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Romans 5:1-5

WHY TRUE BELIEVERS CAN REJOICE

Intro: Thus far in Romans, Paul has spent considerable time detailing man's need for salvation. We have learned that man is a sinner and that he abides under the wrath of God. We have learned that nothing associated with religion, works, the Law, or with rituals can ever provide salvation to humanity. We have seen that we are totally dependent upon faith to bring us into a right relationship with the Lord. It all comes down to realizing that it is not what we do that makes the difference in the saving of our souls, it is all about Who we know. When we know Jesus, we have salvation, when we do not know Jesus, we are lost, 1 John 5:12.

With this truth firmly nailed down, Paul now moves forward in his discussion of the doctrines of salvation. Now, Paul begins to tell his readers the benefits of being saved by grace through faith. In these first 5 verses of chapter 5, Paul tells us Why True Believers Can Rejoice in their salvation. It is that theme that I want to spend some time looking at this evening. I want to tell you Why True Believers Can Rejoice. If you haven't been in a rejoicing mood lately, I want to show you why every child of God has the right to praise the Lord and be filled with "joy unspeakable and full of glory", 1 Peter 1:8.

I. V. 1a OUR POSITION AS BELIEVERS

(Ill. The first reason we have for rejoicing is that of our position in Christ Jesus. Notice what this great verse says about our position.)

A. Our Position Declared - Paul says that we who have believed have been "justified". This is a word that many do not fully understand. Basically, it means "to count someone righteous." It means "to reckon, to account, to judge, to treat, or to look upon as righteous." It does not mean to make righteous! It does mean that we are treated like we were righteous.

(Ill. We are all sinners! Even though most of us claim to be Christians, we are still sinners! Justification does not mean that God is not aware of our sins. It does mean that in spite of our sins, God treats us as though we were not sinners. Even though we are unrighteous and wicked, God treats us as though we were as righteous and pure as He is Himself.)

(Ill. How is this possible? It happens because when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, He paid for ALL of our sins. Then when we receive Him as our Savior, God gives us the righteousness of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:21. Justification does not mean that we are perfect, it just means that God sees us as though we were!)

(Ill. Imagine a man on trial for murder. The prosecution knows he is guilty, the defendant knows he is guilty and even the judge knows he is guilty, but the jury finds him not guilty. Even though nearly everyone in that courtroom knows the man is guilty of murder, he is treated like an innocent person because he has been declared innocent. When I stand before the Lord, I know I am guilty, the devil knows I am guilty and God knows I am guilty. However, because I have trusted Jesus, God treats me as though I was innocent because He has justified me!)

(Ill. If this truth ever dawned in the depths of our souls, it would change us forever!)

B. Our Position Described - How did this great miraculous and fantastic justification come about in your life and mine? By faith! We didn't earn it! We didn't deserve it! All we did was take God at His Word concerning the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus and God justified us by faith!

(Ill. I am grateful this evening that salvation is the product of faith alone! If it relied on my ability to perform, I would be lost. If it required me to keep a list of rules perfectly, I would be lost. If it required me be a good person, I would be lost. Thank God, it is all by faith!)

I. Our Position As Believers

II. V. 1b-2 OUR POSSESSIONS AS BELIEVERS

(Ill. In these verses, Paul lists for us some of the benefits of justification. Because we are considered righteous by the Lord, there are certain things that belong to us tonight. These possessions are very precious and should never be taken for granted, but we should meditate on them and allow them to be the catalyst for rejoicing in the Lord.)

A. V. 1b We Possess Acceptance - According to Paul, salvation brings with it peace with God! This is a truth that can hardly be understood by our mortal minds! You see, every lost person is the enemy of God, Rom. 8:7. But, when that lost person turns to Jesus Christ by faith, God declares an end to the hostilities! God declares peace. He them brings that person into a right relationship with Himself. When Jesus is trusted by faith, that person enjoys immediate peace with God. What does this mean?

1. God's wrath is turned away - Rom. 5:9.

2. Heaven is satisfied - 1 John 2:2

3. Old enemies have been reconciled - 2 Cor. 5:18

(Ill. There is an expression that I have heard many people use over the years. It involves "Making peace with God." I read about an old saint who was dying. He was visited by a friend who asked him, "Have you made you peace with God?" The man replied, "No, I haven't." To that his friend said, "What! Oh you must make peace with God." "I'm sorry, I cannot do that.", replied the dying man. His friend said, "But you must! Don't you know that it is dangerous to die without making peace with God?" To this, the dying man said, "But how can I make peace with God? My Lord made peace with me 2,000 years ago when He died on the cross, and I accepted it. I have had peace ever since!" This man understood the truth of Colossians 1:20, "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.")

