Tuesday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 5:6—6:2 (NKJV)
5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Depending on the translation of the Bible you just read, the first verse may have said “we have peace with God” or “let us have peace with God.” This is, in Greek, a matter of whether a copyist heard a long or short “o” sound in an unstressed syllable. It actually makes no real difference, though. We have peace from God through faith in Christ, and by that faith we are to live in peace toward God. That is clear from the rest of the chapter, regardless. We have access to the Father and look to the day when we live in the perfect reception of His love in glory. Therefore, we glory in tribulation, as well, rather than grumbling against Him or wondering if He looks at His believing children with peace. For those justified by faith, whatever trouble we suffer is for the development of believing attributes, as it always turns us back to God’s mercy in Christ.
Verse one must be seen in connection with verses six through ten: justification through the blood of Christ is what faith gives, so that we are saved from the wrath that abides to this day upon the world. The death of Christ, made ours by the Holy Spirit through His gift of faith, took us enemies of God and made us, instead, His children and heirs. That is what reconciliation is: being brought to God and transformed from the dead to the living by His Word’s giving us faith in Christ’s death in our place. That is what Christ’s own preaching was doing in the world before the crucifixion and it is what the preaching of those of whom He says, “He who hears you, hears me” continues to do today, reconciling the world to God.