Romans 5-8 is one of the most encouraging and empowering sections of the Bible. The effect that reading those four chapters can have on the soul are immense. In these chapters Paul outlines the benefits that have come to the believers due to justification (which he discusses thoroughly in chapter 4). Let me briefly summarise some of the benefits: peace with God (5:1), access to grace (5:2a), joy (5:2b) – even in sufferings (5:3-5), the effects of sin reversed (5:12-21), death to sin and life to God (6:1-23), the Spirit (7:1-7), deliverance from death (7:8-25), no condemnation (8:1), freedom from the law of sin and death (8:2-11), adoption as heirs (8:12-17), hope (8:18-25), intercession (8:26-27), all things work for good (8:28-30), God is for us (8:31), he will give us all things (8:32), no one can bring a charge against us (8:33), no one can condemn us (8:34), no one can separate us from the love of Christ (8:35-36) and we are conquerors (8:37-39). Those are the benefits which are ours because of justification, that is, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another benefit is found in 5:6-11, the only verses I missed in those four chapters. Here we see that:
God has committed himself fully to us in Christ on the Cross. Therefore, having made such a commitment, he will never abandon or forget about us.
I don’t know if you have ever considered it, but God went to an awful lot of effort to justify you and reconcile you to himself. “Christ died” (v. 6), “Christ died” (v. 8), we have been justified “by [Christ’s] blood” (v. 9), we were reconciled to God “by the death of his son” (v. 10). Justification and reconciliation were not cheap processes for God, they cost him his Son.
Moreover, he went through that process for us. Even the very, very best example of love that the human race has to offer (“perhaps daring to die for a good person”, v. 7), does not compare to God’s love (v. 8). Because, God love is of such a calibre that he gave Jesus to die for us “while we were still sinners” (v. 8). Furthermore, not only were we “sinners”, we were God’s “weak” (v. 6a), “ungodly” (v. 6b) “enemies” (v. 10).
Therefore, if God has already gone to the extraordinary effort of converting his enemies into his friends. Of changing sinners into saints. Of adopting strangers as sons and daughters. Of reconciling ungodly creations with the godly creator. Of justifying criminals. If God has already gone to all of that effort, how could we possibly think that he would ever abandon or forget about us.
That would be like a married couple adopting a child from Africa. They go through all of the paperwork and the long process. They pay for the plane tickets there and back. They pay for all of the child’s food, clothing and expenses. They provide the child with a good education. They love the child like their own. And then, when the child graduates high school and has to move away for university – do you think the parents would just forget about the child? Do you think they would never call to check in? That they would just send the child away to fend for themselves? OR: do you think the parents would call the child every day to make sure they are okay? Do you think they would help them move into their new place? Making sure they have all of the furniture and other stuff they need?
It would be like me investing my life into a group of high school students at youth group. Let’s say I pray for and pray with them regularly, I study the Bible with them, I take them to Maccas occasionally, I help them get their licenses, I take them camping, etc. I invest my life into them. And then, once they graduate high school and are no longer youth group kids, I delete them from Facebook and never speak to them again.
That isn’t how things work. If you have invested a lot of effort into something, you don’t ever stop caring about it. You don’t ever stop being committed to it.
And the same is true of God. “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how 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, how much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Rom 5:9-10)
God has already gone to the effort of justifying and reconciling us, how much more, now that he has invested so much effort in us, will he see it through, by saving us. God is committed to you, because of the cross.