Sunday, April 24, 2016

How to be Right with God (Part 12)

SERMON               GM16-081

SERIES:              Renewal Through Romans: The Gospel Defined, Explained, and Applied

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (April 24th, 2016)

SUBTITLE:        How to Be Right with God (Part 12)

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 5:1

SUBJECT:          Justification produces advantageous benefits for the believer

SUMMARY:       Since the believer has been declared and is treated by God as righteous, Paul now provides some of the obvious results or benefits of having been justified by faith. All of the following benefits have been made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and by placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. These benefits serve as an anchor giving us security and confidence to face the trials of life.

SCHEME:           To provide confidence that justification safely secures the believer from condemnation


3A     The Implication of Righteousness (4:23-5:21)

          1B     …it is procurable by all men who believe (4:23-25)

          2B     …it is productive for all men who believe (5:1-5)

                   1C     Peace with God (1)                 

                             1D     The Basis for Peace (1a)

                             2D     The Beauty of Peace (1b)


[Announce the Text]

Please open your Bibles to Romans 5:1

 [The Title of Today’s Message is]

How to Be Right with God – (Part 12)

Today’s Truth is: 

Justification produces benefits for the believer

Prayer for illumination & understanding

Our gracious Father, help us as we hear your holy Word read and taught to truly understand; and with our understanding, that we might believe and believing, we might be in all things faithful and obedient.

So Father we ask you, through your Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds for the sake, the honor, and the glory of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that as the Scriptures are read and your Word explained, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. 
We ask you Father to show us all that Christ is and what He has done for us by His atoning work on the cross of Calvary.

Father, will you enable me to clearly communicate the word of God to your people, I ask you for power and unction to preach your word. Amen.

Re-announce and read the text

Our text for today is Romans 5:1 

[Main Introduction]

Attention Getter

In The Grace of Giving, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, named Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Pastor Miller also happened to be a friend of General George Washington.

Michael Wittman also lived in Ephrata. Wittman was a tavern owner, who was an evil-minded person who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor. (Mainly because Wittman was a great patriot.)

 "No, Peter," General Washington said. "I cannot grant you the life of your friend." "My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. "He's the bitterest enemy I have." "What?" cried Washington? "You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I'll grant your pardon."

And he did. Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata--no longer an enemy but a friend.  

Orient the Text:   (CPT) Justification produces benefits for the believer

This morning I want to speak to you about the benefits that now belong to the genuine believer which were made possible by justification. Even more specifically, I want to speak to you about the confidence that permeates the believer as they come to know all that justification provides for them. The person who has experienced the justifying activity of God has the confidence that they are indeed acquitted of all charges of sin against them. The believer who was once an enemy of God, a traitor, even a God-hater is now, pardoned, forgiven, justified, and is now a friend of God.

The justified believer discovers that the justifying activity of God becomes the impetus for dedicated Christian living, service, and the means to face the trials experienced in life.

And so I urge you to celebrate these fantastic benefits that God extends to you as being justified. You are not just “acquitted” of sin and charges in a legal sense, but justification puts you into a completely different and new setting – this new setting includes both the present time and in the future. Justification removes the enmity that had existed.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaking of the importance of chapter five said this, “…is in many ways the key to understanding the rest of the letter. At the same time is contains comforting and exhilarating teaching of the highest order. It therefore demands careful and detailed study.”[1]

Justification produces benefits for the believer

Raise a Need: (POS)

There is no doubt that life in general can be very difficult, traumatic, and painful. Most of us have lived with or at the least experienced fear, disillusionment, doubt, discomfort, pain, and maybe even hopelessness. There may have been times when you have been made or have become extremely ashamed. Many people, regardless of their religious persuasion and knowledge live in fear of the anger or judgment of God. Even believers can slip into a mindset where they also fear the wrath of God.

So, we have to ask ourselves, what are the benefits to me specifically of being justified by God through faith? In our daily life and in our service to God we need confidence, especially in this day and age. I maintain that…

Justification produces benefits for the believer

State the Purpose

My purpose today is prove that your justification has tremendous benefits that when realized gives to each genuine believer great confidence which serves as an anchor for your faith particularly when the storms of life blow on our lives. Blow they will!

