Thursday

06 February 2014

“Therefore since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 1)


Background

In this passage, Paul describes our salvation in Jesus Christ through faith. He said we are justified through faith. To be justified is to be made righteous - a way of saying that God enables us to recover our divine image and fitting place in creation. We are empowered to become the people God created us to be.

This gift came to us through faith in Jesus Christ, and we received God's peace. In the account of God making the world, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2) and in the commandments told the people that they and all their people were to rest on the seventh day (Exodus 20:8-11), because they should remember they had been slaves in Egypt. The opposite of rest, was striving and ceaseless labour all week. When creation was restored to its original perfect form, there was a natural rhythm of labour and rest. When God restores us to our fitting place in creation we know the deep peace of this rest.

This gift came to us in Jesus Christ, in whom our hope of sharing God's glory (beauty) rests.

Paul tells us we should boast in our sufferings. We should value all the ways we have had to work through less than perfect situations because these produced the character of perseverance in us and character builds hope. The hope would be fulfilled because God's love had been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our hope is empowered by God.

The extend of God's love for us had been proved because Jesus Christ had died for us when we were still in a state of being unrighteousness, weak and far from God through our actions. Even though we had been far from God, and could not help ourselves, God had still had the ability to draw close to us through the Jesus Christ. If therefore we are now made righteous by Jesus Christ, how much greater his love and delight would be in this righteous state.

The sacrifice of Jesus (through his blood) brings us reconciliation with God, and rescued us from God's wrath. This is God's judgement at our not fulfilling our potential as the people God created us to be.


To Ponder

  • Describe a time where you have felt your striving cease and at peace with God, yourself and others. What did it feel like?
  • Describe a time where you could not save yourself, but you were rescued because of the character of the one who rescued you.
  • How do you understand the meaning of the wrath of God in the context of our communal living?


Bible notes author:
  The Revd Jenny Ellis

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