Rejoicing in God’s Justification

Date Preached: September 15, 2019
Topics: exposition
Scripture: Romans 5:1-11
Notes: Download PDF
Speaker: Gary Combs

Summary

Wouldn’t you like to experience peace, hope, joy, love, and reconciliation in your life? Many of us search far and wide just to find one them.

Is your life full of anxiety and care? Do you need peace? When you think about the future, are you filled with hope or despair? Do you need some hope? How about love and reconciliation? Is your life filled with broken relationships? Wouldn’t you like some help restoring them? In the book of Romans chapter 5, Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that they should rejoice in their justification by faith in Jesus Christ. We can rejoice in our justification by faith in Jesus.

Transcript

Below is an automated transcript of this message:

All right, let’s dig into Romans. You ready? You know, we did chapters one through four last Fall of 2018. We did chapters one through four, and we made a promise that over the next few years we would take it in four parts, doing four chapters at a time. So the Book of Romans has 16 chapters, and the Book of Romans is a beautiful book. I’m excited to dig back in with chapter five, verse one and continuing there this morning.

Now the Book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul around 56 AD. This letter opens up like most of the letters in the New Testament. When we write a letter, we address it to the person we’re writing and then at the end, we tell them who we are. But the way they wrote in those days, they tell you who they are at the beginning. That actually makes more sense in some ways to me. Here’s what it says in Romans 1:1, 7 (ESV “1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” So it’s written by the Apostle Paul under the authority of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it is written to the believers in Rome. Notice, it says ‘to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.’ He’s not addressing them very specifically, though, because he’s never been there at this point. Paul’s writing the book of Romans to believers he has heard about. In fact, he’s writing this on his third missionary journey, his second visit to the city of Corinth.

If you look at a map, you can see this is where Paul is on course; I’ve got it labeled here. He’s dreaming of and praying about a time when he can finally go visit the believers in Rome. Rome, being the capital of the Roman Empire, he had an intention that they would supply him with his desire to carry the Gospel to Spain. He writes this towards the end of Romans, he says in Romans 15:23-24 (ESV) “ 23 …I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.” The Book of Romans is unique in all of Paul’s letters because he’s writing to a people he has never met, the people he has never visited. In a way, you might say he’s writing it to us because we’re those people as well. We are a people he’s not personally visited.

He decides to give a comprehensive statement of the gospel he proclaimed. Many have called this Paul’s magnum opus, his longest and greatest work, containing the clearest and most comprehensive description of the gospel. Here’s what Charles Swindolll says in his commentary on Romans. He says, “The apostle’s letter to the church in Rome was the most significant piece of literature the Lord would ever commission His most prolific evangelist to write. Little did Paul realize the impact it would have throughout the centuries to come. From Origen of Alexandria in the third century to Barnhouse of Philadelphia in the twentieth, countless theologians will pen innumerable pages of exposition and meditation on the apostle’s magnum opus. Augustine will find the seed plot of his faith in this letter. This document will spark a revolution in the heart of Martin Luther, who would reintroduce the truth of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone–– a doctrine all but obscured by the dogma of men who stood to profit from a gospel of works. It will ignite the mind of Jonathan Edwards, strangely warm the heart of John Wesley, and fuel the revival fire of George Whitefield.”

The series theme verse is found in Romans 1:16-17 “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed …”

This is God’s righteousness revealed part two. And so we’re picking it up in Chapter five. Having introduced this “righteousness of God” that can only be found in the gospel, Paul spent the first four chapters of Romans explaining that since we are all sinners, we are in desperate need of salvation, and that the only way to receive this salvation and be counted righteous before God is not by our own human effort, but by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. God has shown us that He’s the creator through His creation. Yet, we have rebelled against Him, showing us that we’re all sinners unless we’re saved by grace in Jesus. He spends the last two chapters of the first four proving to us that justification by faith in Christ alone is the only way to know salvation .

Now, we’re in Chapter five. Let me remind you the definition of this word, justification, this doctrine of justification. Here’s what the dictionary says, “Justification is the doctrine that God pardons, accepts and declares a sinner to be just on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, which results in God’s peace.” His spirit, salvation and justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from all works and merit of the sinner. That’s a good summary of the first four chapters of Romans. But now, as we depart from the first four, we go into chapter five. We’re getting ready to have a party, people.

