Now we come to a time to turn to the Word of God and a fitting thing that our hearts should be filled with joy as we come back to Romans chapter 5, Romans chapter 5. And I confess to you I have far more things to say about this portion of Scripture than can be said tonight. And this is a wondrous text of Scripture and there is so much here. For those of you who are visiting with us, we're looking at some of the great chapters of the Bible and we happen to find ourselves in Romans chapter 5, one of the mountain peaks of revelation, looking at the first few verses of this chapter under the wonderful title of “The Links in the Chain of Security.” Our salvation being eternally secure, we are anchored within the veil as it is to Jesus Christ. And we're talking about how Paul makes that point clear in Romans 5.
Now we live in a day of unfaithfulness. Nobody would question that. People can't be trusted. They don't keep their word. They don't tell the truth. Husbands are unfaithful to their wives and wives are frequently unfaithful as you know to their husbands. Children are unfaithful to parents. Parents are unfaithful to children. People are genuinely trying to convince us all the time that we can trust their word and yet they violate and break promises regularly. We have all the way from personal friends to national leaders who pledge voracity and truthfulness to us while at the same time knowing that there is no way in which they will tell the truth or be faithful to their promises.
Christians, sad to say, are even unfaithful to their Lord as well as being unfaithful to each in the expressions of ministry and brotherly love that the Lord calls us to. No one living in this world can claim immunity from the terrible sin of being unfaithful, of breaking trust, violating a promise. No one can claim immunity from that except God. By contrast, how refreshing, how blessed, how wondrous to lift our eyes above the scene of unfaithfulness in this world to the throne of God who always is faithful!
In Deuteronomy chapter 7 and verse 9 it says, "Know therefore that the Lord thy God He is God, the faithful God." Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:13, "He remains faithful. He cannot deny himself." And if He were unfaithful that would be denial of His very nature. He cannot do that. He cannot be inconsistent with His nature. His nature is to be faithful. Isaiah says, "Faithfulness is the belt around God's waist.” It holds all His attributes together. Whatever He is in terms of all of His attributes, He is always that. He is faithful to his nature.
The psalmist said in Psalm 36:5, "Thy mercy, oh Lord, is in the heavens and thy faithfulness unto the clouds." This unchanging faithfulness of God is far above our finite comprehension. Jeremiah could only say in sort of summing it up, "Great is thy faithfulness." In the New Testament the writer of Hebrews in chapter 10 verse 23 says, "He is faithful that promised."
Now the Scripture is filled with such references to God's faithfulness. It is also filled with examples of God's faithfulness. But one of the areas that most interests us and certainly is tied into the passage before us is the fact that God is faithful to preserve His people unto glory. He is faithful to preserve His people unto glory. Listen to 1 Corinthians 1:9, "God is faithful by whom you are called unto the fellowship of His Son." And the result of that faithfulness is seen in the prior verse, verse 8, "God will confirm you unto the end that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." That is, God is faithful to bring you into the fellowship of His Son and to confirm you until the very day when you meet Him face to face. God is faithful to bring you to glory. Peter called on believers to be confident and to, according to 1 Peter 4:19, "commit their souls to His keeping as a faithful Creator." You can put your soul in the hands of God and know He will be faithful to care for it and to keep it.
God is able, said Jude, to “keep you from falling and to present you faultless in His presence.” God is faithful to preserve His people unto eternal glory. Listen to the benediction at the end of 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 23. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Listen to this. "Faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass." He will be faithful who called you to bring you to glory preserving you to present you without blame in His presence. In 2 Thessalonians 3 verse 3, "But the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one, and we have confidence in the Lord concerning you that you are doing and will continue to do what we command and may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."
With all the problems that Paul had with his churches, his believers, he never lost confidence in God's faithfulness to bring them to the fulfillment of His will. In writing to the Philippians he said those very familiar words. "I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." God is faithful in His nature. He's faithful to all of His promise but the most important element of that promise is the promise to bring sinners to glory. And God is faithful. He will bring His beloved, his redeemed children to glory.
