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Romans 5





The concept of justification that was discussed in such depth in chapter 4 is still at the forefront in chapter 5.  Remember that justification is an accounting term.  It has to do with keeping a ledger so that when we get to the end of it, we can add everything up.  If the total is a positive number, we get to go to heaven.  If the total is a negative number, there is no other alternative but hell.  When we are justified, all the negatives caused by our sins are erased from the book.  In their place, the righteousness of Christ is put on our account.  As a result, God does not see us as sinners who owe and a non-payable debt.  He sees us as the righteousness of Christ Himself.  In other words, apart from Christ we are in some serious trouble.

As chapter 5 opens, Paul is intent on making sure we know about the blessings of this justification.  The first one we encounter is Peace with God.  A little further down in this chapter, verse 10 to be exact, shows us that lost people are the enemies of God.  Lost people are in conflict with God. 

But when we are saved, something miraculous happens.  No longer are we enemies.  We are now sons and daughters.  When we are saved, God counts us as family members.  He actually considers us friends.

The second blessing of justification we see in chapter 5 is found at the beginning of verse 2.  Specifically, this is about gaining access to God.  I would challenge you to think about this one for a moment.  Because of Jesus we can have unfettered, unlimited time with God.  

During the days that Jesus walked on the earth, this was unheard of.  In the Jewish mindset, the only place you could encounter God would have been at the Temple Complex.  The Temple, however, was constructed in such a way that only one man (The High Priest) could enter into God’s presence.  And He could only do that one time year.  All of the rest of the Jewish males were separated from God by a thick veil.  Gentiles were even further removed than that.  They were kept from the presence of God by a huge wall.  Had they tried to breach that wall, they would have been killed.

Now we suddenly discover that all of us have access to God at all time.

The final thing I will point you to is the third blessing of justification.  It is found toward the end of verse 2.  It is the hope of glory.  Once again, I am going to ask you to think about this for a moment.

Peace with God covers our past.  In other words, we will never have peace with God until and unless He has forgiven us of all of our sins.  So, having peace with God means that our past has been dealt with and buried in the deepest of seas.  Access to God deals with our present.  We can go to God anytime we need to, which by the way is probably more often than we want to admit.  And the hope of glory is the promise of our future.  When we are saved, heaven becomes our home.  We don’t have to work for heaven.  It comes as a package deal with Jesus.  What a blessed hope we have in Jesus.

There is so much more in this chapter that really needs to be dealt with.  But my space is already filled.  I hope this journey through Romans has proven to be beneficial so far.

By the way, since this coming Monday is a holiday, I think we will take a one day break from writing these daily devotions.  But, the good Lord willin’, we will meet you right back here next Tuesday.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Romans 4





This chapter has much to say about salvation.  Paul goes all the way back to Genesis and reminds us of part of the story of Abraham.  As the chapter opens, we discover that salvation (justification) is by faith not works.

There is something about the way our minds work that convinces us if we do enough of the right things in the right ways, we will get into heaven.  As we read in the first 8 verses of this chapter, if that was the case, we would have much to brag about.  We could be very proud of what we accomplished.

The problem is we can’t be that good.  While it is true that we are capable of doing right things in right ways, we still mess things up.  We still sin.  And the wages of sin is always death.  

What we discover is that salvation comes only through faith.  In verse 3 we are reminded that Abraham believed (That is faith.) God and it was counted to him as righteousness.  The word counted means to put on one’s account.  When we accept by faith what Jesus has done for us, His righteousness is put on our account. And that’s how we are saved.  According to verse 5, God even saves the ungodly this way.

If you will skip down to verses 9-17, you will see the part that grace plays in our salvation (justification).  Paul puts this in terms of circumcision.  He reminds us that Abraham was justified (saved) before he was circumcised.  This would have been a horrible reminder to the Jewish people because they were quite convinced that it was circumcision that separated them from all the other people on the earth.

What we discover here is God didn’t save Abraham because he was circumcised, God saved him because He loved him and wanted him to be a part of the great plan God was and is orchestrating.

The third thing we see is the place that resurrection power plays in salvation. Beginning in verse 17 we are reminded that God brings the dead to life and calls into existence things that do not exist.  Paul reminds us that Abraham’s and Sarah’s reproductive ability had died.  They were both too old in human terms to have a baby.  But God had different ideas.  It is as if he resurrected that ability in Abraham and Sarah and Isaac was soon born.

The chapter ends with a great reminder that God raised Jesus from the dead and because He did we can be saved (justified).

Here’s the deal.  There is something about our human nature that causes us to think we can earn our way into heaven.  As long as we are convinced of that, we will never turn to Jesus because we will be convinced we don’t need a Savior.  The problem is the longer we are trying to do the right things the right ways, we are, in effect, piling up sin against sin.  Our best efforts cannot save us.

We are saved by grace through faith.  Our salvation is not based upon what we have done.  It is based upon what Jesus did.  He did everything He had to do as evidenced by some of His final words on the cross: “It is finished”.  Of course had God not raised Jesus from the dead, none of this should matter to any of us.  But because of the resurrection power evidenced in the raising of Jesus, we can all be saved.  Every last one of us.

Oh what a Savior.  What a glorious Savior!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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