Faith: Approaching the NT Book of Romans
Permacrisis: An extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events.
• And to be fair, the peace of God likely won’t rid the world of every crisis. It likely won’t remove every argument.
• But it can deal with the permacrisis in your soul. It can deal with the permacrisis in you mind and heart.
God can Speak peace to your own personal permacrisis
Romans 5:1 ESV
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace is the culmination of everything we are looking for.
• In book 19 of the City of God, Augustine spends a fair amount of time stating that all of life is the attempt to find peace.
› But then he asks two questions
› What if your plans are disrupted?
› What if you actually obtain what you are pursuing?
• Because Augustine would tell us, on the way to peace, that our desires are really dressed in large amounts of fear.
• Augustine tells us that we are always pursuing peace. That even the events of war are simply, in the end, to find peace.
• So if peace is the greatest thing we can attain to, when we see that Christ Himself offers peace between God and us.
Peace is the ability to access what you need to access without friction.
Since peace with God is possible, we are not defined by the sin on our worst day
Romans 5:6–10 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
• Now while it may not be a lot of fun to look at us on our worst day, it is helpful because it shows the complete love of Christ
• What we read from this passage is that Christ showed up on our worst day. He showed up when we were weak, and when we didn’t have whatever we could to go on.
Romans 5:17–18 ESV
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
• Jesus is called the New Adam. He is making right everything the old Adam, the original Adam turned upside down.
• Christ removes it and makes us new.
• He isn’t just the upcycled Adam.
• He is the new Adam.
New Adam as it refers to Jesus is a callback to the original creation found in the garden of Eden so Christ reconciliation is also restoration of what we were originally intended to be
If Christ can overturn Adam, imagine what He can do with your past.
Since Peace with God is possible, we are not defined by our suffering
Romans 5:3–5 ESV
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The things that feel like will crush you cannot and they can become gifts.
Romans 5:2–5 ESV
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. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
• Suffering itself makes our world very small.
Because suffering is not the only thing that we have access to. If he’s with God as possible, then a change is how we look at reconciliation. Because it’s not us trying to find our way forward, it has got offering a new way forward.
• In Christ we are invited to see that suffering is more than suffering. That it can even be a gift. It can change and form us. It can strengthen us. We just need a better imagination to see Christ’s resources within our suffering.