Now this is the theme of our text. You can go back to Romans chapter 5. We're going to look at it again tonight. The theme here is really the promise of God to secure the believer. The apostle Paul in this text shows us how our faithful God implements His promise, by what means He secures us. And this is a very profound portion of Scripture. We've already gone through the first three elements of it. We'll come to the fourth one tonight in just a moment. But let me remind you. Starting in verse 1, "Therefore having been justified by faith." That introduces the whole idea that we have been made righteous before God covered with the righteousness of Christ as you remember. The righteousness of Christ has been put to our account. God treats us as if we lived His life, as if we were as perfect as Jesus Christ. That is the gift that comes to the one who trusts in Christ, the gift of the righteousness of Christ being put to their account.
We have been then declared by God as righteous because of our faith in Christ. We've entered into that righteousness. We are secured there. He goes on to say, because we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. That is to say, at the point of salvation, at the point of justification, we enter into a relationship with God that can be defined as peace. The war is over. The animosity has ended. The hostility has been set aside and we have entered into a permanent condition of peace with God. All of our sins having been paid for by Christ on the cross, the wrath of God having been fully spent on him, we are at peace with God. That is a continual, everlasting relationship of peace.
He's not talking here about an attitude of peace in our hearts. That's the peace of God. That's a different issue. He's talking about the fact that the war is over. We are no longer enemies. We are friends. And more than friends, we are the children of God who have entered into His family and our relationship is one of peace. Secondly he says, our salvation is held secure not only because we have a permanent peace with God but because we stand in grace. In verse 2 it says, "Through Christ we have obtained an introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand." We live in an environment of grace and where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.
We could never lose this position because no matter what enters into our life by way of sin, it is covered by grace. We stand in grace. And where sin abounds, grace super abounds. Our peace with God is permanent and the environment in which we live is grace. We came in by grace and we remain in grace.
Thirdly, we are anchored eternally to God through the hope of glory. The end of verse 2, "We rejoice in hope of the glory of God." When you came to know Christ through faith and God declared you righteous by virtue of your faith in Jesus Christ, you entered into a permanent relationship of peace with God. You no longer are His enemy. You are His child. All the hostility is over because Christ has born the full punishment for all of your sins. There's nothing left to punish you for. Christ has born it all. You now stand in grace. No matter what accusations may come against you, no matter what Satan may accuse you of, Christ is there to come to your defense having taken your place, born the penalty of your sin. You have entered into the spirit of grace and where your sin abounds, grace covers it.
And thirdly when you entered into a relationship with the eternal God, you were given in that relationship the hope of eternal glory. That is to say, God promised you that the whole point of this justification was to bring you to glory. And nothing can change that, even tribulation. Verse 3 says, "We rejoice in tribulation". Even when life is difficult and we go through tests and trials and temptations, we welcome that. We rejoice in that because those are the things that bring about perseverance. They teach us patience. And patience produces virtue or proven character. And proven character increases hope.
You say well what do you mean by that? Well remember our study last time. When you go through tests and temptations and trial and failures and struggles, as the Lord puts you through all of that, you are strengthened. You develop patience and perseverance. And as your patience and perseverance becomes stronger and stronger, you become stronger and your character becomes stronger and you become more and more a virtuous person as you are being perfected through those trials. Therefore as you are being perfected through your trials, your hope increases. For the greater you suffer here, the greater you'll receive glory there, right?
Scripture makes it clear that our eternal glory is tied to our willingness to suffer in this life. The Lord will give to us a far greater weight of glory in the life to come who have suffered here in this life. And so all that our sufferings do, all that our failures do, all that our weakness does in the purposes of God is bring about greater hope for greater glory.
You say is that true of sin, even when you sin? According to Hebrews, I reminded you of this last time. According to Hebrews chapter 12, when you sin the Lord chastens you, and when the Lord chastens you, he does it for your good. Remember that? He does it to bring about your holiness. And holiness increases your weight of glory. Trials increase your perseverance. Perseverance increases your character and virtue. Virtue increases therefore your eternal hope because the more you honor Christ with your life the greater will be that eternal reward. Even sin brings about the chastening of God, which is for your holiness. It's for your perfection and therefore that too contributes to your hope.
