Romans 5:1-5: The Believer’s Security in Christ: Part I
Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Peace
Introduction: The seven-part series: The believer’s Security in Christ: Romans 5:1-5 addresses the basis, joy, and blessings of being secure in Christ. It is fostered by common questions: Believer: what is your security? is your security in Christ or something and someone else? In Romans 5:1 Paul declares a wonderful assurance: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The believer has security only in Christ! Does the wonder and beauty of that statement grab you? Paul’s therefore is a call to reflect on what has gone before in the previous four chapters of the book of Romans. Those chapters document, in a variety of ways, the plight of fallen man. He is an enemy of God, under His wrath, with the outlook of misery in this life and hell in the next, unless…. Unless what? The Holy Spirit’s unless through Paul is God’s intervention. Paul spells out God’s intervention in chapters 3-4 (3:21-4:25) under the heading of justification through faith. In chapter 4, he appeals to two heroes of the faith – Abraham and David – to help make his point.
You may say: what is the big deal! Stay with Paul! Chapter 5 opens with a remarkable statement. Paul focuses the believer on his union with Christ. As such the believer’s security is in Christ. This new relationship changes ecverything!. Security in Christ is relational and Triune. As such there is the joy and beauty of belonging to God in Christ applied by the Holy Spirit. Paul’s favorite phrase for this relationship is union with Christ – in Christ. In Christ means that a person has a different relationship – In Christ – as he moves out of himself and out of Satan’s kingdom and family. Security in Christ is a reality that demands the attention of the believer. Justification – being declared not guilty, in right standing before God, and accepted by Him – is judicial and it is relational. Paul begins to highlight the results of the believer’s justification.
Paul begins a dialog on the results of justification. Justification is God’s legal, judicial declaration that the believer is not guilty. How can that be? The believer is in Christ such that his security is in Christ. The basis for justification – God’s declaration – is relational. Being in Christ expresses an entirely different mode of existence. There is security in Christ and nowhere else!
Often people refer to the result of justification in terms of its fruit. One such fruit is peace. Where there was God’s insecurity, wrath, hostility, and enmity, there is now peace and security but only in Christ. The peace was achieved by Christ’s active (perfect obedience before the cross) and passive obedience (perfect death on the cross). It is made available and received because the believer is in Christ and therefore secure. Those who are saved are no longer enemies; no longer slaves to self, sin, and Satan; and no longer members of Satan’s kingdom and family (Romans 5:10-11; 6:16-19; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Rather, believers have certainty and security in Christ. As members of God’s kingdom and household of God He is their Father and Jesus is their Brother (Colossians 1:13-14). These are radical and supernatural changes. There has been a completely new existence and sphere of influence established for the believer (Roman 6:1-11). I repeat: the believer’s security is in Christ because he is in Christ – united to Him.
Peace, as understood by the Jew (shalom), was a condition of prosperity, blessing, joy, and contentment. Joy involved the person’s response to God’s providence whatever it may be. Circumstances do not dictate the person’s response of joyfulness. Man is so designed that he will not rest until his heart rests in God. Eternity is bound up in the heart of man (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Post-fall, man, an unbeliever, distanced himself from the Triune God.
However, the believer who is in Christ, that rest is a reality now – the already (Romans 6:9-11; Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3). The reality is not a completed one. There is the not yet. There is more to come in heaven. For now, believers are to enjoy the gift of God’s peace which is part and parcel of resurrection life that is now. It matters little where the believer is in his walk with the Triune God,
There is a difference in the peace with God and the peace of God. Paul is referring to the former. God’s enmity with us as believers and our war against God has now ceased. Our war against God has ceased in principle but in practice we think, desire, and act, in varying degrees and frequency, as if we are unbelievers. Radically and supernaturally obtained, God has declared peace to you, believer. You have security in Christ and the Triune God (Romans 8:31-34). It is an objective, real peace provided by God through Christ by the Holy Spirit. .
