Summary: We are not asked to convert others—God alone saves. Our responsibility is to share the way God’s glory affects us. We have a story to tell!
1. If someone were to ask, “Why are you a Christian?” could you give he or she a meaningful answer? What effect has accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior had on you?
2. We aren’t looking for the textbook answer herenot a memorized versesomething that will stir the heart of an unbeliever!
A. Little wonder that leading people to Christ is so difficult. If Christians can’t explain the benefit of salvation and justification by faith, why should anyone else care? Those who long for revival in the church do well to consider these questions.
B. Many so-called experts suggest that in order to bring people to Christ we must water down the message, making it more palatable to the unchurched ear. I disagree. I believe anyone who seeks God and His Word will understand it; without watering it down.
C. Apparently, Paul believes this too. We join him this morning as he summarizes his discourse on justification. In a few short paragraphs, he explains the benefits of justification, God’s unconditional love for mankind, and the eschatological hope we have in Christ.
3. If you avoid sharing your faith because you can’t answer the questions I’ve posed, you’re going to love what Paul has to say today. OYBT Romans 5.
[We are not asked to convert othersGod alone savesour responsibility is to share with others the way God’s glory affects us. We have a story to tell!]
II. THE BENEFITS OF JUSTIFICATION (5:1-5a)
1. We have peace with God: not simply the peace of God (though valuable). Not a subjective feeling of peace, but the objective fact that the justified (saved) are no longer enemies of Godwe are at peace with him. This is huge in light of 1:18 (Can’t remember? Join me there).
A. The justified person is no longer tormented by questions of his relationship with God arising from the fact that he is a sinner. Sinner though he is, he is at peace with God because of what God has done for him through Christ.
B. We gain access to God’s gracemeans we receive a gift we are not entitled to receive.
Following the Civil War, a dejected Confederate soldier was sitting outside the grounds of the White House. A young boy approached him and inquired why he was so sad.
The soldier related how he had repeatedly tried to see President Lincoln to tell him he was unjustly deprived of certain lands in the South following the war. On each occasion, as he attempted to enter the White House, the guards crossed their bayoneted guns in front of the door and turned him away.
The boy motioned to the soldier to follow him. When they approached the guarded entrance, the soldiers came to attention, stepped back, and opened the door for the boy. He proceeded to the library where the president was resting and introduced the soldier to his father. The boy was Tad Lincoln. The soldier had gained access (audience) with the president through the president’s son.
How much more should we rejoice in our access to the grace of the King of kings!
C. This scandal of grace (as you have heard me say before) is hard to swallow in this age of over-motivated, performance driven, success minded people.
D. Ask an unbeliever this question: “If you died today, where would you spend eternity? On what basis would you spend it there?”
2. We rejoice in our future hope: our confidence is in God; not ourselves. Therefore, it does not falter, fail or weaken with the passage of time.
A. This is joy; not happiness. Happiness is contingent on circumstancesa new job, success in something you have pursued, good health, etc. When the exhilaration of these events passes, so does the happiness they bring.
B. Remember the last thing that made you happy? Do you still get giddy thinking about it?
C. Paul says that rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God leads allows our joy to thrive even in sufferingnow hold on, PaulI should rejoice in suffering?
D. Christians know that even in suffering, God is in complete control of our lives. In fact, God sometimes uses suffering to build character in us. With this knowledge, we turn away from ourselves and turn to God in times of distress. That’s part of his design.
III. GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR MANKIND (5b-8)
1. God has poured out his love in our hearts: The verb is in the perfect tense, meaning the pouring out began at a point in time and continues in the present. Poured out signifies abundance.
2. There is no measure adequate to describe the measure of love God pours out in out hearts (not into as NIV says, but in). This implies his indwelling in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that has been given to us: not earned, given.