“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God, because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:11 NLT
With these words, Paul concludes his description of our state as believers in God and in Jesus Christ. We, who were once His enemies, have been made friends of God.This transformation from our hopeless and sinful state, described in damning detail in Romans 1-3, to our jubilant position as friends of God has been brought about by Jesus Christ. And it is entered into by faith, not by any works on our behalf.
For just as Abraham believed God, and was counted righteous before God, so we too are granted abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness as we believe in the Person and work of God and Jesus Christ. And just as God called Abraham His friend, so now He calls us His friends, as we believe in Jesus Christ. The work is His, not ours. We receive this new relationship, this amazing friendship with God by faith.
No wonder His word to us is now to “Rejoice evermore”, to “Give thanks in all circumstances.” We have been given the greatest gift that could ever be given, friendship with God. Only Jesus Christ could have possibly bridged the gap from our despairing hopelessness to jubilant righteousness, and He has done so. And we enter into His finished work by faith.