24 May 2013

Romans 5:1-11

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (vv. 1-5)


Complete trust in Christ brings us into a right relationship with God. Such faith also guarantees the gift of inward peace and gives us a share in the very nature, character and glory of God. Like Christ we are invited into an inward and outward journey of suffering, endurance and hope. Already the one who has faith in Christ discovers deep within themselves, in addition to all their emotions, thoughts and motivation, the presence of God's own love. And this love is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

To Ponder

  • The great new factor in Christianity is the new commandment of Jesus: "Love one another ... as I have loved you" (John 13:34). This we cannot do without the love of God within us. This love within us comes only with the gift of the Spirit.
  • William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) once said, "I wanted my life to be my argument."
  • Faith - peace - grace - hope - glory - suffering - endurance - character - love - Spirit. Paul has brought ten key words together in one place in just five verses. How are they reflected in your life?
  • Today - 24 May - is the anniversary of John Wesley's 'Emmaus experience' when he felt assured of God's love and forgiveness. As he listened to Martin Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans, John Wesley's heart burned within him as the Scriptures were being explained to him. (Something similar happened to the travellers on the road to Emmaus on Easter Day (Luke 24:13-35).) How do you respond to the Scriptures being explained to you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Prebendary Norman Wallwork

Norman Wallwork is a supernumerary Methodist minister and a retail chaplain in central Exeter. He is also a prebendary or canon of Wells Cathedral.