Rejoicing in the Assurance of Our Salvation

Dr. Steve Viars March 1, 2020 Romans 5:1-21
Outline

1. The beauty and power of the gospel – 1:1-17

Romans 1:1 - Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…

Romans 1:16-17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

2. The immoral are lost – 1:18-32

3. The moral are lost – 2:1-16

4. The religious are lost – 2:17-29

5. Everybody is lost – 3:1-20

6. The righteousness of Christ is available for all who will repent and believe

Romans 3:21-22 - But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction…

  • Justification
  • Redemption
  • Propitiation
  • God’s wrath against sin has been fully satisfied
  • Made and declared righteous by God
  • Your sin has been paid for by the shed blood of Jesus
  • v. 2 – we exult in hope of the glory of God
  • v. 3 – we also exult in our tribulations
  • v. 11 – we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Romans 3:26 - …so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

7. Father Abraham proves this is always the way people have established a relationship with God

Romans 4:3 - For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Romans 4:7-8 - Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

3 results of our justification by faith

I. We Enjoy Unshakable Hope – vv. 1-5

“‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith’ – these consequences will be the benefits that flow from the great doctrine of justification by faith that Abraham and David knew and lived by, and which was finally and eternally seen and secured a the cross. Paul is saying: In light of all that we have seen, here are the realities that justification brings…” (Tim Keller, Romans, p. 109)

exult – kauchaomai – “denotes jubilation and rejoicing” (John MacArthur, p. 279)

A. Because we are at peace with God.

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

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Habakkuk 1:13 - Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor…

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

Ephesians 2:13-14 - But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace…

B. Because we have been introduced into this grace in which we stand

Romans 5:2 - …through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand…

obtained –prosagoge – “used of the believer’s access to God through Christ” (John MacArthur, p. 276)

stand – histemi – “Here carries the idea of permanence, of standing firm and immovable” (John MacArthur, p. 277)

“we have obtained” and “in which we stand”

“we have peace” “we exult in hope”

C. Because we look forward to experiencing God’s glory

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.

hope – elpis – “means a conviction. Christian hope is not a hopeful wish—it is a hope-filled certainty” (Tim Keller, p. 111)

“The reason this benefit comes third is because the more we experience our peace and access with the Father, the more desirous we are to see Him face to face, and the more certain and thrilled we become about the prospect of glory and heaven. By itself, heaven can be an abstract and unappetizing idea. But if you come to taste ‘access’ with God and realize how intoxicating it is just to have a couple of drops of His presence on your tongue, you will desire to drink from the fountainhead. That desire, focus, and joyous certainty of the future is called the ‘hope of glory.’” (Tim Keller, p. 111)

“In Christ, we have been freed from our past (our old record of rebellion and sin is put away and we have peace with God); we are free in the present to enjoy personal relationship with God; and we will one day most certainly experience the freedom of live lived in the full, awesome presence of God’s glory.” (Tim Keller, p. 111)

D. Because these benefits are enlarged by suffering

tribulations – thlipsis – “has the underlying meaning of being under pressure, what was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice” (John MacArthur, p. 281)

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

“Here is Paul’s amazing assertion. When he shows that suffering starts a chain reaction that leads to hope (which is one of the fruits of justification), he is saying that the benefits of justification are not only not diminished by suffering, they are enlarged by it.” (Tim Keller, p. 113)

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.

II. We Receive Undeniable Love – vv. 6-11

“Paul shows us that, as we see throughout the Bible, the Christian’s ground of assurance is two-fold: one is internal and subjective, while one is external and objective. And both are necessary.” (Tim Keller, p. 116)

A. Because of the timing of Christ’s death

1. while we were helpless – v. 6a

2. at the right time – v. 6b

3. while we were yet sinners – v. 8

“If [God] loved us because we loved him, he would love us only so long as we love 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, as the apostle argues, not on our loveliness, but on the constancy of the love of God.” (Charles Hodges, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974 reprint], pp. 136–37)

“Therefore, Paul is saying, you can know objectively and beyond all doubt that God loves you—even if your feelings or the appearances of your life circumstances might be prompting you to wonder.” (Tim Keller, p. 117)

B. Because of the effect of Christ’s death

Romans 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

C. Because of the power of Christ’s life

Romans 5:10 - For if while 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.

