We will be looking at Romans chapter 5 today, However I will start reading a few verses back in chapter 4. starting at verse 18.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Sinfulness of Mankind 1:18-3:20
Justification by Faith 3:21-4:25
Hope of Salvation 5:1-8:39
Perhaps, now is a good time to look over our outline and see where we are in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Keep in mind this outline is just the major points. Each section has several sub-points.
We started with the introduction, the Paul moved us into the wrath of God being revealed against all mankind. Then Paul explains we are justified through faith. It is in that discussion that he uses arguments from scripture, to prove his case and shows us examples in history.
This morning we are at the start of a new section beginning with chapter 5. I am using Doug Moo’s term -The Hope of Salvation and it is the next major section.
The Hope of Salvation
The blessings of the righteous 5:1-11
According to Moo, and others, and I like this a lot Romans 5-8 is a guide for the process of sanctification. Or the process of living the christian life.
The Christian life begins with justification.
A person hears the gospel, places their faith in Jesus, is justified and begins the Christian life.
The Christian life continues with sanctification.
Sanctification is the process of being made holy, that begins after justification, and continues until Jesus returns or calls us home.
The Christian life ends in glorification.
When a Christian dies or if Jesus returns before that, Christians are glorified, or are brought to their final state of holiness.
SO the next section of Romans chapters 5 through 8 deals with this process of living the christian life or sanctification, the process of being made more holy or Christ like.
This process is not always in a straight line going forward. Sometimes we take a step back or two, or even more. Sometimes though we grow, sometimes we grow a lot. The point is overall for a Christian over time they are overall growing, they are more holy some a lot, some a little from the point of justification onward.
That is really what goes on in these next 3 chapters. Paul will talk about the blessings we reccieve the obstacles we face and the assurance that we have when this gets dicouraging.
The first part in this section the hope of salvation is the blessings available to the rightouss.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Our passage this morning, begins with a very important word--Therefore. Maybe you have heard it said that you should always ask yourself what is the therefore-there for?
It is this ongoing story that Paul has been telling us since the beginning of his epistle. He now addresses the people who have responded to it.
Therefore since we have been justified through faith.
All of mankind is under the wrath of God. The righteousness of God appeared in the Good news of Jesus. The general public call of the gospel goes out to all. Some realize that they are sinners and cannot achieve righteousness on their own, so they believe God’s good news of the gospel, and place their faith in Jesus, and His righteousness. Then God the Father imputes Christ’s righteousness to us, and we are declared just in His sight.
Therefore, Paul writes, to those who have been justified through faith-no other way, right not the law, not circumscision, not your own intentions, but through faith. That means we believe God’s gospel. We believe God when he said that Jesus the God man died on the cross for our sins, ours and he removed them, and he rose again, we are justified.
This is a done deal. Past tense we have been justified, not being justified, not will be justified some day. We HAVE BEEN justified.
Since we -have been justified---
.... we have peace with God.
We want to be clear we have peace with God-This is different than the peace of God. As D Martyn Llod Jones put it we have to first have peace with God before we can have the peace of God
Philipians 4, talks about the peace of God. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
That is a sense of well being and comfort that comes through walking with Jesus or comes as a result of the sanctification process. But Here in Romans 5 Paul is talking about peace with God.
This is the peace that comes between two warring parties. You cannot get the peace of God, until you have peace with God.
I don’t know if we appreciate this enough. Culturally this is not seen as important. People rarely come up to you and say I’m really worried I’m at war with God. They don’t think that way, I didn’t think way.
I bought into this idea that because all people sin, it must be ok. God must wink at sin. Perhpas people say too often without explaining, Jesus loves me. Yes God does love you but God also hates sin. We here that God that God created me with this desire it must be ok for me to chase after it. That is not true God does not wink at sin in any form. God hates sinners.
In Ephesians chapter 2 verse 3, the Bible says that sinners are by nature deserving of wrath. Paul expalined in chpater 1, we are under the wrath of God, deserving death in chpater 2, sinners will recieve wrath and anger from God, and persish and deserve death James 4.4
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
An enemy of God. That is who the we were. I may have made some enemies in my time, I get that I’m not perfect. But I mean to be an enemy of God Almighty, that is a bad enemy to have. Imagine having God has your enemy. Listen to the words of Psalm 18 a minute.
That is what it is like to be an enemy of God most high. Imagine what it would be like to live with an enemy like that? That is why sinners run to place their faith in Christ.