Justification produces benefits for the believer

[Sub Introduction]

Announce the text under consideration

Paul speaks about the magnificent benefits that are the results of being justified by faith by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Romans 5:1-5. So, join me as we continue to answer the question, How to be right with God?

Review current sermon series

We are in a series that is currently examining The Provision of Righteousness. We have looked at the Introduction of Righteousness, we have looked at the Illustration of Righteousness. Today we are continuing to looking at or examining the Implication of Righteousness as we consider Romans 5:1

Background to the text

Historical Background – Remember, Paul wrote Romans in the spring of AD 57 as he waited in Corinth for a ship that would sail Jerusalem. He gave this letter to Phoebe and she was able to find a ship that was sailing to Rome. He had never visited this church, however, he wanted to visit them in order to gain support and assistance for his plans to travel to Spain. Paul purpose to give this church a complete understanding of salvation, particularly the doctrine of justification by faith through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Textual Background

Let’s note a few things in relationship to the background of this passage:

·        First of all – chapter five is a very key chapter in Paul’s argument. This chapter is pivotal. It cannot be lightly passed over. It must be studied in detail.

·        Second – understanding this chapter is essential to understanding chapters 6-8. This chapter is crucial in order to understand all that Paul will lay out for this church in Rome and for you and me today.

·        Third – most scholars and theologians admit that it is a very difficult chapter to understand, especially vss. 12-21. Paul delves deep into great mysteries as he tries to explain how the human race fell into sin through Adam and how believers gain spiritual and eternal life through Christ.

I think the majority of the problems that believes face as Christians come from a lack of or from a misunderstanding of what they were in Adam and what they are now in Christ. Too many believers seem to be stuck or content to live as if they are in Adam when they are now in Christ. It is difficult to see that at conversion we die in Adam and we are made alive in Christ. I hope that when we get to that section I can help make it clear for each one of us.

·        Fourth – there are two great themes in this chapter; first, assurance of salvation, and second, the believer’s union with Christ. Some scholars and commentators want to try to divide this chapter and section up into two sections; justification and sanctification. Don’t make that mistake. This is not the case and I hope that you will see this as we move along. Paul continues to deal with the topic of justification.

·        Fifth – Paul is enlarging on the intense happiness or joy of the person who has been justified, especially when they understand the assurance of God’s love for them and their future blessedness.

Since the genuine believer has been declared and treated by God as righteous, Paul provides for the believer some of the most obvious of blessings or benefits of having been justified by faith. All of these benefits or blessings have been made possible by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This causes the believer to rejoice and experience great joy.

There is nothing more sad and tragic than to see believers live miserably just inches away from a life of great joy. Justification is the grounds, the basis, and the means of great joy for the believer!
·        Sixth thing to note – and I hesitate to bring this up, but I do think it is important. We have a textual challenge here in verse 1. I think that it is important to at least briefly touch on any textual challenges because as interpreters of Scripture, each one of us is responsible to thoroughly understand the text as we read it and study it.

There is a tremendous disagreement on one letter in the Greek alphabet in this verse. The problem in a nutshell is which word did Paul actually use in his original letter? Was it ecomen or was it ecwmen?

What is the difference? Well, first, it is one letter – either omicron or omega. In English a long o or a short o.

If it is a short o then we translate the verb as “we have” peace with God
If it is a long o then we translate the verb as “let us have” peace with God

Many manuscripts have the verb with the long o, or the omega. Some translations then have the verb as let us have peace with God.

I think it is properly translated in the KJV and NKJV and the Revised Version as, “we have peace”

Let won’t labor this point or stay very long here but let me give you a few reasons why I think our translators did a good job with a difficult reading:

·        The context that we are dealing with right now is didactic, or teaching. It is informative. It contains statements of fact or doctrinal in nature. This passage has to do with a believers standing before God.

·        As a result, it would be contradictory to Paul’s practice to introduce an exhortation or a command before he has finished the doctrine that he is teaching. Paul teaches then exhorts. All of his letters attest to this; propositional then practical, doctrine then duty, information then implementation.

·        The translation “we have” is more in line with the idea of justification, where the “let us have” is more in line with sanctification. Paul is not dealing with sanctification in this passage – he will deal with it later on, but not at this point.

