1 Therefore, since we have been justified [at one point in the past (aorist), by God (passive)] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul now turned to a new topic in Romans five—the blessings of justification. In the first 11 verses we have the benefits of justification. The subject deals with Christian privilege, a statement of the believer’s eternally accepted position before God.
Note the blessings resulting from justification:
Peace with God (5:1)
Access into God’s presence through grace (5:2)
Strong orientation in tribulation (5:3)
Endurance resulting in character (5:4)
Character resulting in confidence (5:4b)
Confidence in God’s promises (5:5-8)
Saved from hell (5:9)
Future glorification in the eternal state (5:10)
Present joy in God because He reconciled us permanently (5:11)
This “therefore” transitions from the forensic aspect of justification (chapters 3 and 4) to experiencing the results of it in this chapter. This is a change of subject from the topic of salvation to the benefits of salvation.
since we have been justified
This statement is a summary of the previous four chapters. Since it is now a fact or an event that a person has entered into a state of justification with God (aorist—one point in time), he stands reconciled to God and thereby has peace with God. We obtain this simply by faith.
The first consequence to our justification is that we have peace with God.
The means whereby God justified us is “by faith.” When we place our faith in Christ’s suffering for our sin, God declares us right with Himself in the past with the result that we remain justified.
Christians stand justified before God by faith.
The only way we can be right with God is to place faith in Christ’s death for our sins. We cannot stand right before God by our works, because our personal efforts do not measure up to the perfect holiness of God. Christ’s death wipes our slate clean by absolute forgiveness, and justification declares us as right as God is right forever.