This morning, we’re gonna rejoice over our justification because that’s what happens in chapter five. He’s built this case for four chapters and then in chapter five he begins to tell us now that we know this now that we have obtained this, we can rejoice. We can have lives filled with hope and love and joy. Would you like to experience those benefits in your life? Peace, love , hope and joy? Many of us search for and may find one of them.

Which would mean most to you today? Peace; do you need peace, in your chaos, in your life today. Joy; are you struggling with discouragement? Depression? How many of you have a life today filled with anxiety and care? You could use some peace. You could use some hope. When you think about tomorrow you’re like, I don’t want to think about tomorrow. I just want to enjoy this morning, Pastor. Thanks for bringing it up. I need some hope. Is your life filled with broken relationships? A train of train wrecks? Would you like some help restoring them? Who needs some peace? Who needs some reconciliation? Who needs to enjoy some hope?

In the book of Romans, chapter five, Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, and he said that they should rejoice in their justification by faith in Jesus. We can rejoice in this justification that we have in Christ, that we’ve been made right with God. Why? Well, the text gives three reasons why we can rejoice in our justification by faith in Jesus.

Okay, that’s the introduction. Let’s dig in so I can preach. Whenever you start a part two, you have to tell what is said in the first four chapters. Here we go with chapter five.

Romans 5:1-11 (ESV) 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. This is God’s word.

I will give you three reasons that we can rejoice in our justification by faith in Jesus. Here’s the first (1) Because we have peace with God. Believer, if you’ve been made right, that’s what the word justification means that God has made you, He’s counted you righteous, Even though you weren’t, he counted you righteous by your faith in Christ’s righteousness and that He paid the price.

We can rejoice in this because first of all, we have peace with God. Let’s look at the first couple of verses. Notice how it starts. What’s the first word? The first word is therefore, what should we always ask when we see that word? ‘What’s it there for?’ It always points to this; that something prior builds the case for that which follows. It’s kind of like an equal mark in a mathematical equation. One plus one equals two chapters. One through four equals what he’s getting ready to tell us in chapter five. Therefore, and because He wanted to make sure that you understood this, He gave you a double; “Therefore, since,” because since is another way of saying therefore. If you would take note of that here are four “sinces.” “Since we have been justified by faith.” I just summarized four chapters and you might be saying, ‘Well, why didn’t he just skip the first four and say that to begin with?” Well, I had to build a case .

Paul is writing to the people in Rome, and he isn’t even sure they’ve heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. And so he gives this beautiful comprehensive, starting with the very beginning of God’s creation and explaining to us why we’re sinners. He displays this beautiful case.

Now, we’re in chapter five, where it says for us to rejoice, because if you have this, you have peace with God. He’s talking about justification by faith. I just want to make sure you get this. He says we have been justified by faith.

I used math a minute ago when I was talking about the unequal sign. Let me use math again. Some of you are looking at me like, ‘I hated math.’ Well, you’ll love this. Just hang in there for a second. Remember this thing in math called a ray? It’s a point with a line and an arrow at the end. It’s called a ray . It says that there was a point in time where you weren’t justified, but at a particular point in time, you were, and at that point is where you placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Prior to that, you were not right with God. But at that particular point you became right with God. But not only that, you continue to be right with God forever. The way the English tries to describe the verb is it’s already happened. But it’s still happening. It’s gonna keep on happening that you’ve been made right with God. And so you have peace with God.

I would remind you of the definition. Let me just say it again. Justification is the doctrine that God pardons; he declares a sinner to be just to be right on the basis of Christ’s righteousness. Justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from works.

Did you hear the testimony of Kaitlyn a second go? She grew up thinking it is all about keeping the rules. Did you see how it ship wrecked her life for a season? Listen, we’re not rule keepers. This is not a religion that we’re following. We’re following a person named Jesus Christ who paid it all. We have been set free, justified. Now that word justification; why is the pastor using this big old word on a Sunday morning? Because I want you to get your mind around this word. If you’ve received Jesus, you are made right forever; you can’t earn it to get it. You can’t earn it to keep it. It’s based on faith in Christ. That’s the doctrine of justification. You ought to be rejoicing right now because you have peace with God. . There’s a whole bunch of “we have”s in these 11 verses. In fact, I counted sixteen “we”s and five “we have”s. Pastor you are strange. Why did you do that? Because I love God’s word. I count things; I dig in, take things apart and put them back together. I’m trying to get ahold of what he’s talking about. The first one is in verse two, verse nine and verse 11. There are five “we have”s. In the first four chapters, there are zero “we have”s. There are “I”s; I am not ashamed of the gospel. Paul has talked about what he believes. You are a sinner; you are lost. There are things they need to get right; there’s no “we”s.

