Man has turned his back upon God, pushing God away and having little to do with Him. Man has not made God the center of his life; man has broken his relationship with God. Therefore, the greatest need in man's life is to discover the answer to the question: How can the relationship between man and God be restored?
Why God justifies a man: God justifies a man because of His Son Jesus Christ. When a man believes in Jesus Christ, God takes that man's faith and counts it as righteousness. The man is not righteous, but God considers and credits the man's faith as righteousness. Why is God willing to do this?
a. God is willing to justify man because He loves man that much. God loves man so much that He sent His Son into the world and sacrificed Him in order to justify man (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
b. God is willing to justify man because of what His Son Jesus Christ has done for man.
Þ Jesus Christ has secured the Ideal righteousness for man. He came to earth to live a sinless and erfect life. As Man He never broke the law of God; He never went contrary to the will of God, not even once. Therefore, He stood before God and before the world as the Ideal Man, the Perfect Man, the Representative Man, the Perfect Righteousness that could stand for the righteousness of every man.
Þ Jesus Christ came into the world to die for man. As the Ideal Man He could take all the sins of the world upon Himself and die for every man. His death could stand for every man. He exchanged places with man by becoming the sinner (2 Cor. 5:19). He bore the wrath of God against sin, bearing the condemnation for every man. Again, He was able to do this because He was the Ideal Man, and as the Ideal Man His death could stand for the death of every man.
Þ Jesus Christ came into the world to arise from the dead and thereby to conquer death for man. As the Ideal Man, His resurrection and exaltation into the presence of God could stand for every man's desperate need to conquer death and to be acceptable to God. His resurrected life could stand for the resurrected life of the believer.
Now, as stated above, when a man believes in Jesus Christ—really believes—God takes that man's belief and...
· counts it as the righteousness (perfection) of Christ. The man is counted as righteous in Christ.
· counts it as the death of Christ. The man is counted as having already died in Christ, as having already paid the penalty for sin in the death of Christ.
· counts it as the resurrection of Christ. The man is counted as already having been resurrected in Christ.
Very simply, God loves His Son Jesus Christ so much that He honors any man who honors His Son by believing on Him. He honors the man by taking the man's faith and counting (crediting) it as righteousness and by giving him the glorious privilege of living with Christ forever in the presence of God.
But when a man sincerely trusts Christ, then God takes that man's faith and counts it as righteousness. By such God counts the man—judges him, treats him—as if he was innocent. The man is not made innocent; he is guilty. He knows it and God knows it, but God treats him as innocent. "God justifies the ungodly"—an incredible mercy, a wondrous grace.
How do we know this? How can we know for sure that God is like this? Because Jesus said so. He said that God loves us. We are sinners, yes; but Christ said that we are very, very dear to God.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:9).
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).
"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phil. 3:9).
(5:1) Peace— Justification: the first result of justification is peace with God.
1. The meaning of peace with God is striking. Peace with God does not mean escapsim, a quiet atmosphere, the absence of trouble, the control of situations by positive thinking, the denial of problems, the ability to keep from facing reality. Peace with God means the sense and knowledge...
· that one has restored his relationship with God.
· that one is no longer alienated and separated from God.
· that one is now reconciled with God.
· that one is now accepted by God.
· that one is freed from the wrath and judgment of God.
· that one is freed from fearing God's wrath and judgment.
· that one is now pleasing God.
· that one is at peace with God.
2. The source of peace is Jesus Christ. Men can have peace with God only because of Jesus Christ. It is He who reconciles men to God. He has made peace by the blood of His cross. (See notes, Propitiation—§Romans 3:25)
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace" (Ephes. 2:14-15).
"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" (Col. 1:20).
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5)
(5:2) Access— Grace: the second result of justification is access into the grace of God.
1. Grace means a gift or a favor, an unmerited and undeserved gift or favor In the present passage grace is looked upon as a place or a position. Grace is a place to which we are brought, a position into which we are placed. It is the place of God's presence, the position of salvation. The person who is justified...
· stands in God's presence.
· stands before God saved.
· stands in the favor of God.
· stands in the privileges of God.
· stands in the promises of God.
2. Note it is through Christ that we have access into this grace. The word "access" (prosagôgçn) means to bring to, to move to, to introduce, to present. The thought is that of being in a royal court and being presented and introduced to the King of kings. Jesus Christ is the One who throws open the door into God's presence. He is the One who presents us to God, the Sovereign Majesty of the universe.
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9).
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [brought near] by the blood of Christ" (Ephes. 2:13).
Thought 1. Note we "stand" in God's grace, in His presence.
1) We are not bowed down, intimidated, stricken with fear, and humiliated. Christ has justified us, removed our guilt and shame, and given us great confidence before God. Therefore, we take a stand of honor and dignity before Him, standing in the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus.
