The opening statement of Romans 5:1
Therefore, having been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the conclusion of Paul’s argument in chapters 1-4, and should be the concluding statement of chapter four. The chapter headings were not in the original Scriptures, but were added many years later by uninspired men for our convenience in locating things. They are useful for this purpose but, often, not “very sensibly placed. As result, they often create confusion. A “therefore,” obviously, concludes rather than begins something.
The argument which it concludes in Romans 1-4 is simply this:
- The Gentiles, without the law, sinned and are condemned.
- The Jews, with the law, sinned are condemned.
- Therefore all have sinned,
- And must, as a result, must be saved by faith, as Abraham was.
- This is true also of us—so that when we believe the Gospel,
- We are at peace with God because He has declared us righteous (justified us) by faith. And, we have peace of heart as well!
Let’s not get confused because of a chapter heading in the wrong place. Justification is by faith; God declares us righteous when we trust Christ as our Savior.
Now, how are we sanctified, progressively? Paul goes on in the 6-8th chapters to make that plain—it is by replacing the old fleshly patterns, habituated by the body (which, of course, included brain), with new, spiritual ones. How can that be done? By the work of the Spirit who enables us to produce, what Paul calls in Galatians 5, His own fruit. We are to produce the Spirit’s fruit by His wisdom and power at work in us, enabling us to obey (2 Timothy 2:22)whatsoever Christ commands us to observe (Matthew 28:20).