This peace came with a cost but for not you, believer. Christ, the Sinless One, left infinity/heaven (imagine!), took on flesh (the Incarnation), and was considered a loser and eventually a despised sinner as He hung on the cross. Let your thoughts wrap around Christ’s humiliation as the God-man which culminated in His going to hell on the cross.
Christ’s work on the cross produced peace with God. One of God’s promises is His peace will never falter. That is security! It is a result of God’s just judgment of Christ and the believer’s relationship with the Triune God. The believer may move away from God, but God will never forsake the believer (Romans 8:35-39). There is security in Christ. Hang on to that great truth, believer.
God has produced peace – His way for His glory and the good of the believer. The believer through saving faith via the Holy Spirit has received the peace which passes human understanding (Philippians 4:7). This peace is the starting point of all spiritual blessings. Believers can know that their salvation and forgiveness are secure. Nothing can separate them from God. Therefore, even a sinning believer will be drawn back to a right view of God and himself. He knows peace has been purchased with a price – Christ’s perfect life and death. God will not demean His Son by separating Himself from the believer (Romans 8:33-34). Amazing!
So, believer, do you have peace? Are you secure in Christ? Why and why not? Christ calls all to come to Him and He will give you rest – peace (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus made this bold promise before the cross. He knew Himself and His Father. How about you?
1. What is your definition of peace? Is it simply good feelings?
2. From Romans 5:1-5, what is your source of peace?
3. Knowing you have peace with God, what is your response to God and to others?
4. Have you put down your personal law-keeping in an effort to gain something without reflecting on the something you have in Christ? Give reasons.
Romans 5:1-5: The Believer’s Security in Christ: Part II
Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Access
A second result, fruit, or blessing of justification received as a result of the believer’s union with and in Christ. This blessing is stated in verse 2 of Romans 5; it is access to God. Romans 5:1-2: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Paul stated a wonderful assurance: peace with God in Christ Who is our peace by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:15-17).
God has reconciled Himself to mankind – He has ceased His enmity, alienation, separation, and righteous anger in Christ (Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:21-22). God declared that the debt every person in Adam and a personal lawbreaker owes God. He is and is “on the hook for” and in debt to God. However, Jesus Christ has paid the debt in full. God’s declaration of not guilty and access to Him is due to Christ’s perfect obedience before the cross and at the cross. Amazing love! The believer is secure in Christ!
Yet Paul has only begun this catalogue of the beauty and goodness of God. Paul tells us that we have access to God Himself. The word translated access is used in Ephesians 2:18 and 3:12.The word carries the idea of the right of approach and bringing near. The God Who was far off is now near. Don’t miss the far-ness of God based on His holiness. It is almost beyond human understanding. Don’t miss the nearness of God based on the Incarnation. How near is God? Paul knew his Old Testament. Only the privileged high priest once a year could enter into God’s presence – the Holy of Holies – and only after he had cleansed himself (Leviticus 16). The people did not know if the high priest would return to them after being in God’s presence. Was he acceptable? Was the sacrifice acceptable? When the high priest came out, the people rejoiced and were relieved! They had security and certainty They knew that God had accepted them through their sacrifice and the service of the high priest. These facts point to the greater security of being in Christ, the lamb of God (John 1:29, 36).
It was quite an experience to be in the presence of the living God. Paul, well-versed in Hebrew teaching, was reflecting on the torn veil/curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies as recorded in the Synoptic gospel (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 22:45). The way into God’s presence was now secure for every believer because they are in Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20; 10:19-22). Christ was the High priest who offered the perfect once-for-all sacrifice to gain eternal presence that begins on this earth. The key was not simply God with His people as great as that was (Immanuel), but the beginning of the new exodus which awaited Christ’s resurrection. At the Ascension, Jesus returned to heaven (John 14:2-3) and sent the Holy Spirit who indwelt the Church and individual believers. The new age had dawned – God dwelt in, not simply, with His people, via the Holly Spirit.
