Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
This verse serves as a pivotal connecting point between chapters 1-4 and 5-8. Paul had made the charge that all have sinned (1:1-3:20) and are justified by faith alone (3:21-4:25). Here, then, he begins to draw out the implications. Look at the way this first verse of chapter 5 helps to make this connection:
“Therefore” – this connecting word shows that Paul is going to be drawing on the previous point (justification by faith).
“having been declared righteous by faith” – notice that our justification is a past reality. This reality is made possible by our faith (alone), which was the topic of Paul’s discussion in 3:21-4:25.
“we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ” – this is the reality we have as believers in Christ: peace with God. This is again an objective reality. Our peace is not based on feeling, but on the saving work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it does not cease to be, even when it is not felt.
John Phillips, in his commentary on Romans, states that this verse can be summed up with the word “assurance.” Are you assured? You should be. As Christians, we don’t have to be wishy washy about our salvation, wondering from day-to-day where we stand in Christ. God has declared us righteous… what a thought! And in our righteous standing before God, we have peace with Him. This peace is through the One who is peace, “For He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Today, look not to your feelings, but to the unchanging reality that those who have placed faith in Jesus Christ now stand before God with His peace, being declared righteous.
Now, off to workout!