“If a dying Savior could bring us to God’s grace, surely a living Savior can keep us in His grace.” (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 277)

“If He was able to save us when we were hostile to Him, would he fail us now that we are His friends? If He didn’t give up on you when you were at war with Him, what could you do to make Him give up on you now that you are at peace with Him?” (Tim Keller, p. 118)

“It is utterly and absolutely impossible that the sentence of the divine Judge should ever be revoked or reversed. Sooner shall the lightnings of omnipotence shiver the Rock of Ages than those sheltering in Him again be brought under condemnation.” (Arthur Pink, The Doctrines of Election and Justification [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974], pp. 247–48)

D. Because of the impact of our reconciliation

Romans 5:11 - And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

“Joy is the great marker of the justified person. It is unique to Christianity, because it does not depend on your circumstances or your performance. When you give your heart to anything except God, and seek happiness there, you will be disappointed. You will, sooner or later, realize you’re not happy, or that your happiness is very brittle and insecure, and you’ll realize that thing can never make you truly, permanently happy, and you’ll say: Never again. I won’t give my heart to that again. But what do you do then? You will either look to something else, and be disappointed again, or you will give up on finding happiness, and become detached, so you can’t enjoy anything at all. Ultimately, without the gospel we must either worship the world’s pleasures or withdraw from the world’s pleasures.” (Tim Keller, p. 119)

III. We Possess Unstoppable Grace

A. The reign of death because of Adam

Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…

B. The reign of life because of Christ’s righteousness

Romans 5:20 - …where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…

Romans 5:17-19 - For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:21 - …so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 1:16-17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

- have you ever been in a situation where you worked hard on a project or a responsibility, and then you were able to sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labors?...

- maybe you decided to a really great meal for a special event…you tried several new recipes and you worked especially to make it special for everyone…and by God’s grace it all came together and you sat down at the table with your friends and loved ones…

- and had a marvelous time together…

- or maybe you had a software upgrade at work…and you had to learn several new programs…you received specialized training and there were a few bumps in the road…

- but now it’s all implemented…it’s saving everyone time and increasing productivity…

- and you get to walk into work each day and enjoy the results of what you did…

- there’s a sense in which that’s where we find ourselves in our study of the book of Romans…

- by all accounts, the first four chapters of this great book contain many challenging concepts and crucial theological ideas…

- but we’ve said several times – that shows that God is serious when He said that He created us in His image…and that He’s recreating us into the image of His Son…

- so, He expects us, and He enables us to use the renewed minds He’s given us…

- so, when you have a Bible in your hand, and a renewed mind in your head, and the Holy Spirit resident in your heart…you can learn challenging truths and process complex ideas…apparently there’s a big difference between Ralph and Rover…

- so, the Lord has been putting us through the paces for sure…

- but now we’ve come to Romans chapter 5…this is the final portion of this first major section of the book of Romans…

- and it’s very much like sitting back and simply marveling at the implication of the truths we’ve worked so hard to understand…

- like the cook enjoying a well-prepared meal…

- or a computer technician seeing the benefits of a software conversion…

- only in our case it’s not so much enjoying the benefits of the work we’ve done…

- it’s marveling at the benefits of what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done on our behalf…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible this am to Romans chapter 5…page ____ of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

- we’re talking this morning about Rejoicing in the Assurance of Our Salvation

- we’re in our 8th week of this study as part of overall theme this year of Celebrating God’s Truth…there really aren’t many stronger calls to celebration than what we have before us today…as one black pastor once said – if this doesn’t light your fire, your wood is wet…

- I hope you’ve been taking me up on the challenge to find a time, at least once a week, where you read the book of Romans starting at the beginning up to wherever the study has taken us thus far…

- the goal is that you will be able to think your way through the entire book…

- so, if we’re finishing the first major section of the book [Romans 1-5]…let’s see if we can do that together…so where does Paul start?...