And then in chapter five, he’s given us the doctrine of justification. He says that now we have it. Let’s rejoice. Those who have been justified by faith in Christ Jesus.

Are you a “we?” Are you a “we” or a “they?” If you’re right with God, you have peace with God, peace with God. That’s the first reason; that we can rejoice if you’ve been justified, made right with God, through faith in Christ you have as a possession, peace with God.

Now this is not peace of God. Don’t get confused. There is the peace of God, which you must first have peace with God to obtain. What is this peace of God? Just so that you can know. It’s a subjective peace that’s working on the inside.

Paul writes to the Philippians about this. Philippians 4:7 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. There’s a peace that just causes the storm inside of you to be still and to be calm. But that’s not what he’s talking about here; that comes later and as a result.

Be at peace with God. Now. What’s peace? Peace with God. It’s a cessation of hostility. It says this, before that point in time when you placed your faith in Jesus, you were in rebellion against God and he counted you as an enemy. I know you don’t like that; you say, ‘I wasn’t at war with God. I don’t remember being at war with God.’ Listen to what it says in Colossians 1:20-22 New Living Translation (NLT) 20 … He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ… And so there was a point in time when we were at war with God, when we were far from God. You know, there’s something to be said for admitting that. There’s something to be said for that.

Then he says this, so first of all, we have peace with God, which we are saying is not a subject of internal, but an object of reality that once you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are no longer in rebellion against God. You’re no longer at war with God, but you’ve moved from foe to friend. And more than that, the next possession that you get says you’ve moved past friend to child of God. Look what the next we have is; we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, we have also obtained access. In other words, the door to the throne room is open.

In the Old Testament, only the high priest could go into the throne room, which is the past. The curtain of the Holy of Holies, where the throne of God is, symbolically represented by the Ark of the Covenant. The high priest could only go in there one day a year, on the day of atonement on Yom Kippur.

But now, because we’ve placed our faith in Jesus, we’re no longer at war with God, right? And it’s not just that we’re no longer foes. We’ve been invited into the throne room because Christ is at the right hand of the Father, He’s in the throne room and we can go in there like his kids.

I just now thought of this picture; I wish now Iwould have looked it up and been able to pop it on the screen. You remember seeing that photo of John Kennedy’s son, John Junior, playing under his desk when John Kennedy was president? His son was playing under the desk in the Oval Office. I don’t think many of us get to play under the president’s desk in the Oval Office. But if you’re a son, you can. That’s what access means. I like that word access. Do you see that word access? We have peace. But not only do we have peace, we have access by faith into this grace in which we continually stand. How do you stand in this?

Colossians three tells you how to do it. Colossians 3:1-3 (NIV) 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

You might say, ‘Gary, I don’t see the throne room. Gary, I feel like I’m sitting here with you right now.’ You’re talking about your experiential life of what you’re experiencing. What Paul is talking about is your spiritual position that you are already in Christ with God in the very throne room. And it’s a matter of choosing that by faith so that you lift your eyes from this world.

What are you going through today? Do you lack peace? Today is there chaos in your life, is there anxiety and care? Is there worry? Look what what faith does; it places itself not in walking by sight, not by walking by how you feel. You place your faith in the word of God and the word of God says you’re already there. So since you are, set your eyes, set your heart, set your minds; you have access. You have access so you have peace. You have access.

