How Your Relationship with Christ Impacts Your Role as a Mom

Dr. Rob Green May 12, 2019 Romans 5:1-5
Outline

4 blessings that a relationship with Christ provides

I. You Have Peace with God

Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

A. Meaning of justification

Justification is the judicial act of God whereby he declares the sinner innocent and imputes the righteousness of Christ to his account.

1. Even when we were sinners

2. Even when we were under the wrath of God

B. Through our Lord Jesus Christ

II. Your Address is Grace

Romans 5:2 - …through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

“Paul, along with the rest of the NT so focuses on God’s work in Christ as that act in which God’s grace was decisively and finally realized that he can picture the new status of the believer as one in which grace is characteristic and dominant.” Doug Moo, Romans, NICNT, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996, 301.

A. We enjoy ongoing access to grace

B. With confidence regarding the end result

Romans 8:17 - …and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

III. Your Challenges Have a Good Purpose

Romans 5:3 - And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance…

Romans 5:4 - …and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…

A. Challenges è perseverance/endurance

B. Endurance è character

C. Character è hope

IV. You are Loved Because He Gave You His Spirit

Romans 5:5 - …and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Take-aways

1. The gospel is for everyone and it is the pathway to these blessings

2. Moms – ground your thoughts and hearts in the blessings that come from your relationship with Christ (peace with God, the address of grace, the purpose for challenges, and the reminder that you are loved)

3. Enjoy today as a family and rejoice in the blessings of the Lord

4. If today is hard for you, then remember that the Lord is using the challenges so that you can especially focus on Him and the glorious future awaiting all those who worship Him

Welcome to Mother’s Day. I am so glad that you are here and for how the service has been organized.

  • It has been a day to weep with those who weep (for whatever reasons Mother’s Day may be difficult) and to rejoice with those who rejoice (for all the reasons that Mother’s Day might be special).
  • Any time you have a video with children and teens saying something awesome about their mom --- that is a good day.
  • I am so thankful for the number of moms who emailed me, talked to me, and gave me input into our day today.
  • One of the great earthly joys.
  • Motherhood in the big picture is wonderful, but in the day to day life it is not quite so easy. Maybe this describes some of your experiences …
  • Except your rolls never opened up and therefore what you communicated to your children was that Jesus was still in the tomb. You completely ruined the gospel message and overturned Christianity. “Seriously!”
  • But the reason you are on Facebook is to try to collect your thoughts after you got a call from the school informing you of a discipline situation with your oldest. While you were on the phone the younger two were fighting. You were trying to figure out how to diffuse the situation. Your efforts resulted in being accused you were unfair, followed by a temper tantrum, and an opportunity for discipline. Your trip to Facebook did not help.
  • You are like … I have no idea what Karen, Julie, Susan, Samantha, Emily, Rachel, Heather, and Olivia are doing but that is not my life.
  • You love your children … you know that they are a blessing from the hand of God himself. You are just wondering whether your contribution is making a difference in this world.
  • I have news that can transform the Pinterest fails, it can transform the Facebook blues, it can transform the concerns for purpose and meaning.
    • Dads, this passage can help you counsel your wife.
    • Ladies who are struggling today … it can provide all the comfort you need.

As I was talking to you moms, you all expressed a basic sentiment that being a mom is AMAZING, WONDERFUL, and full of blessings. You have the privilege of caring for a little life, for a toddler whose smile melts your heart, for your elementary student who looks so big and grown up, to your high school student who actually is big and grown up. Motherhood is a special privilege.

There is, however, also a temptation to feel insecure, discouraged, and even disappointed. It is possible to think that you are not accomplishing all you could accomplish and that you are even failing at one of, if not, your primary job.

Remember the day when you were looking for a cute idea to make with your children? We just celebrated Easter … the day of Jesus’ resurrection. You see these amazing Easter tomb/resurrection rolls. When you bake them, they are supposed to open up and show an empty tomb. You are like “sweet.” This is a perfect fun craft to bring the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus home after church.