Access to the king was not always a healthy situation (see Esther 5:1-8 and Daniel 2). A major theme of the redemptive story is God bringing His people into His presence. After Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden, there was only separation and death (Romans 5:12-14). The only question and answer that mattered was this: would mankind be brought back into God’s presence and live (Genesis 3:15)? Where is man’s security? God’s answer was a resounding “yes” culminating in the cross and Christ’s resurrection and Ascension. The believer’s security is in Christ! As a result, there is true resurrection sonship and life (John 17:1-5, 24-26; 1 John 3:1-3).
The author of Hebrews picks up this theme of access into the very presence of God in Hebrews 6:18-20 and 10:19-22. It would do well to remember that the author of the book of Hebrews used the concept of access as motivation for his people to remain Christians. They were tempted to return to Judaism and its bondage thinking their personal law-keeping would provide their own access to God.
The above passages teach us that access to God is a reality for the believer, but at a cost – the cost of Christ’s humiliation and His perfect life and perfect death. Our access is real and direct via one Mediator who provides entrance into the heavenly abode of God (1Timothy 2:5). The believer is in Christ in this life on earth and ultimately life in heaven! To truly comprehend this access one must understand the inaccessibility of God without divine intervention. The elaborate ritual, sacrificial system of the Old Testament taught at least one valuable lesson: God has condescendingly but joyfully provided access to Himself via shed blood. This is in fulfillment of His eternal plan to bring a people to Him forever. Christ paid it all and now access to God is full and free, rightly understood.
1. Consider the concept of access from the vantage of the Garden of Eden, of the tabernacle and the temple, of the cross, and of the torn veil: what do you learn about God and you?
2. Knowing that you have access – an “in with God” – how has your prayer life changed?
3. Stop and consider where you were as an unbeliever and now your status as a believer: how do you place the concept of access into that transition?
Romans 5:1-5: The Believer’s Security in Christ: Part III
Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Grace
A third result, blessing, and fruit of Justification and the believer’s security in Christ as given in Romans 5:1-2 is grace: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Paul adds another dimension to what God has provided for the believer in Christ. Paul speaks of grace – God’s unmerited, in fact, demerited favor. God has judged every believer not guilty in Christ.
In Romans 8:1, Paul further defines God’s marvelous grace when he writes that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. How can that possibly be if God is the just judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25)? God’s logic is simple but not simplistic; clear but deeply profound and passed-finding out by mere human wisdom; and mysterious. Consider these facts: God judged Christ guilty instead of the individual believer. As a result, the believer is secure in Christ: not guilty and accepted. Further, Jesus went to hell on the cross as the believer’s substitute. Jesus paid the debt that mankind’s covenantal unfaithfulness and personal lawbreaking in Adam demanded.
God’s grace provides for our right standing before God (Justification). Notice that grace is prefaced by the pronoun this – this grace. Paul has in mind a specific grace. This grace is the grace by and on which all believers stand. By the word grace Paul is not emphasizing justification per say, but the beauty and magnitude of grace available to the believer. The believer’s security is in Christ.
Everyone’s judicial standing (Paul moves back to justification) before God should be a major concern. Rightly considered, a person’s standing before God is a major theme of the Bible and God’s story of redemption. Once God’s friend but now exiled from the Garden, Adam and mankind in him (except Christ) was no longer welcome or safe in God’s presence. The question of all times is this: would mankind ever be ushered back into God’s presence safely. God’s answer is a resounding yes which God declared at and with the cross and affirmed at Christ’s resurrection (Romans 4:24-25). Freedom from your own law-keeping and dependence on Christ’s law-keeping and covenantal faithfulness is true freedom. Paul teaches the saints at Rome to enjoy their privileges and blessings that they have in Christ. As a result, believers will get busy rejoicing in the hope of God’s glory. These truths are relational – the believer is in Christ and secure in Him.
