1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
I've underlined the whole thing, because every verse is important. Reminds me of my chemistry textbook in college. I started to highlight everything that I thought was noteworthy, only to realize that I had just highlighted like 98% of the page I was reading. So I thought, why not highlight the non-essential parts, thus saving me money on highlight pens. But then, what's the point of highlighting the unimportant stuff? I learned later to distinguish the really important stuff vs. the so-so important stuff. But in this passage every verse is essential.
So, I commend to you this passage. And, if you are so willing, try to memorize this portion of Romans. The passage captures so many key themes in Romans, yea, the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theme of finding peace with God through the only source of our right standing before a holy God: faith in Jesus Christ. The theme of fearing nothing, including suffering because even suffering can be seen as a divine gift for our own good of endurance and producing character, which in turn produces something most extraordinary (supernatural): that is, hope. And it's not as if this development or progression is just psychological or character-driven. This progression toward hope is itself infused with God's love which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts!
And then in the second paragraph of this powerful passage, we get the act that exemplifies God's love, "that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." The love of God is shown by this spectacular act of sacrificial love, a love for "enemies" which we truly were in the face of God. But Paul takes this amazing truth as a premise for something else encouraging: that if God did the hard thing of sacrificing His Son for us as enemies, surely God will make sure we will be fully "saved" as His friends. So, again, nothing to fear, nothing to worry about in terms of our standing before God and in terms of our progress in reconciliation with God. Praise the goodness of the Lord!
Let's pray: Father God, we thank you for sending your Son to die for us. Son of God, we thank you for offering your life as a sacrifice for us. Spirit of God, we thank you for continuously pouring out love into our hearts that comes the passion of Christ. Father, Son, and Spirit, we thank you for the commitment that you have for us as sons and daughters of God and that you will see to it that we will come into the fullness of our salvation and reconciliation. All thanks to you, O God, Three in One. Amen.