Sometimes I send an email to someone, and the email contains several points which need a response, but they come back with a reply which only addresses one of the points. It’s as if I hadn’t communicated the other points at all. It happens to me quite often.
I think that must be what’s happened to me for years when reading the Bible. I’m sure when I’ve read Romans 5 before, all I noticed was verses 3 and 4, which in the NIV say ‘We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’
Of course if you put that into the context of the whole of Romans 5 it’s actually a glorious truth, but if you only see that bit it can be quite a burden, and I think that is what it had been for me, looking back.
However, I recently re-read Romans 5, and was so delighted that verses 3 and 4 came into context. It seems to contain the whole Gospel. Back in the beginning, God created us, because He longed for fellowship with us. We are made in His own likeness and image and He gave us free will to choose friendship with Him. But we chose to go our own way, which destroyed the friendship. It put us into a place of utter helplessness to do anything about it.
God was so sad about this, and because He still loved us and wanted fellowship he had a plan to restore the friendship with us. This, of course, is what Jesus did when He died to pay our debt for sin and seal a New Covenant friendship between us and God with His blood. All we have to do is believe it and say “Yes please!” Jesus has done all the rest, but we still have that free will choice.
Once we have made that choice we can live under the rule of God’s wonderful grace (verse 21) and as today’s verse says, ‘rejoice that Christ has made us friends of God.’ By the way, these things are facts not feelings. Live in the fact, and the feeling will come. For a long time I was waiting to feel that God was my friend, but there it is, a fact, written down in His word. That is reason to rejoice.
Prayer: Oh Father, thank You so much that I now stand in this place of undeserved privilege because of what Jesus did for me. I rejoice and thank You. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.