Some people think that if trials of life are too difficult and if you fall into sin, you lose your salvation. God's purpose through trials and even through sin is to increase your eternal weight of glory. It does the opposite of what you might think. Trials bring us greater glory because they refine us. Even sin can lead to greater glory. It's part of that “all things working together for good” because it brings the chastening of God which is a refining work as well.
We are secured by peace. That's what happened in the past. Peace was made at the moment of our salvation. We are secured by grace. That's what goes on in the present as we stand in grace and grace covers our sin. We are secured in the future. That's covered by hope of glory.
Those are the great dimensions of our security, past, present and future. But Paul is not done. He moves as it were from the head to the heart, coming into the next verse. In verse 5, he started out in verse 5 by saying, "Hope does not disappoint." And believe me, God will never disappoint one who hopes in Him. No one is going to be disappointed. No one who has put his hope in Christ is going to end up being disappointed in eternity because God didn't keep His promise. That's not going to happen. God will fulfill His pledge. We have made a permanent peace. We stand permanently in grace and we have been given a permanent hope, which everything that occurs in our life, only enhances. It does not take away. How do we know this is true? What is the evidence of this? What is the proof of this? We come to that, starting in verse 5 and going down from there through verse 8.
Look at verse 5. How do we know this? Because the love of God has been what? "Poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Paul's point, I'll give it to you in general and then we'll look at particulars.
Paul's point in general is you are secured by peace, by grace, and by hope because God's love has so determined. It is God's love that has prompted this entire action on our behalf. The hymn writer said it so beautifully, "Ever since by faith, I saw the stream, thy flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme and shall be until I die." This verse frankly escapes words to describe its grandeur, verse 5. It speaks of God's love, not our love for God, but God's love for us. It speaks of a personal, intimate love, which God bestows on us. More than just bestowing it as if it were some de facto statement by God, it says in verse 5 that he pours it out within our hearts. He literally fills us with this love.
It is this love of God that anchors us to him forever. It is this undying love, this unchanging love. First, of course, it was demonstrated in the fact that he died for us. Verse 8, "He demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." And I remind you, the end of verse 6, that he died for the ungodly, not the godly. It was the love of God for sinners, for enemies, for the ungodly that caused Him to design this salvation that would eternally anchor us to Himself in peace, grace and hope. This love is literally dumped on us, poured out in us so that we, according to Philippians, are rooted and grounded in love. A love that is so vast and surpassing, Paul tries to talk about the height, the breadth, the width and the depth of it. The Lord has poured out His love on us.
And notice how Paul says that He did that, through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. The first thing that comes to Paul's mind as he writes under the inspiration of the Spirit of God is that God's love is demonstrated to us by the Spirit being poured out on us, reminiscent of the statement of our Lord in John's gospel likening the Holy Spirit to a gushing, rushing, flooding river. God's love is not sort of rained on us one drop at a time. It is not rationed out to us. It gushes. It is poured out lavishly, copiously, generously.
In what sense? In the fact that He gave us His Holy Spirit. That's the first thing. I mean think about it. God loved us so much that He sent his Holy Spirit to live within us. And He loved us when we were enemies. And He loved us when we were ungodly and He loved us so much that He didn't just barely let us into the kingdom, He didn't just say well you can come in but you're going to have to stay in your place. He didn't keep us at arm's length. He loved us so much that He literally took residence in our lives.
We are the object of God's love by the virtue of the fact that He sent his Holy Spirit to live within us. That in itself is an entire study that deserves great attention. He poured his Spirit within us. He literally gushed into us the very love of His own nature by making us the temple of the Holy Spirit. God loves you so greatly, so magnanimously, so grandly that He has literally put Himself in you. This is the first expression of His love that Paul notes.
