Summary: Sermon for Trinity Sunday
Romans 5:1-8 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. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God’s Loving proof
Suppose you walked into work one morning and found a pink slip on your desk saying, “Thank you for your service to the company, however your service is no longer required. Please have your personal possessions removed from your desk by noon today.” How would you handle that situation? Or picture yourself sitting in the doctor’s office, and the doctor comes in with a serious look on his face and says, “It’s serious. It’s the size of a football. We don’t know exactly what it is, but we’re going to have to do surgery.” How are you feeling about now? Or picture yourself walking off an airplane into the terminal, and there to meet you are two pastors, who tell you that three of the people whom you love most in the world have lost their lives in a tragic car accident. How will you respond?
“How can God be a loving God if he allows so much hurt and suffering in this world?” It’s not uncommon for a skeptic and an unbeliever to mouth those words. But when serious tragedy—or even just a minor setback—happens close to home, even Christians can be tempted to wonder, “Does God really love me? Is God really there for me? Does God really care?”
In today’s Scripture text God comes to us with Loving proof of his care for us. In this beautiful text from Romans chapter 5, God spells out for us very clearly how much he loves you and me. The proof of God’s love is in his peace. The proof of God’s love is in his discipline. And the proof of God’s love is in his sacrifice.
I. God’s proof is in his peace
“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 his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” How can you and I be sure, through thick and thin, that God loves us? It’s very simple: because God has made peace with us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In his dealings with the human race, God had to initiate the peace process, because you and I entered this world as hostile enemies of God. We wanted nothing to do with God, and we could not have a relationship with God. Long ago, Adam and Eve, decided that they wanted to do things their way and taste things God had forbidden, and as a result of their sin, every single human being has started out his existence as a mortal enemy of God.
Over the course of history, people have responded to the rift between them and God in different ways. Some people responded by doing everything they could to shake off their responsibility toward God. They shake their fists against God, and they try to convince themselves and others that God doesn’t exist. But God does exist, and no matter how hard they rebel, they can’t shake the fact that they are at war with their Maker, and ultimately they reap destruction. There is no peace for those who rebel against God. Others have tried to heal the rift of sin and make peace with God by their own doing, by their own good works, by their own false worship. They have an idea that God is happy with them and all is peaceful, because they’re a “good person.” And they “try their best to do what’s right.” But there again is no peace at all. The stain of their sin is not cleansed, the hostility is not removed, and they remain at war with God.
But God’s love overcame sinful human nature. Our text says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . .” There is only one way to enter God’s grace and that’s through Jesus. Through simple trust in our Savior, justified (or declared “not guilty”) through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross, we have peace with God. Jesus removed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, the law that condemns us and the sins that separate us from God. How can anyone question the love of our God, who initiated the process of establishing peace with a fallen human race? Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “God was reconciling (that is, making peace with) the world to himself through Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The proof of God’s love is in the peace treaty, which he has made with the world and was signed in the blood of Jesus.