The Results of Justification - Part One (Romans 5:1-11)
One of the reasons our Christian lives are often powerless, joyless, and devoid of the awareness of God’s presence is the failure to realize who we are and what God through Christ has done for us. When temptations, trials and tribulations come along we often buckle and our faith lags. Paul in our text was speaking of the benefits of justification.
I. We Have Peace with God
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God
Therefore – 1:16-18; 2:1, 6; 3:10-12; 3:23; 4:18-25
Peace means to bind to things together
We are enemies of God – active and passive
Romans 8:7-9 ; Colossians 1:21-22.
inner disposition from which hostility arises, i.e., “hatred,” [TDNT 2:811]
ἐχθρός is used for the enemy in war [TDNT]
A flippant youth asked a preacher, “You say that unsaved people carry a weight of sin. I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Is it ten pounds? Eighty pounds?” The preacher replied by asking the youth, “If you laid a four-hundred-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load.” The youth replied, “It would feel nothing, because it is dead.” The preacher concluded, “That spirit, too, is indeed dead which feels no load of sin or is indifferent to its burden and flippant about its presence.” The youth was silenced! [Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations]
Look at the words Paul uses to describe us:
• helpless – sick, ill
• ungodly – connotes sedition and rebellion [Moulton & Milligan inscription on the Rosetta stone]
• sinners – missing the mark
• enemies –
A man during the Civil War was sitting on a park bench in Washington, D.C., crying. His son, under great distress, had deserted his post in battle and was to be shot by a firing squad soon. The father had come to the capitol to see President Abraham Lincoln but couldn't get past the front gates. People passed by, but nobody stopped to listen.
Finally, a little boy paused and asked the man why he was crying. In his emotional distress, he told his story. He ended by saying that if he could talk to the president, he knew his son would be pardoned.
The young boy asked the man to follow him. When they came to the front gate of the White House, the little boy said to the soldiers, "It's all right, he's with me."
The man followed in amazement. They came to the room where President Lincoln was conferring with his generals and cabinet members, guarded by yet another detachment of soldiers. The young boy pushed inside and jumped up on the president's lap. Conversation stopped as the boy said, "Daddy, there's a man I want you to meet. He needs your help."
The man was brought in to talk with the president. His son received the presidential pardon because the son of the president took an interest in his plight.
II. We Have the Privileges of Grace
2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace
Two images are brought to mind by the word introduction:
A. We have an introduction to God and His grace
(I) It is the regular word for introducing or ushering someone into the presence of royalty; and it is the regular word for the approach of the worshipper to God. It is as if Paul was saying, “Jesus ushers us into the very presence of God. He opens the door for us to the presence of the King of Kings; and when that door is opened what we find is grace; not condemnation, not judgment, not vengeance, but the sheer, undeserved, incredible kindness of God.”
B. We have the privileges of grace as a harbor for the soul
(ii) But prosagōē has another picture in it. In late Greek it is the word for the place where ships come in, a harbor or a haven. If we take it that way, it means that so long as we tried to depend on our own efforts we were tempest-tossed, like mariners striving with a sea which threatened to overwhelm them completely, but now that we have heard the word of Christ, we have reached at last the haven of God’s grace, and we know the calm of depending, not on what we can do for ourselves, but on what God has done for us. [The Letter to the Romans, Barclay, 73]
obtained [Perfect tense -- past act with abiding results]
In which we stand we stand [Perfect tense -- past act with abiding results]
III. New Perspective for Good [in this Life as Well as the Life to Come]
and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
We exult [Present tense -- continuing action] triumphant, rejoicing confidence in God
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations,
The real world. Will grace work in the real world?
tribulations – pressures, hardships, and sufferings, distress brought on by outward circumstances
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
content of knowledge perseverance -- activity of patient endurance,
“It is one thing to submit to or endure tribulations without complaint, but it is another to find ground of glorying in the midst of them as Paul exhorts here.” [A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament]
When Beethoven was threatened with deafness, that most terrible of troubles for a musician, he said: “I will take life by the throat.” That is perseverance.
Someone once said to a gallant soul who was undergoing a great sorrow: “Sorrow fairly colors life, doesn’t it?” Back came the reply: “Yes! And I propose to choose the color!” That is perseverance. [Barclay, 73-4]
4 and perseverance, proven character;
proven character – the quality of being approved as a result of tests and trials
“as an adj. both of person and object thus denotes 1 a. tested in battle, reliable, trustworthy, b. a man who is tested, significant, recognized, esteemed, worthy [TDNT]
Dokimē is used of metal which has been passed through the fire so that everything base has been purged out of it. It is used of coinage as we use the word sterling. When affliction is met with fortitude, out of the battle a man emerges stronger, and purer, and better, and nearer God. [Barclay, 74]
and proven character, hope;
hope – the faithful trust in God’s promises for the future in the midst of trials
trust in God and His promises
5 and hope does not disappoint,
does not disappoint – [present tense – continuing action] will never put to shame
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Reason – the love of God is poured out – [present tense – continuing action] abundance and diffusion / the idea of refreshing water [Denney – poured out and still floods our hearts]
Story of Horatio Spafford
Spafford had known peaceful and happy days as a successful attorney in Chicago. He was the father of four daughters, an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and a loyal friend and supporter of D. L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of his day. Then, a series of calamities began, starting with the great Chicago fire of 1871 which wiped out the family’s extensive real estate investments. When Mr. Moody and his music associate, Ira Sankey, left for Great Britain for an evangelistic campaign, Spafford decided to lift the spirits of his family by taking them on a vacation to Europe. He also planned to assist in the Moody-Sankey meetings there.
In November, 1873, Spafford was detained by urgent business, but he sent his wife and four daughters as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Harve, planning to join them soon. Halfway across the Atlantic, the ship was struck by an English vessel and sank in 12 minutes. All four of the Spafford daughters – Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie – were among the 226 who drowned. Mrs. Spafford was among the few who were miraculously saved.
Horatio Spafford stood hour after hour on the deck of the ship carrying him to rejoin his sorrowing wife in Cardiff, Wales. When the ship passed the approximate place where his precious daughters had drowned, Spafford received sustaining comfort from God that enabled him to write, “When sorrows like sea billows roll . . . It is well with my soul.”
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll? Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.
Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and shed His own blood for my soul.
And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so” -- “it is well with my soul.”
Chorus: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.
[Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions]