Romans Essay, Research Paper
Justification, Peace, Grace and Access
In Romans, Paul talks about many different topics and problems that the Jews face
during 57 to 58 AD. He speaks of the need for righteousness, condemnation and sin in Ch
1:18-3:20. Righteousness is imputed, and justification and sin is explained in Ch
3:21-5:21. But there is one major area that this paper is going to talk about and try to
explain in as good of detail as possible. Justification, Faith, Peace, Access, and Grace in
God in Romans 5:1-5. How does justification show our right standing with God? How
does faith play a part in our justification? Do we have peace with God or receive it? Does
the faith we have give us access to God and His kingdom? And last but not lease, grace
should be the controlling factor of all these strong connecting assets.
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and
rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The first point Paul makes in this chapter has become the cornerstone of the
present Christian experience. We are justified by faith. ?Not that faith is at the first of
justification;… nor is it the chief, or has it the chief place in justification; it is not the
efficient cause of it, it is God that justifies, and not faith;… we are not justified by faith,
either as God?s work in us, for, as such, it is a part of sanctification;… but we are justified
by faith objectively and relatively, as that related to the object Christ, and his
righteousness; or as it is a means of our knowledge, and perception of our justification by
Christ?s righteousness, and of our enjoying the comfort of it; and so we come to have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.?1 Please note that our faith and
Abraham?s faith is different. Abraham believed God could and would perform what He
promised, and our faith is to believe that God has performed His promise. What is faith,
peace, grace, justification, and access? What does it have to do with our lives? How can
we understand these words and apply the knowledge to our lives? In this paper one will
find some understanding to them. ?Remark here that justification is distinct from peace.
?having been justified, we have peace.? Justification is my true state before God, by viture
of the work of Christ, of His death, and of resurrection.?2 How do we get or receive
faith? Lets start to explain this with one word, that is, regeneration. When the Holy Spirit
draws one to come to the Lord and he accepts the invitation of the Him and receives the
blessing of God. At this moment in time God is sealing , like a king would seal something
with his ring, to show ownership. God is showing ownership to the one who receives Him
with the spirit, the Holy Spirit is the seal. This is regeneration. When this event takes
place in one?s heart, they receive the truth. The truth is recognizing the good and evil of
the world and also in their personal lives. Justification starts at faith and faith starts at
regeneration. One cannot be justified without faith and one cannot have faith without
being regenerated. Christ?s resurrection was for our justification, as a proof of God?s
acceptance of His Son?s sacrifice. For Paul, justification is not sterile doctrine, but a
source of present blessing in one?s life. ?C.E.B. Cranfield represents a very traditional
approach to the problem by concluding that 5:1-8:39 embodies the second division of the
letter by drawing out ?what having been justified by faith means?3… I would suggest that
his approach to the structure of the letter represents an undue dependence upon the
Lutheran hermeneutic of ?justification by faith.? Or, we might say that Cranfield?s
understanding of the structure of the argument in Romans is more reformational than
In being justified before God, we have peace with God through Christ Jesus. Paul
having talked about the doctrine of justification clearly, and proven that is not by works of
men but by the righteousness of God. Proceeds to consider its effects. Among which,
peace with God stands in the first place; and is so called, to distinguish it from peace with
men. ?and whose justice they have affronted; reconciliation for sin being made, and a
justifying righteousness brought in, and this imputed and applied to them, they have that
“peace of God”, that tranquillity and serenity of mind, the same with “peace with God”
here, “which passes all understanding”, (Phil.4:7) ; and is better experienced than
expressed: and this is all through our Lord Jesus Christ.?5 In Romans Paul likes to use
triads, many theologians have picked up on his consitent use of them. The ?peace with
God? is a possible piece of a triad of love, joy, and peace. ?The importance of this triad in
Paul is also underscored by a simple word count of Pauline vocabulary; these three fruit of
the Spirit emerge as a dominant factor…Love, joy, and peace can not be reduced to
