Summary: The benefits that we receive from being justified are many. When we stop to consider them the only natural response is to worship God.
September 28, 2003
Text: Romans 5:1-11
Subject: The Effects of Justification
Title: Look What the Lord Has Done
I went to apply for a job one time. It was a job that I knew I was not qualified for. It was a good job that I did not deserve. But because I knew someone, who put in a good word for me, I was hired. I was so thankful to be able to get my foot in the door in carpentry. That’s not all. Not only was it a job at a time when I needed work, it was a good paying job. And it had medical benefits. I was paid to go to school for training. There was a pension plan. And to top it all off, they withheld $1.00 for every hour you worked from May 1 to April 30, and then gave it back to you in a lump sum so you could take your family on vacation if you wanted. And all this, not because I was deserving, but because someone spoke up for me.
This morning we are going to look into something very similar to the story, I just told you. It is the story of our salvation, but it is more than that. We all know that we are saved by grace and we don’t receive the penalty that is due to us. We know we have an advocate that will stand up for us before the judge and we will be declared “not guilty!” That is called justification. Because we have trusted Christ, we now stand as justified before God. No guilt is laid on us any longer, for Christ died for our sins. That justification is just one of the things that happens to us the moment we accept Jesus.
Now justification has its benefits as well. Paul wrote in this passage in Romans about all the marvelous benefits we receive from justification – all because we have taken the step to accept Christ. As we look at Romans 5:1-11 today let us rejoice in the many blessings God pours out through justification.
I. We Have Been Justified by Faith.
A. We have peace with God. To fully understand the concept of peace let’s look at how the dictionary defines it. According to Webster’s lexicon of the English Language peace is, “the condition that exists when nations or other groups are not fighting / the ending of the state of war / freedom from noise, worries, troubles or fears…” Now notice that Paul does not say hear that we have the peace of God, but that we have peace with God. Philippians 4:7 says that we will have the peace of God. Now we are concerned with being at peace with God. When we are justified we no longer are at war with God in our bodies but we come into rightful relationship with Him James 4:4 says, “Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” It is only when we go to the cross and find salvation that we can ever hope to have peace with God. As long as we are of the world, we are mortal enemies with God, yet He still loves us. When we come to have peace with God, then and only then can we find the peace of God – the peace that passes all understanding. Once we gain that peace, are we good to go? The bible never indicates that the Christian walk is easy for once we have peace with God, it is then that we become mortal enemies with the enemy and his world system. Who would you rather have as your enemy, the one who can kill the body but not the soul or the One who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell? (Matthew 10: 28) I would rather be at peace with God.
B. Because we are justified by faith, we have access to grace. The word that is translated access here can also mean admission. We have admission into the throne room of God. The cost of our admission was great. We couldn’t pay it on our own. We have access into grace… We are saved by grace but we are also kept by grace. We are kept from the evil one. We are kept holy. We are kept faithful. All of these are not by our own works – of course we love God and want to please Him – But He gives us the grace in which we stand. I want you to turn over to Ephesians 6:13. Pay close attention to what I am going to say here. In the original Greek text there was no punctuation. The bible interpreters place punctuation where they thought it should be. Now watch as I read through the text. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Now I’m going to change it a bit very subtly. “When you have done everything to stand, stand.” In other words, it seems that Paul was saying that whenever you have done everything that you can do to stand, stop relying on yourself and stand in God’s grace!! It is then that we can begin to rejoice.