“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” – Romans 5:1 (NLT)
Paul spends so much time talking about justification through faith. It is the very foundation of our walk as believers in Christ. He wanted to drive home the point that there is no other way that we are made right with God except through faith. In a culture when most religions were rooted in works in order to please the gods, I can understand why Paul felt the need to cement this fundamental truth. It is not by any work that we have done that we are made right with God, just simply by having faith.
Now here is the interesting thing that I feel a lot of people in our current culture either fail to realize or just don’t want to acknowledge at all: it is only by remaining in this faith, in this right standing, that we will receive the eternal promise of living in glory with the Lord. We haven’t received this yet, merely the promise of putting us in right standing with God. Paul makes this point very clear in the following Scriptures:
“And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son.” – Romans 5:9-10
“So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 5:21
The underlined words emphasize something that has not happened yet, but will happen in the future. “He will save us.” “We will be saved.” “Resulting in eternal life.” Each of these gives clear indication that this is something that has not yet happened. This is the blessed hope to which we look forward to! As Paul says in Ephesians 1:14, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.”
So what does this mean? What does this future tense indicate for us?
It means that we have been made right before God, and we are to continue to walk boldly and strongly in that right standing before the Lord. As said before, we have been made right in order that we might walk rightly before Him. We are called to continue in this right standing by following, listening to, and obeying the Holy Spirit, the voice of God, in our lives. This is what the result of true, genuine faith looks like.
Through the blood of Christ, we have been set free from the power of sin. This freedom now allows us to walk confidently before the Lord as our Guide. But we must be careful to not slip and fall away from Him. We must make our faith our lifestyle. Our way of life. And the only way to do this is to do what the Lord says. It is to obey the Word of the Lord. Otherwise we fall away from our right standing with Him, and our faith was empty and void of life.
It is a daily thing. Not a “one and done” kind of thing. When we say yes to faith in Christ, we are saying yes to a completely new way of life.