Previous chapters have majored on the gospel (Rom. 1:16–17), our abject need for it (Rom. 1:18–3:20), and Christ’s centrality in it (Rom. 3:21–26). Justification—God’s reckoning or accounting of Christ’s righteousness to sinners—is through faith alone (Rom. 3:27–31). The only thing we contribute is our need. This is true for us who look back on Jesus’ coming, as it was true for Old Testament figures (like Abraham and David; ch. 4) who looked ahead to God’s fulfillment of his promises through his Son
Now Paul begins to unpack what knowing Christ means in terms of daily life. He takes up sanctification, the work of God’s grace to set us free from sin and make us joyful servants of God’s righteousness (see Rom. 6:17–18). Believers in Christ have peace with God (Rom. 5:1), a state of grace and rejoicing (Rom. 5:2), and a way of living that is both sobering and satisfying.
It is sobering that trusting in Christ brings sufferings (Rom. 5:3; see also Rom. 8:17). But it is satisfying that those sufferings produce endurance, which produces proven character, which produces a confident hope in God’s enduring and eternal care (Rom. 5:3–5). God’s Spirit gives God’s love in abundance. This is the normal yet glorious life of gospel faith.
This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible.