Summary: A sermon on Romans 15:13 (Material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's Romans Commentary Volume 2, pg. 432-434
A wise man once said, “Few are atheists in theory, but many are such in their feelings. They are hopeless because they are godless.” The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist by Craig Groeschel. Haven’t read the book, but how many of us live that way?
This last verse of the main body of the letter to the Romans expresses Paul’s desire that all Christians may experience the fullness of the spiritual benefits that come from knowing, understanding, and receiving the gospel of God’s grace.
These blessings are faith, joy, peace, hope and power.
Thesis: Let’s talk about these 5 and how they relate to gospel
Faith is first and foremost as far as the gospel is concerned. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17.
All other blessings come only “as we trust in Christ.” Throughout Romans Paul emphasized role of faith in receiving salvation. “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”” Romans 1:17, NIV.
Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification, but we cannot receive this justification without faith. “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9, 10, NIV.
Peace comes from knowing that we are justified by faith in the blood of Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1, 2, NIV.
Several ways to view peace:
Peace with God. This is the state of being reconciled to God. “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:10, NIV.
Peace within. Inward tranquility and freedom from worry about salvation. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;” Romans 8:6, NIV.
Peace with others. Harmony that exists among brother and sisters. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19, NIV.
Joy is the inward delight that keeps us excited about being Christians, about being under the blood of Christ, and about living the Christian life. “Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:11, NIV.
Joy and peace go together like a hand in a glove. These two are only available in any deep and lasting way through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do we know the joy of our salvation? When we receive the gift of eternal life, we also receive the gift of joy that comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we are headed for heaven. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8, 9, NIV.
How high is my joy level because I am saved? Do I have joyful times because of Jesus during the week? Are the times of worship here on Sunday’s times of inexpressible and glorious joy? If we do not have times of inexpressible and glorious joy, we need to ask ourselves: Am I saved? Am I doing something to hinder my joy?
From my college’s alumni prayer newsletter: Reggie Webb requests prayer. As a reminder, Reggie has been in a wheelchair for 46 years due to a spinal injury from a vehicle crash. He’s been in the bed 18 days out of the last 21. My e-mail to Reggie, “Hi Reggie, You are in my prayers! Be joyful always (usually put this as a salutation 1 Thessalonians 5:16), Davon Huss.” Reggie wrote back, “I really appreciate your prayers. And, you are correct about our joy. We must not let our circumstances destroy our joy in the Lord!” Conviction on me
One translation says, “confident hope” here. Really talking more about assurance. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.