Today's Bible Reading: Romans 5
Selected Biblical Text
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace by which we have been established, and we boast because of our hope in God's glory. Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. For it is rare for anyone to die for a righteous person, though somebody might dare to die for a good person. But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him! For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life! Not only that, but we also continue to boast about God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now been reconciled. (Romans 5:1-11)
Reflecting and Thinking
The great introductory chapters of Romans demand reading as a unit. They should not be separated, and we do some disservice to them by dividing them for daily devotional reading. Consider this summary. God's action in the gospel of grace has brought wrath to some and righteousness to others. All deserved wrath, but God intervened in Christ to provide justification (righteousness), redemption, and atonement through the faith of Christ. This righteousness did not depend on law and was declared apart from the law. It was based on the grace extended in the promise, and thus extends to all of Abraham's faithful descendants.
With these things in mind, Paul turns to the confidence that is possible through justification by faith. Faith brings peace, access, confident hope, and God's love. God's action in the gospel--the death and life (resurrection) of Jesus--saves from wrath. Whatever may be the case apart from the gospel, the gospel answers every situation. Not only does it answer--it answers "much more!"
Make a list of the blessings mentioned in today's text, the blessings that are available to the Christian based on justification by faith.
In depth: If you wish to study the rest of the chapter in detail, get a piece of paper and record the contrasts and comparisons. You should be able to find at least seven. Hint: some of the comparisons are negative, ways two things are unlike rather than how they are alike.
Heavenly Father, we are grateful that you acted on our behalf when we were undeserving, even before we were born. We do not understand your wisdom. Your gracious action made clear that we deserved and were destined for your wrath and spiritual death. We praise you that your gracious action in the gospel also made possible our justification and reconciliation. Through Jesus we pray, Amen.