You would be tempted to let that slide … laugh about it … to try again. But here is the problem. That is not your first journey onto the Pinterest website. Nor is it your first “well, that did not turn out exactly like I hoped” project. Like some of these poor souls …

[Need “Pinterest Fails” boredpanda.com … want #s 9 – Waffle Iron Cookies; 11 – Train Wreck Cake; 13 – Cookie Monster Cupcakes; and 20 – Sock Wreath]

There is nowhere you can hide … you are not Martha Stewart … and you know it.

Then, to make matters even worse, the next day you have a take a quick break from your responsibilities and you check Facebook only to discover that Karen, Julie, Susan, Samantha, Emily, Rachel, Heather, and Olivia all recently posted pictures of their easy weight loss, their perfect children who smiled so nicely for the pictures, and their family vacation in the exact place you want to go as well.

Mind you … you are glad for your friends.

It seems like as a mom you just can’t catch a break.

If those two things were not bad enough, then come the moments where you have made 5,000 PB and J sandwiches, done 3,000 loads of laundry, and you have driven people all over kingdom come and you are sitting in a chair one evening wondering if your life is meaningful.

Ladies, I have some awesome news for you. I mean awesome news. It is awesome news for everyone, but since this is mother’s day … it is especially awesome for you moms.

It can, if you let it, transform your very being.

With that in mind please turn to Romans 5. That is on page 121 of the back section in the Bible in the chair in front of you.

This year our church’s annual theme is Growing What God Has Given. Today, I have called this message, Growing in Your Understanding of How Your Relationship with Christ Impacts Your Role as a Mom. Sorry about the title … Just consider it the preacher’s “nailed it.”

Please follow along as I read. This is the Word of the Lord. Read Romans 5:1-11.

I would like us to consider this morning … 4 Blessings that a relationship with Christ provide. As I read did you notice the word “exult?” It means to express confident rejoicing. The blessings this passage discusses should encourage us to rejoice.

I. You have Peace with God (5:1)

Rom. 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

The Bible speaks about peace regularly. There are several different kinds of peace.

