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 in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing God’s glory.Romans 5:1-2
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13
Why does Paul group these three concepts together? Faith, Hope, Love. Notice he does it again in this passage in Romans. In this part of Romans, Paul opens with Faith, moves from Faith to Hope and then on to Love. But on this occasion he throws some peace and grace into the mix. We have met grace and peace before but note that Paul seems to often talk of “faith hope and love” together.
I am not going to discuss faith again. We have discussed that already. Paul says since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through Christ. Justification by faith as it sinks in your soul and your being will give you peace that is for sure. In this age when people are looking for peace and there is so much to disturb our peace, it is good to know one of the outcomes of justification is peace with God. It by faith Paul says that we have access to this grace. Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense. God’s unmerited favour – in which we stand. Now what can that mean? Go dig it out! These Christian terms are worth researching: Faith, Peace, Grace, Hope and Love. So many times we think we know because they are terms that we use in everyday speech. But we need to spend time on them. You have an advantage on some of them because we have met them before in John’s gospel. But you do need to be told each author uses the terms differently.
I will look at “hope” tomorrow but for now I would like to concentrate on the word access. Access to what? Well access to Grace and through that Grace we have hope. It is access to God’s presence. When we are justified by faith we have peace with God and we have access to His presence. It is like being the son or daughter of a famous person that everyone in the country wants access to. But for the son or daughter they are perfectly at ease and relaxed, at peace in the presence of their father. Because they have relationship, they have access and having access results in everything else. Imagine having access to the most important person in the land whenever you want it. That is what you have by virtue of your faith. Access comes from a Greek nautical term which refers to ships gaining ‘access’ to sheltered harbours. That is what we have in God through faith, access to His safe harbour. ‘Do you take prayer lightly? “Do you have access?” ie. Prayers accepted? Unless you are justified and right with God – prayers won’t be answered. No matter how devout a pray-er you are!
Society is looking for peace. There are many books out there on ‘finding peace.’ It is only possible with God. At its very basic meaning the idea is “no hostility”. Before justification I was hostile to the things of God. And worse yet His wrath was upon me. Peace is being at ease with the Creator because of justification. Peace irrespective of the circumstances. And the term Shalom is much more than the absence of war or conflict. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace for a reason. Go research it if you haven’t done so already.
You haven’t really trusted God until you’ve attempted something that you cannot do in your own strength.Rick Warren