Summary: The third and final sermon of the series, addressing where we now stand with God in our salvation.We who are justified are at peace with God, we are saved! ANZAC Stands for Australian, New Zealand Army Corps. This is a Memorial Day for our service persona
So it¡¯s ANZAC day: often we hear the words on ANZAC day or some other military memorial, ¡°Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die¡±. These come from Romans chapter Five. They are often used to refer to the service personal that were killed in action.
One of the best known passages of memorial prose was written, by John McCrae as he remembered a friend whose death he witnessed and whose funeral he presided over his name was Lieutenant Alexis Helmer. This is McCrae¡¯s poem.
¡°In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.¡±
A very touching and relevant peace of poetry, as we remember the sacrifice of those who battled to maintain freedom on our behalf.
There is a Midnight Oil song called Forgotten Years that has these words,
¡°Our sons need never be soldiers
Our daughters will never need guns
These are the years between
These are the years that were hard fought and won.¡±
In this time of peace for our nation we will remember them. Let¡¯s also remember in our prayers the serving members of the New Zealand Defense Force.
(A time of corporate prayer!)
John McCrae used the words ¡°if ye break faith with us who die¡± to highlight the need to continue on and win the battle in that theater of warfare in the First World War.
Today I¡¯m going to talk a bit about faith and what being justified by faith means to those of us who have come to faith in Jesus.
We refer to faith often and Paul in his letter to the Romans talks of us being justified through faith. The faith that he is talking about is the belief, the system of belief and the lifestyle we have now taken up as we live in relationship with God through Jesus.
Just as soldiers in battle maintained faithfulness to that battle, we maintain faithfulness to our belief in Jesus and the call to that lifestyle he commands us to live.
Interesting faith is belief in action, when we believe it and we live it, that is faith!
We are put right with God, justified meaning ¡°just as if I¡¯d never sinned¡± (you must be getting used to that line now!) Through our faith in Jesus Christ are put right with God.
This part of Paul¡¯s letter tells us a few things about where we stand with God.
1) In the first verse of chapter five we read that because we have faith we are justified and because we have been justified we have peace with God.
Now if I was out of sorts with someone and I mean I¡¯d really up set them to the stage of having a decent row with them; how would I feel? How would you feel if it was you I was having the barney with? Tense; perhaps physically hot and sweaty, maybe a bit sick, sad to the point of tears, wild, quiet, maybe all of the above and more.
When I¡¯ve been out of sorts with God; in my experience anyway, there was a lingering uncertainty about where I stood with him, like in any relationship there¡¯s unease.
Paul who wrote Romans was a Jew, and for the Jewish people their concern about being in a right relationship with God was extreme, remember they had lost their home land previously, the Pharisees had 613 laws that they had to hold fast too. Why, out of their concern that they would upset God and be banished again from their homeland. They were not at peace.
Paul makes it clear, and remember, he had been a Jewish scholar and an expert in the law. ¡°Through our faith in our Lord Jesus we have been justified, put right and are at peace with God.¡± Gone is the tension, the stress about being right with God, because of their faith in Jesus, they were now right with God. Because of your faith in Jesus, you¡¯re all right with God. Go ahead take a deep breath and breath out that tension, you have peace with God!
I¡¯m not one to have people repeat things but today¡¯s different, could you take a deep breath, breath out and relax and say ¡®We have peace with God.¡±