The second and what leads to the first is in verses 6 to 8 and here he looks at the great love of God demonstrated in the death of Christ. Not only has the love of God been literally flooded into our hearts through the resident Holy Spirit, but God showed His love, verse 6, “for while were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” While we were still helpless, while we had no strength, while were impotent, while were powerless, while we were totally unable to free ourselves from sin, from its power, from its presence, from its wages, while we were under the control of Satan, while we were headed for hell, while we had no power over death, while we were paralyzed by the Fall, paralyzed by the affects of Adam and Eve's sin, we had no moral ability to do what pleased God, while we were the enemies of God Himself, hostile to God.
According to Romans 8:7, "The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God." While we were hostile toward His character, hostile toward His law, hostile toward His plans, hostile toward His will, while we were children of wrath, while we did the bidding of Satan and the flesh, while we honestly could only bring God disgust and anger and wrath, while we were the ungodly, Christ died for us.
That is a very important concept, while we were the very opposite of God. When we want to talk about someone who has no sin, we say he is godly, because that's so characteristic of God. And we're the opposite. We're ungodly. We're the very opposite of all He is. And the amazing reality of God's love is that it was exercised toward those whose condition was absolutely repulsive to everything about Him. He is holy, holy, holy and we are utterly unholy. He loved the ungodly. Now this is a very important thing to understand today because there's so much confusion about this. I have obviously been in a myriad of discussions over the current interest in bringing evangelicals and Roman Catholics together and I keep reminding people that there is a massive difference in Protestant and Roman Catholic theology, and if you want to know what the difference is, I think we can simplify it in one simple statement. Roman Catholic theology believes God justifies the godly. Reformation theology believes God justifies the ungodly. And that's what Scripture says.
You say what do you mean Roman Catholic theology postulates that God only justifies the godly. Here's how it works. God may declare you just if you get to the place where you've earned it. Roman Catholic theology basically says that God infuses into a person a certain amount of grace or a certain amount of righteousness. If that person will cooperate with that infused righteousness and eliminate from their lives mortal sins and progressively obey God and fulfill all of the ceremonies and all of the moral behavior God requires that person may reach the point where God will justify them, which is like saying God justifies the godly. Right? If you can achieve a certain level of godliness, you'll get justified. Now obviously Roman Catholics don't get there and so they invented a safety net.
Because if you die and you haven't gotten there, you could go to hell forever and so they needed to invent a safety net to catch all these people who haven't arrived and they did. It's called purgatory. And you go there to have the remaining residue of inequity that you haven't yet ridded yourself of washed away or cleansed. You stay there a few hundred years or however long and eventually it's purged off of you and you've reached the point where you've achieved godliness and therefore God can justify you.
That is a huge difference from what the Scripture teaches. Scripture teaches that while we were enemies, and while we were ungodly we were declared righteous by faith in Christ. Roman Catholic theology says if you achieve godliness, God will declare you just. You achieve it through infused grace and infused grace comes through the sacraments, it comes through the mass, it comes through penance, it comes through confession, it comes through saying your beads and doing whatever you need to do. All those various means bring you infused grace. You cooperate with infused grace and as you cooperate with it, you reach a point of being a godly person. God will declare you righteous. My Bible says he declares righteous those who are what? Ungodly. Big difference. Big difference.
He comes to those sinners who are the very opposite of everything He is, who are repulsive to His holiness and He justifies them because that's how He puts his grace on display. We could understand if God loved the pure, if God loved the good, if God loved the godly. He'd be fairly lonely because it would just be Him if God could be lonely and of course He can’t. But the mystery of divine love and the mystery of the gospel and the mystery of justification is that God loves the ungodly. God loves those who are opposite everything about Him.
Charles Hodge, the great theologian said this. "If He loved us because we loved Him, He would love us only as long as we loved Him and on that condition. And then our salvation would depend on the constancy of our treacherous hearts. But as God loved us as sinners, as Christ died for us as ungodly, our salvation depends not on our loveliness but on the constancy of the love of God." End quote. Now all this is seen in verse 6. You didn't know it was there but it is. It's all there. While we were still without strength, impotent, powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. That is a very important statement. “For” is the word huper in the Greek. It means in behalf of, instead of, for the sake of. Huper is a very important little preposition in understanding biblical soteriology, the doctrines of salvation.
