Abundant Blessings of Justification
Romans 5:1-5 (Pastor Heo)
Peace and Hope
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
In chp 4, we saw 2 things:
- By what Abraham was NOT justified
- By what Abraham WAS justified
Chp 5 is the explanation of the end of Chp 4.
Our justification is not just a promise of heaven, but also a tremendous source of blessings we can enjoy now and here. “Abundant blessings of justification.”
As we know, we have nothing to boast about in our faith – but we have much more to boast about in Christ – because faith means we depend on Christ for our salvation. Christ has more than enough for our salvation and justification.
By faith in Christ, we are saved. Do you agree and believe?
By faith we are:
- overcome this world,
- defeat the power of Satan and sin,
- receive the answers of our prayers,
- experience miracles,
- experience healing,
- experience the power of God (making the impossible possible),
- do good,
- please God,
- make God happy. Do you make God happy?
By faith we can do everything God wants us to do.
Today, we read Chp 5:1-5, which are full of abundant blessings which we can enjoy now and here.
Let me share 5 blessings we can enjoy now and here.
#1 Peace with God through Christ
v. 1 “1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
- Condemnation = God declares us sinners (war)
- Justification = God declares us righteous (peace)
Peace is more than the absence of war. It is the perfect restoration of relationship without the rending of any hearts.
Without peace with God, there is no peace. No peace of self, spirit, heart, mind, with others, with Creation, etc. Peace with God is the root / source for us to have / enjoy all peace in this world. This peace can only be found through Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is called “Prince of Peace” (King of Peace) – even 700 years before he came to earth.
- Eph: “Jesus Christ is our peace.” – He preached peace to us.
- Jesus IS peace and a man of peace. His greeting is “Go in peace; My peace I leave with you.”
One time, Jesus said something strange. “Do not think I have come to bring peace, but a sword.” (huh?) What does this mean?
It means, in this world, there are many false peaces – sometimes we heard of fake news – also there are many fake peaces. These must be destroyed first in order to have real, true peace and allow it to be built up.
- Carnal peace must give way to spiritual peace.
- World peace to heavenly peace.
- Temporal peace to eternal peace.
Yes, everyone wants peace – all kinds of peace – then, the root of peace is “Peace with God”. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How is this possible?
Who is a peacemaker? I want to bless you all to be peacemakers in this world.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How?
Peacemakers are not entertainers, recreational leaders. No, they are gospel preachers. They tell the story of Jesus – who is the King of Peace.
We can enjoy this peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
#2. Access to God in Christ
We are worshiping God – we are now in the presence of God.
v. 2 “2 through *whom* we have gained access by faith into _this grace_ (the presence of God) in which we now stand. And we boast (rejoice) in the hope of the glory of God. “
In ancient times, ordinary people were not allowed to enter the presence of the king – also the same was true of God. Only the High Priest, the rep of all the people was able to enter the Most Holy Place (the symbol of the presence of God) with the blood offering and bells and string tied around his waist (just in case – if he had something wrong against God in the Most High place, he was to die immediately – but nobody could enter to take his dead body, so they had to pull his dead body from outside by pulling on the rope).
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain separating the Holy and Most Holy place was torn completely in half – indicating that we would now have access to God directly through Christ.
Gentiles originally were kept out of the temple by a wall – a veil – but when Christ was crucified, it was broken in half. This means that Jesus is the new way for us to enter the presence of God.
Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way open for us through the curtain that is torn. And since we have a great Priest over the House of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and assurance of faith – having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy to help us in our time of need.”
“…in which we now stand…”
Justification has to do with our position – our standing.
In the OT time, nobody called God “Father” in a personal relationship. Question: “Can you call God, ‘Father’ in a personal relationship with him?”
