Journal Ro 5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “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.” Ro 5:1-2
Observation: Paul writes to the Romans in a very systematic way; almost like an outline where there is a statement and an obvious outcome and repeats the process again. These two sentences are just one example of the teaching process in his writing.
Analysis: It appears that each chapter of Romans resides on the shoulders of the precepts talked about in the previous chapters, and specifically the individual chapter before.
While these two sentences enforce “justification by Faith”, the precedent principle is that before this, man did (and does not) have peace with God; Man needed a solution applied that would allow him to “have peace with God.”
That would be Jesus. But, how?
These are the type of questions that believers, reading through the Bible and especially books like Romans, should be asking themselves. At one point in my life, I could read (and did), underline (and did) the phrase, “…we have been justified by faith…” Verse 2 was made into a song by Buck and Annie Herring (2nd Chapter of Acts—can’t hardly find these CD’s anymore—70’s and 80’s…) and reinforced the Doctrine of Salvation by Faith. (By the way, look for Christian songs that pound doctrine. Avoid those that don’t.)
How did Jesus bridge the chasm? How did He become our propitiation? Why did His blood atone for our sins (and Sin)? Why was Jesus the only person that had enough worth to do this?
Or the very obvious, “What is the word, Therefore, there for?” What was it in Chapter 4 (or 3 or 2 or 1) that drew an obvious conclusion in the first sentence of Chapter 5?
In reading (out loud is very good, there is an intrinsic blessing), and writing in your journal (also very good, it makes us think coherently and gives us subjects to ask questions/talk about), we can come up with the “Wait a minute!! What did that mean? Let me read that over again…” moment—not the re-reading because we had a fogged out moment, but the re-reading that comes because the Holy Spirit prompted us “So you think you understand, huh? Spirit says, I bet not. Try again.”
Prayer: Father, You are very aware that I can (and have) studied to reinforce “know it all” arrogance. And I am very aware that you have disciplined me, closed off doors, to keep humility forefront in me—not only in the local Church, but in business, in relationships, etc.
I am committed to the road you are leading me upon. Working ever to mortify that sin in me,
Ricky Two Shoes