inward, individualistic ?traits.?…Love joy, and peace enter into the structure of Paul?s
thought as a corporate reality, corresponding to the all-embarcing Lordship of Jesus
Christ. Consequently, Christians are called to the love of enemies, to living at peace with
all persons, and to enter into the joy of creation. The ?art? of forming Christian character
marked by love, joy, and peace, is to bring persons to that place where there is a symbiosis
of inward and outward reality. Only then can we recognized them as Fruit of the Spirit.?6
If love, joy, and peace are truly related, than one needs to consider all three when dealing
with process of justification through faith. A interesting thought that God has many things
to connect with the understandings of how He wants us to live. Some translations of the
?peace with God? very. ?Although many interpreters and the committees controlling the
standard Greek texts of our day believe the context of 5:1 favors the indicative translation,
?we have peace with God,? the more strongly attested subjunctive form should be
accepted. It should be translated as hortatory subjunctive, ?lets us have peace with
God.?…The implication of the current consensus favoring the indicative is that only those
who have the right doctrine of justification by faith enjoy peace with God. Although this
implication is strongly favored by some branches of the Lutheran exegetical tradition.?7
On the basis of Stanley E. Porter?s recent demonstration of the superiority of the
subjunctive reading, this verse needs to be translated as follows:
?Therefore, having been set right by faith let
us have peace with God through our Lord
To have peace with God is a gift that is received at regeneration, but only used to
its entirety when there is a true understanding of the justification whichs involves faith.
?Remark here that justification is distinct from peace. “Having been justified, we have
peace.” Justification is my true state before God, by virtue of the work of Christ, of His
death, and of resurrection. Faith, thus knowing God, is at peace with God; but this is a
result, like the present enjoyment of the grace wherein we stand.?9 Here is a poem that
gives a different angle to peace with God.
?Jehovah-Shalom The Lord send peace (Judges 6:24)
Jesus! whose blood so freely stream?d
To satisfy the law?s demand;
By Thee from guilt and wrath redeem?d,
Before the Father?s face I stand.
To reconcile offending man,
Make Justice drop her angry rod;
What creature could have form?d the plan,
Or who fulfill it but a God?
No drop remains of all the curse,
For wretches who deserved the whole;
No arrows dipt in wrath to pierce
The guilty, but returning soul.
Peace by such means so dearly bought,
What rebel could have hoped to see?
Peace, by his injured Sovereign wrought,
His Sovereign fasten?d to a tree.
Now, Lord, Thy feeble worm prepare!
For strife with earth, and hell begins;
Confirm and gird me for the war;
They hate the soul that hates his sins.
Let them in horrid league agree!
They may assault, they may distress;
But cannot quench Thy love to me,
Nor rob me of the Lord my peace.?10
It is by the same Christ Jesus that we have gained access to grace through faith.
The Bible says that God has given every man a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), but that
measure of faith does not mean that all men have their eyes and hears open to receive
Christ as Lord of their lives. ?Faith believes in the God who has done this, and
who-exercising His power in love and in righteousness-has raised from the dead the One
who bore my sins, having entirely abolished them, and having perfectly glorified God in so
doing. On this ground, too, “by Him” we have found access into the full favour of God in
which we stand.?11 The access talked about here is not to the blessing of justification; but
is of grace which we have access to by Christ, and come to the knowledge of by faith, and
we enjoy the comfort of through it ; and is a grace in which people stand. To which they
should never fall. Paul is ?not specking of that blessing itself, but of its effects; and here of
one distinct from ?peace with God?, before mentioned, as the word also manifestly shows:
nor does it design any other blessing of grace, as pardon, adoption, sanctification… and an
access therunto; not unto the free grace, favour, and good will of God, the source of all
blessing; but to the throne of grace, which may be called that grace because of its
name,?12 Now access to the throne of grace, and standing at that throne, are ?by? Christ.
There is no access to God in our own name and righteousness, and upon the foot of our
own works. Christ is the only way we can have access to God, and acceptance with Him.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh
patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not
ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which
is given unto us.