2) We are not sitting or lying down, but we are standing. This pictures our service and labor for God. We are brought into His presence for the purpose of service; therefore, there is not time for sitting and lying around. We stand before Him justified, yes, but we stand to receive our orders from Him. (Cp. 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 5:18-21.)
(5:2) Hope: the third result of justification is hope, hope for the glory of God
When Scripture speaks of the believer's hope, it does not mean what the world means by hope. The hope of the world is a desire, a want. The world hopes—wants, desires—that something will happen. But this is not the hope of the believer. The hope of the believer is a surety: it is perfect assurance, confidence, and knowledge. How can hope be so absolute and assured? By being an inward possession. The believer's hope is based upon the presence of God's Spirit who dwells within the believer. In fact, the believer possesses the hope of glory only by the Spirit of God who dwells within him.
"For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel" (Col. 1:5).
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to
"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever" (Hebrews 6:18-20).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3-4).
The glory hoped for by the believer is to abundantly exceed the most wonderful experience we can ask or think. Glory means to possess and to be full of perfect light; to dwell in the perfect splendor and magnificence of God .
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:4).
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Thought 1. Note how far short we often come. Instead of rejoicing in the glorious hope God has given...
· we moan, groan, and complain, living a discouraged and defeated life.
· we slip back into the ways of the world: the lust of the flesh and the eyes and pursuing the pride of life and the things of the world. (Cp. 1 John 2:15-16)
· we become discouraged and defeated, no longer conscious of the glorious hope for the glory of God.
"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself" (Ephes. 1:8-9).
(5:3-5) Trials— Suffering: the fourth result of justification is glory in trials and sufferings. When a man is truly justified, he is no longer defeated by trials and sufferings. Trials and sufferings no longer discourage and swamp him, no longer cast him down into the dungeon of despair and hopelessness. The very opposite is true. Trials and sufferings become purposeful and meaningful. The truly justified man knows...
· that his life and welfare are completely under God's care and watchful eye.
· therefore, whatever events come into his life—whether good or bad—they are allowed by God for a reason. The justified man knows that God will take the trials and sufferings of this world and work them out for good, even if God has to twist and move every event surrounding the believer.
This passage explains the great benefits of trials and sufferings; it shows exactly how the trials and sufferings of life work good for us. The word "trials" or "tribulations" means pressure, oppression, affliction, and distress. It means to be pressed together ever so tightly. It means all kinds of pressure ranging from the day to day pressures over to the pressure of confronting the most serious afflictions, even that of death itself.
"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
1. Trials stir patience : endurance, fortitude, stedfastness, constancy, perseverance. The word is not passive; it is active. It is not the spirit that just sits back and puts up with the trials of life, taking whatever may come. Rather it is the spirit that stands up and faces life's trials, that actively goes about conquering and overcoming them. When trials confront a man who is truly justified, he is stirred to arise and face the trials head on. He immediately sets out to conquer and overcome them. He knows that God is allowing the trials in order to teach him more and more patience (endurance).
"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4).
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7).
2. Patience stirs experience : character, integrity, strength. The idea is that of proven experience, of gaining strength through the trials of life; therefore, the word is more accurately translated character. When a justified man endures trials, he comes out of it stronger than ever before. He is a man of much stronger character and integrity. He knows much more about the presence and strength of God.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
3. Experience stirs hope : to expect with confidence; to anticipate knowing; to look and long for with surety; to desire with assurance; to rely on with certainty; to trust with the guarantee; to believe with the knowledge. Note that hope is expectation, anticipation, looking and longing for, desiring, relying upon, and trusting. But it is also confidence, knowledge, surety, assurance, certainty, and a guarantee. When a justified man becomes stronger in character, he draws closer to God and the closer he draws to God, the more he hopes for the glory of God. (
4. Hope never shames : never disappoints, deludes, deceives, confounds, confuses. The believer, the person who is truly justified, will never be disappointed or shamed. He will see his hope fulfilled. He will live forever in the presence of God inheriting the promises God has given in His Word.
"Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 9:33).
"According to my earnest expectaton and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Phil. 1:20).
"For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" (Isaiah 50:7).
"And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed" (Joel 2:26).
(5:5) God, Love of— Holy Spirit, Work of: there is the continuous experience of God's love through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
1. The love of God is demonstrated in His justifying the man who truly believes in His Son Jesus Christ.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
2. The Holy Spirit sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. He grows and matures us in the love of God, increasing our understanding of what God has done and is doing for us. He helps us learn more and more about our justification and more and more of the glorious salvation He promises.
The Holy Spirit...
· makes us conscious and aware of God's love, and gives us a deep and intimate sense of God's love.
· makes us conscious and aware of God's presence, and of His care and concern for all that is involved in salvation.
It is the sense and intimacy of God's love that is being stressed: a personal manifestation, a personal experience of the presence and love of God, of His justification and care for us as we walk through life moment by moment.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Ephes. 2:4-5).
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1).
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16).
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