As a young boy there was a boy in my neighborhood that bullied me. I hated it. I dread the walk hime form school, I walked a block out of my way. Sometimes I was forced to go by his house and i would be terrified, I would look to see if he was out. When the situation was finally settled, it was such a relief. No more fear, no more dread.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Through is that it is by this means- by the saving work of Jesus Christ at the Cross, for a very specific purpose-Our redemption.
OUR, that is yours and mine the we-the justified. OUR Lord, wherever it is you came from you know recognize and SUBMIT to His lordship in your life,
Jesus brings us this peace with God. And that is just one perhaps the most important but just ONE of the many many blessings we have when we are justified.
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
I switched to the ESV here for verse 2, because the word order is a little clearer here.
Through HIM that is Through Jesus- we have also obtained-past tense again-If you have faith in Jesus-YOU HAVE OBTAINED what?
What is it you have obtained-Access Peace and access, but access to what? Right away we think God. Jesus gave us access to God-That is true, but that is not what is here in this particular verse. Here Paul is saying that we have obtained access by faith again, into this GRACE in which we now stand.
…access by faith into this grace in which we stand
It is a state, that he is talking about here. We were in a sate of war with God. It was like the border of North Korea and South Korea, these two warring factions, We were in a state of wrath God was reveleaing and pouring out his wrath on us. It was just a matter of time that if we died while in that state we would have spent eternity in hell. At any moment the full wrath of God would be felt by us, but now by faith WE stand in this state of Grace.
God’s grace-His unmerited favor- Favor that is not owed, God does not have to give it to us- he could do with it what he wants. we now stand in God’s grace. We are in the favor of God.
I don;t know if we appreciate this access to the grace in which we now stand either.
In the Old Testament there was a sense of restricted access to the Holy based on who you were. The temple was built with a series of access points. The gentiles remained the farthest away outside really in the court of gentiles. Then came the court of the women, there was the are that the sacrifices were performed, and the priests courtyard. Then the Holy place. Inside the Holy place was the Holy of Holies, the place were God dwelled above the tabernacle on the mercy seat.
This was a way of life, for the jews, access based on your position in the world, or your position in society. You were born into these systems. Your place in the temple courts was determined not by your own merits, but by birth. You were either born a woman or a gentile or priest.
Then people did not stand in the presence of God. Only the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, and only once a year. We read about this in the first reading in Leviticus.
In the second reading Ben read for us, When Jesus died on the cross, He made atonement for our sins making-what? PEACE with God- and when God accepted the sacrifice, we read the curtain of the temple was torn in two from TOP-to bottom, as if God reached down from heaven and ripped, allowing access, allowing those BY FAITH Access to the grace in which we now stand.
Again, past tense right? Not will stand someday. may stand, But in which we now stand.
There is now no distinction, no mediator necessary Christ is our mediator. WE BY FAITH HAVE THE ACCESS to God’s grace.
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. We boast in the hope of the glory of God-remember this is biblical hope-we talked about this before, biblical hope is a confidence in the promises of God being made manifest at some future time. It is not a cross-your fingers hope- It is a sure a certain hope-It is faith forward with confidence based on God’s Character.
And we boast in this sure and certain HOPE of the glory of God.
Paul was talking about justification-We said this section was about sanctification, and here Paul has us looking forward to Hoping in Glorification-He is skipping over sanctification.
Mostly we spend our lives in sanctification, unless we have a death bed confess of faith our majority of christian life is spent on sanctification, yet Paul skips over it, and say Hope in the glory of God, why is that?
Two reasons, one it is the driving factor, or the motivation for us, keep pushing there is glory at the end. That is effective but not very practical. Where is any practicality?
For the practicality of it, we need to go back, go back to the accesss into the grace in which we now stand.
We have access to the grace of God for the sanctification part of our life. The grace of God is there, to give us in our life victory over sin that Christ won at the cross.
I want to go back to that earlier passage from Psalm 18, once again.
Those verses talk about God coming down, and routing the enemy. The psalms of course were written by real people. Who prayed to God, facing real enemies. The were looking for physical blessings from God in their lives.
We know Jesus came to secure spiritual blessings for us. We know he came to conquer Satan and sin in our lives. What if we turn to Psalm 18, and see that the enemy in our life is Satan. That the enemy in our walk with God, or in other words the enemy in our sanctification process is the sin in our life.
What if we have access to the grace in which we now stand, and we hope in the glory of God, as we read that Psalm.
Listen how it starts before God comes down.
1 I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
When you by faith have recieved the gospel-You have peace with God, WHen you by faith have tristed in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and your righteousness, you have access to the grace of God
You can call on the God who saves, to save us. He will help us to draw near to him. He will help us have victory over the sin in our life, and we look forward to the day when the Glory of God will be revealed.