Summary: This sermon reveals a part of who we are and what we have in Christ, your identity in Christ by relating what you receive as a result of receiving the righteousness of Christ including Peace with God, Access to Grace and Hope in God’s glory.
Based on what Paul has just taught about – justification by faith alone and the crediting of righteousness to our lives, there are benefits of your having believed in Jesus Christ. The “therefore” connects Chapter 5 with what Paul has just written. In fact, “since we have been justified through faith,” summarizes the entire argument of Chapters 1 – 4. Those who have placed their trust in Christ can rest assured that as a result of their faith righteousness has been credited to you. The basis of your confidence is on the fact that Christ was put to death for your sins and raised to life that you may receive His righteousness.
The KJV translates this first phrase, “Therefore, being justified by faith” which is an aorist passive participle. We might render it as the NIV does, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith.” The aorist tense indicates action at a specific point in time and the passive mode of action means that the subject has received the action. In addition, the Greek word for justified, “dikaioo” ending in two omicrons generally means to bring out that which a person IS. In this case it means to bring out that a person is righteous. Our justification simultaneously performs a miracle in us, changing our character. The righteousness which characterizes God is dispensed spiritually and miraculously into you and me.
Therefore, you experience results of your faith. There are benefits of believing which make the victorious living of the Christ life possible for you and me. The important thing is that you come to understand all the benefits of believing that are yours. Let me see if I can illustrate the importance of this in a true story.
There was a man in west Texas who owned several hundred acres of land upon which he raised sheep and goats. He was barely eking out an existence when the depression hit our country and we sank into a financial crisis. The rancher himself was fast becoming a pauper. He couldn’t even pay the taxes on his land and the bank was about to foreclose on the property. Just before the foreclosure an oil company signed an agreement with him to allow them to do exploratory drilling on his land. They moved their rigs onto his ranch and sank long shafts deep into the soil and rocks. They struck oil and in a matter of a few days the sheep rancher was transformed from a pauper to a millionaire.
Now, the question is, was his previous poverty necessary? Before answering, think about this: when did he actually own the oil? No, his preceding poverty wasn’t necessary because he actually owned the oil from the moment he got the deed to the land! The actual reality was that he was a millionaire all along. But all he experienced was that he was a pauper because he had not appropriated what which was genuinely his. My point is, most Christians are living like “spiritual paupers” when in actual reality we have limitless riches in Christ. It’s here that Paul begins to teach us about the benefits of believing. One of those benefits is: