Peace and Joy, by St Paul

Romans 5:1–8
The first five verses of Chapter 5 of St Paul’s Letter to the Romans introduce a section that contains difficult concepts.  To understand the following four chapters, it helps to keep in mind the two-sided reality of the Christian life.
On the one hand we are complete in Christ (our acceptance with him is secure).  On the other hand we are growing in Christ (we are becoming more and more like him).  At the one and the same time we have status of kings and the duties of slaves.
We feel both the presence of Christ and the pressure of sin.  We enjoy the peace that comes from being made right with God, but we still face daily problems that help us to grow.
If we remember these two sides of the Christian life, we will not be discouraged as we face temptations and problems.  Instead we will learn to depend on the power available to us from Christ, who lives in us by the Holy Spirit.
(from the footnotes in my Life Application Bible)
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