“We Have Peace …”

“… with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have had access by faith in this grace wherein we stand …” (Rom. 5:1f).

These verses state that two things are attained through Christ: peace with God and grace wherein we stand. The Roman letter is not alone in spelling out Christ as our “go-between.” We are heirs, through Christ (Gal. 3:29). We have victory over death through Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). We may attain life through his name (Jn. 20:31). Through him we are saved (Jn. 3:17). The Roman passage highlights the role of Jesus as a high priest (mediator). This role of Jesus is prominent in Hebrews. There we are told that Christ, as a high priest, offered a sacrifice for the errors of the people and that through his offered blood, we have access to the holy place, an antitype of the Most Holy place in the Jewish economy, that place where God extended forgiveness to Israel (Heb. 9:7; 10:19f). Still that grand message to all men is dealt with in many of Paul’s letters.

Christ is our only high priest. He not only says, “I am the door; but me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out;” he also said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father save by me” (Jn. 10:9; 14:6). That is plain enough. No man goes to the Father through Buddha. No man goes to the Father through Moses. No man goes to the Father through Mohammed. We must go through Christ to the Father.

The Roman letter shows how important faith is in this work. If Christ is our “access” to the Father, it is to be remembered that it is through faith that we have access to Christ (Rom. 5:2). We have access through faith into this grace wherein we stand!

Faith is the foundation upon which all things rest. No act of obedience is acceptable to God in the absence of faith “and without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him …” (Heb. 11:6). Repentance is possible only because we believe. If one does not believe he has sinned against God, he will not be led through godly sorrow to repent. If one does not believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, to make such a confession would be a farce. Baptism is an act of faith (Col. 2:10). After baptism we must continue to “walk by faith;” remembering that “the just shall live by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 1:17). Thus Romans 5:1f repeats the theme of the book: “Justification by faith.” NO, not “justification by faith only,” but “justification by faith.” It is simply impossible for a man to please God in the absence of it!

Jim McDonald

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