·        “We have” is more of a legal standing which fits with our context, where “let us have” is a work of the HS

·        This is important for you to note – the first, “we have” is something that every believer has immediately and for all time, the second, “let us have” is something that not every believer has all of the time. Sometimes we don’t have peace of God when we are out of fellowship

·        “We have” is in the passive voice – this means the action was done to the believer. This doesn’t fit with an exhortation which would be an active voice where the believer is to do something

·        Finally, it doesn’t seem to make sense to tell believers to have or to get something they already have?

And so I am quite satisfied with the translation that we have, even when it seems that manuscript evidence would support the long o, that the proper translation and meaning is “we have” peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sermon series background

Last week we studied about the first implication of having been made righteous and that was the fact that it is procurable by all men who believe.

IOW, justification is not limited to the Jews only, but it is extended to all men, including all Gentiles who believe that God raised Christ from the dead in Romans 4:23-25.

This week we are continuing our studies on the implication of righteousness – and we will study on the fact that it is productive for all men who believe.

Preview the body structure

Our text, Romans 5:1 divides itself into a conclusion or summary and then a statement. The first part of verse one provides a conclusion or Paul’s summary and the latter part of verse one is a statement that provides the first benefit for the genuine believer. 

[And so we now move to the second implication of justification which is that…]

2B     …it is productive for all men who believe (Vss. 1-5)

Our theme today is - Justification produces benefits for the believer

It is produces the types or kinds of benefits that enable genuine believers to live in the face of the world today.

Interrogatory Sentence:  We have to ask ourselves then, what are the benefits provided for genuine believers by justification through faith in Jesus Christ that inspires the confidence that is needed in order to live faithfully and obediently in this world today?

Transitional Statement:  The passage of scripture before us reveals at least four (4) benefits produced by justification by faith, peace with God, access into grace, hope of future glory, and the strength to face the trials of life.

[And so we begin with the first benefit that justification produces which is …]

1C     Peace with God (1)

The believer has peace with God. God has made peace with the believer. God has reconciled the believer to Himself ending hostility.

[First of all, in order to see this, we need to examine…] 

1D     The Basis for Peace (Vs. 1a)

          [We see the basis of our peace in the first part of verse one…]
                                       diakaiwqentes oun ek pistews...

                                       “Therefore, having been justified by faith…”

With verse 1 Paul is making a transition. He is summing up what he has been teaching in chapters 1 through 4. Paul is going to present justification as a benefit experienced by the genuine believer.

Paul believers his readers have, or at least should have accepted his argument for justification by faith and he now shifts from an argumentative style of presenting his teachings to a more confessional style. Paul switches from the third person to a 1st person means of presentation. 

And at this turning point he becomes more explanatory rather than conformational. And so he says that:

--all believers are declared to be innocent and acquitted of all charges that were, mind you, justly, rightly, or properly brought against all believers who have trusted Christ.

--Remember those sobering words that he wrote in 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And so, “…having been justified…” this sums up all that Paul explained and proven in this section 3:21-4:25. 

What has Paul proven in chapters 1 -4?

Paul has proven at least five major truths:

·        All men are under condemnation for sin - this is very serious. Men are condemned and this is from birth. So, all men are living under condemnation.

·        This condemnation extended to both Jews & Gentiles. There are no exceptions. The Jews are not exempt. This was a shock to them – but it applies to both Jews and Gentiles

·        There is no escape, except by pardon by grace. No one can escape this condemnation by their own efforts or works. Race, rituals, nor religion will secure relief. Justification cannot be earned, merited, or obtain by any human effort.

·        This plan is fully revealed in the gospel of Jesus X. God has chosen to reveal His plan of redemption in the gospel of Jesus Christ and nowhere else. The gospel is exclusive, it is a very narrow path.

·        This is not a new teaching. It is in harmony w/the NT. Paul made it clear that this is not a new doctrine that he has made up. The Jews should have known this and could have confirmed it by examining their own writings.

Having said these things take care notice that the verb “having been…” Justification is already possessed by the genuine believer. Justification in not future, although it continues through the future and into eternity. It is a right now experience of all genuine believers.

