“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5, NKJV).
… Peace and hope are the immediate fruits, not justification only, but reconciliation, peace with God, [being] brought into His presence, accounted just and righteous, a work within. We have no conscience of guilt, for we have peace. Instead of wrath it is life, and “access into this grace wherein we stand.” There is a new position, a new relation to God, a new standing before Him, a new heart, a new prospect, a new hope, a new future.
Three times we have the word rejoice — we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, we rejoice in tribulations, and we rejoice in God. In Romans 3: 23 we are told that all have sinned and come short of the “glory of God.” What is this “glory of God”? It can be nothing but the definite ideal God had for the life and character of the human being. The glory of God represents all that which belongs to man in God’s purpose in creating him. We have come short of it by sin; but now, standing in grace, we rejoice in hope of that glory. Where creation failed [through the Fall], redemption succeeds. God’s creative purpose shall be accomplished. Christ has covenanted with God that it shall be accomplished.
Man can never be truly man unless he is a vessel for the Divine. God never meant him to live his life apart from Himself. God must be his life — God in Christ. The glory of man is really the glory of God, for it is the life, the wisdom, the power of God, that is to be his life, his wisdom, and his power. Grace plus glory
Justification is only a beginning. The end is glory. The path is grace, but is grace plus glory. He gives grace that He may give glory. That is the hope — is it realizable? No doubt about it. There are difficulties, tribulations, yet we rejoice in hope in spite of them! No, not inspite of them but because of them. They nourish our hope; God must permit them because of our need of discipline. Character cannot come without discipline, and glory never comes without character. These are the steps — tribulations, discipline, character, glory — and hope rejoices in the midst of them all [v.2].
The vindication of that hope is certain. “Hope makes not ashamed” [v.5]. Why? Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. God loves us; we have the heart experience of it, it suffuses our being, and we are persuaded that no created thing can separate us from that love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord [8:39].
Though we were enemies, yet God loved us [v.10]. When it was a question of sinners, it was the Messiah Who died for sinners, but when He died for His enemies, it was as the Son. Why the contrast? That we might feel more and more the love of God. Thus and so are we brought into His family, where our Lord’s Father becomes our Father. By the death He died He saves us to the uttermost; by the life He now lives, He saves us to the uttermost; and so sure are we of the hope that we rejoice as though it were already realized, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. Our present is grace, peace and hope; our future is glory. We rejoice “in God,” through Whom we have now received the reconcilation [v.11].
This is an excerpt from The Gospel for the Believer by R.B. Jones. This full chapter (1) is online at https://gracenotebook.com/the-gospel-for-the-believer-exposition-of-romans-5-8-chapter-1/