3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: The doctrine of Justification by Faith has to be understood and applied in order to enjoy the fruit of this liberation truth

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith.

This is one of the great �therefores� of Romans. Chapters 5, 8 and 12 all begin with those great �therefores�. They mark off sections of Paul�s great epistle. There are many other �therefores� as Paul argues God�s way of salvation; God�s answer to sin. This is one of the major turning-points. Up to now, Paul has first demonstrated the universal sinfulness and guilt of the whole human race. We might all, when we come to stand before a holy God, who is also Judge, expect to hear the verdict: "Guilty". Chapter 3, verse 23 is one of the key verses of Romans: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Verse 24 then sets off on a fresh tack: all are justified freely through his grace. It was Martin Luther upon whom the truth of �justification by faith� fell afresh, and this was the starting point of the great Protestant Reformation. of the 16th century.

But this great truth is but the launch pad of God�s great way of salvation. Having looked in chapter 4 at the great �Father of Faith�, Abraham, Paul is now ready to take us forward.. How, having been justified- that is having been put right with God, having heard the marvellous verdict of "Not Guilty": Free!- how do we go on in a world under sin, under the power of the Evil One. In Galatians 5 verse 1, Paul says:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

I think Paul is saying here in Romans 5 and its first five verses that we have to realise and to have an assurance of the truth of justification and what it implies. That is why he begins chapter five as he does:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith.

The first great statement that Paul makes is we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

�We have peace�. Not just a passive word, but there�s something powerful and dynamic about God�s peace. Because of our sin, we are, by human nature, God�s enemies. Mankind in general, tries to distance itself from God. Many actually deny God�s actual existence. Others use his name just as an expletive. Many who would agree there is a �god�, do not believe in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor in a God who is a Creator. Paul actually begins verse 8 with if when we were God�s enemies. We were opposed to God. When Jesus told the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when the younger son says to his father: "Father, give me my share of the estate" (Luke 15:12) was in effect saying "Drop dead!". We disliked God�s demands on our lives, and want out of his way. Why do you think evolution has caught on? It�s not science. It�s not fact. It�s a theory and it�s believed and taken as fact cast in stone, because we can see ourselves not as in the image of our Creator God, but in the image of apes!

But Paul says, "no!". Now we have been justified through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are God�s friends. We have peace- peace brought about through and because of Jesus. Listen to what Paul says in Ephesians.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and you who were near (Gentile and Jew) For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

And that is Paul�s argument here too. He continues from we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we now stand.

We have access to God, and as the writer to Hebrews puts it we may draw near to God with a sincere heart. (10:22)

Let this all sink in; let us have assurance, not just with the contempt born of familiarity, but with awe and awe and wonder and thankful hearts.

-We are justified. Our sin, our guilt is done away. Our sin can never come back to haunt us unless we let it

-We have peace with God and we have access to Him. Let us recall that when Jesus died, as Mark tell us: The veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom. (15:38). Our sin no longer separates us from God.

Why? Because of grace. That is our access to God, our welcome into his presence. G.R.A.C.E. God�s Riches At Christ�s Expense.. It�s all grace. It�s all God�s free gift. We can do nothing to merit it. and nothing to forfeit it. We often feel we have to do something to continue to merit God�s favour. You know a wise priest once told me that in adopting that attitude I was actually insulting God�s grace and throwing it back in his face. So: what, then, if I sin? Is there now NO consequence. Can I sin and still enjoy it all? Can I have my bread buttered on both sides, having the best of both worlds? Paul faces that hypothetical question in Romans 6 and says simply �God forbid�

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