Galatians 3:13 uses it. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse in behalf of, instead of, for the sake of, huper us." This is a wonder that in due time, at the proper moment, in the fullness of time, Galatians 4:4 says, when God's economy was right and the plan was in perfect order, and you know how that all unfolds in the wonderful story of the gospels. Christ came at exactly the right time, died at exactly the right moment to provide Himself as the Passover lamb. In the right time, God put the plan in motion. Christ was crucified, yes, by the Romans who actually executed Him, by the Jews who screamed for His blood, but He was really crucified, according to Peter's sermon at Pentecost, by the determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God, right? He planned it all. He planned it all.
If you ever question whether God loves, you shouldn't question it after understanding this. He loved us when we were helpless, ungodly enemies. How great was his love? Verse 7, "One will hardly die for a righteous man." How many people do you know who would literally die for some righteous person? Not too many. Not too many. It's really... It’s really rare for someone to do that. Even for a righteous man, a good person, to give your life is very rare. “Though perhaps,” Paul says, “for the good man someone would even dare to die.” There are some people who are so noble they would literally give their life for some good person. So that's rare, but it's possible.
But look at verse 8, "but God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The vast, magnanimous reality of this is really overwhelming. What condescending love! What pardoning grace! What astonishing truth! I mean people won't even die for good people, let alone giving up their life for wicked ones. Who would do that? God. When we were undesirable and worthless and helpless and impotent and enemies and hostile and haters of God and haters of Christ and rejecters of truth and proud and self-willed and the best that could be said about us is our righteousness is filthy rags and our heart is desperately wicked, full of deceit, now listen to this. If God loves us enough to save us when we are ungodly, wicked sinners, will He not love us enough to bring us to glory now that we are His sons? That's Paul's point here. That's how he argues. That's how he unfolds this argument.
He gave us already the greatest gifts. He gave us His Son to die in our place when we were ungodly and wicked sinners. He then gave us His Spirit to live within us and literally flooded us with His loving presence by the gift of His Holy Spirit. So He's given us the greatest gifts. He gave us His Son. He gave us His Spirit. Will He now, having given us the greatest gifts, not keep us? That's a foolish thought.
We are anchored eternally within the veil to God by an eternal peace, a permanent standing in grace and the promise of the hope of glory. The issue of peace was settled in the past. The issue of grace continues to cover all the issues in the present. And the issue of hope anchors the future. This is so marvelous and so secure that Paul comes to what is really the culmination of his whole point here in verses 9 and 10. I've just been moving through to get to this.
What is the first statement in verse 9, the first two words, what are they? “Much more.” Now let me stop you there a minute. “Much more.” This... This is arguing from the lesser to the greater. This was a very Pauline way to argue. “Much more.” If we have already been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. If God already justified us in the past, we don't have to fear wrath in the future. Verse 10, "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son" here it comes again. What? "Much more, having already been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
Now this is one of the, I think, richest of all passages in the book of Romans. What he is saying here is, listen to this. You are - you are going to like to hear this - immune from the wrath of God. Did you hear that? If you're God's child, you are immune from the wrath of God. Peace has been made. You stand in grace with a pledge of the hope of eternal glory. You are immune from God's wrath. That's what it says in verse 9. Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be delivered from the wrath of God through Him. The wrath, specific wrath here is speaking about the Lake of Fire described in Revelation 20 verses 11-15. God admittedly is a God of wrath. And the Bible clearly assigns sinners to the wrath of God. You can read it in Romans 1:18. You can read it in Romans 2 verses 3-6. God's wrath is not some sort of automated system that works apart from Him. It's not some anonymous cosmic force. God's wrath is an active, intense, personal reaction to sin by a holy God on the basis of which He punishes sinners eternally.
