Pondering Romans 5:1-11
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I love to be around people who are joy-filled people. I don’t run into a lot of them. But I can usually tell the difference between people who are joy filled and people who are driven by the pursuit of happiness. Joy filled people are usually happy. Those driven by the pursuit of happiness usually are not.
This passage has several things to say about joy and why believers have good reasons to rejoice.
Verses 1-2: Joy comes from our relationship with God and understanding what He has done for us. Having been justified through Jesus and having been granted access into God’s amazing grace is the foundation for our joy. It is something we should remind ourselves of everyday. Because of the gospel, believers live boldly and intentionally in the present but our lives are firmly rooted both in the past (in what God has done) and in the future (in what God is yet to do.) We, therefore, rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Because believers are a people of hope, we don’t get all bent out of shape by things that happen in the here and now.
Verses 3-5: In fact, suffering can actually be a cause for rejoicing for believers. This is something that the world around us does not understand at all. But because we understand that suffering has a purpose and because to know that God is in complete control we can deal with suffering in a way that reflects our faith in the goodness and greatness of God. We don’t have to like going through suffering but it is not something that has to lead to despair or doubt or discouragement. Instead it can lead us to cling even more closely to God and find our joy in Him. We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.
Verses 9-11: Reconciliation is an incredible word. It means that enemies who were once involved in a bitter war have made peace. Think about it. We were once enemies of God and He was determined to exact His justifiable wrath upon us. BUT… because of Jesus that is no longer necessary. Through the cross we have been reconciled to God. This is great cause for rejoicing. No longer do we have to fear God’s vengeance. No longer do we have to wonder what happens when we die. No longer do we have to live with the guilt of our sin. No longer is life meaningless. No longer do we have to keep trying to fuel our lives with the emptiness of this world. No longer is lasting joy just a pipe dream. We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 5:12-21
Memory Verses: Romans 8: 1-10