Assurance of Hope (Romans 5:1-11)

We talked 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 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 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 by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice 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.

  1. First, because of our justification we have peace with God (v. 1).
    • 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.
    • Amen!!!
    • I believe that peace with God goes along with reconciliation, so let’s look at that.
  2. We have assurance of our salvation: verses 4 and 5 bring up the hope which we have in Christ. This means we have assurance of our salvation.
    • This hope comes in two ways. First, our hope comes through our sufferings. Verses 2-4 are written about how suffering builds us up. This is not suffering because your dog ran away, you lost your house, or something like that. Those are life problems which we deal with and they are not easy.
      • This is suffering for Christ specifically. This is persecution. This has to do with people in the Middle East who are Christians and because of this they have lost their homes. That really happens. There are Christians all over the world suffering for Christ.
      • The hope is that after we see how Christ takes care of us one day, one way, we can remember that in the future. Then the next time we are going through a struggle for our faith we can think, “This has happened before, and Christ took care of me.”
    • Secondly, our hope, our assurance, is from the Holy Spirit. God’s love dwells in us by the Holy Spirit. This is a big deal.
      • We must remember the power of the Spirit Who resides in us.
      • So, a Christian has assurance from God.
  3. In verses 6-11, Paul expands on what he has written about in a nice, concise way.
    • Verses 6-8: we aren’t good, and we aren’t righteous, yet Christ died for us.
    • Verses 9-11: we have been justified by Jesus’ blood. We have been saved from His wrath, that is reconciliation. We are saved by Jesus’ life, that is, His death and resurrection.
    • Verse 11: rejoice! We are to rejoice because of this complete salvation. This means sing songs of praise; worship the Lord and boast about the Lord and His goodness. 
  4. 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 had a dispute with someone? We all have. When we are reconciled with God, God has peace with us. The dispute is gone. God had a dispute with us. He had a rightful dispute with us. We had offended Him. In a Biblical sense we had 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 10 says because of this we were enemies of God. Ungodly! Sinners! Enemies!
      • We needed reconciliation.
      • We needed to be reconciled to God.
      • We had offended Him. We still offend him.
      • We had, and still do, cross His perfect law.

Many of you know of the hymn Amazing Grace. This was a hymn written By John Newton. John Newton ran a ship of the slave trade during his younger years. After he became a Christian, he was convicted of this; convicted of the brutality and inhumane treatment of the slave trade which he was part of.

John Newton appreciated salvation because he was so convicted of the slave trade ships that he captained in his younger days. This conviction and appreciation came out in his hymns.

In this passage, in Romans Paul shows that our salvation is complete because of the process of justification and reconciliation. This passage also gives us assurance of our salvation. I hope we all realize how desperate we were, how badly we needed salvation. Then, I hope we are challenged to rejoice with Paul in our great salvation.

  • 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 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. Justification.

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? This is 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 our 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. Reconciled: there is no longer a barrier between us and God.

Close:

Again, back to our example, John Newton the hymn writer. Recall that John Newton was in charge of a slave ship in his younger years. John Newton was saved, justified, this means he was seen as pure in God’s sight and reconciled to God. So, there was no dividing wall between him and God.

Throughout Newton’s years in ministry, God’s amazing grace remained central to Newton’s thinking. When it was suggested he retire (at age eighty-two!) due to poor health and a failing memory, he responded, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior!”[1]

Amazing grace how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me;

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see.

Think about those words. Our salvation is complete, but not complete by what you do, but what Jesus has done. Having faith to believe in Jesus, accept His forgiveness and commit to Him gives you complete salvation. This means you are forgiven of your sins. You are justified, declared righteous by God. You are reconciled to God, no longer being enemies. You have peace with God. You receive the Holy Spirit and have assurance of your salvation.

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.

Prayer


[1] The One Year Book of Hymns. 365 Devotional Readings Based on Great Hymns of the Faith. Compiled and edited by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton; Devotions written by William J. Peterson and Randy Peterson. Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. Wheaton, ILL. 1995. March 17 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s