24 May 2014Romans 5:1-11
“... 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.” (v. 5)
The verses from Romans describe how "since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 1). Justification means that we have been made righteous and are unconditionally and completely accepted by God. It is not our faith that saves us, but Christ in whom we have faith. Through Christ we are guaranteed the gift of inward peace. Like Christ, we may suffer and endure and hope. Yet those who have faith in Christ discover within themselves the continuing gift of God's love, poured into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Today is the anniversary of the day (link to ) on which John Wesley felt his heart "strangely warmed" as he listened to Martin Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. Wesley describes how he felt assured of God's love and forgiveness: "while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."
- What helps you to hope in times of suffering and endurance?
- Wesley said: "... and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine ...", reflecting a human tendency to feel unworthy of God's love. Yet through God's love in Christ we are worthy. Consider what this means for you.