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« on: June 12, 2004, 08:02:33 PM »

"Blessed Assurances"
The Blessings of Romans 5  

A famous old pastor in Chicago came to the end of his life.  He had preached the grace of God for decades to a large congregation and an even larger radio audience.  On his death bed, in the last moments of his life, he recited from memory a passage of scripture which spoke of the assurances that he enjoyed as he faced the near end of his earthly life.  The passage?  Romans 5:1-11.

In Romans 5 God tells us of a set of blessings that are basic to the Christian life.  Here is a great chapter to study, and blessings that we need to understand and apply in our lives, and a great chapter to memorize so that we can recall these vital truths whenever we need them, whether in the midst of life or at the time death.

Romans 5: 1--11

1. 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 tribulations 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 through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the recon-ciliation.

Let's study this passage thought by thought.
Romans 5:1-- "Therefore, having been justified by faith...".

The chapter begins with Paul looking back over his shoulder to the things which he explained in Romans 3 and 4.  If we're  reading thru Romans as we get to chapter 5, we've already read, "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Romans 3:24.

To be 'justified' means to be declared 'righteous' in the sight of God the Judge.  Not only are we've forgiven for all of our sins  (Colossians 2:13), but we are actually declared by God to be righteous in Christ -- all that God expected and demanded and required of us is now credited to us, so now He can bless us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ       ( Eph.1:3).  How could God do this for sinful people?

Remember again in Romans 3:24 "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." 'Justified freely,' that means 'without a cause in ourselves.'  It's not be-cause we're so good or righteous, in fact God says "there is none righteous no not one" Romans 3:10, but now, without a cause or reasoning in ourselves, God has declared us right-eous in His sight "by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!"  

Because of what the Lord Jesus did for us at the cross when He took the blame and accepted the guilt of our sins and made the full payment for them all by dying for us, now God says, "Don't look for a cause in yourself, but by My overflowing grace I consider you to be righteous in my sight and will treat to as a righteous person forever."

What did we have to do to receive this amazing righteous-ness?  "But to Him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteous-ness."  Romans 4:5.

We have to do nothing -- -- it's to him who does not work!  -- -- stop even trying to save ourselves and let Him save us by His grace thru the redemption/payment that is in Christ.  On the cross the Lord did all the work that was required by God for Him to be able to save any person who puts his faith, trust, reliance in the LORD as his Savior.

So our passage in Romans 5 begins with this backward glance to the previous chapters in the letter and sums them up with this opening phrase: "Therefore, having been justified by faith..."  Paul is saying, now that we have settled this matter of salvation by the grace of God thru faith now let's go on to see what the results of that salvation are.

by Dennis Kiszonas

Con't tomorrow



Galatians 4:16   Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2004, 03:58:19 PM »

Blessed assurances
The blessings of Rom. 5  Part  two

Today we begin with Paul asking phrase which is, "We have....."

     "Therefore, having been justified by faith," Paul writes, "we have..."

What does it actually mean to say, 'we have'?  This is a present tense verb that indicates continual possession.  An   uninterrupted, continual possession of all of the following blessings.  Having settled the matter of salvation, we presently and continually have as  our constant possession the blessings that are coming up.  These are not blessings that come and go, or vary from day  to day depending on our circumstances, or our obedience or  faithfulness or spiritual experience, these are constants, real 'Blessed Assurances.'  Things that every believer in Christ  can be sure of all the time.

     No. 1 Peace with God

"Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have at all times now that we are save, peace with  God.  He  no longer has anything at all against us,  in fact we can now be assured that  He is "for us" --"If God be for us who can be against us?"  Romans 8:31.   Because of the cross where the Lord paid for everything we've ever done  or ever will do wrong, God says to the believer that we have as our constant possession at all times, peace with Him.  He is for us, on our side, in our corner.  

Of course, we each have a personal struggle with  an enemy who restlessly wants  to convince us otherwise.  Satan uses every possible circumstance, every possible "wile of the devil" to try to shake our confidence, and make us wonder if the indeed God is really on our side at all.  But as long as we remember and believe that (God has nothing against us and is on our side, we are invincible, unbeatable.

I mean, as Paul says, If Almighty God is on our side -- think of that!  -- then really, who can be against us -- they try to be, but who can succeed against us if God is on our side?

But we need to always remember, it is "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  This is all by the grace of God and not by our own worthiness, our own efforts and good works.  It is all because of Him and His cross work for us. Believe it and be thankful forever!

     No. 2 Standing in Grace

Romans 5:2 'through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand."

Not only do we have peace with God as our present continual possession through Christ, but also through Him we have "access by faith into this grace....."