Some of you are still choking on me saying that you were once enemies. ‘I’m not at war with God.’ ‘I’ve never been at war with God’ while at the same time you’re doing as you like. ‘I don’t know about all that stuff in the Bible. I kind of like that part. But I’m not so sure I like this other part. You know that part. I like that part I don’t like.’ Here’s what you’re saying; ‘I’m in charge of my own destiny’. Here’s what you’re saying, ‘I am king of my life.’ Here’s the problem, God says He’s the king of creation. He says he’s the creator and he’s given authority to Jesus. Therefore , Jesus has authority over all. Now, if two kings claim authority over the same territory, there is war. We know that, right? Saudi Arabia is burning right now, it’s fields are burning because we suspect someone from Iran has done something there to make the price of oil go up and mess with the world’s economy or whatever. Why’s that happening? Well, because there’s territory being claimed by different kings, if you will, different leaders. And so there’s continual war in this world because there’s always a disagreement about who owns it. And so that’s why you’re at war with God. Because you claim to be God of your own life, because you claim, ‘I’m gonna do it my way.’ You’re singing that Frank Sinatra song in your head; ‘I did it my way.’ You’re saying you are not at war with God? Yes you are. You’re at war with God until you say, ‘God, I want to do it Your way.’

On September 2nd 1945 the peace treaty was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri after World War II was imposed. This peace treaty was imposed by the Allies and accepted by the Japanese. So you can see here on the USS Missouri, the gathering of the Japanese standing before all the generals of the Allies and general. That was General Douglas MacArthur. Now the victor imposed the terms and the vanquished accepted the terms, the peace terms. The vanquished do not get to set their own terms of peace. The victor sets the peace terms, and the victor completes the peace treaty and the vanquished sign it in unconditional surrender. So that’s what happened. So Douglas MacArthur had it all laid out. It had all been written. What would have happened if the Japanese would have shown up with their own peace treaty? Like, you know, we got an alternate plan here. We kind of like to keep everything that we stole when we were at war. We’d like to keep the Philippines, and we would like to keep, you know, and we would prefer this and prefer that. Well, the problem is, they didn’t win. They lost the war. And so the only appropriate action was the one. They took unconditional surrender. And to this day, the older Japanese who remember World War II often will visit MacArthur’s grave when they come to the US. They’ll go to West Point to visit because he helped write their constitution and actually did not dethrone their king and actually was a very benign leader that helped them to this day, becoming one of our closest allies. How did that happen? It’s because they can unconditionally surrender.

Do you want peace with God? Do you want access? You can’t write your own peace terms. ‘Well, you know, God, I’ll give you this much, but I’d like to keep that much.’ You can’t do that. He’s the victor. And until you say, I’m the vanquished, you’re not ready for peace with God. He’s the King. Until you say, ‘I am not in charge. I give you my life. I surrender all,I surrender all and I unconditionally surrender.’ At that point you are justified and you have peace with God. You move from foe to friend and from enemy to family.

Here’s number two (2) Because we have hope with God. We have peace with God. We have hope with God. Now we’re in the latter part of verse two, “…and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We rejoice. We rejoice. That’s in there three times; we rejoice. This rejoicing could be translated, we glory in. It’s not just joy based on something inside of us, but it’s more like joy based on who God is. So it’s ‘we glory in;’ another way you could translate is, ‘we exult.’ Exult is a word we don’t use a lot. Today we exalt or we boast in what God, and specifically Jesus, because of what He’s accomplished. We rejoice, we exalt, we boast in Christ. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God because we have become that which He always meant for us to be. That’s to be glory bearers, image bearers, reflecting his image to a dark world. We rejoice in this in hope. This word hope is joyful and confident expectation. It says, we are already there, but not yet. It’s kind of like what we were alking about a minute ago. We have access to the throne room. You can talk to Him any time; the door is standing open for Jesus, and we have hope. I’ve said before, “Hope is like a rope; it’s anchored in the cross and the resurrection. It’s anchored in the empty tomb, it extends beyond the veil where we can’t see it, to the throne room of God. It’s anchored to Jesus who’s coming again.” Our hope is not like a wish. You know, ‘I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t…’ That’s a wish. No, it’s a confident expectation that we will receive that which we have been promised. We rejoice. We exult in hope. Then, he goes on to say, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings.” ‘Uh oh, pastor; I thought you said this was a good sermon and was good news all the way through.’ Hang on. Here’s the hope; it’s already but not yet. We already have peace with God. We already have access. We already have hope, but we still have sufferings because we’re still here in this world. But even in this, because God is king and because we’ve surrendered completely, we don’t kick against suffering because we know what we know. We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing; what do we know? We know that suffering produces endurance. You can say I believe all day long, but you can’t really show it until it’s tested. Endurance hangs in there. Endurance hangs on. When we suffer, we rejoice. It doesn’t say rejoice because of your sufferings. It doesn’t mean to be a masochist; you’re not rejoicing because you’re hurting. That’s crazy. You rejoice in spite of the suffering because, you know, it had to pass through the fingers of your Father, the Lord. He allows it to touch you; He has a purpose for it because you’re His and He is yours. We know that in suffering,we shouldn’t waste the pain. If you complain through suffering, it will not result in the outcome described here. If you complain through it, you will not grow in endurance. It won’t produce the fruit of endurance. Nor will it produce the fruit of character. Suffering produces endurance and endurance, produces character and character, comes full circle and produces hope, which is what you started with.

