Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.
—Romans 5:1-2, NLT
"Made right": Do you understand the scope and magnitude of those words?
Righteousness is a priceless gift, one that gives us unbounded privilege and responsibility. Being made right is the theme of the book of Romans and is woven like a thread throughout most of the apostle Paul's writings. You might say it's his life message.
In the verse mentioned above, Paul starts by declaring that the justified child of God has now "been made right" with God. He uses a Greek word found in what is known as the aorist passive tense. This verb tense is always used to demonstrate a completed action, done in the past either for us or to us.
The Greek word construction and its translation underscore the fact that justification is a one-time legal declaration with continuing results. The implication is that God didn't justify you the moment you repented; He accomplished the work when Christ paid the price 2,000 years ago.
Paul continues by saying, "We have peace with God." Here he uses the Greek word ereinae, which, generally speaking, means "a state of tranquility." Again, however, we find an interesting twist to the language.
The word is not being used to describe a subjective state of being; rather, it is used to describe an objective reality. In other words, peace with God is a settled fact, not something that is dependent on our emotions. We're not trying to have peace with God; we have it.
According to Paul, righteousness gains us a place of high privilege. The words translated "place of undeserved privilege" are from the Greek pros agu thene, meaning "to have an approach or access to."
In the Old Testament only one man, the high priest, had access to God—and only once a year. It was unthinkable for a common man to consider entering the Holy of Holies. But today, through the gift of righteousness, we have a "backstage pass" to join God in all He is doing.
Are you taking advantage of the gift of being made right?
Why view God from afar when you can go behind the curtain and experience His presence firsthand? Join us next month as we continue to explore this marvelous and undeserved gift.
John Chasteen is the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Oklahoma. He writes a weekly blog at heycoachjohn.com