'Access' could well be translated here as a 'welcome.'  Through the Lord Jesus, God actually welcomed us into His grace through faith.  The red -- carpet was rolled out, enemies were invited to come, even welcomed into this amazing grace when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus who paid the penalty in full for us.

And once we enter into this grace of God salvation by believing in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, we are now told even further, not only were we welcomed into this grace, but now we are 'standing in this grace.'  We were welcomed into this grace at the moment of our salvation, and now ever after we are standing in grace.

For one thing, that means that there is no way we can "lose  our salvation."  We're not standing in our own works, or our own faithfulness.  We would all fail.  But we are standing in His grace --"And if it is by grace it is no longer by works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.  Romans 11:6.  Our standing before God no longer depends  upon our works but is then his grace.  We are not standing in a performance system, but in his grace.

     No. 3 We have a sure hope.

Paul finishes verse 2 by writing, "and (we) rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

We had read in Rom. 3:23, that we all fall short of the glory of God.  If we didn't let God save us by His grace, none of us would ever see the glory of God in heaven.  Now, though, because of the cross and His grace, we are rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.

"Hope" here is not the weak sort of "hope" that we often speak of in English.  We sometimes hear a person say, "I hope I'm going to heaven."   That's more like "wishing" for it.

Like saying, "I hope it doesn't rain and ruin our picnic."  That is a wish, something that we want but are very unsure whether we'll get.

You can't "rejoice" in a hope like that!  How could anyone rejoice in something that they aren't even sure that they have?

This "hope"  that Paul writes about though  is not like that.  It is a hope that is sure  for the future.  I am sure, I expect to see the glory of God, I know I'm going to heaven because the Lord has paid for everything wrong that I've ever done or ever will do, therefore I am rejoicing ahead of time.  When a believer thinks about the Lord's coming for us, or when we think about dying, we see these things as events full of joy.   We have here an assurance in the face of get us and the uncertainties of life.

Let's stop and quickly review the blessings of these first two verses in Rom. 5.

     No. 1 We have peace with God -- --He is on our side, He is for us -- -- at all times and in every circumstance.

     No. 2  We were welcomed into His grace and now we are standing in his grace by faith in the Lord Jesus.  We are not on  a performance system to earn God's love or to keep this relationship alive.  We are standing in His grace  and therefore it is "no longer of works, otherwise grace isn't grace anymore."  (Rom. 11:6)

     No. 3 We are rejoicing in our expectation and hope of one day sharing in the glory of God in heaven. In the present we have peace and grace, for the future we have a sure hope of glory. What more could we ask?

Con't. tomorrow




Galatians 4:16   Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2004, 01:00:37 PM »

Blessed Assurances

The blessings of  Romans 5   PART 3

by Dennis Kiszones

Now we go on to a surprising statement in Romans 5:3-4.  We might think that having God on our side, and standing in his grace would guarantee that are life would be "problem-free."  No more worries about financial problems.  No more concern that we might get cancer or die in a war or lose our job or have a divorce in our marriage or a problem with a child on drugs or in prison.

That's what I thought when I became a Christian.  I thought that all my problems would be solved because now God is my Father and He's going to bless my life with abundance in every way -- -- abundant health, finances, love from family and friends.  All the good things in life would be mine.  If you believe that, you're going to have some big problems in the christian life!  Just read the next verses. -- -- Romans 5:3-4.

     And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, Hope.

There you have it: Tribulations are part of the christian life -- and Paul even welcomed them!  If anybody ever tells you that problems are not going to be your lot when you're saved, just remember these verses.  God says that tribulations are part of His plan for us and that we should welcome them because He allows them to come into our lives for His good purposes.

Of course, whenever we're facing problems, especially long, hard, problems that just seem like they're never going to be solved, we begin to wonder, why did God do this to me?  Did I do something that caused him to turn against me?

The devil just loves when we begin to question, and doubt God.  If he can drive a wedge between us and God, he's got us beat.

At times like that we need to review verses 1 and 2.  "I have at all times as my permanent and constant possession peace with God.  He is on my side, He has nothing against me, it was all paid for by my Saviour at the cross.  And I am now standing in the same grace that I was welcomed into on the first day that I believed.  And I am going to glory.  So how can I think that God has somehow now turned against His word and His promises and has somehow turned against me?"  Impossible!  Unthinkable!  "God is faithful...."

So Paul writes, tribulations are part of life even for us who have God on our side, even while we're standing in His grace and on our way to glory.

Paul even says, don't just groan about those tribulations, but actually rejoice in them!  They come for a going reason even if they feel awfully hard to accept.  God uses tribulations in our lives to cause us to grow. "Knowing that tribulations produces perseverance... character... hope."

It's "knowing" God's purpose in allowing the tribulations that causes us to have a new attitude about them.




Galatians 4:16   Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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