1. The beauty and power of the gospel – 1:1-17

- that’s in the very first sentence…

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

- that he explains the impact the gospel had on him…and then on the followers of Christ in Rome…

- he ends that section by saying -- Romans 1:16–17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

- so we clearly see the centrality of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the free gift of salvation that is available through trusting in Him…

- then Paul explains why the gospel is mankind’s only hope…what 4 groups are lost according the next 2 chapters of material…

2. The immoral are lost – 1:18-32 3. The moral are lost – 2:1-16 4. The religious are lost – 2:17-29 5. Everybody is lost – 3:1-20

- so how many people are righteous, according to that passage?...

- none, no one, not even one…

- and then, by God’s grace – we have the second half of chapter 3 – which affirms that…

6. The righteousness of Christ is available for all who will repent and believe

- Romans 3:21–22 - But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

- that’s the passage where we are introduced to three crucial biblical concepts which make all of this possible…- let me give you the three words…and then the definitions…and have you match them up….

  • Justification
  • Redemption
  • Propitiation
  • God’s wrath against sin has been fully satisfied
  • Made and declared righteous by God
  • Your sin has been paid for by the shed blood of Jesus
  • · v. 2 – we exult in hope of the glory of God
  • · v. 3 – we also exult in our tribulations
  • · v. 11 – we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ

- so that’s what Paul meant in Romans 1:17 - Romans 1:17 - For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed [that when a person believes in Christ, their sin is forgiven and the righteousness of Christ is placed on their account] from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man [the person who has been washed in the blood of the Lamb and clothed in the imputed righteousness of God’s Son] shall live by faith.”

- and the beauty is – God did not compromise His holiness in order to make this possible – because He is…Romans 3:26 - …so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

- and who is on the U-Tube video in chapter 4?...whose life proves this?...

7. Father Abraham proves this is always the way people have established a relationship with God.

- Romans 4:3 - For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

- and even King David agrees – because he wrote after his sin with Bathsheba…Romans 4:7–8 - Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

- that’s a lot of theology…now pull yourself up to the supper table and as I read Romans chapter 5, please be looking for 3 results of our justification by faith.

- read Romans 5:1-21

- so we’re talking this morning about Rejoicing in the Assurance of Our Salvation...and with the time we have remaining, let’s look for 3 results of our justification

I. We Enjoy Unshakeable Hope – vv. 1-5

- we know that Paul is referring back to what we’ve already studied because he begins verse 1 with the word “therefore”

- Tim Keller explains the significance – “’Therefore, since we have been justified through faith’ – these consequences will be the benefits that flow from the great doctrine of justification by faith that Abraham and David knew and lived by, and which was finally and eternally seen and secured a the cross. Paul is saying: In light of all that we have seen, here are the realities that justification brings…” (Tim Keller, Romans, p. 109).

- and it’s very appropriate to say this is something we enjoy because of the threefold use of the word “exult”

- exult – kauchaomai – “denotes jubilation and rejoicing” (MacArthur, p. 279)

- there ought to be a lot of jubilation and rejoicing among the people of God…that’s why this theme this year of celebrating God’s truth is so appropriate…and when you think back to the way all of this started…discussing our world that often tries to shame and silence the people of God because of our biblical beliefs…we can never be ashamed of the gospel…we’re too busy celebrating it…

- now these first 5 verses are all about hope…and what are the reasons we can and should have that?