Hope has grown because now you’ve seen that even in suffering God is still keeping his promises. He’s bringing you through it; don’t waste the pain. Those of you that have been through suffering, and you’re on the other side of it, I’ve heard you say, ‘I wouldn’t change it; it is hard, but I wouldn’t be who I am in Christ today if I hadn’t gone through it. Listen, it hurt and I wouldn’t want to go through it again. But I wouldn’t take it away either. I trust the Lord now. My hope has grown because he brought me through it. He brought me through the fire, through the suffering.’ Endurance stands firm and doesn’t quit; character is that which is proven in the fire, proven by testing, which increases hope in the end.

In verse five, we see that hope does not put us to shame. In other words, some translations say hope does not disappoint. In other words, it’s not a hope that’s not anchored on both ends, anchored in the fact that it happened. He died for our sins, he rose again and the tomb is empty. Our hope is anchored there. It’s not flopping free in the breeze; it’s anchored there and then it’s anchored in the promises beyond the veil. We can’t see there right now, but because of that fact, we look up there and we set her eyes up there and He’s at the right hand of the father. But he’s coming back.

Hope is anchored at both ends as we go through suffering. We hang on in hope; we endure in. Our character becomes more like Jesus because that’s what God is doing. He’s making us like Christ. He says that our hope will not be put to shame; we won’t be embarrassed.

Do you remember Job’s wife in the Bible when Job lost everything. Then, he got sores all over him. And he’s sitting out there in ashes and she says, (this is an encouraging woman right here) “Job why don’t you curse God and die.” There’s some encouragement for you right there. What? Just curse God and die? Job said, “Even though he slay me yet will I serve him.”

How will you go through suffering, because suffering is a reality. In this life, there will be trials. There will be struggles. But if you keep your hope in God, it will not be put to shame. He seems to go on a tangen, but then it makes sense. Your hope is not not just a wish. Just think of what you already have, because your hope is knowing, anchored in that fact. You have these other things going for you because God has poured his love in you. Don’t you feel it?

Why do I love more? I love even my enemies. I didn’t used to before I got saved. What is it that God’s poured into you that’s new. What is in me and into my heart? How? Through the Holy Spirit, who, by the way, has been given to us. He’s given you the Holy Spirit. He didn’t say He put him on loan. He’s poured out love in you so we can hope with all hope through suffering and it will not be put to shame.

Because he had to talk about love, he had explained that in verses 6 to 8. He chases that because he uses this argument. He says, “while we were still weak.” In other words, while we were still unable to save ourselves, at the right time, God died for the ungodly. One will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one might dare to die. But God. This is one of my memory verses I know in a different translation. This is a good one if you’re going to memorize a verse. “But God;” the verse starts off great. But God shows his love for us. In other words, he puts it on display so that your hope is not something that you can’t see. He puts his love on display on the cross. There’s my love. Look at it. There it is. Christ died for you while you were still enemies. While you were still a sinner. He died for you so that you could have peace with God; so that you can have access as a child of God. So that you can have hope through your sufferings today. There it is. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He put his love on display. He demonstrated it. He didn’t just say, I love you; he proved it.

James 1:2-4 (ESV) “2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” This is another way of saying endurance and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. It comes at you in the liability column; he says to count it in the asset column. Yeah, it hurts. I think it should go in the liability column. No, by faith, put it in the asset column because God’s going to do something about it. You can put your hope in that. Romans 12:12 (ESV) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. “Here is Paul’s amazing assertion. When he shows that suffering starts a chain reaction that leads to hope (which is one of the fruits of justification), he is saying that the benefits of justification are not only not diminished by suffering, they are enlarged by it. In other words, if you face suffering with a clear grasp of justification by grace alone, your joy in that grace will deepen. On the other hand, if you face suffering with a mindset of justification by works, the suffering will break you, not make you.” –– Timothy Keller.

