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)