Summary: The benefits from being saved are tremendous.
The Benefits Package
* When most people look to secure employment they have several things on their minds. Beyond wanting to know if this job “fits” their skills and will give them some satisfaction, they want to know the pay, the working conditions, AND they want to know the “benefits” they will receive. This is a big deal today.
* Benefits. Now that’s a word which captures our attention. Vacation, holidays, retirement, and especially insurance are all important to us. And the list goes on.
* However, did you ever stop to consider that when we come to faith in Jesus that we have a “benefits package?” Some people say the “retirement is out of this world.” Seriously, most of us know, understand, and can repeat the two main benefits which we have come to understand about being saved. They are; we miss hell & make heaven. This is true but it is not “the complete package” or, as Paul Harvey might say, “the rest of the story.”
* Turn with me to Romans 5 & let’s read verses numbered one through five. It is my belief that Paul gives us 5 benefits which we need to see and understand. These are important “if” you are a believer in Jesus. However, if you are checking out Jesus, these will be of great interest to you. Let’s Read. (Explain “therefore” in verse one)
* Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked a young accountant who was fresh out of school, "What starting salary were you thinking about?" The Accountant said, "In the neighborhood of 100,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, full medical and dental, Company Retirement Fund to 50% of salary, Executive Share Option Scheme, Profit Related Pay and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a 5 series BMW?" The Accountant sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" The interviewer replied, "Yes, but you started it."
* I can say with great confidence that the benefits of a faith in Jesus Christ are beyond any benefit package offered by any employer on earth. Let’s walk through the text and discover some of the benefits we are offered;
1) PEACE WITH GOD – (VS 1) This benefit seems to be lost on today’s culture, because of the attitude we possess.
* In the 21st century in the USA, it is a hard sell to the average person that we are not at peace with God.
* How does the attitude of today differ from days past and even from what the Bible teaches?
* In the Bible the last time mankind was at peace with God was in Eden. Adam’s act of disobedience broke the peace which existed between God and man. Consider this picture; to keep Adam and Eve OUT of the garden, God put an Angel with a “flaming sword” at the gate. What a sign that the peace has been broken. I submit that this picture demonstrate we are not at peace with God. God has one desire, our flesh has a contrary desire, and so like Paul, we say “what I want to do, I don’t, and what I don’t want to do, I do.” This is not only what the Bible teaches us but what mankind has understood throughout history.
* In 1953, Billy Graham wrote a book entitled, “Peace with God.” Not only was it a hot seller but it has now become a classic. Why? Because not too long ago, as a people, we knew and admitted we were at “outs” with God. Today, the desire is to “romanticize” God into a loving Daddy figure who appears to be a cross between Santa Claus and the Easter bunny. The result is an impotent God who accepts what we choose to give, asks little, gives us great latitude in life, and never exercises divine discipline.
* Yet, the Bible teaches us that while God is a God of love, He is also a God of wrath. His wrath is revealed and released against all sin. Guess what, we are all sinners and as such, are subject to His wrath. God will not allow sin in His presence and has proclaimed DEATH to all sin and sinners. This sounds like war.
* Consider this; When God shows me my sin, offers me forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus and I accept His offer of life, then my peace with Him is restored. The result is I have an ally instead of a foe.
* The scripture teaches us much about peace. The Angels in Luke 2 said, “Peace on earth”. Jesus said, “My peace I leave..” Paul writes, “Love, joy, peace.”