(Ill. We don't make peace with God, He made peace with us at the cross. Now, we must accept that and when we do, we are given peace with God. This is the first permanent blessing the every child of God receives at the very instant of salvation. We are accepted by God! We are at peace with Him!)

B. V. 2a We Possess Access - This verse teaches us the truth that through Jesus Christ, we have direct access to God Himself. The word "access" means "to enter the presence of the king." Through Jesus, we have the right to enter into the very presence of the God of Heaven without fear! We have access to the Heavenly Father!

(Ill. This must have been a radical idea to Paul's readers. Most of them came from a religious background that demanded that a respectful distance be maintained between the worshiper and God. Think for a minute about the Temple! Gentiles were restricted to the outer court of the Temple. If they went any further in, they could be executed. Women were restricted to "The Court Of Women". Then, there was the "Holy Place". Where only the priests could minister. Beyond this, there was the "Holy of Holies". Only the High Priest was permitted to enter this room, and then only once per year on the Day of Atonement, and he could not enter without the blood of an innocent sacrifice. The message was crystal clear: "Keep Your Distance!")

(Ill. Paul's message is that through Jesus, we have full access to the Father in Heaven!)

(Ill. A little boy once stood outside the gate of Buckingham Palace in London. He wanted to talk to the king, but was sternly turned away by the guards at the gate. As he stood there crying, a well-dressed man approached him and asked the little fellow why he was so upset. The little boy told the man his story. When he had heard the reason behind the little boy's tears, he smiled and said, "Here, hold my hand, sonny. I'll get you in. Just you never mind those soldier!" The little boy took the strangers hand and together they approached the gate. When the soldiers saw them coming, they all snapped to attention and open wide the gate for the stranger and the little boy to enter. He was lead through the gate, across the courtyard, down carpeted hallways and through open doors, until finally, he was brought into the very presence of the king himself. What got him there? He was holding the right hand! You see, the kind stranger was none other than the Prince of Wales, the king's own son.)

(Folks, There is only one way to Heaven: Jesus, John 14:6. If we are holding His hand, we will have no trouble entering the presence of the Father!)

C. V. 2b We Possess Assurance - Not only is there peace with God and access into God presence, but the believer also enjoys blessed, deep-settled assurance of salvation. Notice that the assurance we have is two-fold.

1. Assurance Here - Notice the phrase, "grace wherein we now stand." The word "stand" carries the idea of permanence, of being firmly fixed and immovable. Basically, this verse teaches us that we are absolutely secure in the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, this verse is all about our eternal security as believers.

(Ill. The eternal security of the believer is a doctrine that many do not hold to this evening. Many people prefer to believe that a person can be saved and then, somehow, they can lose their salvation and need to be saved all over again. These folks laugh at us Bible believers who affirm the security of the believer. And, one of the main problems they express with the doctrine is that it leads to loose living among many who profess to be eternally saved. Sadly, they are right! Many use the eternal security of the believer as a license to commit sin. However, the person who lives such a life neither understands eternal security, nor does he understand salvation! Our security in Christ leads the genuine believer to live a clean, holy life. A life of gratitude to the One Who paid the ultimate price to provide salvation in the first place.)

(Ill. According to verse one, we are saved, or justified, by faith right? That is, we did not earn, buy or get it as a reward. Salvation was given as a gift! Okay, if that is true, then verse two says that we "stand" (firmly affixed) by grace. In other words, it was faith that saved the soul, and it is grace that keeps the soul! To say that we are saved by trusting Jesus and then, after that, we must keep ourselves saved, is a total contradiction. If I can keep myself saved, why don't I just go ahead and do the whole job? The answer? I can't do either! I was saved by grace and I am kept by grace, 1 Pet. 1:5. It is all God all the way!)

(Ill. Note Romans 8:31-34. These verses tell us that the highest court in the universe has declared the believer to be justified. Where is the court that can over turn that verdict?)

(Ill. There is always someone who wants to ask what if this or what if that. Well, regardless of the if, the child of God is still secure in Jesus! Notice the following:

1. What if I deny Him? - 2 Tim. 2:13

2. What if I cannot hold out? - Phil. 1:6; Jude 24; Gal. 3:3

3. What if I sin after I am saved? - Col. 2:13-14; Rom. 5:20; 1 John 1:9

4. What if it is you are wrong? - John 6:37

Hey, I've got some "what if's". What if we stopped looking for a reason not to believe and just started taking the Lord at His Word? What if we just believed that the same God Who was powerful enough to save us was also able to keep us? What if we just let "eternal" mean "eternal"? What if we just let "everlasting" mean "everlasting"? What if we just rejoiced in the salvation we have in Him and rested in the blessed assurance that is ours by faith? What if we just stopped looking for a reason to doubt God and just took Him at His Word?

