Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Being Justified by Faith We Have...

The main thing that Paul does in the book of Romans is to lay out the great foundational truths of the gospel. In the section from Romans 3:21-5:21 Paul presents great truths of salvation, truths that run contra to man's self-righteous, self-sufficient sensibilities; and the great truth he presents in verses 3:21-4:25 is justification by faith alone.  So in Romans 5:1-2 Paul gives us three benefits, three blessings that are ours that result from being justified by faith. Because we have been justified by faith:
1. We have Peace with God
2. We enter into grace and stand in grace
3. We have hope of the glory of God  (which is a cause of exulting)

Before we get into the benefits of justification, though, we want to see how we have come to possess these wonderful benefits.  It is through Christ that we have these blessings.  He is the means through whom God has blessed us.  We have peace with God and stand in grace through Christ. This peace with God, and this grace from God are ours through Christ, and they are the foundation of our hope in the glory of God.  It is through Christ that God grants us peace and grace (why else does Paul constantly say "Grace and peace to you?").  And because of the reality of these blessings we have hope of the glory of God.  God has given us so much through His Son.  The Bible is replete with verses that communicate this to us.  Such as:
Romans 8:31b-32…If God is for us who is against us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
I Corinthians 8:3 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Now let's look at a brief outline of the benefits listed by Paul.

Peace with God
The peace we have with God is the peace that God has made
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.  God is the peace maker, He is the one who has reconciled with us, not us with Him.  People talk frequently about making their peace with God, but it is God that has made peace with man through His Son. Romans 5:10 tells us that while we were still enemies God reconcile with us.  II Corinthians 5:21 tells us that it was God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.  Listen to these words from the Lord.

Colossians 1:19-20 It was the Father’s good pleasure…through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross…

God has made peace with man, not by means of force, but by means of sacrifice, the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

The peace we have with God is the peace Christ had with God
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…..
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
The peace we have with God is the perfect peace that Christ has with Him.

The peace we have with God is proclaimed in the gospel
Acts 10:36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—
Ephesians 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace
Ephesians 2:17 and He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.
The gospel is the good news of peace, it is the proclamation one can have peace, and its resulting harmony and unity, with God Himself.

This peace with God is the hallmark of our relationship with Him
Colossians 1:21-22a And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death
Romans 8:6-7 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.
In our mindset, in our thoughts, we are no longer at odds with God, but have a sweet and abiding peace with Him.  

The peace we have with God is the foundation of our hope
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you  will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We enter into grace and stand in grace
The word for stand is histemi, which means to be fixed, or established, to be kept intact, to be immovable.  Through Christ, as a result of our jusitification by faith, we enter into a state of grace in which we are fixed and established, never to be moved or removed.
John 1:14…the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…..For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:7b-8a…according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us….
II Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.
II Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

We have hope of the glory of God  (which is a cause of exulting)
What is it about this hope that causes a boastful rejoicing on our behalf? It is because it is not hope in general, but a specific hope, a hope of the glory of God.  What is it about this glory that causes such a response on our part?

It is an eschatological glory
I John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.
I Corinthians 15:42-43 So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power….

It is a predestined glory
Romans 8:30 and those whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom He justified, He glorified.
I Peter 5:10…the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ…
II Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

It is the glory of Christ
John 17:22,24 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one…Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
I Thessalonians 1:9-10 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who believe….
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
I Peter 1:7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious that gold which is perishable, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

It is a glory that belongs only to those of the household of God
Romans 8:21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
I Peter 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ , and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed…

Yes, the greatest benefit of being justified by faith is that on that day, when the Lord comes back, and the dead in Christ are raised, each in his own order, we shall be raised with a body that is imperishable and glorious, just like our Lord's, for we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is (I John 3:2).  It is the day when our salvation will be complete.  This indeed is a cause of exultation now because of our confident expectation of God's fulfillment of His many promises to us.  

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