Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #17 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #5b
Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:
Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:
1. Justified through faith (v. 1)
2. Peace with God
3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)
4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God
5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)
6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)
7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us
We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s continue to think about the fifth blessing: WE CAN NOW GLORY IN OUR SUFFERINGS (vv. 3-4)!
In the West we suffer from a poor theology of . . . suffering! We do. We need to get back to the Scriptures and recover a biblical glorying in our suffering!
We listed several clear, biblical statements about the believer’s suffering in our last post. But how do we GLORY in our suffering?
Romans 8 indicates that when we suffer we are somehow sharing in Christ’s suffering (v. 17). To share anything with Him ought to lead us to a sense of glory! We also learn in Romans 8 that present suffering shows us (by way of comparison) the greatest of the glory that will be revealed in us (v. 18). The Apostle Paul defines the suffering of the Ephesians as “your glory” (Eph. 3:13)!
Suffering is a gift that no one wants, but it is described as something granted to the believer (along with belief in Him) (Phil. 1:29). Our participation in Christ’s sufferings is integral to getting to know Christ! (Phil. 3:10).
If someone sent you an invitation that began with the words, “Please join me in suffering . . .”, wouldn’t you think them strange, twisted, in need of medical attention? But the Apostle Paul actually invites the believers in 2 Timothy to “join with me in suffering for the gospel” (1:8; cf. 2:3).
Peter tells us that we’re to follow in Christ’s steps in suffering ( I Pe.2:21); that we’re to suffer for what is right (I Pe. 3:14); that we’re to rejoice in participating in the sufferings of Christ (I Pe. 4:13); that we are to praise God that we suffer as Christians (I Pe. 4:16); and that we’ve been called to God’s eternal glory in Christ after we have suffered a little while (I Pe. 5:10). Wow! If those passages don’t help us to GLORY in our suffering, we’re not paying attention!
But here in Romans 5 Paul explains a bit more what glorying in our suffering involves. And we will look at his explanation in our next post.
Tags: glory, Romans 5, suffering
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