Even Moses, David, nobody was allowed to call God “Father” in a personal relationship. But we are. How blessed we are. This means we received a new position / standing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “You can pray like this, ‘Our Father in heaven…'”
Isaiah “…Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”
Today, we do not call Jesus “Everlasting Father” – so this means, only IN Jesus, we are allowed to call God “Father.” We have access anytime, every time for the help we need. God is very happy to hear your voice. You know that?
#3. Hope of the glory of God
“…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
- Hope of the glory of God
We can come to God anytime.
The hope of the glory of God takes care of our future.
Originally, mankind was created for God’s glory. – But because of sin, we “fall short of the glory of God.”
Therefore, God wants to recreate his glory in us. So, we look forward to the time in which we will share his glory. So, this helps us to overcome our frustrations when we are not all we want to be, nor all God wants us to be. So, when we have THIS hope, we can rejoice in any situation.
If you hold THIS hope, you can rejoice in any and all situations (even suffering).
#4. Rejoice in suffering
v. 3-4 “3 Not only so, but we also glory (rejoice) in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
If you really agree and believe this, you are a mature Christian. If not, you are a baby Christian. Check yourself through reading these two verses.
This begins with HOPE -> suffering -> perseverance (patience) -> character -> HOPE
We are not FREE from suffering, but we can rejoice in suffering.
Remember, justification does not free us from suffering, but it gives us the power to rejoice in suffering. We don’t rejoice in suffering because we like pain, but because we know that our Father God is using these life difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build up our character.
All our suffering, problems in this world:
- develop our perseverance (patience), and
- develops our character, which
- increases our hope and glory in the future.
It is likely that your patience will be tested in some way EVERY day.
Do you serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to serve our Lord Jesus Christ?
Remember, if you serve the Lord Jesus Christ, suffering is unavoidable. You cannot escape suffering if you serve the Lord in this world. Remember, he suffered for us first.
- 1 Peter “To this you are called because Christ suffered for you first and leaving you an example to follow in his footsteps.”
- Phil “I want to know the power of Christ and his suffering….”
- 1 Peter 4:1 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.”
- Romans “Our present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Christianity is the story of a life a suffering.
“Blessed are the persecuted because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven. They persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Tribulation is a kind of suffering.
John 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble (tribulation) but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
“Tribulation” = from Latin “Tribulum” = flail
Flail (도리깨) = a threshing tool with a long handle to hit the wheat and separate the wheat from the chaff. How painful! How much suffering for the wheat! But through this suffering, the pure wheat is separated from the chaff (garbage).
Like this, through our own suffering, we are purified and our spiritual “wheat” is separated from our worldly “chaff”.
Like this, through our suffering, we can get to know “how I am” and how my heart is constituted. Sometimes, I don’t even know who I am before God, but through this suffering, I can know who I am before God.
Moses vs. Pharaoh
- Moses = man of God
- Pharaoh = man of this world
Both experienced the same miracles from God.
- Through this, Moses became closer and closer to God through patience, perseverance, character, hope.
- But, Pharaoh, through the same miracles, became harder, more stubborn, farther and farther from God, immature temper / disposition, disappointment, failure.
Remember, all the time, God is good.
- “God is good – all the time.”
- “All the time – God is good.”
But, in your daily life, in your suffering and trials, can you say THAT?
Imagine: I lost my job, got divorced, lost great money, someone I loved died, I’m suffering painfully in body, soul, spirit, emotions….BUT “God is good, all the time. God is in control of all things…”
Can you say THAT?
#5: We are not disappointed
v. 5 “5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
God has put his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who he’s given to us. We will study more of the love of God, but for now:
Imagine, before we were saved,
God showed his love by sending his Son – surely he will love us more and more NOW – he is pouring it out more and more.
Faith, Hope, Love combine to give us patience in the suffering of this world. This patience makes it possible for us to grow in character and become a child of God.
Romans “I’m strongly persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor anything else in all this world will be able to separate us from the love of God.”
What can separate us from the love of God?
- “No condemnation in Jesus Christ”
- “No separation in Jesus Christ”