“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
In my last post, I did mention that Jesus Christ has come to the world to save sinners. The coming of Christ is the fulfilment of God’s plan of redemption of mankind from sin, that by faith in Christ, we may be justified and reconciled to God. No one can claim innocence from sin, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) because right from conception we are sinners (Psalm 51:5). Sin has tainted us and we ought to be judged by the Holy God. However, God has worked out a way for us to be justified, forgiven and reconciled back to him such that we no longer continue in enmity with him but enjoy a cordial Father – children relationship with.
In Christ, through Christ, by faith, we are made righteous, the taint of sin on us is removed and we become acceptable before the Holy God, thus we are justified.
“Justification is the gracious act of God in which, by uniting us to Christ through faith alone, God counts us perfectly righteous solely by imputing to us his own righteousness accomplished by Christ, thus satisfying all the law’s demands for our punishment and perfection through Christ’s own suffering and obedience on our behalf.” John Piper.
There is nowhere outside Christ can we be reconciled back to God because there is only one mediator between man and God, He is Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). Our salvation (reconciliation to God) is the very reason for His coming, that we no longer should be in enmity with God, rather we should be the children of God. Justification, an act of God through Christ is very important in that;
First, it opens up a way for us to gain access into the grace of God and ultimately into His presence – his kingdom (Rom. 5:2). Sin has alienated mankind from God, the narrative of the fall in Genesis chapter three rightly tells us man was cast out of the presence of God and “After He drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden a Cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24). We now have the privilege through Christ to not only access the presence of God, but be his own Children.
In Christ, we not only now have access to God but we have eternal life. We no longer have to crave for the fruit of the tree of life, we have to crave for Christ in whom is life – even life eternal.
Secondly, Justification through Christ also brings hope in us hence making us joyous – a hopeful life is a joyful one. “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings; because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Rom. 5:2b-4). This is incredible! Hopelessness is having a meaninglessness.
Without Christ, there is doom; but through Him we have a glimpse of hope. Hope that never fades, hope that makes us live with a meaning. Hope that creates powerful virtues in us, this hope is that we shall be driven to and live in the glory of our God eternally.
And, having being justified through his blood; we shall never face the wrath of God. Paul boasts; “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him.” (Rom. 5:9). There is no longer a charge against those who are in Christ, we in Christ are no longer condemned (Rom. 8:1).
Whoever the Son has set free is free indeed, he shall never be prosecuted, he shall never be condemned, because such have received a complete reconciliation. Yes, there is a wage of sin, sin will never go unpunished save for those who are in Christ. Outside Christ, the wages of sin yet stands death, eternal damnation, eternal separation from God. How good and pleasant is it to know that one who I have wronged has mercifully forgiven me and offered reconciliation? What an Amazing grace!
Finally, having access with God, being powered by hope which we get through Christ and having been reconciled to get amounts to peace. Yes, “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1). Your peace has been worked out, it is peace that the world cannot give you, it is not peace that is a result of democracy, it is the peace of Christ.
D.L Moody has put it this way;
“A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.”
This peace is not merely a feeling (peace of mind) but it is having a new relationship with God. A relationship with God may result in peace of mind, but the peace we need is a relationship with God. When we miss this peace, we miss peace.
Sometimes our lives are restless because we haven’t given this peace a chance. We worry, we struggle, we lose hope because we haven’t anchored on the peace of Christ. We all need this peace which surpasses all human understanding if we are to live surpassingly. When we are justified and reconciled to God, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7).
I therefore exhort you in Christ through whom we have been justified to keep in this relationship with God, to stand firm in the peace of Christ. I also pray that all those who haven’t known this peace will come to the knowledge of Christ. That in Christ, through Christ, they will be justified, reconciled with God in order to be at peace with God.
This message is written by Rev. Julius Izza Tabi who is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway and is an assisting Priest at St. Edmund’s Anglican Church, in Oslo. For any pastoral assistance or support of this ministry you can email Rev. Julius you can also reach Rev. Julius here.