Here’s what you may want to do. You might start saying, ‘If I’m suffering, I must have done something wrong because my life is based on my performance. I must have done something wrong because I didn’t get that job. I must have done something wrong because I lost that job. I must have done something wrong because I got this disease. It must have been something wrong….’ You think your life depends on your performance, rather than depending on the performance of Christ that you place your faith. But if you place your faith in Christ’s performance and His righteousness, that He took the test of life and got an A plus with extra credit. You took the test of life and you got an F. Here’s what He says at the cross, ‘Here, take my A plus and I’ll take your F. Here, take my life and I’ll take your death.’ Those who are self justified or seeking salvation by works are insecure when suffering comes. But those who trust that they’ve been made right with God say, ‘God must want me to get through this. I don’t like it, but I’m gonna keep hoping.’

Here’s number three. We said we have peace with God. We have hope with God. This justification by faith in Christ also says (3) we have reconciliation with God. This is the third reason. We can rejoice because we have reconciliation with God. We are in verses 9 to 11 now. Let me summarize what Pauls says here, “since therefore” and every time we see the word “therefore,” you have to ask, What’s it there for? Right? In verse 9 it says “since, therefore.” . He’s done eight verses of summarizing everything that happened in the first four chapters and explaining why we can rejoice because of these wonderful possessions and the fruit of justification that we have.

He wants to tighten it up one more time in verses 9 to 11 and summarize it again. But then he says it slightly different. Before, it was ‘we have now been justified by faith,’ right? That was the first time. And he says now, ‘we have now been justified by his blood.’ He does a little thing right here; you don’t want to miss it. First, it was the means of justification.

How do you get justification? Well, faith is the hand that reaches out and receives it. Here comes the gift of salvation. Here comes ‘for by grace,’ which is an unmerited favor. It’s a free gift. Here comes, but it’s not mine until, ‘but through faith.’ So it’s by grace through faith. It’s mine like that, and even my hand. Where did I get that hand? I didn’t make that here. I was born with it. Who gave me that? God give me that here and even my ability to believe.

“You’ve been saved through faith in that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not as a result of works so that no man should boast.” Here comes justification. Here comes justification; being made right with God. Here comes faith. That was verse 1 and here’s verse nine. It’s talking about the basis, the ground, what paid for it. What’s the grace? What paid for that free gift? Well, it wasn’t free. Somebody paid for it. By what? That’s the shift. You’ve been justified by faith. That’s the means. It was by His blood. This changes the emphasis here. You’ve been justified by His blood. He’s doing this argument from greater to lesser. If he will do that much more, shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

Look at verse ten, 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. How much more sinned Hed died for us while we were still enemies. How much more shall we be saved from the wrath of God? Do you see that in verse nine? How much more shall we be? This is what he’s talking about .

Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) “… without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” So he’s already paid for our sins and since he’s already done that, while we were still enemies, how much more will he save us on the judgment Day? The wrath of God is not the wrath of God that we see in Romans chapter one, Verse 18. It’s not there. That’s what’s happening in the present because of man’s rebellion. One commentator says, it’s like we’re floating down a river of sin and God took his hand off the boat. He’s letting us have what we chose. It’s not active wrath like lightning bolts from heaven. It’s more like see an equal suffering. I wouldn’t say it’s passive, but it’s more like judicial abandonment. If you want to go your own way, it’s going to hurt, but go ahead, go your own way.

In Luke, chapter 15, the prodigal son says , ‘Give me my inheritance. I wish you were dead.Give me my inheritance so I can go.’ He lets him go, but he stands on the front porch constantly waiting for him to come back. He lets him go all the way to the pigpen. He doesn’t go after until he comes back and then he runs to him. This is a different wrath; first, because this is a future wrath. This speaks of the ultimate day of judgment. So since he’s already done that when we were enemies, when we were sinners, since he already died on the cross, now we can rejoice because we’re completely reconciled. We are completely made right, so that on the day of judgment, at the great white throne, when all of the living and the dead will stand, we can know we will not experience judgment. We can know that we know that we know.

