Title: CELEBRATING OUR PEACE WITH GOD
Text: Romans 5:1-11
Nothing is more discouraging than going through a trial and have no hope for something better. Hope makes all the difference in being able to hang on. Think of poor Job. He was unaware that all his troubles stemmed from a conversation between God and Satan. He experienced troubles way beyond what you and I have ever experienced: loss of all his children and their families, loss of all his wealth and means of income, and finally the loss of his health. It’s no wonder he was so down in the mouth through chapter after chapter in the oldest book in the Bible. But through it all he would not curse God. He had a small hope that God would pull him though it somehow. In the end, he was restored double of all that he had lost. All that restoration did not happen over night. It took years for God to restore his wealth and livestock, and it took years to birth twice as many children that he had lost. How long are you willing to hang on? Is your hope tempered with longsuffering?
On a different note, nothing brings more celebration than knowing you have peace with God. There are things in this world that bring on celebration (birth of a child or grandchild, a wedding, a promotion), but they all fade as soon as then next tribulation comes our way. Would you like to have a reason to celebrate even when you go through hard times? It’s found in having peace with God.
Our text brings these two life-impacting topics together under one heading. Let’s find out how to experience a transcending hope along with celebration of our peace with God. Read Text.
1. Paul states right at the beginning that our peace with God is made possible because of our justification. What does being justified mean? (Justified = justice is satisfied; just as if I’d never sinned. I was guilty to the core, but my court record was erased by Jesus’ atoning death in my place.)
2. How does our faith activate this justification? (We were in deep trouble with God because of our many sins, and we could never do enough good to erase it or pay for it; therefore the only way to receive it is by faith in what Jesus did in our place when He took our sins to the cross.) Jn. 20:31; Eph. 2:7-8; Col. 2:13-14
3. Verse 2 says that through our faith in what Jesus did for us, we stand in God’s grace. Is there anything that will take away God’s grace? Is it possible to sin too much and thus run out of God’s grace? Is there anything we might do that cannot be covered by God’s grace? 1 Jn. 5:16 (Sin unto death = The man who has listened to sin and refused to listen to God so often that he loves his sin and regards it as the most profitable thing in the world (Barclay). God can and will forgive any sin that is repented of and confessed, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.) Mat. 12:31
4. Paul then states that because we stand in God’s grace, we have reason to exult in hope of God’s glory. What does “exult” mean? (rejoice, celebrate) What is he getting at when he then states that we exult in hope of God’s glory? (Celebrate the hope that someday I will have a share in the glory of God…getting to see Him in His glory and having His glory shine on us. Wow! Except for Moses, no one else has ever seen that glory!)
Insight: This is the first of three times Paul uses the word “exult” in this section of Scripture. Whenever you see a word repeated, it usually means that the text in between is tied together and that repeated word is the main subject of the passage. Such is the case here. Look for the other two times it is used as we continue.
5. The next time Paul uses the word “exult” is in the very next verse, 5:3, but what it is tied to is not something we usually rejoice in, or celebrate. There must be a deeper meaning behind this. What is it? (With Christ, the trouble that tribulation brings is not an end in itself, so we have a hope in sharing the glory of God.)
6. Can you see how having a hope in sharing God’s glory some day helps you to endure or persevere through your present trials? How does it make the difference? Rom. 8:35; Matt. 5:10-12
7. How does persevering through trials develop our character? (It makes us into a stronger person that has backbone to stand up, rather than beaten down by life’s woes. It’s the fire that tempers the iron in us.)
8. What does Paul say is the next progression after proven character? (Renewed hope. Hope has taken us full circle; we began with hope and we end with and even stronger, revived hope. This latter hope is a stronger because we persevered through the trial and our character has been refined through the process, we have an even more sure hope that we are sharing in the glory of God.)
9. Verse 5 states how that hope is reassured in us. How so? (It’s reassured through God pouring His Holy Spirit into our heart. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us hope, and He is the one who both brings the glory of God and who is the glory of God in us!!) Col. 3:3-4
10. Now all this is possible because of what Christ has done for us…and He did it when we were not even seeking it. How is that so according to verses 6-10? (To show the extent of God’s love for us, Paul amplifies it by stating that Christ died for us while we were helpless, while were YET sinners, and while we were enemies with God. Wow, what a love!)
11. According to verse 10, what did God’s love for us accomplish? (It reconciled us with God so that we are saved through the life He gave.) How does it make you feel when you hear the words, “you are now reconciled with God”? Rom. 8:31-35; Jn. 6:40
12. Verse 11 brings us our final occurrence of the word “exult.” What is the reason for celebrating in this verse? (What Christ did for us makes it possible to exult all over again in our reconciliation with God.)
Celebration (exult) has taken us full circle. It is intimately coupled with “hope.” We have a blessed hope that life’s trials will strengthen us, develop our character, and reassure our hope of sharing in the glory of God. If that doesn’t give you a reason to celebrate I don’t know what will!
When you have peace with God, knowing that you are reconciled with Him, that brings a resolve that nothing this world throws our way is going to disturb what we have secure in Christ. What happens in this world is only temporary. It’s a blink in the passing of time compared to the eternity we will have in beholding the glory of God face-to-face. Let His glory shine down on you now as you rejoice in the blessed hope you have that is made possible through what Christ has done for you!