We talked extensively about justification last week, so today we are going to talk about the results of justification.
Recall that justification gives us complete forgiveness but also gives us Christ’s righteousness. Several years ago I was working on a roof and got roof tar on my shoes. I liked those shoes but for some time that tar was still sticky on the bottom of the shoes. So eventually I was told that gasoline would take care of it and that is what I did. I rubbed gasoline on the bottom of the shoes and it cleared things up. The gasoline made the shoes perfect, like a brand new pair of shoes. It still happened in time and space, meaning the situation with the roof tar actually did happen, that was not erased. But the gasoline made the shoes pure as if they were a brand new pair.
In justification we are forgiven and we receive Christ’s righteousness. We still sinned, but we are right with God because of Jesus.
There are two results of justification that the Bible talks about which I wish to focus on today. Today, we focus on Peace with God and reconciliation with God.
Let’s read Romans 5:1-11:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
My theme today is that we have Peace with God and reconciliation with God.
- First, because of our justification we have Peace with God (v. 1).
- I am only focusing on verses 1 and 11. This list is not complete. We also have access to God. We have Christian character, we have God’s love within, we have salvation from wrath.
- We have so many benefits because of justification. Our salvation is great.
- Think about “Peace with God.”
- You see, God does not need peace with us, we need peace with Him. We violated His standard. As a consequence of our sins we were at war with God. But as a consequence of Christ’s death and resurrection we are at peace. This is awesome.
- I believe that Peace with God goes along with reconciliation, so let’s look at that.
- Reconciliation with God (v. 11).
- In these 11 verses every time I see the verb “to justify” I also see Paul talking about reconciliation. In verse 1 Paul is talking about how we have peace with God. Then in verse 9 Paul is talking about how we are saved from God’s wrath. That is really what reconciliation is.
- Simply put to reconcile means to restore friendship or harmony. In Genesis, Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden as friends. But then sin came and this separated him from God. ((I am extrapolating this from Gen 3:8-9 and the setting of the Garden of Eden. I am sure I have heard other scholars say this.)
- Have you ever had a time when you have a dispute with someone? We all have. When we are reconciled with God it makes God have peace with us. The dispute is gone. God has a dispute with us. He has a rightful dispute with us. We have offended Him. In a Biblical sense we have offended God’s holy law. Verse 6 says that we were ungodly when Jesus died for us. Verse 8 says that we were still sinners when Christ died for us. Verse 9 says because of this we are enemies of God. Ungodly! Sinners! Enemies!
- We need reconciliation.
- We need to be reconciled to God.
- We had offended Him. We still offend him.
- We had and still do cross His perfect law.
- Review Romans:
- In Romans chapter 1 Paul spent most of the chapter writing about our ungodliness. In verse 18 He says the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
- You may say that that is not you. But it is. It is all of us.
- Romans 2:1: You, therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
- Romans 3:23: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- We all sin.
- It is amazing that for most of history people have tried to reconcile themselves to God or the gods. It’s true. For most of history there have been pagan religions making sacrifices or doing other religious things to try to appease the gods. We can see this in Native American religions. We can see this in Eastern religions. We can see this in Egyptian religions. We can see this in the Middle Eastern religions. You know that there were Israelite kings in the Old Testament that sacrificed their own children to Baal? They did this because they got into the pagan religions of Palestine.
- It took blood to cover sin.
- There is a movie “Kicking and Screaming” which is about a children’s soccer team. The team is trying to win and then they realize these Italians are their secret. So, they use them all the time, but they work for their uncle cutting meat and their uncle says, “Meat comes first.” One day they have too much meat to cut so they would miss the game. So a part of the team all goes to help cut meat. They show up just in time for the game with blood all over their uniforms. These young children are scared, seeing blood. The other team forfeits.
- That is what happened in the Old Testament. They would have been covered in blood in the sacrificial systems.
- But really if you read through the Old Testament they had several animal sacrifices to make in order to attempt to reconcile the relationship with God. But Hebrews says it doesn’t work. It wasn’t enough.
- Heb 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
- In Christianity Jesus came to us. We couldn’t do this on our own.
- So we also, as Christians, have forgiveness through Christ, our sins are erased through justification and we have peace with God in reconciliation. Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden and we also can walk with God as friends because of Jesus. (I am extrapolating this from Gen 3:8-9 and the setting of the Garden of Eden. I am sure I have heard other scholars say this.)
- We couldn’t be reconciled to God without being justified; however, reconciliation naturally follows justification.
- Hebrews 4:16 says let us approach the throne of grace with confidence. We can because of reconciliation.
- Ps 103:12: as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Let’s apply this. Every sermon should have encouragement and conviction. Every sermon should have grace and truth. This is because the Word of God gives us encouragement and conviction.
Are you living as free? Are you living as though you are forgiven by Christ, not only that, are you living with an understanding that you are pure to God, that you are righteous in God’s sight? Are you living knowing that you can approach God’s throne without a human mediator? Because of justification and reconciliation.
Or, are you trying to earn your salvation? Do you feel like you can’t approach God? Do you have a secret sin? Confess your sins to God. Accept God’s forgiveness and know that you are forgiven. Know that you are more than forgiven; you are pure, righteous, and reconciled to God. Your relationship with God was broken but it is restored. Many times we get self worth from trying to please people and trying to do things. Trouble is, we can never do enough to earn our salvation and make things right with God. But Jesus did it for us. Jesus has accomplished what we couldn’t accomplish. Lean on Him! Stop trying by yourself! Lean on Jesus. Then Jesus will give you the assurance of your salvation.
- Our Salvation is complete. Forgiven: Our sins are forgiven; our debt is paid by Jesus. Justified: we are righteous in God’s sight. It is as if we never sinned. Reconciled: There is no longer a barrier between us and God.
There is an old hymn by John Newton:
Approach My Soul the Mercy Seat
Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before His feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to Thee,
And such, O Lord, am I.
Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By war without and fears within,
I come to Thee for rest.
Be Thou my Shield and hiding Place,
That, sheltered by Thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him Thou hast died!
O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead Thy gracious Name.
“Poor tempest-tossèd soul, be still;
My promised grace receive”;
’Tis Jesus speaks—I must, I will,
I can, I do believe.
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)