In the preceding chapters Paul clearly states and firmly proves that justification before God is not of works but by faith. Now he proceeds to show the BLESSINGS that are ours through Christ.
(Vs. 1) We are justified and accounted righteous before God by faith in the Lord Jesus, believing on Him as He is revealed in the Scriptures. Therefore, being justified, we have peace with God. This peace arises from the fact that in Christ we are righteous, our sins are forgiven, and we are holy and unblameable (Eph. 1:3-4; Col. 1:20-22). Out of Christ men are at war with God and He with them (John 3:36; Rom. 8:7). When we are in Christ, we are reconciled and enjoy peace (Isa. 32:17; II Cor. 5:19).
(Vs. 2) By Christ we have access into grace or a state of favor, sonship, and acceptance. Peace and grace are distinguished from one another (I Cor. 1:3; Gal. 1:3). Peace denotes a particular blessing. "Access into grace" (a state of favor) IMPLIES ALL BLESSINGS (I Cor. 3:21-23; Col. 1:12; Heb. 10:19-22).
"We rejoice in hope of the glory of God." The hope of eternal salvation, the hope of being like Christ, the hope of beholding His glory as a joint-heir will produce joy. There can be no true joy without such a hope (Psalm 17:15; I John 3:1-3).
Martin Luther said: "Although I am a sinner, yet I despair not, for Christ Who is my redeemer and my righteousness liveth. In Him I have no sin, no fear, no sting of conscience, and no fear of judgment; for in Him there is no condemnation. I am indeed a sinner as touching this present life, but I have a righteousness of God which is above this life, Who is Christ my LordIN HIM I REJOICE!"
(Vs. 3) Not only does the believer rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but he rejoices even in tribulation, trials, and afflictions (James 1:2-3; II Cor. 12:10). We do not rejoice in the suffering nor the trial itself, for most trials are grievous and difficult; but we rejoice in the EFFECT of the trial. All of our trials are appointed by God, our Father, and are for His glory and our good (Rom. 8:28; Heb. 12:9-11; Psa. 119:71).
"Trials work patience." Patience is submission to the will of God. It is to be content and wait upon the Lord (Heb. 13:5; Psa. 27:13-14). It is the opposite of coveteousness, complaining, and haste. It involves not only our attitude toward God and His providence but also our attitude toward others during the trial.
(Vs. 4) "Patience worketh experience" or MATURITY of character and proof of genuine faith. Trials do not produce faith, but they reveal faith which is there. Actually trials may detect a hypocrite, harden his heart, and cause him to drop his profession. True faith is stronger as a result of trial.
"Experience and proof worketh hope." As the genuineness of our faith is manifested and confirmed by trial and as we grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, our hope of enjoying the glory promised in Christ is strengthened.
(Vs. 5) Those who possess a good hope in Christ will NEVER BE ASHAMED of that relationship, nor will they ever have CAUSE TO BE ASHAMED (for in Him they are perfected), nor will they ever be PUT TO SHAME! A vain hope and a false profession will finally fail, prove to be empty, and result in eternal loss (Rom. 9:33; Rom. 10:11).
It is not our love for God that gives us a strong hope and comfort (although the grace and fruit of love for God and others is quickened in us by His Spirit); but the Holy Spirit reveals to us God's love for us in Christ; and with the knowledge of that love comes the effects of itwhich are peace, access to the presence of God, and rejoicing in the hope of eternal life (Rom. 8:35-39; I John 4:9-10).