Some items from church this morning:
A. We are continuing our Bible study through Romans. Today, we covered Romans 5:1-5. The teacher said that Christians do not earn their justification by believing, as if faith were a work. Rather, Christians are saved by the work of Christ, as God credits righteousness to them. Faith is the way that they receive this. They are saved through faith, not because of faith.
B. Romans 5:1 affirms that Christians have peace with God. The pastor observed that Ephesians 2:14 states that Christ is our peace. Christ is how Christians become at peace with God, and Christ brought Jewish and Gentile Christians together into one body, so Christ is how Christians become at peace with each other. The teacher told a personal story about estrangement and reconciliation. He had a neighbor. They were not friends, but they were friendly. They talked about each other’s children growing up and projects they were working on. The relationship was broken, however, and neither was willing to change his mind about the subject that was dividing them. The teacher waved at him, but he never waved back, so the teacher stopped waving. One day, the neighbor was trying to move something and was having difficulty. The teacher stepped in and helped him, and that improved the relationship.
C. Romans 5:2 states that Christians “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Two suggestions were made about what the glory of God means. The teacher said that God’s glory is when everyone calls on God’s name. He referred to Philippians 2:11, which refers to people confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The pastor interpreted the glory in reference to the Hebrew word kavod, which refers to God’s glory but also to God’s presence. Christians hope to live in God’s presence, without reservations and hindrance, as Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God in the cool of the Garden (Genesis 3:8). They accords with God’s purpose in creation.
D. Romans 5:3-4 talks about Christians’ suffering. The pastor talked about the cruciform life. Christians become more like Christ, and identify more with Christ, when they suffer, for Christ suffered in the world and had hope that God would resurrect him. We live in a fallen world and God meets us in it.