Part 1 – The Fruit of Peace
Having thoroughly and successfully answered any questions that the Jewish believers in the Church in Rome might have raised concerning their justification apart from the grace of God through Christ (heritage, circumcision, law), Paul now wants to express to all Christians the benefits or fruits or results that come to the believer because they are justified by faith. We all know that because we are justified we are forgiven; placed in right standing with the Lord; and have been given eternal life; but Paul wants to explain further how we as believers have benefited from God’s saving work of grace to us.
In verses one through five of Romans 5, Paul lists at least six benefits or fruits. Those being:
- We are now at peace with the Lord God Almighty
- We have gained access into the Lord’s presence
- We have the guarantee of the hope of glory
- We will be able to glory in our sufferings
- The Lord has poured His love into our hearts
- The Holy Spirit has been given to us
The one we focused on in this message is the joyous fact that we are now at peace with God. In order for us to truly appreciate this joyous gift from the Lord (peace with Him) we must first understand the contrasting truth: before we were at peace with the Lord, we were at war with Him. Most people, especially Americans, do not see themselves as being at war with the Lord (in their state of unbelief) because they usually view the Lord as a kind and friendly grandfather that they may not worship, but still ‘respect’. For that reason they see no real need to be devoted to Him here and now, and erroneously assume that ‘when they get to Heaven’ (since they believe that most will go to Heaven because they are basically good) they will have plenty of time to get to know this grandfather God.
Unfortunately, these people don’t realize that according to God’s Word “If you aren’t for Me (Jesus speaking), you are against Me”. In other words, if you are not trusting Christ as the only means of salvation, then you are technically and biblically and spiritually at war with Him.
But, through the gracious mercy of the Lord God, He has provided the means of reconciliation. His Son Jesus Christ died in our place – tearing down the wall of hostility between the sinner and the Lord – thus allowing us to be forgiven and to experience the Lord’s abiding peace. This peace is ‘peace with God’, again meaning that we are not at war – we are now friends of God through Christ. And because we are now at peace with God, we can experience the peace of God, that extra dose of the Lord’s Spirit, which brings comfort, encouragement, and assurance that He will be with us and care for us in times of trouble. Only those who are at peace with God (saved by grace – justified by faith) can experience the peace of God. And thank the Lord God through Christ that that is the case!