Chapter 5: 1-11
The Benefits of God’s Promises
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
“8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Today, the day that I am writing this article, is Good Friday, April 10th, 2020. Most of the Lord’s churches have been worshipping by electronic media methods for a long time in our estimation. In some parts of the USA, there have been preachers being arrested and charged for holding corporate worship, even when their congregants have practiced social distancing. It would seem that in some areas there is a concentrated effort not to allow churches to meet. Here in Canada, we are under an order not to open the church doors; they are deemed as non-essential services.
Yet, all around us, the liquor stores are open and the drunks can get their fixes. They say that a host of detoxing drunks will put further strain on the medical systems. In some states in the US, the powers that be have determined that guns are not essential and are trying to close the gun shops. All of our restaurants can have take-out or drive-up service only.
Millions are out of work, and the Federal Governments of the world are trying to keep economies afloat by giving billions of dollars to companies to keep people on the payroll even though there really is nothing to do.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have taken us through the 4th chapter of Romans. We have talked about the wonderful things that God has given us to secure us during insecure times. We have the promise of His presence, His provision and His protection to those of us that put their trust in Him for salvation. Today we will look at the blessings that we have today in Jesus. Sometimes we are all about the future, but we can bask in the promises today and live in peace with the Lord and life in Jesus.
- We have Peace with God, verse 1
Look back at the very first chronicles of the creation. God walked with Adam and the Woman. They had fellowship. Genesis 3:8, God came to talk with them. They had peace between God and man. As you will recall from the rest of Genesis 3, God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden because of sin, and that relationship was marred. In Jesus, however, we have peace with God. When we are saved in Jesus, we have peace with God. The wall of separation has been removed.
Even as Jesus was preparing the disciples for departure, He promised them peace, John 14:27. In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. In this unsettled world, a world filled with violence and turmoil, we can have peace. For those that suffer from depression and anxiety, those that are under pressure, our Lord can not only give us peace with God but give us peace in general. We can find a calming balm in Jesus to help us weather the storms of life.
- We can rejoice in Jesus, verse 2
The word rejoice is defined as ‘to feel or show joy or great delight.’ Jesus gives us a reason to rejoice in life. He gives us a reason to feel great joy and to have great delight in our daily lives. Jesus gives us a reason to have great joy even in despair. The apostles could sing in prison. The Apostles in Acts 4 could rejoice that they were counted worthy to be beaten for the name of Jesus.
We can rejoice on Good Friday because we know that Jesus’ death on the cross is the greatest act of Love ever shown to man. Romans 5:8, God showed his love to us; Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. We can celebrate in the midst of our mourning. We mourn that our sins put Jesus on the cross; we rejoice that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. No matter what comes our way, no matter the circumstance or the news, no matter in life or death we can find a reason to rejoice in Jesus. We can find a reason to have great delight in Jesus.
- We will grow in our relationship with the Lord, verses 4-6
God wants us to grow. He does not leave us as stunted children. He, like any good parent, wants to see His children grow and mature into strong persons.
In verses 4-6 we are told the process of growth. You see, when we learn to rejoice in the hard times, to glory, as it says in trials, then we learn patience. So many would like to learn patience the easy way. It is almost laughable; I was the same way. Lord, just infuse me with patience. Then we get the domino effect of things we learn from learning to be patient. One of the things we learn is character. That of being honest and true even in the hardest of times. Imagine a business owner in the COVID-19 pandemic and they have to make a decision about their personal monies, and having learned patience from the Lord, they do the right thing even if it cost them everything. You see, they have learned to trust God.
You see, the Lord works with us; and the longer we trust Him, and have fellowship with Him, the more he changes us and creates in us the right kind of people we should be. This is how we have confidence that God is real; we can see Him working in our lives. He is a personal God. We have a relationship with Him, not some hands-off religion. We can know God as we grow in our relationship with Him.
- We know we are Loved, verses 7-8
We live in a time where a lot of people suffer from loneliness. They feel abandoned and ignored. The suicide rates, especially amongst our young people, are quite high. We have people who are more connected by electronics than they have ever been but are lonelier than ever. People simply do not feel loved; and frankly, I am astonished by the number of saved people that are committing suicide. I had a dear friend commit suicide a couple of years ago. I am still not sure why. I meet a lot of people, and I can testify that there were times I did not feel loved. But that does not change the facts. God loves me. He says it over and over in the scriptures; John 3:16, 1 John 3:1, Romans 5:8, and on we can go. You and I are loved by the Living God.
Often our view of the Lord is based on how we love others; and as such, the Lord will teach us to love like Him. But to do so, we need to go through some hard times. This kind of love does not grow in easy times, but in hard times. The kind of love that God shows me is the kind of love that I need to have for those that are the ‘sinners’ of our time. God loved me when I was a sinner, and now He loves me as His child. We need to love sinners as well as the brothers and sisters. The security of being loved can get us through a lot of life’s struggles and troubles. The comfort of being loved is calming.
- We have been reconciled to God, verses 9-11
The word reconciliation is defined as ‘the restoration of friendly relations.’ Let that sink in. At one time, we were children of wrath before God (see Ephesians 2:3), but now in verse 4-5, we have God’s grace. This grace that reconciles us and shows us love even when we are sinners, and brings friendly relationships between us and the Holy God. Think about that God and I are friends. God and you are friends in Jesus, by Jesus and because of Jesus. We have been reconciled to God.
Look at all we have in Jesus now that we have been justified and made righteous before God (see Romans 5:1). We have a tangible relationship with the Lord, one that is measurable and meaningful. One that grows us and offers us true security, not as the world offers, but true, eternal and everlasting security. You are loved, you are growing, you have peace with the Lord, and God is your friend.
Wow, look at all Jesus has done for us! I leave you with my favorite verses in the Bible:
1 John 3:1-3 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
God bless you,
Pastor Sean Gooding
Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church