Scripture

Romans 5:1-11

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 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! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reflection

The word reconcile means to bring into a changed relationship, or to bring together two parties who should have been together all along. The Bible speaks of the human race as enemies of God in this passage. You may say that you are no “enemy” of God, but apart from faith in Jesus, we are passive enemies of God. You have a need for reconciliation.

The Apostle Paul often describes the sin-bearing work of Christ as reconciliation, although the idea is present in other scripture as well. God’s alienation from us is ended by removing the cause of alienation (our sin, guilt, and sentence) by the death of Christ. However, it must be “received” through repentance and faith in Christ. Reconciliation for the follower of Christ means “brought back into full relationship and fellowship with God.” This is what Christ accomplished on the cross. We are no longer alienated from or enemies of God. Jesus did the work to return you to a relationship with God. Are you doing your part?

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for redeeming my heart and reconciling me to a relationship with you. Help me renew my commitment to live in your ways each day. Remind me that I need you and your grace in every aspect of my life, even the areas where I feel more than capable. Help me recognize my weaknesses and celebrate them as places for you to demonstrate your strength. I love you, Lord, and I long to follow you with all that I am and all that I have. Amen.