There are many blessings that await our future glorification, but justification is not one of them. It is a fact! It is a fact right now!

This blessing, this benefit takes us back to 4:8 – “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”

And so, Paul finishes chapter 4 with these great truths on justification. He finishes his argument of how God justifies the sinner who believes.  Now he provides the blessings provided by justification by faith. Sadly, not every believer enjoys these blessings to their fullest extent.

Remember, these benefits or blessings cannot be obtained by chores (works), by circumcision, or by commandments (keeping the Law), they can only be obtained by faith, by believing or by trusting in Jesus Christ and His atoning work.

[So, since we now have and continue to have or to be justified by faith, what are the implications? There are several implications, at least four given here in verses 1-5. They are in a nutshell, peace, access, hope, and strength.

 Let me say, at this point, that the benefits of justification are taught in chapters 5-8. In each chapter Paul makes it a huge point and each chapter presents the benefits through the Lord Jesus Christ.

So the basis that determined our peace with God is the justification by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let’s now move to…]

2D     The Beauty of Peace (1b)                                   

Peace with God is a wonderful, gracious, and even beautiful benefit to the genuine believer. This second portion of verse one tell us about that beauty and its source.

eirnhn ecomen pros ton qeon dia tou kuriou         hmwn ihsou cristou

“…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”

The word for peace in our verse is eirnhn.  Our word comes from a root word which means “to bind together that which has been separated.”

 Jesus made peace through the blood of His cross (Col 1:20) in the sense that through His atoning work Jesus binds together again, those who by their sin in Adam have been separated from God but who now through faith in Christ are bound together again with God, who by the way is the last Adam.

It is also the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Shalom.
It does not mean merely or simply “the cessation of hostility or conflict.” This word actually refers to the total wellbeing, the prosperity, and even the overall salvation of an individual.

[For example, we see this encapsulated in Numbers 6:26:]

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his fact to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Why is this necessary?

Why is peace a benefit and why is it listed first?

What makes peace so beautiful for the genuine believer?

[Well, first of all you need to remember…]

There is a state of hostility against the unbeliever by God. God is at war with the unbeliever. 

·        Psalms 7:11 says – “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Every day of the unbeliever’s life God is angry with them. You and I were no different, every day we lived apart from Christ, God was angry with us. He was actually hostile towards us. There is an active warfare between God and the lost.

·        Romans 1:18 says – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Remember, although it seems like a long time ago, we studied this principle in depth. God is not only angry at sinners, He has even revealed his anger, his wrath against all men who suppress, restrain or hinder the Word of God.

·        Ephesians 5:6 warns us – “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things, (what things – fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, idolatry) the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

First – most sinners are unaware that God is angry with them. They aren’t even aware it seems that God gets angry or mad.

Second – they seem to be oblivious of the fact that God is angry at them and actually displays his anger. But listen, earthquakes, floods, drought, war, disease, and other disasters are God’s means of displaying His anger.

God’s wrath has come upon many “sons of disobedience” through the floods in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. These are not merely the works of Mother Nature.

·        Ephesians 2:14-14 tells us – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity – “hatred-anger” …thus making peace.”

We don’t use enmity much in our daily language, but you should study this word. It contains with in it the idea of hatred. God has a holy, because He is Holy, hatred and anger against sin and sinners.

·        Romans 8:7 – “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

The mind, the inner being of those who are lost are hostile to God. It is difficult to understand and more difficult to admit, but prior to coming to Christ men are God-haters. They are hostile to God and God is hostile to them.

If don’t think men are hostile toward God, look around, read the paper, or watch the TV news. Men hate and are hostile toward Christians, and towards the Word of God. They hate and want to tear down or destroy crosses, nativity scenes, statues or depictions of the Ten Commandments, morality, and anything even remotely related to God.

·        Romans 1:30 contains the phrase – “…haters of God…” pre-Christ all men are haters of God. I know that I have already said it, but men are haters of God. Why? Why do men hate God so vehemently? It is because God reminds them of their sin, of their darkness, and of their guilt. God exposes the sin and darkness of men and they hate him for it.

