The War is Over
"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."
What an important verse this is! When Paul talks about "peace" here, he is not talking about a calm feeling that we have in our hearts. This use of "peace" means simply that the war is over. What kind of war is Paul talking about? In the previous chapters of Romans, Paul has made the case that humanity was at war with God.
In Chapter One, Paul goes into great detail describing the plight of unregenerate man left to himself. He uses the phrase, "God gave them over" to their sin several times. God will never force Himself on us but will always let us go our own way. C. S. Lewis wrote, "The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded." If we really want freedom away from God, He will give it to us, even to our eternal detriment.
As Paul describes the degradation that we can fall into, he seems to be describing individuals that are becoming less human rather than those whose "freedom" is taking them to a higher place of enlightenment. This is nothing new. The enemy promised Eve enlightenment. In reality, her "enlightenment" was the realization that she was naked and a newly awakened sense of guilt.
The discussion in Romans One culminates with the statement, "They invent new ways of sinning..." God's plan from the beginning was for His image to be perfected in us. In turning away and pursuing our own agenda, we move farther and farther away from that image and become less of the person God created us to be.
To be continued...