A. Because we are at peace with God.

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

- now please just pause and contemplate the beauty of that verse…it’s like sucking on a piece of chocolate candy…

- many of you have been to our house for an Intro to Faith dinner or some other event…

- and you may have noticed that out in our garage we have a second refrigerator because of the amount of entertaining we have the privilege of doing…

- well, if you open up the door to the freezer, here’s what you see on the shelves inside the door…all kinds of chocolate candy…chocolate chips, and other kind of chocolate candy my dear wife and son buy for me at Fresh Time…

- so they buy healthy stuff for themselves…and chocolate stuff for me…

- it’s amazing how many times I find a reason in a given day to stop by the refrigerator…few things better than sucking on a piece of frozen chocolate…unless it’s mentally sucking on a verse like this…

- and please notice this…Paul didn’t say that we have the peace “of God”…although that is true and could be proven in other places…

- this is talking about peace with God…

- remember what we learned back in chapter 1…Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

- that’s how offended a Holy God is because of our sin…remember the prophet Habakkuk said that…Habakkuk 1:13 - Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor…

- but what does Romans 5:1 now affirm?... Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

- another beautiful passage in that regard is…Ephesians 2:13–14 - But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace…

- not only does Jesus Christ help us make peace…Jesus Christ is our peace…

B. Because we have been introduced into this grace in which we stand

- Romans 5:2 - through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand…

- the word obtained – is the word prosagoge – used of the believer’s access to God through Christ (MacArthur, p. 276)

- someone else had to “obtain your introduction” into this standing of grace…you did not make that acquaintance on your own…

- a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of offering the invocation at Lisa Hershman’s swearing in ceremony for her position as Chief Management Officer for the Department of Defense…

- that was a fascinating experience for all sorts of reasons…Lisa and her husband Brandt attend our 8:00 service at FE…and travel back and forth to Washington each week…this is the highest office a woman has ever held at the Pentagon and Lisa is eminently qualified…

- I was so glad that the Hershmans wanted public prayer as part of the swearing in ceremony with the Vice President…and I hope you’ll pray for both of them and the important work they are doing in our nation’s capital…

- as it turns out, the VP was an hour a half late…so because I was part of the program, I had an assigned seat right next to Steve Forbes…

- so I had the unexpected privilege of talking with Steve Forbes for an hour and a half about economics and religion…

- but how was that connection made – someone had to introduce me…and I took it from there [explain the question you eventually asked him…]

- who connected you to this kind of hopeful stand?...your crucified Savior…

- the word stand – histemi – “Here carries the idea of permanence, of standing firm and immovable (MacArthur, p. 277)

- that’s why our assurance is so unshakeable…it was not secured by our work…it was secured by His…

- one other observation about these first two verses…we don’t usually delve into verb tenses on Sunday mornings…but the original language in which the Bible was written is very precise – and in this case, the verbs “we have obtained” and “in which we stand” are perfect tense……that indicates a past action…or the condition in which we live…our “mailing address” so to speak…

- the verbs “we have peace” and “we exult in hope” are a different tense on purpose……those are present tense verbs…the idea is that we can have present peace and exultation because of the condition our relationship with Christ has placed us…

C. Because we look forward to experiencing God’s glory

- 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.

- hope – elpis – “means a conviction. Christian hope is not a hopeful wish—it is a hope-filled certainty” (Tim Keller, p. 111).

- Keller goes on to explain…The reason this benefit comes third is because the more we experience our peace and access with the Father, the more desirous we are to see Him face to face, and the more certain and thrilled we become about the prospect of glory and heaven. By itself, heaven can be an abstract and unappetizing idea. But if you come to taste “access” with God and realize how intoxicating it is just to have a couple of drops of His presence on your tongue, you will desire to drink from the fountainhead. That desire, focus, and joyous certainty of the future is called the “hope of glory” (Tim Keller, p. 111).

- then he ties this all together by saying…

- In Christ, we have been freed from our past (our old record of rebellion and sin is put away and we have peace with God); we are free in the present to enjoy personal relationship with God; and we will one day most certainly experience the freedom of live lived in the full, awesome presence of God’s glory (Tim Keller, p. 111).

- now, someone might say – but what about all the pressures of this present life?...that’s addressed here too, isn’t it?...and powerfully so…

D. Because these benefits are enlarged by suffering

- that’s why verse 3 says we can do what during our tribulations?...

- tribulations – thlipsis – “has the underlying meaning of being under pressure, what was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice” (MacArthur, p. 281).