·        James 4:4 makes it clear – “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

There is no middle or neutral ground. A person is either a friend of the world and God’s enemy, or you are the world’s enemy and God’s friend. It is hard to think about what it means and what is involved in being an enemy of God. Can you?

·        Ephesians 2:16 tell us – “…and that He might reconcile then both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”

Only through the death of Jesus Christ did God reconcile some sinners to Himself. This reconciliation killed or put to death the hatred/hostility between God and the sinner. It is such a serious and egregious thing to try to justify oneself by good works, or human efforts. It took the death of Christ to put this hostility to death.

[For the record let me say a few words about “enmity…]
This word enmity is a very serious word. It means hatred, hostility. God isn’t just peeved, or ticked off, or a little unhappy with non-believers. God hates them and is at war with them. And so he was with you until He regenerated you by the HS who in giving you spiritual life enabled you to repent and turn to Him in faith.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. That is not even a biblical concept. It was uttered by a godless Hindu that rejected the God of the bible. It was God who said, “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated.”

[So, having said these things about the existing state between God and sinners prior to being justified let’s take a brief look at this first benefit produced by justification by faith that we know as “peace with God.”

What is peace?

·        First of all, from a negative perspective, Paul is not referring to an inner sense of wellbeing. This is not a reference to feeling good and restful inside.

Almost all men seek this inner sense of peace or wellbeing. Many people subscribe to various programs, philosophies, exercises and ideologies in hoping to achieve and maintain some level of inner wellbeing.

Men are plagued with fear, with doubts, or inner struggles. So they look to marital arts, yoga, pills, booze, or mind-altering exercises, all in the hopes of putting down the voices and demons that haunt them. They want to calm the raging storm inside of them.

But Paul is not talking about that type of inner peace or security in this passage.
·        Second – the idea of peace occurs at least 10 times with the word “reconciliation.” We only are able to enjoy this cessation of hostility with God when we have been reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

·        Peace is a means of God’s great goodness to His people. There is no doubt that mankind needs to have peace with God. Without this peace with God men are lost, they are condemned, and doomed to an eternal hell which was prepared for the Devil and his angels.

·        Peace is available to all Jews and all Gentiles who believe in Christ’s death and resurrection. Peace is the reconciliation of God to the believer through the death of His own dear and unique Son. It implies the removal of the divine wrath against the sinner

·        This reference to peace is to an outward situation of being in a state or relationship of peace with God. It is a reference to the cessation of warfare, hostility, and even hatred by God toward the unbeliever. This peace comes out of the hostility that exists between God and the sinner. Prior to Christ we were enemies of God.

·        This word and idea of peace is very closely related to its cousin, reconciliation. I have already mentioned this but we need to see these two words together.

·        This peace that Paul is speaking of comes only through Jesus Christ – it is what Douglas Moo in his commentary called, “the wrath averting work of Christ.” [2]

·        By the way, this peace, this reconciliation with God is ours at the exact instant that we place our faith or trust in Christ. Hostility, warfare, and anger ceases the instant a sinner repents and believes in Christ’s death and resurrection. War is over! We are no longer the object of God’s wrath. His favor was propitiated by the death of His Son. God’s wrath is removed from the genuine believer. 

So what is peace?

It is an outcome of justification by faith. Justification is not merely limited to forgiveness, it is far richer than that. Justification deals with a new position, and new relationship of a restored sinner. Justification takes care of the past and the future because it produces a peace with God because through Christ God has ended all hostilities with a believing sinner. Peace is an end of hatred, hostility, and warfare with God.

Our theme today isJustification produces benefits for the believer

My purpose today was to provide you with the confidence that justification safely secures the believer from condemnation because God has made peace with the genuine believer ending all hostilities with the believer.

 [What do you say we wrap this up?]


Let me conclude with a passage written by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossian Church:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:15-22, ESV)


Let’s pray! J

[1] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: An Exposition of Chapter 5, (Carlisle: Banner of Truth Trust, 1971), p.1)
[2] Douglas Moos, The Epistle to the Romans, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), p.


nashvillecats2 said...

I love Sundays as I know I can relax a while and read your post.
Thanks again Gregg for a wonderful read.

shortybear said...

fantastic post, thank you