  • There is an inner peace that God gives in the midst of an experience. Philippians 4 reminds that when we are anxious the peace of God which surpasses all understand will guard our hearts and minds.
  • There is peace that exists between people – to not be in conflict. As much as depends on you be at peace with all men.
  • I heard a story about a lawyer from Texas … Racehorse Haines. Is that an awesome name for a defense attorney in Texas or what? He was being interviewed because at that point in his history he had never lost a case.
  • The reporter asked him if he ever asked his clients whether they actually committed the crime. He said, “No, my job is to present the facts of the case in the best possible light for my client.”
  • Undaunted by his answer the reporter asked, “Is there ever a time you found out?” He said that there was.
  • In a prior case the jury had returned and read their verdict, “Not guilty” and the judge asked my client if he had anything he would like to say to the court.
  • The man said that he did and explained, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I would like to thank you for declaring me not guilty and I promise I will never do it again.”
  • It wasn’t like we are climbing our way to heaven and all we needed was a little helping hand.
  • You are getting exactly what you deserve.
  • Your helpless, ungodly, and sinning condition results in an eternity away from God.
  • Men and women would be forever trying to earn their way to God.
  • They would be trying in whatever way they could to appease their guilt.
  • They would search for hope in something and they would always come up short.
  • There are only two paths.
  • There is either the path that goes through the cross or the one that goes around it. One is a path of peace and the other is a path of wrath.
  • Amazingly, he lived in 10 different concentration camps and managed to survive over 3 years.
  • He recounts a time when they were marched in front of a German evaluator.
  • To the left was death and to the right was survival. There were no other choices.
  • He reminds them that the eternal fires of hell surround them and it is only God’s hand that protects them at this very moment.
  • He explains that Satan is calling out for them to own them, torment them, and destroy them forever.
  • Edwards wanted to make it clear that the wrath of God was no small matter. Eternity is at stake.
  • It is the belief and trust that when Christ died, was buried, and rose again that he satisfied God’s wrath and that he made a way for you and me to be at peace with God. Peace comes…
  • But here is one thing that can radically change your life. It may be the one reason that your friend invited you to church today.
  • If you are here this morning and you know Christ, then I hope a message like this is very encouraging. It is grounding for you. It gives you reason to rejoice and to keep fighting for the heart of your children, to keep loving them even when it is easy and when it is hard, to keep trying even if it seems everyone else is doing better than you.
  • The noun, used here and in Ephesians 2:18 and 3:12, emphasizes the ongoing access whereas the verbal form such as in 1 Peter 3:18 emphasizes the introduction. While it is hard to be dogmatic, I think access is the proper emphasis in this text.
  • God’s grace is operating every single second of every day. When everything is perfect and when the wheels are falling off … Christ is giving you an all-access pass to the grace of God.
  • There might be all kinds of storms … moms … you know you are not perfect, your children do something(s) that bring shame and embarrassment, your great plans turn into great flops, and you wish several other things would be different … well, I am happy to report that you still live in the location of grace.
  • Until then our address remains grace.
  • In fact … this week I have been pondering making 1 Grace Street my new mental address. I want it as famous, in my mind, as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave or 10 Downing Street.
  • Sometimes these challenges lead us to isolate ourselves, to assume the worst, and to quit fighting.
  • We know that we can line up for battle every day … because we have peace with God and we live at 1 Grace Street. But also because we know that challenges have a good purpose. Let’s trace the argument.
  • You do not learn service making 50 PB and Jelly sandwiches. You do not learn service with 100 loads of laundry. You do not learn service through 1 month of faithfully working. You build character over 5 years of employment … 1000 sandwiches, and 1000 loads of laundry.
  • You learn how to have hard conversations with children after you have a few. Maybe your first ones were harsh, mean, cruel, and a demonstration that you believe you are awesome. When those conversations do not go well, you learn how to go back again and again. You learn how to have those conversations differently.
  • When you have disciplined a child so much that it seemed like you accomplished nothing else all day and you want to cry yourself to sleep … you are learning what it means to fight for the heart of your child. You are learning how to embrace hard things. You are learning how to wake up every day and line up for the today’s battles.
  • But as you continue to love them. As you continue to fight for their hearts to turn to the Lord, as you beg God to change you and your children … then you start to see the many ways the hand of God is working.
  • You begin to have confidence that God can change anyone today.
  • You live a life of hope.
    • Even if you are going through a difficult chapter of your life, you remind yourself that of the powerful God who made peace with you … of the powerful God who made your address 1 Grace Street … of the powerful God who can change others too.
  • You are a mom to a young child. You have many wonderful moments and the blessings pour out as your little one grows.
  • But you also find that there are some lessons the child does not want to learn. You do your best and you wonder if they are ever going to get it. You pray and work and pray and work and pray and work. Then, they get it. It gives you hope.
  • Your pray for their salvation … ruin resurrection rolls on Easter … and talk about their need for Christ. You wonder if they are going to get it. Until they do.
  • Do you see what this is building … hope!
  • The Spirit is the seal of our redemption. The Spirit guarantees our new life.
  • The Spirit brings conviction in my life. That is a picture of a loving God who wants me to get on the right track as soon as possible.
  • The Spirit gives me a function to fulfill in the body of Christ. I have something to do in Christ’s church that will result in the growth of the body.

Then, there is a peace with God. That peace refers to being in a right standing or a right relationship with God. In order to see the significance of this peace we need to see how we can have it and what our condition is if we do not have it.

We have peace having been justified by faith. Justified is a very important word and worth our time to think about it …

A. Meaning of Justification (5:1)

In order to define it, I would like to tell a story that helps to illustrate it.

Years ago …

Justification is the judicial act of God whereby he declares the sinner innocent and imputes the righteousness of Christ to his account.

It is not that we are innocent … we are guilty but when God justified us he declares us righteous and then imputes the righteousness of Christ to our account.

This is in sharp contrast with the latter portion of the text that I read which made the points

  • Even when we were sinners (5:8)
  • Even when we were under the wrath of God (5:9)

We have peace with God even though we were sinners. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that would displease God. Who could honestly meet that standard? God did not make peace with people who were already good.

He made peace with people who were helpless, ungodly, and sinners. If God was not interested in bringing us peace imagine what would happen next.

If God had created a world with no interest in peace then there would be no rescue from this condition.