Yet it gets better! In our passage, Paul is emphasizing even more of God’s provisions than the grace of justification. Believer, all that you have including justification, is the result of God’s graciousness through union with Christ! God’s grace is at work individually in every believer and corporately in His church. God is at work in you and His church making each believer more like Christ. Amazing! God gives grace and gives it liberally (Proverbs 3:34; James 1:5-8; 4:6, 10; 1 Peter 5:5). The believer’s security is Christ; it is one of the most amazing facts of Scripture.
Believers in Christ have entered into a position of grace and confidence before God. The unbeliever is graceless unless we want to invoke God’s common kindness (Matthew 5:43-48; Acts 14:17; 17:24-28). In contrast, believers are no longer His enemies – there is peace. They are no longer separated from God – they have access into His presence. The individual and the Church have access by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3 and 6; 2 Corinthians 6; 1 Peter 2:4-10). We have been introduced into the presence of the living God, the Creator and Controller of the universe. This God is still the Just Judge but now He is Father to His children and their Redeemer.
1. Read Romans 5:1-3 in light of the blessings/fruit of justification discussed so far: peace, access, and grace.
a. What are your thoughts in regard to each term?
b. What do they convey to you?
2. Compare Romans 5:1-5 with Ephesians 1:3-14 and Psalm 103:1-5: what do you notice?
Romans 5:1-5: The Believer’s Security in Christ: Part IV
Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Joy in the Hope of Glory
We are continuing to look at the fruits and blessings of justification and the believer’s security in Christ. Paul has defined justification as God’s pardoning and accepting the believer as righteous via His free grace received by faith alone. God makes the declaration of not guilty and right standing (righteous) because of Christ’s righteousness – His perfect life and perfect death – that is counted to the believer by God. Paul’s constant refrain is security and safeness of the believer in now rightly related to Christ and justified in Him. Relationships matter. What a blessing! This blessing spurs growth in grace and Christlikeness. As a result, God is glorified, and the believer is blessed and encouraged. The cycle continues until Christ comes again.
We have examined a threefold basis for the believer’s security in his salvation: peace, access to the King, and grace. Count your blessings and when you do, you learn that salvation ensures and encourages sanctification – growth in Christlikeness. Salvation includes being saved and life after salvation. It is a whole package. Both involve great change.
Paul adds a fourth result and blessing of justification and evidence for the security of the believer – rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). Paul mentions the glory of God in Romans 8:30: And those he predestined, he also called; those he called he also justified; those he justified he also glorified. Salvation begins at and with regeneration. As a result, the believer is declared justified – not guilty, adopted into a new family, and is given a new position – he is saint, a called-out one.
Salvation ushers in growth in Christ (sanctification) which leads to glorification of God as the believer expresses resurrection life now (Romans 6:9-11)! He has a foretaste on heaven on earth.
God’s people were created and re-created to be in His presence eternally. Adam’s sin did NOT change God’s plan. In fact, salvation testified, in the most magnificent way, to the kind of God He is. He planned and saved His enemies, gave them a new record (justification), a new status and family (adoption), a new position, and a new destiny (to be in His presence forever). Thrilled? Excited? The only way God’s plan would not excite someone rests on his low view of sin, hell, the cross, and ultimately God. Moreover, the person has a high view of self.
Paul says whoa; great word, whoa. Part of the fourth blessing is a fulfillment of Christ’s desire as expressed in John 17:24-26. Christ prayed to the Father that His people would be with Him in heaven and see His glory. Christ is the hope of glory: Colossians 1:27! In Christ the believer gets Christ because Christ has the believer!
The beauty and reality of heaven is expressed by Christ as seeing God face to face. Rather than die the believer enjoy Christ’s glory (generally, in the Old Testament, coming face to face with God meant death: see part II). Coram Deo is truly an amazing concept and realty. In a real sense, Jesus came to complete His Father’s will (John 4:31-34; 6:37-43). The completion included seeing Christ’s glory. Seeing Jesus meant seeing the Father (John 14:6-9).