(Ill. The bottom line is that you can have absolute assurance here!)

2. Assurance Hereafter - Just as sure as we can know and believe that we are saved and secure in this life, so too, we can have that same assurance beyond this life. Eternal security extends beyond the grave - Rom. 8:29-30. From these verses, it is plain to see that our security has already been planned by God. That is why we can say this evening that we are as sure for Heaven as if we had already been there 10,000 years!

I. Our Position As Believers

II. Our Possessions As Believers

III. V. 3-5 OUR PRIVILEGES AS BELIEVERS

(Ill. We are saved and we are secure, but right now, we live in a world of trials and tribulations. We need help tonight in these areas as well. Notice some of the great privileges that are our as believers in Jesus Christ.)

A. V.3a The Ability To Rejoice In Trouble - Paul says that the Christian can rejoice in the bad times of life. Why is this true? Because of the little word "knowing". When the trials of life descend, the true believer knows that God is working our His will in our lives and is attempting to produce in us a state of Christlikeness. God is trying to make us like Jesus.

(Ill. The word "tribulations" means "pressure". There are certainly times when this life will exert pressure on the child of God. However, the mature Christian also knows that it takes pressure to produce Christlikeness. Pressure is the process used to turn coal into diamonds. And, it is pressure in the life of the believer that forces out more of the old, sinful nature and reveals more of the image of God.)

(You see, we can rejoice in trouble if we will remember that every trial is a blessing from the very hand of God, Rom. 8:28. That is will produce in us more of the image of Jesus. That when we have been chosen to suffer for Him, He is merely helping us become more like Him. With that in mind, it is easier to endure the difficult days.)

B. V. 3b-5a The Ability To Recognize Our Troubles - In this section, Paul tells us all about the benefits derived from the "pressures" of life. Note the progression mentioned in these verses.

1. Tribulation - Pressure

2. Patience - Endurance

3. Experience - Proven Character or Maturity

4. Hope - The confident expectation that we will not be disappointed.

Basically, what Paul is saying is that when troubles come in our lives as a result of our walk with the Lord, we learn to endure and through endurance we are matured and proven in our character, then as we see God sustain us in the difficult time, we can rest in the deep settled knowledge that He is in control and will see us through.

Ill. Simply stated, the more we endure for Jesus, the more we become like Him! And that is a good thing!

(Ill. You can mark this down, "The road to maturity is paved with struggle!" Just as any growing saint of God.

1. Ask Abraham and he will point to Mt. Moriah.

2. Ask Jacob and he will point to a pillow of stone.

3. Ask Joseph and he will point to a Egyptian prison.

4. Ask Moses and he will point to the backside of the desert.

5. Ask the three Hebrew children and they will point to a fiery furnace.

6. Ask Daniel and he will point to a den of lions.

7. Ask Peter and he will point to a Roman fire and his three denials.

8. Ask John and he will point to Patmos.

9. Ask any believer who has traveled far with Jesus and he will tell you that "God's blessings are poured from a bitter cup!"

C. V. 5b The Ability To Rest In Our Troubles - If life is to be difficult and there is to be trouble in my life, then how can I rejoice and how can I rest? The answer lies in this verse. Paul tells us that the love of God, like a vast river, is constantly being poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit! When we were saved, God placed His Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit is like a conduit through which streams vast quantities of the great love of God.

(Ill. As we go through this life, there will be many difficult days. However, as we face all the things that will come our way, we always have the precious Holy Spirit in us to guide us, to teach us, to constantly remind us of the awesome love of God for His children. He makes the trip bearable! He makes the destination believable. If we will but learn to rest in the Spirit of God, He has the power to keep our hearts in perfect peace, regardless of how difficult the way becomes, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.", Isa. 26:3.)

Conc: If you ask me, these reasons are more than sufficient to give every child of God justification to rejoice in God and in His salvation. I am sure the Lord has spoken to some hearts this evening.

Maybe you aren't saved and want to get in on justification. Jesus is available is you will come to Him by faith. Maybe you have been worried over doubts concerning your eternal security as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is help in Him if you will come. Maybe you have been going through trials and tribulations and they have just about got the better of you. Why not bring them to Jesus and let Him let you understand that He is just duplicating His life in you? If there are needs, this altar is the place where they will be met. Will you come if the Lord is speaking to your heart?




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