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Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:9 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Most of us, at one time or another, hear the voice of the enemy or the voice of our own sins whispering questions like “Are you really saved?” or “Are you really one of the chosen ones?”  That’s why believers love to read and meditate on justification, and it is why the Apostle Paul spends so much of his letter writing about it.  This is our assurance.  This is our peace, knowing that we have been declared righteous according to the work of the perfect Son of God.  Hallelujah!  In verse 9, Paul is arguing from the greater to the lesser, saying that if such an amazing thing as justification has been given to us by God, shouldn’t we even more so be assured that our salvation is also secured?  The moment we accepted Jesus Christ as our one and only Lord, the Son of God and the atonement for man, we were declared fully righteous in Him.  A consequence of that amazing gift is our being saved from God’s wrath that will surely be poured out onto the earth on that great day.  Being assured of the former gives us total confidence in the latter.  Praise God, our loving Father!

Study/Meditation:  How can Romans 5:9 be a great verse to use when witnessing to an unbeliever?  How does it also minister to you?

*Father, Your justification of me, a sinner, is unmerited and amazing.  Thank You that it will further save me on that great and terrible day.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:7-8 “For one would scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We read at times of men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives for others—for their spouses or their children or their friends or their countrymen.  These are heroic and phenomenal acts of love and bravery, and they are most often on behalf of those who are deemed somehow worthy of the act.  Regardless of who and why, we don’t read or hear of it very often.  Humans don’t do this on a regular basis and they very, very rarely do this for someone who is their enemy.  Paul’s point is this:  we don’t have an apt comparison for how much God loves us.  Humans don’t do this.  But God does.  He loves us while we are sinners; He chose us while we were anti-Him.  Then He demonstrates this in Christ’s atoning death on the cross for us.  It is mind blowing and fully beyond our comprehension to understand this love that the Father has for us.  How marvelous to be the recipients of so great a love as this.

Study/Meditation:  Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular?  Why is it that so many people don’t really understand the magnitude of verses like John 3:16 in light of passages like Romans 5:6-8?

*Father, thank You for this astounding love.  Thank You, Jesus, for dying for me while I was yet a sinner.  I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:6 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

It is relatively easy to love someone who is lovable, but it is much harder if the person displays characteristics that are unlovable.  Paul has just written of God’s spectacular love for us, and then he tells us that this love was poured into our hearts when we were completely unlovable.  As a matter of fact, we were chosen to receive this magnificent gift while we were both weak and ungodly.  We were weak in that we are enslaved to our sin.  We would not choose God.  Our flesh doesn’t even want to choose God.  Though created in God’s image, we would never manifest that image in the way we would choose to live.  We were weak and helpless.  And we were ungodly; we were rebellious toward God.  We were not only without God, but that word “ungodly” literally means that we were “anti-God.”  Yet it was while we were in that state that Christ gave His very life for us.  This, brothers and sisters, is amazing love.  How can it be, that You, my King, would die for me?

Study/Meditation:  What is the difference between the way that we love each other and the way that God loves us?

*Father, Your love is simply and awe-inspiringly amazing.  Thank You for choosing to love one such as me.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:5 “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

As Paul often does in his letters, he has taken us through the progression of faith, hope, and love, but here he ends not with how we love God or others, but with God’s astounding love for us.  Think about it:  in a courtroom when a judge finds you guilty, you are sentenced and sent away from his presence.  However, with our Father, the just Judge of creation, He finds us guilty and instead of sentencing us and sending us away, He gives us His Son’s very righteousness and then knits the knowledge of His love right into our hearts by way of the Holy Spirit.  That is truly astounding love!  Our Father literally pours His love into our hearts, enabling us to see it and feel it and know it, by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.  The Holy Spirit, as Paul states in his letter to the Ephesians, roots us and grounds us in the Father’s love. (Ephesians 3:16-17)  No, our hope in the glory of God is not put to shame.  Hallelujah!

Study/Meditation:  Read Ephesians 3:14-19.  How does Paul further expound in this letter the awesome nature of God’s love for us?

*Father, Your love is amazing and all-encompassing.  Thank You for pouring that love out on me, a sinner.  You are great and glorious and awesome to be praised.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:3-4 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Because of our justification by faith, there is a chain of hope from our tribulation to our perseverance, from our perseverance to our character, and from our character to our hope.  Because we have been given this gift, all that happens to us is a means toward our sanctification—nothing is without purpose.  This is a glorious perspective that only God’s children are able to share.  These things are not man-centered attributes by any means.  Our sanctification is not about making us stronger men and women.  The trials and troubles that assail us now are both designed by and then used by our Father to bring us closer to Him, to make us more God-glorifying.  They do indeed make us stronger, but stronger in Him.  How comforting and peace-bringing is the assurance that nothing that happens to us is outside of His use for us to His glory.

Study/Meditation:  How does Paul continue in this theme in Romans 8:28?  Where are your assurances in these thoughts?

*Father, help me to see my present circumstances in light of You instead of in light of me.  Thank You for sanctifying me and loving me.  Amen.

Focal Passage: Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:3a “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings.”

The Apostle Paul isn’t interested in bringing a one-sided gospel message. He isn’t interested in bringing only one side of the news concerning the justified life of the believer. He says that we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but “more than that,” we also rejoice in the sufferings of this life. How could Paul say such a thing, and why? It’s simple really. If Paul were presenting to believers the gospel as if we were only hanging onto a rope of hope in a life full of pain, enduring and suffering and wondering at the heartache, then we would be a miserable people at best. However, Paul says we rejoice in our sufferings along with our hope in God’s glory because part of God’s promise is that He is in control. Nothing in this universe can work against us or His plans for us. The world may want to destroy us, but it absolutely cannot. If God is for us, who can be against us? Paul’s answer is “no one,” and because of that we can also rejoice when we suffer, knowing that those things are also for our good. What an amazing gift of comfort and peace in a life that otherwise would be none of those things.

Study/Meditation: To “rejoice in our sufferings” does not mean to necessarily be happy in them. What does it mean?

*Father, thank You for taking care of every aspect and detail of my life. Help me to remember that nothing in my life is outside of Your sovereignty. Amen.