Summary: In the first five verses of Romans chapter 5, Paul begins to focus on the results of our justification in Christ. Paul points toward 3 blessings that comes because of our justification.
A. Many years ago a major American magazine published the results of a most fascinating survey.
1. The editors had asked 16 prominent Americans what they did in order to find peace of mind in the midst of our stressful world. The responses were quite revealing.
2. Noted author James Michener reported that he found peace of mind by walking his two dogs along deserted country roads, old streams, and fields that had not been plowed for half a century.
3. Barry Goldwater, for many years the senior senator from Arizona, said that he found peace of mind in his hobbies—boating, photography and flying. He especially found peace of mind by taking reflective walks in the Grand Canyon.
4. Walter Cronkite, the former CBS anchorman, said he preferred solitude, usually by “going to sea in a small boat.”
5. Sammy Davis, Jr., listed looking for the best in others as a way to find peace of mind.
6. And Bill Moyers, the celebrated producer of so many PBS documentaries, has found peace of mind by attending family reunions, preferably those held in out-of-the-way places. (cf. James Montgomery Boice, Romans, II, pp. 503-510)
B. When you consider these responses, several observations come to mind:
1. All the responses are essentially subjective and dependent on outward circumstances.
2. They reflect a desire for an ideal world, a quiet place to think, a place to be alone, or with people you can trust.
3. Who among us cannot identify with those longings?
4. In this hustle-bustle world where we live in a continual pressure cooker, we all would like to find that “old stream” or that “little boat” or those forgotten towns where we can stroll down the street unnoticed.
5. The responses show that there is a universal desire for peace of mind.
C. Interestingly, none of the answers relates peace of mind to worldly goals like money, fame, success or power.
1. And yet those are often the things that are the most sought after things in life.
2. People often spend their lives seeking money, sex and power – hoping they find satisfaction.
3. But money rarely brings satisfaction.
a. Ask a man with money if his money makes him happy; the answer invariably will be no.
3. The same is true for power—“the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
a. Many who have some power just want more – move up the ladder, seek higher office.
b. Are they satisfied? No. They usually have their sights on the top position
4. And what about sex? Will that satisfy?
a. Ask the broken victims of this generation about sex—lonely women, frustrated men, aimlessly coupling and uncoupling, searching through the night for what? Another thrill?
b. We have unlimited sexual freedom, but we don’t have peace of mind. Or anything like it.
D. So, what are we left with? If money, sex and power won’t satisfy, what will?
1. I think the answer must be that the satisfaction we seek—the peace of mind we crave, the sense of fulfillment we so desperately want—is quite simply not found in this world.
2. Nothing in this world satisfies the hunger within; the answer must come from outside the world.
3. Satisfaction comes from God—and from nowhere else.
4. That’s what Augustine was trying to say 1500 years ago when he wrote his famous prayer: “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”
5. Pascal said something similar when he commented that there is a “God-shaped vacuum” or “hole” inside each man.
a. We may try to fill that vacuum with the things of this world—money, sex and power—but the result is spiritual indigestion. Our tummies are full but our hearts are empty.
6. Where can we go to find the things we want more than anything else in the world?
a. We can go to God, for in Him we find what we seek.
E. With that introduction, I want us to return to our sermon series from the book of Romans called “Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Pursuing Righteousness From God.”.
1. After spending several months in Romans, and getting all the way through chapter 4, we took a break for a few weeks from our series.
2. Now as we return to Romans chapter 5, Paul’s letter to the Romans takes a decisive turn.
3. Up to this point in the letter, Paul’s focus has been on the power of the gospel to put people who are locked up in sin and under sentence of God’s wrath into a right relationship with God.
4. Through the preaching of the good news, God invites all people – Jew and Gentile alike – to believe in Christ and enter into this new relationship of salvation by grace through faith.