The passage explains an even more significant reason for rejoicing and appreciation … we have peace with God

Jesus Christ gave his life, shed his blood, so that you could be saved from the wrath of God. Ponder these words for a moment.

I read a book about a holocaust survivor.

Yet as horrible and as awful as that was there is something worse. There is the choice between peace with God and the wrath of God. There are only two possible conditions.

A famous preacher long ago named Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon called “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” to remind his church that the unbelieving man walks across rotten boards that lead to hell.

Friends, mom or not, I am here to tell you that more important than having your act together, looking perfect on the outside, having children who make you the talk of the town, or your dream job, or the perfect marriage … is having peace with God.

We are justified by faith. But it is not faith that the Cubs will win the world series, or that the economy will continue to boom.

B. Through our Lord Jesus Christ (5:1)

As we think about Romans 5 again. Look at the text … this only comes through Jesus Christ. There simply is no other way. Biblical Christianity is exclusive. There are not many paths to heaven, just one. Only through Jesus Christ.

Moms, we understand the pressures you face at home, at your workplace, with your children, in society, and with the false pictures of others that seem perfect.

You can be at peace with God.

If you are here, mother or not, and you do not have peace with God … today is that day. There are only two possible relationships with God … peace or wrath. I am encouraging you to trust Christ today. [talk to me]

I said that you have 4 blessings… #1 Peace with God … Hallelujah … Here is number 2.

II. Your address is Grace (5:2)

Rom. 5:2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

When people ask me where I live, I normally respond Lafayette, IN. Sometimes I also provide my street number and address. But the argument of Romans 5 locates me in the space of grace. The text says it this way, “into this grace in which we stand.” Grace is the place where my feet reside.

I love this imagery. Doug Moo writes, “Paul, along with the rest of the NT so focuses on God’s work in Christ as that act in which God’s grace was decisively and finally realized that he can picture the new status of the believer as one in which grace is characteristic and dominant.” (Doug Moo, Romans, NICNT [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996], 301).

Here is how we get there …

A. We enjoy ongoing access to grace (5:2)

The NASB uses the phrase “introduction by faith into this grace.” This gives the idea that of the initial entry. However, all the other versions of the Bible I checked, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, NET, and HSCB used the phrase, “obtained access into this grace.”

Christ is providing this ongoing access to grace so that the location I live my life is now grace. As Moo says, grace is characteristic and dominant.

Wait a minute … how does that relate to that (Pinterest fail) or that (Pinterest fail)? You see moms, dads, singles, teens, children … if you know Christ as your Lord and savior you are living inside the shadow of God’s grace.

Where sin abounds … grace abounds all the more. When failure comes … grace abounds. When people in your life are not gracious to you … God’s disposition to you is one of grace.

Moms … that can change how you think about your children … change the way you think about yourself … and change the way you think about the Lord.

When you are tempted to focus on your failures … you can instead focus on asking the Lord for forgiveness for your part of the struggle, you can correct your children for their part, and you ask the Lord for grace to live the rest of the day for Christ.

When you and your children are having an amazing, totally awesome Facebook kind of day, then you do not have to well up in pride. You can say, “Thank you Lord for your grace.”

Friends… We do not get kicked out of grace. It remains our address. It is the place where I stand and live my life.

God tells you that not only is that your address, but he wants you to come boldly before the throne to find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As if that news was not good enough, this blessing has another component …

B. With confidence regarding the end result (5:2)

The grace in which you stand also results in the rejoicing, the confidence of the end result – “we exult in hope of the glory of God.” The argument is very similar to what we find in Romans 8:17

Rom. 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Because of the grace in which we stand every day, we also have the joy of confidence regarding the future glorification with him. One day everything will be made right. One day the challenges of the world disappear.

The message of the D/B/R of Jesus along with the implications of that gospel are incredibly profound and not only make a difference in the big picture, but also in the daily moments of our lives.

The point for all of us is that this is one of the grounding features of our Christian faith. We know that we have peace with God and we know that our address is grace. You ready for blessing #3?

