If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you probably use a fair bit of Christianese. It’s a language with words like saved, believer, walking with Christ, gospel, and on and on. Do you ever wonder if they’re just trendy words with which we pepper our speech to impress others? Yeah, it’s true. Sometimes they are. But they don’t have to be. For when we press to know, to unpack the truth, and to understand, they are life altering. For instance, examine Romans 5:1-2 for a minute.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Paul spent the previous chapters explaining the Gospel, our abject need for it, and Christ’s centrality in it. Now he turns to what “knowing Jesus” really looks like. And it looks like justification, which means to be declared innocent. Not only did Jesus take all your sin, he gave you ALL of his righteousness. This was a one-time, legal act. You’ve heard it this way–just as if I’ve never sinned, just as if I’ve always obeyed.
This is how God sees you. But do you really believe that? I mean, doesn’t that just fill your heart with awe and wonder? Doesn’t it lift the heavy burden of guilt and shame? Amen!
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He says because you are justified, you have peace with God. Whoa. No strife. No contention. No wrath. So, the result of being declared righteous is peace. That’s propitiation. Imagine God’s great fireball of wrath hurtling through time and space at YOU, but at the last minute it’s absorbed by the cross.There Jesus bears all the weight and fury of it. That almost sounds like a work of epic fantasy. But it really happened. No wrath to you anymore, ever. All you know is grace. You’ve been adopted, reconciled, and redeemed. Through Jesus you have a secure standing. You have full access to God. You stand in grace. The fitting response? “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” The deeper these truths penetrate, the more unshakable, overflowing, and abundant is our joy. Buzz words? No way.
The gospel, then is power that turns sinners into saints. It is the power to obey.