We are to rejoice in the the tribulations because we know that God disciplines
those He loves and tribulations brings the knowledge of understanding that it teaches us to
patient. ?A problem for the interpreters, however has been to make sense of the peculiar
references to ?boasting? in this passage, where Paul appears to claim that Christians
routinely boast in their hope and in their sufferings, which stands in some dissonance to
the actual experience of Roman Christians both internally and externally. This problem
would be eliminated if the text-critical decision about the reading of 5:1 were made on
methodical grounds.?13 The boasting in the achievement of honor that led the human
race to chronic conflict is here replaced by a new form of boasting: in the ?hope of the
glory of God? restored by Christ, and ?in the afflictions? shared with Christ which lead to
?perseverance? and ?hope.? The proper form of the ?boasting God through our Lord
Jesus Christ (5:11),? relying on ?grace? (5:2) rather than in the acheivements of self or
group, stands in contrast to the arrogant boasting in 2:17.14 ?The better a man is, the
more he is led by glory.?15 This boasting or hope of the glory of God is in fact another
effect of justification by faith. The ?glory of God? is another effect of justification, this is
not the essential glory of God; but that everlasting glory and happiness which he has
prepared for his people, he has promised to them, and has called them by Christ. This will
bestow upon them; of which they can, and do rejoice, even amidst a variety of afflictions
and tribulations in this world. ?And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured
out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit? (5:5) What disappoint do we have when
we know of the future and what is brings? God has shown His love through Christ and
His death. Through our faith God gives us the Holy Spirit we receive the fruit of God,
and start to understand the purpose of our mission. The gift that God give us is not the te
Holy Spirit is Grace, grace is what starts the love in God. We cannot have access unless
we have grace. We cannot have faith without grace first. We cannot be justified if didn?t
have grace to cover our sin.
A blessed change takes place in the sinner’s state, when he becomes a true believer,
whatever he has been. Being justified by faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous
God, cannot be at peace with a sinner, while under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away
the guilt, and so makes way for peace. This is through our Lord Jesus Christ; through him
as the great Peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints’ happy state is a
state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, which teaches that we were not born in this
state. We could not have got into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardoned
offenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotes perseverance; we stand firm and safe,
upheld by the power of the enemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God
hereafter, have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of
itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation. Patient sufferers
have most of the Divine consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works
needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint, because it is sealed with
the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed
abroad the love of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense of God’s love to us, will
make us not ashamed, either of our hope, or of our sufferings for him. One should ask if
they are justified, and then ask who or on what means is that person justified? Can there
be one agent to justify us or many? Of course we now know that God does the justifying,
not our faith. I f God is the justifier then how can we be just in His eyes? Through faith.
Faith is the main ingredient to the being justified. Now that we are just in God eyes, then
we have access to His throne, and that access is available to those who believe. In our
access to Him and His throne we are in / with / and have peace with Him. We start to
understand the difference between good and evil. We are favored by Him after we are
justified. If we have access to Him and are favored by Him, then we can now rejoice in
the further of His comes and the future of the kingdom. Let us boast in the glory the hope
of the kingdom of God.
Cowper, William. ?Olney Hymns?. Sheldon & Company, New York, 1988.
Cranfield, C. E. B. ?Romans?. 1:253-54.
Darby, John. ?Synopsis of the New Testament?.
Dunn, D James. Romans 1-8 Word Biblical Commentary 38a, Word, Dallas, 1988
Gill, John. ?Exposition of the Bible?.
Harrisville, A Roy. ?Expository Ariticles? Interpretations 45, 181-185, 1991.
Jewett, Robert. ?The God of Peace in Romans?. Currents & Theology in Missions 25,
Judge, E. A. ?The Conflict of Educational Aims in New Testament Thought?. Journal of
Christian Education 9, 33-38, 1966.
Meye, P Robert. ?Character Formation?. Theological Education 24, Supp1,
Nabpr. ?Romans 5?. Perspectives in Religious Studies 19, 255-272, 1992.
Porter, Stanley. ?The Argument of Romans 5?. Journal of Biblical Literature 110,
II. 5:1, Justification by faith, Peace with God.
III. 5:2, We have Access, Rejoice in the Hope, Boasting.
VI. 5:3, We Glory in Tribulations, Tribulation worketh Patience
V. 5:4-5, Experience of Grace and God?s love is shed by the Holy Spirit.