- how could that be?...

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

- Here is Paul’s amazing assertion. When he shows that suffering starts a chain reaction that leads to hope (which is one of the fruits of justification), he is saying that the benefits of justification are not only not diminished by suffering, they are enlarged by it (Tim Keller, p. 113).

- and you might say – that would require supernatural power to respond to tribulations that way…and that’s exactly what verse 5 affirms…

- 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.

- the Holy Spirit of God helps us love our heavenly Father in this fashion, and be assured that He loves us even when times are hard…

- and lest there is any question that this hope will hold up in the hardest of times, Paul emphasizes – this hope will not disappoint…

- friend, if you’ve been justified by faith…you can enjoy unshakeable hope…because it isn’t grounded in your work…it’s grounded in Christ’s work…

- it’s not grounded in your righteousness…it’s grounded in His…

- it’s not dependent on your faithfulness…it’s dependent on His…

- 2 questions at this point – have you been justified by faith?....do you know that you know that have this kind of personal relationship with God through the finished work of Christ alone?...

- secondly – are you looking for opportunities to help others find this kind of hope…

- develop those serving our children in children’s ministries – children are going to find their hope somewhere…thank the Lord for people who are trying to help young people find their unshakeable hope in the unchanging truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ…

- now one possible objection would be – but I don’t always feel like God loves me…

- that doesn’t always seem to match my present circumstances and I find myself doubting…

- that’s what these next verses address – in Christ, we don’t just enjoy unshakeable hope…

II. We Receive Undeniable Love – vv. 6-11

- Keller explains the importance of this transition in verse 6 – “Paul shows us that, as we see throughout the Bible, the Christian’s ground of assurance is two-fold: one is internal and subjective, while one is external and objective. And both are necessary” (Tim Keller, p. 116).

- in these verses, we’re talking about the kind of love of God that is external – it’s objective – it can be proven with clear and verifiable facts…like…

A. Because of the timing of Christ’s death

- when did Jesus die for you according to the first half of verse 6?

1. while we were helpless – v. 6a…and what about the second half of the verse?...

2. at the right time – v. 6b

- and then what about verse 8 [one that probably many of us have memorized?]

3. while we were yet sinners – v. 8

- and the point is obvious – like v. 7 says – if you and I had already been righteous, maybe someone would have died for us…maybe…but that wasn’t the case…

- theologian Charles Hodge observed - If [God] loved us because we loved him, he would love us only so long as we love 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, as the apostle argues, not on our loveliness, but on the constancy of the love of God” (Charles Hodges, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974 reprint], pp. 136–37).

- that’s why we can affirm that this love is undeniable…

- Keller added – “Therefore, Paul is saying, you can know objectively and beyond all doubt that God loves you—even if your feelings or the appearances of your life circumstances might be prompting you to wonder” (Tim Keller, p. 117).

- but it’s not just a matter of the timing…

B. Because of the effect of Christ’s death

- Romans 5:9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

- anyone who believes that a loving God would not condemn unbelieving people to hell is an utter fool…and there’s no way to pretty-up that sentence…

- if that’s not true…then verse 9 is meaningless…in fact, the Bible is meaningless…

- these are serious issues because there really is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned…it goes back to what we said several weeks ago about Aaron Rogers…much of biblical truth is very binary… right/wrong… light/darkness… truth/error… saved/lost…heaven/hell…

- and praise the Lord, that if you have been justified [declared righteous] by His blood, His love guarantees that you will be saved from the wrath of God through Him…

- and it doesn’t stop there…verse 10 brings the resurrection into the conversation…this is a great example of preaching the gospel to yourself…

C. Because of the power of Christ’s life

- Romans 5:10 - For if while 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.

