Romans Bible Study Lesson 12

Printer friendly version


Results of Justification

Romans 5:1—5

Justification is often defined as: Just as if I’ve never sinned. This simplification cheapens the actual process of our justification. Although my sins are removed so I can come to God, I have sinned and because of my sins Jesus Christ needed to die. If it were actually Just as if I’ve never sinned then Jesus would not have had to go to the cross. Also, if I could be justified by not sinning then it would have been obtained through my works and not Christ’s.

Forgiveness and justification work hand-in-hand. Forgiveness takes away the penalty of sin. Sin results in death and instead of me dying for my sins, Jesus died for the sins of the world. With Christ’s death came forgiveness of my sins and that cleared the way for God to put me in perfect standing before Him. Forgiveness does not automatically remove my guilt. I still have sinned but the sins have been forgiven or pardoned. Notice that all of our sins have been done away with. If there are still some sins left that are not cleared by the shed blood of Jesus then we really were not forgiven of our sins.

Colossians 2:13 13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Notice the verse says that all of our sins have been forgiven, (of those who believe) not just our original sin or the sins I’ve committed after I became saved or sins that were committed before Christ died on the cross. With my sins given to Christ, God is now free to declare me not guilty, to justify me. This erases any guilt. Jesus Christ has been imputed with my guilt and in return I am imputed with God’s righteousness. In our judicial system, I can be forgiven for stealing from someone but I would still be guilty of the crime and even though I would not be penalized, the arrest would be on my permanent record. Spiritually, I have been forgiven and declared not guilty (justified) making it possible for me to stand before a holy God without fear of condemnation.

Since we have been forgiven (freed of the penalty of sin) and justified (freed of being guilty of committing sin) we can now be declared righteous by God.

Verse 1a

The first phrase is a summary of 3:9—4:25. Our justification comes through faith, never by works. It is obvious in the Greek that the word dikaiwqentes  (having been justified) is in the aorist tense and passive voice indicating an action upon the subject (the subject is passive) that was completed in the past. At the point someone believes, God acts upon the subject by forgiving and justifying him and then declaring him righteous.

Verses 1b—5

The results of our justification are listed in this section. This is written from my standpoint.

1. We have a peace with God.

We are no longer at enmity with God. God’s wrath has been appeased with Christ’s death on the cross (a propitiation) but we were also enemies of God until we believed. We were hostile toward God with no intent on changing.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Romans 8:7—8 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The verb we have is in the present tense indicating that this peace of God is something we now have and will continue to have without interruption. This peace is through the work of Jesus Christ alone. There is no work we need to do to obtain this peace and nothing we need to do to keep this peace, it is all through the agency of Jesus Christ. Without the work of Jesus Christ there would be no peace between God and any man who ever lived.

Ephesians 2:14—17 14For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,16and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.17AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR;

This peace is freely given to those who are in the Body of Christ. The Body is made up of Jews (those who were near God) and Gentiles (those who were far away from God). All those in the Body have an eternal peace with God because of Christ’s reconciliatory work on the cross and also the Jews and Gentiles can have a peace between themselves.

2. We have access into God’s presence.

The NASB says we have obtained our introduction. It is Jesus Christ who has removed the enmity between God and the believer and has brought us before God the Father and introduced us to Him. God the Father now knows us and we know Him. Christ is always making intersession on our behalf before the Father and as long as He does so, we will have free access to God.

Romans 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

The Jews would have no problem in appreciating the significance of free access to God. In the past they could never freely access God but needed to go through a priest. Even a priest needed to follow every rule laid out by God in order to access Him. Any violation of the rules would mean immediate death. We can now enter God’s presence anytime and for any reason we want to, much as President Kennedy’s son “John-John” could do in the White House. Our access to God is even freer than John-John’s access to President Kennedy.

Philippians 4:6—7 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We are now standing in God’s grace, which was responsible for the gift of salvation. Before standing in grace we were standing in our works.

3. We can exult in our hope of the glory of God (looking to our future state).

In view here is our hope (confident expectation) of sharing in the glory of God. We know that we shall be glorified when we are given our resurrected body (Romans 8:17, 30). We also know that it is because we are in Christ and Christ is in us that we have this hope of glory.

Philippians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Almost unbelievably, Christ will be glorified in us. God is glorified by us because we are displaying His handiwork in being able to use a worthless lump of clay.

2 Thessalonians 1:10—12 10when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed–for our testimony to you was believed. 11To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. We can exult in our tribulations (looking at our present state).

It’s easy to rejoice in the hope of glory that lies ahead but much more difficult to rejoice in the trials and tribulations that we need to put up with as we live our life. These are things that squeeze and mold us but never in a pleasant way. Paul says, by the Holy Spirit, that we need to view our tribulations positively because they train us to persevere or endure. We learn not to give up.

We also can see that through perseverance comes character building, literally a character that has been approved through trial. The molding and shaping that God does in each of our lives is never enjoyable but the results can make us more usable for God’s service. If we can remember to take in the big picture as we are enduring a tribulation it might make it easier to rest in God and allow Him to work all things out for His glory while making you more useful in the future. This process should drive us to Him as we learn to trust Him and should mold us to conform to His image. To become Christ-like is to allow God complete control.

All of these things should drive us right back to our hope in Jesus Christ. Our focus should not be on the tribulation but on the ultimate reason for the tribulation. Those in Christ should understand all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). You can then rejoice in that tribulation because you will be strengthened and grow through it and ultimately God will be glorified and your faith will have grown.

5. We have the love of God poured out in our hearts.

We start out in verse 1 with the statement that we have been justified (it was done to us) and we end this section with the statement of the Holy Spirit having been given to us. Again, we are doing nothing, it is all from God. These statements should help us feel secure in Christ.

We can see a cycle of how a believer’s life should operate. When tribulation comes into our life we need to persevere by learning to rest in Christ. This perseverance will result in strengthening your character or prove your character. Out of this will come a growing hope as we daily trust God to sustain us. As our hope increases, we can see more and more of God’s love being poured out in our life. All of this is possible only through the indwelling Holy Spirit.