III. Your Challenges have a good purpose (5:3-4)

Rom. 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; Rom. 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

All of these truths are for all of us. But we are choosing to especially focus on moms today. Challenges sometimes lead to discouragement. Sometimes they lead to feelings of failure, guilt, or shame.

Moms … you are at war. You are at war with the desires in your heart and you are at war for the heart of your children … not at war with your children (even if it feels like it sometimes). We are fighting for our children. The Lord gave them to us for the purpose of raising them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

A. Challenges è Perseverance/Endurance

Endurance comes through a proper understanding of the challenges. Yes, things might not be perfect … they might not be what you were hoping for … but they were designed for your endurance.

The Christian life is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Sometimes the Lord allows us to experience difficulty to test the genuineness of our faith to exercise muscles that only get stronger through endurance.

B. Endurance è Character

In turn, endurance produces character. We often want character to come the easy way. We want it to come alongside blessing. God does not always choose the path of blessing. He grows your character though the rigors of endurance.

You do not learn dependence by having everything go your way. It is in your failures that you realize you cannot do this on your own. You do not have the strength to accomplish the tasks set before you. That lesson is a hard one to learn without things blowing up in your face. When you learn it, it builds character.

C. Character è Hope

The progression ends with character produces hope. Here is what happens. If you have not gone through this draining process, if things have been easy … then you will not have hope when the wheels fall off.

When you are battling for your children. You love them, care for them, enjoy them … and they rebel against you and against God the temptation is to be discouraged … to have no hope.

You start to see him moving in your life. You begin to have confidence that God really can change anyone.

Let me walk this out …

When we think about the gospel message and all the implications/blessings of the gospel we find genuine peace with God, we find our address at 1 Grace Street, and we find that challenges are reasons to rejoice because of what they produce. There is one more blessing we need to discuss this morning.

IV. You are Loved because he Gave you His Spirit (5:5)

Rom. 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The fourth blessing explains why this hope found through Christ is so secure. It is because of the love of God.

Even though God designed us to love, there is a pull both from our own hearts and from the world itself for us to be wrapped up in self love. Then we deceive ourselves into thinking that our self love is love for God and others.

Thankfully, it is not this way with God. God loves us with his great love and he demonstrates that great love by giving us his Spirit.

Whenever I think about the indwelling Spirit I am reminded of several ways that the Spirit works in the life of a believer. Let’s consider a few ways in which the Spirit works in our lives.

Every time the Spirit works this way in your life it is a reminder that God loves you. It is a reminder that you are precious in his sight. If, moms, you have a child in rebellion (and therefore you are not very precious in that child’s eyes right now) you are precious in the sight of your heavenly father.

Today is a day to weep with those who weep. If today is hard for you because you had a challenging mom, or your mom is not longer here, or you have lost a child, or you have not been able to be a mom, or you are a mom in a really difficult circumstance … then I hope you will rejoice in the blessings of your heavenly father ---- Peace with God; Grace as your Address, Challenges with a purpose, and love from God. I hope that being found in Jesus will give you joy and put you in a position to love and serve others.

Today is a day to rejoice with those who rejoice. If you are a mom and today is a joy for you, then praise God. Praise God for the abundant blessings he freely gives you in order to encourage, comfort, and equip you for life.

Maybe some of you are a little of both … a little rejoicing and a little weeping… Once again, it is the abundant blessings of God that bringing healing through the pain and joy through the blessings.

Take-aways

  1. The gospel is for everyone and it is the pathway to these blessings.
  2. Moms – ground your thoughts and hearts in the blessings that come from your relationship with Christ (Peace with God, the address of Grace, the Purpose for challenges, and the reminder that you are loved).

This will allow you moms to enjoy your children as gifts from the Lord, to parent them, to love them, and to fight for them when days are good and when days are hard.

3. Enjoy today as a family and rejoice in the blessings of the Lord.

If today is hard for you, then remember that the Lord is using the challenges so that you can especially focus on him and the glorious future awaiting all those who worship him.

Dr. Rob Green

Roles

Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries - Faith Church

Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

MABC Department Chair, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Bio

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Rob Green and his wife, Stephanie, joined the Faith staff in August, 2005.  Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry, Chair of the MABC program, and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.