Summary: An Expository Sermon from Romans 8:1-4 concerning the certainity of forgiveness for the Christian. Romans Series #33
Romans Series # 33 April 10, 2002
Read Romans 8: 1-4
There are very few things in life that you can be absolutely certain about. For instance marriages fail despite vows of lifelong commitment, many products that we purchase disappoint us despite the "satisfaction guaranteed" label, and cars break down even when they are new and maintained. These uncertainties can be very disconcerting. If you’ve ever had the “check engine” light come on in your vehicle on a desolate stretch of highway you know just how disconcerting uncertainty can be!
This is especially true when your unsure about something that is important to your life. In these situations uncertainty can be lead to great anxiety and fear. When you are uncertain about significant issues (marriage, children, job, etc.), life can become almost unbearable because of the fear and worry. Amy and I experienced some of this draining uncertainty and the anxiety that goes with it as we were seeking loan approval for the purchase of our home. There were many sleepless nights and many troublesome days as we waited for final approval. I can’t do anything about many of the uncertainties of life but I can give you some assurances about the most important of life issues, which are spiritual life issues.
You see some people experience the same kinds of uncertainties and fears in regard to spiritual issues. God does not desire for us to have the same fears and worries in regard to any aspect of our relationship with Him. He doesn’t want us to doubt our standing and future with Him either today or in the future. So he offers reassurances to us about these vital spiritual issues in Chapter 8 of Romans.
The main thrust of this chapter is assurance for the Christian. He reminds us that, as Christians, we are assured that there is “no condemnation” for us. As Christians, we are assured our resurrection from the dead and eternal life. As Christians, we should not have uncertainty in our relationship with Him;as it says in Romans 8:15 we should not have a "spirit that makes us a slave again to fear but you received the Spirit of sonship.” As Christians, we even have assurance when we go through sufferings because our future glory is certain. As Christians, we can have confidence even though we are weak because in our weakness the Holy Spirit is interceding for us; He is praying for God’s will to be accomplished in our lives. There are many words of assurance in Romans Chapter eight including: Romans 8:28, 31, 37, 39. (Read verses)
In particular I see five assurances given to Christians in this chapter that will cover over the next few weeks.
1. You can be certain that you are truly forgiven by God. Vs. 1-4
2. You can be certain that you are pleasing to God. Vs. 5-9
3. You can be certain that you will live eternally with God. Vs. 10-11
4. You can be certain that you are a child of God. Vs. 12-16
5. You can be certain that you will receive an eternal inheritance from God. Vs. 18-25
How can we be so sure of all these things? Because the Spirit of God is working in us (Verses 26-27), because it is God’s predetermined will and purpose for us (Verses 27-30), because God is for us and not against us (Verses 31-34), and because nothing can separate us from God’s love. (Verses 35-39)
Certainly God wants us to be certain! With that brief overview of the entire eighth chapter of Romans let us now turn to the very first assurance that has been given to Christians in this chapter.
I. When you trust in Christ you can be certain that you are truly forgiven.
Illustration: The late baseball legend Gil Hodges told this story. Once, when he was managing the Washington Senators, he discovered four of his players had broken curfew the previous night. Immediately, he called a team meeting and said, "I know who you are but I do not wish to embarrass you. You know the rules; you will each be fined $100. I have placed a cigar box on my desk. I expect the four of you who broke curfew to put your money in the box by 3:00 p.m." At the end of the day, Hodges found $700 in his cigar box!
What Gil Hodges discovered is that a lot more people are struggling with guilt than he imagined. Guilt plagues everyone to some degree.
One Christian psychologist recently stated "Guilt is the most difficult problem in the whole realm of psychological therapy."
Guilt has been a problem since the beginning of time. It was guilt that caused Adam and Eve to hide when God came walking in the cool of the day. It was guilt over his adulterous affair that caused David to say, "My bones almost wasted away while I hid in my sin."