Unconverted people are called in Ephesians 2, “children of wrath,” because it is their nature to experience God's wrath. Second Thessalonians chapter 1 gives us one of the most formidable warnings about this when it talks about the Lord Jesus being revealed from heaven with His mighty angels and flaming fire dealing out retribution to those who do not God and do not obey the gospel. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction. God is a God of wrath. And men without Christ are children of wrath. That is to say that it is their nature to experience judgment.
Jesus talked about this repeatedly through His ministry. Scripture talks about it. But verse 9 says, "We who have been justified by His blood," that is, have been declared righteous, "through faith in Christ, who was our sacrifice," blood referring to the totality of His sacrificial death. We have been justified by His sacrificial death. That is that He bore our sins and God committed to us His righteousness. We've talked about that a number of times. He became sin for us. God treated Him as if he had lived our lives so that God could treat us as if we lived His. We were declared righteous when we put our faith in Christ. Consequently, verse 9 says, "We shall be delivered from the wrath of God through Him." You are immune from eternal wrath because you've been justified. That's the basis of everything. Because justification is not something that comes to you if you can cooperate with some kind of infused grace and achieve a certain personal righteousness and then God justifies you. You want to be very careful about that.
God justified you and declared you righteous when you were His enemy, when you were ungodly. Listen carefully. Godliness is not the path to justification. It's the result. It's the result. You were justified by trusting in the Christ who suffered as your substitute, and God declared you righteous. Not because you were. You weren't and aren't but because he treated Christ as if He committed your sins and treats you as if you lived His perfect life. You were made right with God by the death of Jesus Christ. And that is the ground of your acceptance with God. That's the reason you have a permanent peace, permanent grace and an eternal hope. Your salvation wasn't based on your works and neither is your perseverance. Your salvation in the beginning, middle, and end is based upon the work of Jesus Christ. That's why in verse 1 we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 2 through whom, again our Lord Jesus Christ, we obtain an introduction by faith into this grace. It all comes through Christ and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Everything comes through Christ. While our salvation waits its final and full consummation in the future, the security of it is based upon a work in the past on the cross and our faith in the present in Christ. Now let's go back to verses 9 and 10. We've been justified. That's the same thing he said back in verse 1. That's how he started this whole discussion. And then he comes to this a fortiori argument for the lesser to the greater, "much more than." If God did the greater, which was to save us and declare us righteous when we were enemies, will He not more readily do the lesser, which is to keep us now that we are His children?
And God doesn't have any basis, are you ready for this, to condemn us. What do you mean He doesn't have any basis to condemn us? I'll tell you why. One, our sins are paid for, true? In full. Therefore there is therefore now no condemnation. God doesn't have any basis to condemn us because our sins are paid for. Secondly, He doesn't have any basis to condemn us because we're covered by the righteousness of Christ and to condemn us would be to condemn Christ, who is beyond condemnation because He's holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. There is no basis to condemn us. You were made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
You were declared righteous and just when you were a sinner, when you were an enemy, when you were ungodly. How much more? How much more then — back to verse 9 — since we've already been justified by His blood, shall we be delivered from the wrath of God through Him? Listen to this. Maybe this will help you get this tremendous truth. It is a greater work of God to bring men to grace than, being in a state of grace, to bring them to glory. Did you hear that? It is a greater work of God to bring men to grace than, being in a state of grace, to bring them to glory because sin, listen, is far more distant from grace then grace is distant from glory.
