Romans 5:1, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For us Lutherans, justification by faith is the heart of the Gospel. Without it, the Gospel dies. For us, to devalue or completely rid of justification is to devalue and rid of Christ and the cross. We preach this doctrine so much to the point that we begin to beat the dead horse—justification becomes numb to our ears. Allow me, therefore, to strike a nerve: We deserve death and condemnation. As Lutherans, we know this, but let it really sink in. Let it make you despair of life. You and I, both sinners, deserve to die and be condemned to Hell. There is nothing we can do about it. Naturally rebellious against God, to imagine that we deserve happiness and prosperity is foolishness. We have no inherent value apart from God. Rather, we deserve to descend to the bottomless pit of weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
Bug God, in His abundant, unfathomable grace and mercy, deemed it fit to save you and me from death and eternal condemnation. Not because we can earn this by any means (we cannot), but simply because He chose to. The sovereign God—all-powerful above all created things—could have chosen to annihilate us all or leave us to our damnation and start over again elsewhere in the universe or even create another universe! Instead, He entered into history and chose to save us. And by what means? By means of the sacrificial blood of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. For life can only be atoned for with blood (Leviticus 17:11), and God in Christ atoned for our sins—our death and condemnation—by His blood. In Christ, we become justified by faith. Before, we were enemies of God and hostile to Him, but even whilst we were enemies, Christ died for us (Romans 5:10). We were in the wrong. Jesus took our place on the cross. On the cross, by faith, His righteousness becomes ours and our sin and death become His. Now, therefore, through Christ we are in the right. We are right with God.
Thus, as Christians, we are no longer at war with God. Now we are at peace with God. No matter what happens to us in this world, we have peace with God, who shall bring us into His heavenly abode.