Summary: What are the advantages of a life with Christ?
We can have a lot of things in life, but if we don't have an inner peace, we will never truly enjoy our lives the way God intended. Are you at peace with GOD this morning? What does it even mean to be at peace?
Therefore, having been justified by (WHAT?) faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
I chose to start with Romans because it deals with so many doctrinal issues, which is a fancy way of saying why we believe what we believe. There is a method to my madness. I am still fairly new to you & you are still fairly new to me. I believe it is important we all have a common biblical foundation.
Thomas Campbell was an early leader of the American Restoration movement. It is from this that the Christian Church Disciples of Christ began. Thomas said in an 1808 speech ‘Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent’” I agree with that as my beliefs come directly from here (hold up Bible) as well. While our ultimate destination is the same, we are not all on the same place in our spiritual journey. Some of us are familiar with these concepts and some are hearing them for the first time.
This morning we can take a few steps back, put some of the pieces together and look at the big picture. To this point in Romans, we have seen Paul describe the nature of a sinful world. We have read that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23. We have witnessed that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” Rom 1:18 And I think we all know that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23.
We have spent the past couple of weeks establishing that the only way to salvation is through justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Not every message to this point has been comfortable to hear, but they have all been fairly straightforward. The $64,000 question is What advantage is this for us?
The first advantage is highlighted in verse one, we have peace with GOD through our faith in Jesus. Eph 2:14 states “For He (Jesus) Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation” This peace comes from knowing that we have a renewed relationship with GOD. The importance of this can not be overstated. Once you have received this peace, GOD will not take it away from you. We are no longer separated by sin. We are free from wrath and judgment. When we repent & believe in Jesus as our savior & are saved by the grace of GOD, we are assured that we are now at peace. This is a lasting peace.
Think about this for second, that means that everything before that time, we lived our lives in conflict with GOD. Life is hard enough as it is, trying to live in a secular world, dealing with relationships, careers, or going to school. It is much better at the end of the day to know you are a child of GOD rather than to be in hostility with GOD. Each of us could rest much better knowing GOD was our ally & not our enemy.
Have you ever met someone new and after only a short while, knew they were a Christian & shared common values? It doesn't take long to realize when someone is at peace with GOD, does it? This past week, I met with a Kone Elevator inspector & we were talking about elevator maintenance. The conversation went from chain & belt tension to talking for over an hour about churches & Biblical beliefs,....anything but elevators. I can't even remember how the conversation switched over.