“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace …access …[and] hope” (Romans 5.1-5).
Paul begins Romans 5 with three benefits which belong to us as believers: peace, access, and hope. But before the benefits, he reminds us that we are justified by faith. Everything within Romans 5-8 is for the believer …to nurture are growth in Christ. Note what Paul states in Romans 5.1: “Therefore, having been justified by faith…” That is, it’s a done deal. We believed in the Lord Jesus Christ “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4.25). All of our sins (past, present, and future) are gone because Jesus was delivered up for them. So our justification is never nullified by our future sin. I am not saved based upon my future performance; I am saved by Jesus’ past once-for-all performance! Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5.24). We have passed from death into life …never to return again.
Justification and sanctification are related in this way: they both come to us by grace through faith. We are no longer in Adam; we are now in Christ. We have the righteousness of God. The people in our lives and the circumstances unfolding in our lives do not need to change; we do. Romans 5.1-5 makes it plain that we will suffer and experience tribulation, but that will make us more like Christ and give us the hope we need to be convinced that we are children of God.
Growth within a believer is a gradual process. As we are delivered from the power of sin, we realize the benefits of our righteous standing with God due to the work of His Son. Sin reigned in death, but now grace must reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5.21).
The sum of all things for the Christian is to glorify God. We do this by displaying God’s character to the world. This is the manifestation of the righteousness He has given us. Our position in Christ is settled. He was delivered up for all our offenses. But our growth and sanctification depend upon the resurrection power of Christ. We are free from the power of sin as we depend upon that resurrection power. This is ongoing faith and dependence. Yet as a Christian, we may choose to remain in bondage to sin. That is a discouraging realization, but it need not be. This is why Paul not only reminds us that we are justified, but also that we have peace, access, and hope through our Lord Jesus Christ.