July 11, 2010
We’ve been studying through the book of Romans, and it’s been a little tough on us. The first three chapters take a pretty dim view of human nature, and rightly so. Not one of us is righteous because we’re all guilty of crimes against God from murder to adultery to theft to blasphemy and on and on.
But, just when we thought everything was hopeless Paul says, “But now the righteousness of God […] has been manifested” (Rom. 3:21). God’s righteousness was demonstrated through His judgment poured out on Christ, and it’s available as a credit (4:3) for us who believe.
Chapter four ends by saying:
“[Jesus] was delivered over because of our transgressions, and He was raised because of our justification.”
He died because of our sin, and He was raised because of our justification. Justification is simply “the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to Him”
If you are a believer, you’ve been declared “not guilty” by God and your sin debt has been paid. You’re no longer viewed as a pagan Gentile or a self-righteous Jew—you’re an accepted son of God; you’ve been justified!
Chapter five is really all about…
The Blessings of Our Justification
1. We have peace with God (:1)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Because Jesus died for our sins and was raised for our justification, we have peace with God.
Do you understand the significance of this? We’ve been reading that there’s none righteous (Rom. 3:10). The list of sins against is horrible—
Their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:26-32)
We deserved death and wrath for our sins, yet God gave us peace!
How did He do it? Christ’s sacrifice fully satisfied the wrath of God so that we’re all paid up. We’ve been reconciled to God, and we never have to worry about facing His wrathful judgment again!
We have peace with God through Christ Jesus.
2. We have access to grace (:2)
2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;
Some translations say that we’ve gained “access” into grace. That is that grace is inaccessible without Christ’s sacrifice!
Imagine a treasure chest. On the inside is grace, and Christ is the key which provides access to it.
Or imagine you wanted audience with a king. You can’t just walk in on your own, you have to know someone who will give you access. Christ is our Mediator (I Tim. 2:5).
In the book of Hebrews Christ is described as the great high priest who obtains grace for us:
There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Now to the lost man this is a terrifying verse, but look at what it says to the saved:
14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:13-16)
Jesus is our access into grace because He atoned for our sins as the great high priest.
3. We have a sure hope of future glory in God (:2)
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
To exult is to boast or brag. What is this verse saying?
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:16-17)