Moreover, the use of the word glory (doxa) completes Paul’s thoughts regarding peace (shalom) with God (Romans 5:1). In verse 1, peace indicates peace now and in verse 3, glory is an end-result of the peace established by Christ’s mediatorial cross work. What we have now is great. What we have in heaven is even greater – perhaps the greatest (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Just what is Christ’s glory? Again, it is at least Christ Himself (Colossians 1:27)! In part, it is the glory He had before His incarnation. Always God, Christ took on humanity. He hid His glory which in itself is a miracle (Philippians 2:5-8). That glory is His God-ness. Coming face to face with God and enjoying it is one aspect of heaven. Ponder that fact. In Christ, believers begin to enjoy God now. God delights in His people because He delights in His Son (Matthew 3;17; 17:5) and believers are in Christ.
In heaven fully, and on earth as a foretaste, intimacy with the glorious God is a wonderful thing. In the Greek, the word glory (doxa) conveys a right and high opinion of God. We are in His presence, and we enjoy Him by praising and worshipping Him. In Hebrew, the words (kabod and shekinah) convey the idea of the brilliance of a real “heavy-weight” – His fame and reputation. Coming to grips with the greatness of God is getting a handle on His glory. One product of God’s peace is dwelling in and on His glory and seeing Him face to face.
1. What is your view of heaven? Does it include seeing Christ face to face?
2. What is your view of intimacy with Christ? Read John 17:1-3, 24-26 to provoke your thoughts as you answer.
3. Read 1 John 3:1-3: God presents an eternal perspective as an encouragement to growth and change. How might you apply this verse daily?
Romans 5:1-5: Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Part V
A Right View of and Response to Trouble
In Romans 5:1-2, Paul has taught that justified, saved sinners are blessed. The blessings of justification flow from the fact that the believer is in Christ and secure. it is relational. He has mentioned several specific blessings: peace with God (v.1), free access to God (v.2), and the hope of God’s glory (v.2). In verses 3-4, Paul records the correct perspective on God’s providence which he calls suffering/affliction: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character hope. You might ask: where is the security in that fact? is the believer’s security in Christ? Paul gives a resounding yes.
Paul has a knack of recording remarkable statements and truths in simple terms. What is the reality of these verses? The word translated trouble or suffering is the common word, thlipsis. It is pregnant with meaning including trouble from without, the so-called heat of life; or the unpleasantness of living in a fallen world. The term indicates God’s providence.
Jesus and Paul did not minimize trouble (John 15:18-21; 16:33; 2 Corinthians 1:8-10; 4:8-10; 11:23-28; 12:7-10). Like Christ Paul was a man of sorrows. It is very important to note what Paul is not saying: life is not “just it is.” Sometimes it is easy to think that life and our situations just are as if life has its own life (sorry for the pun). That is far from the truth. The Bible teaches that this is God’s world and all things come to pass/happen according to His will to serve His purpose (Psalm 31:15; Acts 17:25-28; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 1:11-14). The issue for Paul is not trouble. Trouble in and of itself does not produce anything but perhaps heartache. Paul knew the issue was one’s response to God and His providence.
Paul’s perspective was Christ’s (Hebrews12:1-3). Paul, like Christ, saw more than the trouble. He saw with spiritual eyes of saving faith the God of the trouble and His purpose. All things that come to pass are from a purposeful God. We don’t “need” to know the specific purpose but only the purposeful and good God of the situation (see Job). Irrespective of feelings, His purpose is good for Him and for His children. This perspective motivated David to seek out the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Goliath was bigger than David, but David knew Goliath was not bigger than God. That made all the difference. David persevered and was victorious.
