Rom. 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” We are being admonished that because we have been made righteous in God’s sight through our faith, we therefore have along with this, peace with God by way of Jesus Christ –He who is The Way to God. Verse 2 explains this: “… through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” In other words, it is through Jesus that we come into the sphere of the grace of God –that grace which pardons us of our sins and saves us from eternal damnation.
Now, let’s ask ourselves, “What does it mean to have peace with God (that is, to be inside of His grace) through Jesus?” Through…? What does that mean? Well, we know that Jesus says that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) So, we can understand that to go through Jesus into this grace is to have gone by way of a gate and a door. (Matt. 7:13 & John 10:9) But we need God’s grace daily as well, so this means we must continue going (present tense) along a path, a way, a road. It is the road / path / way (of Truth and Living) who is a Person. Thus it is found only as we abide on that Path, and live in that Person.
Because Jesus is “The Life”, our life must be in His life –which is what brings us into the realm of… the participation of… the inheritance of… –Eternal Life. For when we have the Eternal Life (Jesus), then we have eternal life. This happens when we believe on Him, for we have “crossed over from death to life.” (Jesus in John 5:24) Jesus again in 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…” And in 6:47: “… he who believes has everlasting life.” And in 11:26: “And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”
I could go on and on with examples, but let’s look at this last one. Notice Jesus’ wording. Here it is in my Interlinear Greek-English New Testament: “And everyone living and believing in Me by no means dies…” It can be seen, then, that we possess eternal life by possessing Eternal Life, the Person, and that this is done by having believed on Him (a past decision), by believing in Him (present tense constant decisions), and by living in Him (also present tense). We live in Him by having our life hid inside of Him (Col. 3:3), and we do that by having our spirit fused with His.
On the other hand, if we live in sin, He who will not live in sin, will not fuse His Spirit with ours. If we think it is so, we have only a counterfeit –or nothing. Either way, we are lying to ourselves if we claim to have fellowship with God, yet walk in the darkness (sin). (1 John 1:6) In fact, “The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the Truth is not in him.” (2:4) Yet to possess eternal life, remember, means we must abide in Him (the Truth) and He in us. And “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning.” (3:6) More than that, “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (2:6) Jesus walked in perfection, and always in the power of the Holy Spirit. True, we are still in training, but every single day is a school day, and we are to “live by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), “keep in step with the Spirit” (v. 25), and strive for that goal of perfection (Matt. 5:48) like there’s no tomorrow.
Those who truly believe in Christ will continue to abide in Him, the Path, and will do so with ever-increasing strength and holiness. But those who don’t believe, will refuse to walk it; or they will begin to walk it, but while pretending they are continuing, they will actually deviate from it due to testings or temptations. (Luke 8:13,14) The deviation may be a path that runs parallel to the Real Path for a while, but it is a counterfeit. Or the deviation may be one that has set up much of the same road signs and jargon as the Real, but is promoted by deceitful workman, masquerading as apostles of Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3,4,13-15) Or the deviation may be a “falling away” (Luke 8:13), or a “turning away to follow Satan” (see 1 Tim. 5:15), or a “wandering away from the faith” (see 6:10), or a “wandering away from the Truth” (see 2 Tim. 2:18), or a “turning aside to myths” (see 4:4), or a “shipwrecking of one’s faith”. (See 1 Tim. 1:19)
We may be assured that any path, way, or life that is not an abiding in Christ and a continuing on His path, way, and life, is a false way. For as Jesus says in John 15:4, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.” If we don’t remain in Him –that is, if we don’t remain living in Him– then He who is Eternal Life will not remain in us; and we will get cut off from the Vine (v. 2), be thrown away, become withered, and in the end, be cast into the fire and burned. (v. 6)
But… for those branches who continue to abide in Christ (the Vine, the Life), the Father’s grace flows to them continuously. And they have peace with God… –justified through their faith –that faith that keeps them abiding in The Way and The Truth –that Person who is Eternal Life Himself.