The greatest work was the work of God that brought sinners to grace because grace is so far from sin. It's a lesser work from grace to glory, sin having been dealt with. And it's all through Him, end of verse 9, through Him. Again we come back to the fact that it's through Christ, through Christ, through Christ, substitutionary death. And then the culmination of all of this comes in verse 10. And here he is summing up his argument. "If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled already, we shall be saved by His life." God never found anything in us that was good. Never found anything in us that was worthy. Never found anything in us that was deserving of salvation. Never loved us because of anything in us. Never loved us because we were lovable. Never loved us because we were valuable. You hear people talk about that all the time. You're so valuable. God loves you. No, that's not true. You're not so valuable. You're not valuable at all. Neither am I. Neither are any of us. The only value we have is to put God's grace on display. We have no intrinsic value. Sin has totally corrupted us. He didn't save us for our value. He saved us for His glory that would come to Him because of the kind of mercy and grace that would save valueless men. So Paul says look, if He saved us when we were enemies and He reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son, He brought us into His family and made us His children, and then He poured out His love in giving us the Holy Spirit to take up residence in us, that is just one thing to save us and let us into the kingdom. It's another to take up residence in us, isn't it?
“Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Thereby has God shed His love abroad in your heart. If He would do all that when we were enemies, and He did it all, look again at verse 10, through His death, the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled already. The Greek says we shall be being saved by His life. Think of it this way. If Christ dying could save you when you were an enemy, can Christ living keep you while you are a son? That's his point, profound.
If when God was hostile to us as holiness is hostile to sin, He would reconcile us to Himself and if it could be done through the death of the Savior, can't we be kept through the life of the Savior? If Christ dying could reconcile us to God, can Christ living keep us? In fact that's exactly what verse 10 is pointing to. We shall be being saved. Be being continually delivered by His life. That's another way of saying He is our living high priest, right? Whoever lives to what? Make intercession for us, to keep us, to keep us, to keep us. We were reconciled to God because Christ was made sin for us who knew no sin and we were made the righteousness of God in Him.
Now that we have been reconciled and that through His death, will He not save us through His ever-living intercession? We are delivered from the wrath. We are delivered from the wrath and you can look at it in several ways. We are delivered from the wrath because there is no basis to condemn us since all our sin was paid for. We are delivered from the wrath since when God looks at us He sees only the righteousness of Jesus Christ and we are delivered from the wrath because we have an ongoing intercessor who continues to plead our case against all the accusations of the accuser of the brethren, who certainly along with his henchman, keeps the record of our iniquities to bring before God. I believe if the dying Christ can save me, a living Christ can keep me. Don't you? And if God in mercy saved me when I was his enemy, He will keep me now that I am his friend.
Go back to where we began. It would be a violation of the nature of God to lose His own. It would be a violation of the power and faithfulness of God to believe that He could do the greater but couldn't pull of the lesser. Who would believe that? And that's why Paul said this. “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus? It's He who died, yes rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. And who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? Just as it is written, for thy sake we are being put to death all day long. We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered, but in all of these things, we overwhelmingly triumph (conquer) through Him who loved us. I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth or any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That's another way to state that we are inseparably connected, great truth.
Our God is a faithful God. If your salvation depended for one split second on your personal righteousness, you'd be lost. So would I. But it doesn't. It depends on God's love anchoring us in a permanent relationship of peace, grace and hope. And the God who loved us enough to save us when we were enemies, loves us enough to keep us now that we are friends, and has proven it by depositing his Holy Spirit in us, as Paul says in Ephesians, as the down payment and the guarantee of our eternal glory. He is called the seal of the Spirit. Beloved, we have eternal salvation. Amen? By grace and grace alone.
No wonder he said what he said in verse 11. Can I go one more verse? I mean somebody says the paragraph starts in verse 12 so why not? Not only this, Paul's just gone through this tremendous series of thoughts and then he says we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received the reconciliation. The end of the whole discussion is this produces joy, right? This fills my heart with joy. This... “Exult” means to rejoice jubilantly. No wonder it says in Scripture, “Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. I will go to the altar of my God, unto God, my exceeding joy.” As Paul used to say in Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always." No wonder! No wonder!
Father, we do pray that you will bring to our prayer room those that you would desire to come, that you will work in every heart. For everyone who doesn't know our Christ, that there would be the conviction of sin and that the message, which is so clear and so wondrous would capture their heart and draw them to yourself. For those of us who know you, fill us with joy in believing, as Paul said, and rejoicing in all that is ours in Christ. We pray in His great and glorious name. And everyone said, amen.
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