Endurance is a whole-person activity in which the believer uses biblical principles daily – biblical truth daily. Every believer is to develop a faith-in-action plan motivated by a desire to please God because God is God. The term endurance usually refers to a person in times of unpleasantness. The times are to be used by the believer. Only the believer is able to desire and use them. to develop the character of Christ. When that happens, the blessings of character and approval are guaranteed. We will discuss those two blessings in our next post.
1. Jesus was not the only person to be crucified. The issue is not the cross or the crucifixion but the Crucified One. Read Hebrews 12:1-3 and write out what you learned about Jesus and the cross as applied to your irritations.
2. Write out the irritations and pressures in your life as specifically as you can.
3. Write out your responses to them in terms of thinking, desires, and actions.
4. What kind of endurer are you and what do you need to grow as a godly endurer. (You may want to look at my book: Endurance: What It is and How it looks in the Believer’s Life.).
Romans 5:1-5: Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Perseverance, Character, and Hope: Part VI
We have been walking through Romans 5:1-5 gleaning the beauty and joy of God’s salvation. This walk has highlighted several facts: salvation comes from the Lord and is found in no one else (Jonah 2:9; Acts 4:12); the believer is a product of God’s supernatural work in him and around him so that he has an entirely different view of himself, God, and life events. Those facts attest to the believer’s union in Christ and his security. But Paul is going to continue to pour on God’s blessings. It gets better!
Paul has taken us through several fruits/blessings of a changed standing before God (justification): peace when there was only enmity and separation; access to God when there was only the prospect of misery in this life and hell in the next; grace and joy which ushers in a proper eternal perspective as a way of life now; a proper view of the glory of God – coming face to face with the living God; a right view of trouble; and a proper view of character/approval and hope. These facts scream the reality of the believer’s union with Christ. Relationships matter!
In Romans 5:1-5, Paul has provided a list of blessings – golden links – as he spells out the basis for the security of the believer. In Christ the believer is saved by God for God to God from sin, self and Satan. This is an amazing, radical change for the sinner! Paul focuses our attention on understanding God and His providence. Paul continues to emphasize non-negotiable truths: God is powerful, wise, faithful, loving, and purposeful. Those truths form the basis for understanding the link between trouble (God’s providence), the believer’s character/approval, and hope. The Greek term for approval or character means proving genuine. James makes use of the word in James 1:3, 12 as does Peter in 1 Peter 1:7. In each case, the word highlights one of God’s saving purposes: the perfecting of His gift of saving faith. The issue is not the gift or the Giver – but the use of it by the believer.
The believer because he is secure in Christ will prove faithful as Jesus emphasized with the master’s statement: “well done good and faithful servant” in Matthew 25:21, 23 (see Luke 19). The believer’s faith and faithfulness need to be refined. God deserves perfection! In the refining of his faith, the believer becomes and is becoming more and more Christ-like. He begins to think God’s thoughts, desire God’s desires, and obey, not simply out of duty but as blessing and privilege. In that way, the believer follows his Savior’s footsteps.
Paul completes the chain with hope. We met our friend hope in verse 3: rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Now Paul speaks of hope as an end-product. Like saving faith, true hope is a whole-person activity with an object and content. It is a mindset based on Who God is and what He has done, and will do. Biblical hope is not the “hope-so” of the world. Rather, it is the confident expectation that what God has promised He has ordained and it will come to pass for His glory and the good of the believer in His time.
Moreover, biblical hope means certainty. The only reason it is called hope rather than certainty is that we do not possess completely what is hoped for yet (the already is now and the not yet is heaven), but we will (see Romans 8:24-25 for a definition of hope). Said another way, true hope is based upon the character of God. He is the Promise Maker and Promise Keeper whose yes and amen is in Christ (2 Corinthians1:20-21) The cross and the resurrection prove and affirm His faithfulness as the foundation of our hope (and faith). The reality of the believer’s security in Christ is based on the reality of the Triune God and what He is doing, has done, and will do.