How do you know? Because the Bible says so . The Bible says; I don’t have to guess. I love this much more. Do you see it personally? For if, while we were still enemies we were reconciled by the death of his son, how much more now that we’re reconciled, shall we be saved by his life? He did that when He died for us, just think how much he’s doing up there, sitting at the right hand of the father, talking to him about us by his life.

Verse 11 says more than that. So we got much more, much more. And then more than that, he just keeps stacking it on here. The word “reconciled” is a beautiful word. It originally had the idea of the exchange of coins. I’m bringing you American dollars and you’re gonna give me you know, your form of money. We do a reconciliation. That’s where that word comes from. Here’s the problem. Not only were we at war with God, but we’ve built up a debt against God. We’ve got a debt. We owe it for the wages of sin is death. We owe him a death. And he knew if he did that, if he took that in order to be fully reconciled.

If we were talking about World War two again there was war debt. So there was war debt and the Marshall Plan. If you go back and you really got into history. I love history. So sorry about this. But the Marshall Plan was different than World War I. There was a way made for them to get out of debt so there wouldn’t be a future war. God made a way in a peace treaty that he offers to get us out of debt so that we’re fully reconciled. So we, who are now in Christ, owe nothing except our love. We don’t owe anything. It’s paid in full.

In verses 9 and 10, Paul makes two intertwined, greater to lesser arguments. If God saved us while we were enemies (greater), how much more will He keep us saved now that we are friends (lesser)! If Christ shed His blood while we were far from God, how much more will He keep us by His life now that we are reconciled to God through Him. Because we are assured of our relationship with him, we don’t have to go to bed at night and wonder. If you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can know that you know that you know that you know., In the King James version, it reads, word that “More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ to whom we have now received atonement.” It’s the same idea of the debt that has been paid. Atonement has been made or, as some have used this word to help us understand it, we now have “at one ment” with God. We’re at one with him. It’s been atoned for; its been paid for.

If you get if you get a statement from the bank for your checking account, you’re supposed to reconcile your checkbook to the checking account statement to make sure it agrees. And here’s what God has done; he’s not only given us hope that through his promises, but he’s paid in full so that we’re fully right with him, not just that we’re no longer foes , but that he’s paid for it so that we’re children of God. We owe nothing but our love.

Colossians 1:21-22 (NLT) “ 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. “ When we stand before a holy God someday, He will put a white robe on us because he’s already calls us His saints. (listen, you don’t have to wait for some church to vote whether or not you’re a saint. When you receive Jesus, you are a saint.) Paul wrote to the saints in Rome; those who had been and were being and ultimately would be holy and blameless before God. Because Jesus has paid the price. He has reconciled us by faith in Christ. He’s reconciled us. He’s made us right with God. We are counted just now. We’re not just, but through Christ. He has counted us just so. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Jesus.

Which one of these do you rejoice in most today? That you have peace with God? That you have hope with God, even through sufferings? Or that, you’re reconciled with God so that you owe nothing except your love?

Let’s pray, Lord. I want to pray first for that person that’s here today and would admit it because that’s how it all begins, Lord, they would admit that they’ve been trying to live life by their own plan by their own effort. Is that you, my friend? Would you admit that you’ve been in rebellion against God? You’ve been trying to do things on your own. Would you admit that you want peace through Christ? Would you admit it? I am a sinner. I need a Savior. Pray with me right where you are. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I’ve tried to live my life by my own plan. But I want you to save me today. I believe you died on the cross for me, that you rose from the grave and that you live today. Come and live in me. Forgive me of my sin. Make me the person you want me to be. I want to be at peace with the Lord. I want to be a child of God. Save me and make me a child of God. Lord, thank you for doing it in Jesus’ name. Maybe you’re here this morning and you know Christ as Savior and you’ve received Him. But then you turned around and started trying to live by your own strength or by your own plan. You’ve received Christ, but you’re still living by your flesh, by your own effort. You think He’s up in heaven shaking a chain and a whip at you. He’s not . You’re reconciled. You’re invited into the throne room. Lord help me to get through this suffering right now. Help me. Help me, Lord, to stop trying to do it my way through my own power. Lord, give me peace. Give me hope today. Strengthen me today, to live by your power and not my own. Thank you that you loved me even when I was a sinner. You love me, but now you love me through Jesus as a child in Jesus’ name, Amen.