For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Welcome once again to Delving into the Scriptures! Today we will look more into Romans 5:6-11 – and primarily, Justification.
Following on from our last post on this verse (here) which covered verses 6-8, verse 9 points out three things. We are Justified, we are ‘saved from wrath’, and both of these things come through Jesus – and His death on the cross.
What is to be justified? It means basically to be declared innocent or guiltless – in other words, as if you had never done anything wrong! We have not ‘served our sentence’ and been released like a criminal – for how could we? The punishment for sin is death – and eternal separation from God. There is no ‘release’ from this sin – there is no coming out if jail at the end of our sentence. But Jesus work on the cross is such that it is as if we had never sinned! The record is clean, we are free to start over.
This has some amazing outcomes if you think it through. If you had never sinned – if the record is truly clean – then all of the things in your past are gone. There is no reason to dwell on them for a start, there is no reason for them to be a part of your life anymore – you are ‘free’. Please remember this is in a spiritual sense – if you murder someone on this earth, you will still be rightly held responsible on this earth for that act – but you can be free of your sin before God and start your life anew.
It also means we have the opportunity to move away from our old life, from the things in our lives which caused us to sin in the past – because the record is clean. It doesn’t mean we will be instantly cured of any desire to sin (and that is coming later in Romans as well), but we have the opportunity to fight it anew – because the old sin is gone. It is not a ‘continuation’ of sin in a way – it is not your ’50th’ offence – in the spiritual realm it is your first offence again when you sin again, and you that is really a much better place to work from! We know and live in the hope that one day we will leave this body and be totally free of the problems that come along with being here – but we can do our best in the mean time to ensure we don’t sin.
So – we are saved from wrath (or anger) – and I think God’s anger would not be something I would line up to see – let alone be on the receiving end of! And this is because it is though we have never sinned – because of the work of Jesus on the cross.
And that is what it means to be justified.
And it gets better from here, but we will cover that next time!
Lord God, thank you for wiping the record of our sins clean. Thank you for the opportunity to start again, teach us how to respond, teach us how to live for you now that we are once again in your presence. In Jesus Name. Amen.