1. What has God promised? In Gen. 3:15, God promised a Savior, the new creation, the new heavens and the new earth, and fellowship with him beginning on this earth completed in eternity. Meditate on these thoughts.
2. This is God’s world and He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
a. Do you believe this? Why?
b. Do you believe that God is working all things for His glory and the believer’s good? c. Why and why not?
3. Read Romans 8:24-25 and Hebrews 11:1 ,6: find the similarities between faith and hope. Enjoy.
Romans 5:1-5: Blessings and Fruit of Justification: Outpouring of God’s Love: Part VII
With this post we finish our brief look at the blessings/fruits of justification and the believer’s security in Christ as Paul records them in Romans 5:1-5. The believer who is in Christ has much security and confidence as one saved. Salvation was done to him and for him by Someone outside of him. It has all the earmarks of a radical supernatural work of God. As such, the true believer embraces this work and owns what he is in Christ. This is powerful language by the Holy Spirit!
Moreover, Paul has set out the chain and its links. He begins with peace which is accompanied by access into God’s presence. This gives the believer a proper view of grace and its use and a right view of God and His providence. It leads to a right understanding of hope and its object. Therefore, hope does not disappoint now and eternally. The believer endures – lives 24/7 as a growing child of God – God’s way for His glory and the believer reaps the rewards. The believer’s security is in Christ. Relationships matter!
Paul also adds a “cherry on top.” In Romans 5:5 we read: And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this eschatological new age is the promised gift of the Father and the fruit of the Son’s mediatorial work – Christ lived, died, rose, ascended, and sent the Holy Spirit. Apart from the Holy Spirit, there is no new covenant and no new covenant access to God. The Holy Spirit ushers in the new Age and its dynamic. The reality of the new life is made manifest by Him. Relationships matter.
The Holy Spirit dwells within the hearts of each believer AND corporately, in the church. The Church and the believer have security in Christ. What an amazing situation! God came in the flesh – the Incarnate Jesus. Now post-Ascension, God dwells in (not simply with) His people by the Spirit. Paul explains why saving faith and true hope do not fall short and disappoint (Romans 5:1-2, 4). God’s gifts are rooted in Him. They are anchored in Him so that saving faith and true hope are real, active, and intelligent. Aggressively, the believer’s fruit-bearing is centered on loving God and neighbor.
In verse 5, Paul adds love to form the well-known trio. God’s love is not poured out drop by drop. Rather, His love comes as a flood. It is so easy to assign to God His love as if it is His duty toward man. In the verses that closely follow (Romans 5:6-10), Paul offers an astonishing description of every believer before he was changed. In those verses Paul writes that God saved you, believer, in spite of you. It was all of Him. It follows that there is no reason to be ashamed of true hope and the God of hope. He is the Giver of saving faith, true hope, and love. The believer receives them because he is in Christ. The believer’s security is in Christ not in himself, another person, or a thing! The truth of the believer’s security in Christ rests on the fact that God supernaturally placed the believer in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3, 4-6; Colossians 1:13). In Christ, the believer is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
As a result of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, the believer and the church develop more of the character of Christ. The believer, secure in Christ. lives to please Him and not self. Moreover, the believer is more aware that Christ, the God man, was forsaken at the cross in the place of every believer (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Because He was forsaken, no believer will be. That is true hope which should always lead the believer to run the race as Christ did (Hebrews12:1-3).
1. What is the gospel according to 1 Corinthians 15:3-4?
a. Did Paul omit the Holy Spirit?
b. Why would he not be mentioned?
2. Look at 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; 6:13-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1: what do you learn re: the presence of the Holy Spirit individually and corporately?
3. The work of the Holy Spirit was a necessity.
a. Jesus taught this truth in John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:5-7). What was the Holy Spirit according to those passages?
b. Ponder the greatness of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit and write out your response.