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Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:2b “…, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

There is certainly no argument among believers that God’s glory is dimmed through our sin in this day and age.  We cannot see Him in all that He is through the veil of our own depravity.  Likewise, we absolutely do not stand in the perfect righteousness that will be manifested in us on that day when we are glorified by Him.  However, and this is a big “however,” we will!  We know that God will reveal Himself and all of His glory when He returns, and when He does, we will become that which we have received.  There is much cause for rejoicing for the believer in this knowledge, just as there should be fear for the unbeliever.  It will happen; He will return and His glory will be revealed in all of its majesty.  At that moment the groanings in these present fallen bodies will cease and we, His children, will truly be sinless and righteous. God has promised it and He is faithful to all of His promises.  Remember in this day of sin to rejoice in what is our sure future.

Study/Meditation:  How do we rejoice today in “hope of the glory of God”?  How can you use this knowledge as a witnessing tool to an unbeliever?

*Father, You are mighty and holy and glorious!  I long for the day when Your glory will be revealed on this earth.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:2a “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand,…”

Not only do we receive peace with God in our justification, but Paul goes on to tell us that we also have access to Him.  Do not let the magnificent implications of this great benefit go unnoticed.  We often take it for granted, but under the Old Covenant only the priests were offered this access twice a year, and always under severe restrictions.  If the restrictions were not upheld, the priests were in danger of instant death.  However, under the New Covenant we are not only offered unlimited access to the King of the Universe, but we can go there at any time in full communion with Him.  We may at any moment enter into the very throne room of God and we may speak to Him as a child speaks to its Father.  When traveling through the wilderness in search of Canaan, Moses would have given up the Promised Land at any moment for just an instant in his Father’s presence, and yet you and I have been granted that access in an unlimited capacity.  Our justification by faith in Jesus Christ is a complete and fully benefitted justification.  Let us rejoice in that!

Study/Meditation:  How might you often take your unlimited access to God for granted?  What can you do to remember how very fortunate you are to have received such a gift?

*Father, thank You for allowing me this wonderful and unlimited access to You.  You are loving and mighty and I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

From Romans 1:18 all the way to 4:25, Paul has been explaining how we have been justified, or declared righteous, by faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Now in the next few chapters he is going to lay out for us the benefits of this justification beginning here in Chapter 5 with the peace we have with God.  This peace we have received is not brought about by our circumstances; it is not a state of mind.  This peace is a new relationship with God.  Whereas we were under His wrath before being justified by faith, now we have peace with Him; we have right relationship with Him.  Peace with God certainly will bring about peace of mind, but its existence in our lives isn’t dependent on peace of mind.  Nothing can take this peace from us because it isn’t determined by this life; it was given to us freely in the gift of justification by God through Jesus Christ.  We deserve estrangement from the Almighty, but we have been given peace instead.  What a glorious gift!

Study/Meditation:  How can peace with God also bring about a peaceful state of mind?  Why does an occasional absence of peace of mind not influence the peace Paul speaks of in Romans 5:1?

*Father, thank You for the right relationship that I have with You through Jesus.  Thank You for this peace that surpasses all understanding.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 4:13-25

Romans 4:25 “(Jesus our Lord), who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

The faith statement all of us should make should not be “I know that I believe” or “I know when I believe” or even “I know what I believe.”  The statement should be “I know on Whom I believe.”  Our faith is in the promise of God to deliver us from the rightful punishment of our sins which was fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Our faith is in Christ, must be in Christ.  We are justified and made righteous not by anything we do; it’s not by our good deeds.  We have been credited Christ’s righteousness; it was moved over to our account.  Sometimes that’s hard to focus on in the midst of life and its challenges.  We can lose sight of this great and immeasurable gift, but we must set our eyes and our minds on it.  Our faith is in Christ, the fulfillment of the promise of God to deliver us from evil and sin and bring us into eternal life in heaven.  What reason we have to rejoice!

Study/Meditation:  Make it priority today to focus your thoughts on Jesus Christ, the object of our faith.  Meditate on the great gift He has given you and what was accomplished by Him on your behalf.

*Father, I praise You for the amazing gift of salvation that You delivered in my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Thank You for such a gift.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 4:13-25

Romans 4:23-24 “But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, but for ours also.  It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord.”

We might be tempted to ask at this point what all of this about Abraham has to do with us.  We live in another time and place under different situations and circumstances.  Paul anticipates this question and reminds us here that we share in the righteousness given to Abraham because we believe in the same God for the same reasons.  We believe, as Abraham did, in God.  Today many believe in belief; they have faith in faith.  “If I just believe hard enough” or “If I just have enough faith” then they are saved.  Their faith is in their faith, and therefore inside of themselves.  We believe, as Abraham did, in God who is outside of ourselves.  Our faith is in God and in His promises because He has proven Himself faithful.  The righteousness that was counted to Abraham because of his faith in God is counted to us, as well, because of our same faith in the one, true living God.

Study/Meditation:  What is the difference between having faith in your faith and having faith in God?  Where do you see this difference manifested in some people today?

*Father, my faith is in You, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  You are God and only You are worthy of my belief and my praise.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 4:13-25

Romans 4:20-22 “No distrust made him (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’”

Another principle of faith that Abraham demonstrates to us as believers is that we must grow in it.  We often speak of making a “profession of faith” or a “decision of faith,” and to be sure, there is a moment in time when faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a reality in our lives.  We profess it.  However, saying you have faith in the gospel and living it are two completely different things.  After we say it, we have to grow in it.  That takes experiences and circumstances, both good and bad.  Just as Abraham did when God promised to make him the father of many nations, we have to grow in our faith, trusting in God as life happens.  After all, faith is having the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)  If the promises appeared instantaneously, faith would not be required.  However, faith is what was counted to Abraham as righteousness.  It is for us, as well.

Study/Meditation:  Why do you think faith is the deciding factor for receiving Christ’s righteousness?  (Meditate on Hebrews 11:1)

*Father, help me in my daily life as I seek to demonstrate my faith in You and in the work of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.