Many things in life are unsure. Few are guaranteed. Life can be difficult to manage with so many uncertainties, but Christians possess a precious blessing that those outside of Christ cannot have–assurance. Romans 5:1-5 Paul identifies 5 blessings of justification. Five blessings that belong only to those who have submitted themselves to the will of God and have been washed in the blood of Christ Jesus that they may stand holy in His sight. These blessings are given to point out the assurance which belongs to every Christian.
• Peace: Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2) and makes us His enemy (Rom. 5:10). But the blood of Christ cleanses us and restores the peace, broken by sin (Rom. 3:21-26). As a Christian we have peace with God, knowing that we are right in His sight (Rom. 5:1) and we have peace with ourselves, knowing that we are living in a way that pleases God (Phil. 4:6).
• Access: Through Christ Jesus “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand” (Rom. 5:2). Literally, we continue to stand in the grace which we’ve been granted access to. What is the grace that Paul refers to? Justification. A legal term which denotes being absolved of all charges and declares just–just-if-I’d-never-sinned.
• Joy: Christians “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Joy is abiding and independent of circumstances. We can “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4) because we know how the story ends. We have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and we have a loving Father who fights in our corner (Rom. 8:28). We have every reason to have joy in abundance!
• Glory in tribulation: Jesus promised that persecution would come (Matt. 5:10-12). For the Christian, it is not a matter of if, but when. Yet we can glory in tribulation because of what it produces–patience, experience, and hope. Regardless of how hot the fire may become; we can glory and rejoice in suffering (1 Pet. 4:13).
• Hope: Hope is mentioned 3 times in our context. We rejoice in hope (5:2), hope is produced by suffering (5:3), and hope will not leave us ashamed (5:5). Our hope is an eternal life in Heaven with our Father (Rom. 8:18ff; John 14:1-3) and that hope is alive and well (1 Pet. 1:3).
In a world full of confusion and uncertainty, Christians can rest easy. We have peace, access (justification), joy, glory, and an enduring hope. No wonder we can sing with such conviction, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!”