father of many nations, but that through this son all the nations of the earth would be blessed.  From a natural perspective, these promises seemed crazy.  Abraham and Sarah were beyond the child-bearing years. 

But Abraham not only believed these promises were true, he hoped they were true.  He hoped against hope they were true.  That’s what God had said.  “So shall your offspring be.”  If God had said it, the promise must be true.  So Abraham believed it to be true.

How is your hope meter today?  Is it low or high?  If you want to follow Abraham’s example, it needs to be high.  No matter how bad his circumstances seemed, he hoped against all hope that God’s promise would come true.

Is this you today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:16 

“That is why it depends on faith, in order that he promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,…”

The “it” to which Paul refers here is a person’s eternal salvation.  It must depend on faith.  The promise Abraham received, and the promises which God  gives to us, must all be by faith through grace.  Faith means trusting explicitly in another person.  Grace means trusting in unmerited favor received from another person.

Therefore, salvation is trusting in God, the giver of everything.  Plus, everything we receive is a gift not earned by works but solely received by his divine favor.  The Jewish “adherent” may receive this gift, as can anyone, anywhere throughout the entire world—as long as they receive it with Abraham’s faith.  That makes him the father of all who believe!

Living solely by grace through faith is God’s way to live.  Does this describe your life today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:15

“For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.”

Here is Paul’s argument: by trying to be righteous by works or the law, you are only inviting God’s wrath.  If you think you are righteous by keeping the law, that means you must keep every iota of the law.  That’s impossible.  That means you fall under God’s judgment and wrath.  Without the law, no one would ever know he’s committed heinous transgressions against God.  There would be no way to discern a need for a Savior.

Paul is also saying that the Jews will be held even more accountable for this truth.  They have the law.  They know how righteous it is.  However, they would also easily know how impossible it is for anyone to keep it.  Above all people, they should know the need for a Savior. 

Being saved by grace through faith should be a freeing piece of good news for us all.  God has done the work for us in Christ.  His wrath was poured out on his Son instead of us.  We are saved!  We are forgiven!

Praise him!

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:14

“For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.”

Paul continues making his very simple but profound argument.  If the inheritance of eternal life can be attained by works, then it can’t similarly be attained by faith.  They two ideas are diametrically opposed to one another.  They are contrary to one another.  You either have been forgiven by God and declared righteous in his sight by works of the law or by grace through faith.  It can’t be both.  It’s either/or.  One of the other.

By trying to be righteous by works of the law, you are only inviting God’s wrath.  If you think you are righteous by keeping the law, that means you must keep every iota of the law.  That’s impossible.  That means you fall under God’s judgment and wrath.  Without the law, no one would ever know he’s committed heinous transgressions against God.  There would be no way to discern a need for a Savior.

Being saved by grace through faith should be a freeing piece of good news for us all.  God has done the work for us in Christ.  We are saved!  We are forgiven!

Praise him!

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:13

“For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he wold be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.”

God gave Abraham several extraordinary promises.  He promised a land of Canaan.  He promised a son in his and Sarah’s barrenness.  He promised that through this son the whole world would be blessed. 

How were these promises given to Abraham?  Would they be received by works of the law or simply by believing them to be true?  The answer is obvious.  There was nothing Abraham could do to earn these promises.  They were gifts.  All Abraham was asked to do by God was simply believe God is faithful and will accomplish what he promised to do.

All God’s promises to his children can only be accomplished by grace through faith.  If we could work to achieve them, why does God even need to give them to us?

Faith is the key.  How is your faith today?  Are you clinging to God’s promises no matter what your feelings or circumstances are saying to you?

 

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick

Romans 4:12

“…and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk int he footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.”

Abraham was the father of the circumcised, the Jews.  But circumcision was never intended by God to be the most important part of his relationship with his people.  It was merely a sign and seal of the promise given to Abraham that he would be his God and he wanted Abraham to be his chosen person and to live by faith, not sight. 

God desired all Jews to walk in Abraham’s faith.  He would then be the father of their faith more than anything else in life.

Father Abraham’s faith is not only something to be followed by the Jews, the circumcised.  But it’s also an example for the Gentiles.  His great faith, believing in God’s promise when everything around him seemed to suggest impossibility, is the kind of faith God wants for all people everywhere.

Is Abraham’s faith your faith today?

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AuthorDavid_Chadwick