- please think about – “much more”?...how could you have anything that was much more than the impact of Christ’s substitutionary death?...the answer is – the impact of Christ’s miraculous resurrection…

- John MacArthur – “If a dying Savior could bring us to God’s grace, surely a living Savior can keep us in His grace” (John MacArthur, Romans, p. 277)

- Tim Keller – If He was able to save us when we were hostile to Him, would he fail us now that we are His friends? If He didn’t give up on you when you were at war with Him, what could you do to make Him give up on you now that you are at peace with Him? (Tim Keller, p. 118)

- here’s how someone in the previous generation would have said it…this is Arthur Pink…”It is utterly and absolutely impossible that the sentence of the divine Judge should ever be revoked or reversed. Sooner shall the lightnings of omnipotence shiver the Rock of Ages than those sheltering in Him again be brought under condemnation” (Arthur Pink, The Doctrines of Election and Justification [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974], pp. 247–48).

- that’s undeniable love my friends…MacArthur was right -- “If a dying Savior could bring us to God’s grace, surely a living Savior can keep us in His grace”

- that’s why…

D. Because of the impact of our reconciliation

- Romans 5:11 - And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

- when you step back and think about all we enjoy because of our justification…because of the imputed righteousness of Christ…you can’t do anything other than rejoice…

- Tim Keller - Joy is the great marker of the justified person. It is unique to Christianity, because it does not depend on your circumstances or your performance. When you give your heart to anything except God, and seek happiness there, you will be disappointed. You will, sooner or later, realize you’re not happy, or that your happiness is very brittle and insecure, and you’ll realize that thing can never make you truly, permanently happy, and you’ll say: Never again. I won’t give my heart to that again. But what do you do then? You will either look to something else, and be disappointed again, or you will give up on finding happiness, and become detached, so you can’t enjoy anything at all. Ultimately, without the gospel we must either worship the world’s pleasures, or withdraw from the world’s pleasures (Tim Keller, p. 119).

- now, there’s no question that if we truly believe what these first 5 chapters of Romans are affirming…it is going to impact us in all sorts of ways…

- for one, you better believe we want to be at the celebration…you want to worship our God on the Lord’s Day with your brothers and sisters in Christ…

- we said at the beginning of this year that the statistics nationally for Bible believing churches are not encouraging…and I believe part of it is this relentless pressure on the part of our world to shame and silence those who believe God’s Word…

- and the evidence would suggest that a growing number of people are unwilling to stand up to that kind of pressure from their co-workers, and friends, and extended family members…

- well, I’m happy to tell you that we’ve just finished the best January-February in our church’s history…

- praise God for people who even in their attendance would say – I’m not going to be ashamed of God’s truth – I’m going to celebrate it…

- I would also encourage you to join us tonight for CFN – because we want to celebrate with those who are affirming their justification in Christ’s blood by following Him in believer’s baptism…[develop how even the mode of baptism illustrates the gospel]…

- we also have men and women who will be joining our church family tonight…the Lord is adding to the list of party-goers and we want to be the first to welcome them to the celebration…

- let me also just let you know that we are planning a series of special services around Easter…on Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, and Easter Sunday – around the theme of Our Extraordinary Savior…and we’re going to be designing special advertising methods – both print and electronic – so you can invite your friends and loved ones to join you for church…

- if Romans 1-5 is true, and it is – don’t you want every person in your sphere of influence to have clearly heard the gospel?...

- now, you might say – what about all of this information about Adam and Christ in the second half of the chapter?...some scholars believe that’s actually the most difficult material in the entire book to interpret…

- I believe we can summarize it like this…yes, we enjoy unshakeable hope, and we have received undeniable love, but lastly…

III. We Possess Unstoppable Grace

- sure, there are quite a few interpretive issues here…but can we all agree – what Adam did was really bad…and what Jesus did was…[say it with me]…really good…

A. The reign of death because of Adam

- what was it that Satan said in the garden of Eden?...you won’t surely die…Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

B. The reign of life because of Christ’s righteousness

- see…Romans 5:20 - …where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…

- and where does that put us?

- Romans 5:17–19 - For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

- that’s because our God does not want sin to reign…

- Romans 5:21 - so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

- this is why we can never be, and we will never be…Romans 1:16–17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video