Evangelical Community Chapel at Liberal: a Molalla, Oregon Church

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Romans 5

September 11th, 2011 by Vic

September 11, 2011

“Peace with God”

Romans 5


God has already been mentioned 55 times in Romans.  We have been told that God is faithful.  He keeps His promises.  Last week Paul explained that God blessed Abraham by faith before he was circumcised and repeated the promise after he was circumcised.  God did that on purpose so we would know that all mankind, both the uncircumcised and circumcised are to trust and obey like Abraham.  The faith of Abraham was an example for all of us.


So what does living by faith mean?


5:1 First it means we have a peace relationship with God.  Just like Abraham, we can have peace with God, harmony before the face of God.  The consequence of being reckoned righteous by God is peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is our peace.


The word for peace means more than the absence of war.  It means harmony.  When God created the world He sang harmony.  When the world was created it was full of the glory of God.  Sin brought a curse and discord.  When our sins are forgiven we have that harmony restored in our heart.  When Jesus returns the curse will be removed from all of creation.  The pure in heart see and sing in harmony.  The whole earth is full of His glory.

5:2 Second, Paul says by faith we have received and still have an introduction to God in His sphere of grace field or grace harbor.  It’s like having a ticket or special invitation.  We have access to God.  We have more than the written law.  We have more than a physical sign that we are God’s children.  We are children with access into God’s presence.  We have tickets to the symphony of grace or keys to garden of grace.  The original idea of grace suggests beauty.  We speck of the beauty of His presence.


Third we have a hope in the glory of God.  If this world is only about us, we have despair.  But because there is a God and He keeps His promises, we have a hope for each tomorrow until the end of time.   We have health, wholeness, harmony and peace in God’s presence.


5:3 Fourth God is working on our character.  We rejoice in our sufferings because they teach us to wait on the Lord.  When we wait we learn that God is faithful.  When God works we no longer are depressed in this world’s situations because we see Jesus and not ourselves.  We grow in hope waiting.  Those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength of character.


Life has no meaning without hope and hope is weak when character is weak.  When you have lost hope, wait for God and build your character.  When you feel like there is no meaning in life, build your character and do something you know a good person would do.


5:5 Fifth we have God’s love poured out in our heart to confirm our hope.  The word for ‘poured out’ is a word for a cloudburst or downpour on dry ground.


In a book I read, God is pictured as a mother Eagle and new Christians are the offspring she is pushing out of the nest in order to teach them how to fly.


The eagle builds her nest in tall trees or steep cliffs where predators cannot reach.  She builds the nest out of sticks and lines it with soft feathers or fur from some of her lunches.


When the young are born, she gives them her complete undivided attention.  Every morning she fills the nest with choice food.


After several weeks, as the young grow, the mother changes her behavior.  By instinct she knows it is time for the young to leave the nest.  She reaches down in the nest and pulls out the soft lining.  She tears apart the comfortable home of her young.


This new behavior frightens the young.  They are nervously flapping around.  Then at just the right moment the mother Eagle nudges one of the young over the edge into the air.  The young one falls and tumbles like a rock, squawking all the way; not knowing that underneath is the mother.


She swoops beneath the young and when his feet feel the mother he grabs on for life and she soars up into the sky farther than he had ever been.  Briefly the young sees how small his world has been.  And just as he begins to relax and enjoy the view, his mother tilts her wings and he falls again.  As he flaps his wings in fright, he begins to discover that he can fly.  He has been given the ability to soar.


That is what God does with us.  He pushes us out of our comfortable nests so that we might soar to greater heights.  God is continually pushing us forward into greater usefulness.  Our tribulation and affliction is the growing edge of our lives.  Build your character.  Do good.  Trust God more.


Learn some lessons from nature.  God disturbs our nest for a good purpose.  Calamity is not a sign that God is punishing you for some sin.  Some troubles come because of someone else’s direct sin.  But God uses many situations in life to disturb our comfortable nests.


We were created to soar not flap.  The immature Christian does a lot of flapping, griping, and complaining.  But the mature enjoy the strongest storms.  Praising with your mouth is like soaring.  God’s plan is that you praise Him and soar.  The pure in heart see God working.


This all happens because of God’s abundant love.  Tribulations mean that God’s plan for renewing creation and building your character is progressing.


5:9  Sixth we are saved from the wrath of God that He pours out against unrighteousness.  We have been justified and reconciled.


The ancient word for reconcile (katallage) was used for money changers exchanging equivalent values.  Then it came to mean the adjustment of a difference.  Money became the reconciliation when an exchange of goods was not equal.  If I trade you a cow for 20 boxes of apples, I would still have to pay a price to reconcile the difference.  In the N.T. the word came to mean the restoration of sinners to the favor of God.  Man had no currency to pay for his sin and to buy God’s favor.  Jesus used His precious blood.


Reconciliation is brought about by God’s initiative; He reconciles men to Himself.  Paul is proclaiming a paradox that, although God knows all men are sinners, He has reconciled all men to Himself by one decisive act.  It does not seem right that God would dismiss the charges against a sinner without the sinner paying something.  The Judge has paid the price for our redemption and reconciliation.  All are provisionally and potentially reconciled to God, we remain an enemy of God until we accept the reconciliation that is offered.  We have not actually received the reconciliation until we take God’s offer of pardon by faith.  All men have received the offer; not all have appropriated it by faith.


How are we reconciled?  By faith in Christ and obedience to Him.  John 3:16Romans 3:23.  All have sinned, but the message is that in some spiritual way Jesus took on himself all the sin of mankind and brought peace to two warring parties, me and God.  Reconciliation is provided by God through Jesus’ obedience.  It becomes a reality to us by our obedience.  By turning to Jesus in faith and obedience we can be forgiven of our sin and cleansed of all unrighteousness and once again walk with our creator.  We can be reconciled to God.  We are saved from God’s wrath.


5:12-21 This section concludes the argument that Paul began in 1:18.  In this world we live with the consequences of sin.  We all die.  However, death has been overcome.   The one act (12) of Adam has been corrected by the one act (18) of Jesus Christ.  Death has lost its power.


One man brought sin.  One brought grace.  The disaster of Adam was countered by the success of Christ.  Adam was a ‘type’ (14) of the One to come.  He was the beginning of the death epoch.  Christ was the beginning of the life epoch.  Adam began the first phase of human history which ends in death.  Jesus introduced the second phase of human history which ends in life.  The words, ‘how much more’ occurs 4 times in 9 verses.  The focus is on God’s great grace.


Spiritual death excludes us from God’s presence.  Faith receives an invitation into God’s presence.  The disobedience of Adam was corrected by the obedience of Christ.  Grace overwhelmed the effects of the hostile power, sin and death.  Grace reigns.  Grace is the greater power.


Stop trying to work.  Just worship.  Honor God and give Him thanks.  The goodness of God should lead us to repentance and worship.  6:1 says the goodness of God does not give us a license to sin.


Stop complaining.  God is faithful.  Worship Him.


Stop eating junk food.  Feed on the Bread of Life.

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