One of the most famous lines of Paul’s letter to the Romans comes from Romans 5:1:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Tom Wright, straightaway, makes this comment: “Paul is revealing to his Roman audience a different justice, a different peace, in virtue of a different Lord and a different God: the God of Abraham, the world’s creator, who has now established peace ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ’.”
Again, how do you see these important terms: peace, justification, hope, etc.. Are they individual terms for salvation, are they social descriptors, or are they both? And if you think they are both, how do you explain the gospel in such a way that both show up?
The peace Paul speaks of in Rom 5:1 is both personal and corporate (Wright, 515), anticipating Rom 14:1–15:14. Is the peace of God the community of faith loving one another, loving the world around them, and loving the God who sustains them? Or is the peace of God “When peace like a river attendeth my way?” Is it “well with my soul”?
It is easy for us to convert this into an individual-only gospel; Wright’s commentary won’t let this issue rest. And we need to keep working on ourselves to shed that hyper-individualism of the post-Rousseau world and learn once again to see ourselves in terms of the mission Dei: God’s mission to redeem the world.
Grace is what we have access to through faith in Jesus Christ. Wright says grace is like a room into which the family of God is ushered. Good image to think about.
This peace and grace create “hope” in God’s glory. Wright contends that this “glory” is the Eikon’s glory of reflecting God’s glory in this world. This is established with Rom 8:18-27.