Romans 5:1-11: Five Words
March 6, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Numbers 12-14, Psalm 53, Matthew 23:1-12, Romans 5:1-11
Perhaps the most glorious piece of writing in the whole New Testament—certainly one of the most joyful—these eleven verses deserve to be read, studied, memorized, and relished over and over again. Wow! Who can do justice to these things? Let us try by applying in the following five ways with the following five words.
First, the word “therefore” (5:1). All that takes place that is good in the Christian’s life is because of that word: therefore. Because (“therefore”) of the gospel, because of what Jesus has done, because of justification by faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross, because… therefore. The most important word for a Christian to learn is that word: therefore. We live because of something that has happened, because of something that Christ has done. All that we do, all that we are, all that we hope and desire, all our greatest joys and highest loves, all hang on that word: therefore.
Second, the word “boast.” At the beginning (5:2) and at the end (5:11) of these few verses, Paul is telling them that while grace excludes human arrogance (that kind of boasting that he described at the end of Romans 3 as being excluded because of grace), there is now because of grace something about which to boast. There is much to say, but let it be said here simply this: Christian, do not be mealy-mouthed, passive, lazy, or lacking in confidence. Take life by the scruff of the neck, take the bull by the horns, and do all you can for Christ and his glory. Stand up and be counted. Speak up and do not be silent. Evangelize. Disciple. Serve. Preach. In that sense, boast—gospel boasting.
Third, the word “suffering.” How we need to hear that our sufferings are not pointless (5:3). The great pain of suffering is the fear that the sufferings we bear have no purpose. We can put up with almost anything if we have a why. Well, the gospel gives us the why. Because we know that Christ’s sufferings had a purpose, so we know that our sufferings also have a purpose. We are being formed more into his image, developing character, and indeed hope.
Fourth, the word “love.” The Holy Spirit has poured into our hearts the love of God (5:5). Think on that. Experience his love. Ask God to give you more of his love through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. If you ever doubt that God loves you, remember God has demonstrated his own love for you in this: that while you were still sinning, Christ died for you (5:8). Who can doubt that he loves you when he loved you like that?
Fifth, the word “reconciliation.” It is one thing to think that we are justified by Christ, it is another thing to realize that because of that we have been reconciled (5:10-11). We are in relationship with God now. We are his friends, his loved ones, no longer his enemies but his friends. When others reject you, he never will. If others spurn you, he never will. If others despise you, he will love you. If others undermine you, he will establish you. You are now his. You are reconciled to him. In relationship with him. A friend of God, the great God, the Holy God, the God of all—justified, and now reconciled to him.
 I have written a book on this theme of “boasting”: https://www.christianfocus.com/products/2783/boasting
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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