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Sermon #50[i] — Romans Series
Title: “Much More”
Text: Romans 5:1-21
Subject: Free Justification the Basis of Assurance
The title of my message is “Much More.” — My text is the fifth chapter of Romans. — “Much More” (Romans 5:1-21.
The opening word of Romans 5, “Therefore,” refers back to what the Apostle Paul has just asserted in the last part of chapter four.
(Romans 4:24) We believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; (25) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Proposition: The only way a sinner can be saved, accepted, and justified before God is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, “who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” — If you would be saved you must believe on the Son of God, you must trust the Lord Jesus Christ. — Let me put that another way. —— If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you have everlasting life, you shall be forever saved, justified, accepted with God, righteous, holy, and sanctified!
This is Paul’s doctrine throughout the Book of Romans. — God saves sinners by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. If we believe God we are saved, accepted, justified in Christ. If we believe not, we cannot be justified. This is Paul’s doctrine; and this is the doctrine of Holy Scripture. — Four times in the Book of God the Holy Ghost declares, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
How God Justifies
Remember, throughout the Book of Romans, Paul is telling us how God justifies sinners. He is telling us how God can be just and yet the Justifier of all who believe.
To be justified by God is to be forgiven of all sin. To be justified is to be made righteous. To be justified is to be accepted and rewarded by God on the basis of perfect righteousness in Christ. — In the first five chapters of Romans Paul shows us five things about justification.
1. The Need for Justification (1:14-3:20). — Why must we be justified by grace?
· All are guilty of sin (3:9-18).
· All are justly condemned, without excuse (3:19).
· No one can ever be justified by the deeds of the law (3:20). — Man cannot justify himself!
2. The Method of Justification (3:21-31). — How does God justify sinners?
· Our justification is a work of grace alone.
· Justification was accomplished for us through the substitutionary redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ. — Righteous Justification!
· Justification is received by faith, without works.
NOTE: We became sinners without doing a thing. We were made sinners in Adam. — We become righteous without doing a thing. We are made righteous in Christ.
3. The Illustrations of Justification (4:1-25)
Paul is telling us that justification is something done for us and given to us by the grace of God. We are justified not by something we do, but by something God does for us. God imputes to every believing sinner the righteousness of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. — The words “imputed,” “reckoned,” and “counted” are used ten times in the fourth chapter of Romans (3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 22, 23, 24.)
· Abraham was justified by faith, without the works of the law, because he believed God (3-4, 9-22).
· David was justified by faith, without works, because he believed God (6-8).
· We are justified by faith, without any works of our own, if we believe God (23-25).
When a sinner trusts the Lord Jesus, God the Holy Spirit imputes righteousness to him conscientiously, because God made him righteous by the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus. — God cannot justly impute righteousness to one who is not righteous any more than he can justly impute sin to one who is not guilty (Proverbs 17:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
4. The Benefits of Justification (5:1-8).
(Romans 4:25) The Lord Jesus Christ “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
In the first eight verses of chapter five, we see the benefits of grace flowing to us by the sacrifice of Christ as the result of our justification by his blood, as the result of having the righteousness of God consciously imputed to us. When sinners, like Enoch of old, believing God, receive God’s testimony that we please him, this is the result.
“Therefore” — “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1) — Being justified and accounted by God as righteous in his sight by his free grace in Christ, we receive all the blessings and benefits of complete, perfect justification in Christ by faith in him and only by faith in him.
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This peace with God arises from the fact that in Christ we are forgiven, justified, holy, and unblameable in God’s sight (Colossians 1:20-22). Out of Christ, all are at war with God, and God is angry with the wicked everyday (Romans 8:7; John 3:36). In Christ we have peace with God.
“By whom also we have access by him into this grace.” — In Christ we have access into this grace (v. 2). Christ gives us access into a state of grace, favor, sonship, and acceptance with God. Access into this grace implies that we have access to all the blessings and benefits of grace through the merits of Christ.
Martin Luther said, “Although I am a sinner, yet I despair not, for Christ who is my Righteousness and my Redeemer ever liveth. In him I have no sin, no fear, no sting of conscience, and no fear of judgment. For in him there is no condemnation. I am indeed a sinner as touching this present life. But I have a holiness and a righteousness which is above this life. That Righteousness is Christ, my Lord. In him I rejoice!”
“Wherein we stand!” — We stand in Christ! If ever we see it, we will rejoice with joy unspeakable! Being fully justified by Christ, trusting Christ alone for our acceptance with God, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (v. 2). There is no good hope but the good hope of grace. Grace is the earnest and assurance of glory. The Lord “will give grace and glory” (Psalm 84:11). This is cause enough for joy! As Matthew Henry put it — “Those who hope for the glory of God hereafter have enough to rejoice in now.”
We not only rejoice in the righteousness of Christ and in the hope we have in him, — “But we glory in tribulations also” (v. 3). Yes, those who believe God rejoice in the trials, afflictions, and tribulations which providence brings upon them. God sends the trial. God sends the trial for some good purpose. Therefore, I will rejoice in it. Actually, we do not rejoice in the trial itself. We rejoice in Christ, our God and Savior, who sends the trial (Philippians 4:4). And we rejoice in the good effect of the trial. “KNOWING THAT” –
“Tribulation worketh patience.” — Patience is a willing submission to the will of God. It is contentment with God’s providence. It is waiting upon the Lord (Psalm 27:14).
(Psalm 27:14) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Patience is the opposite of covetousness, complaining, and foolish haste (Psalm 119:71).
(Psalm 119:71) It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
“Patience produces experience.” — Experience is maturity, spiritual growth, strength, and wisdom. Trials do not produce faith, but they do reveal faith! Trials reveal what we are. True faith grows stronger because of the trials God sends.
Illustration: A wise father and his child – Abraham’s trials.
“Experience (maturity) increases hope” (v. 4). — As a result of trials and tribulations faith is revealed, strengthened, and confirmed. Therefore, our hope is greater. The stronger faith is, the more we are sweetly forced to trust Christ and the surer our hope is.
“And hope maketh not ashamed” (v. 5). — If I have a good hope through grace I will not be ashamed of Christ and my relationship with him. — I will never have cause to be ashamed, because I am perfect and complete in him. — I will never be put to shame (Matthew 7:21-23).
Love Shed Abroad
Now here is the basis of our peace, our rejoicing, our patience, and our hope — “Because the love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (v. 5). — It is not our love for Christ that gives us hope, but the knowledge of his love for us, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit through the gospel.
In verses 6-8 Paul gives us the proof of God’s love and grace to sinners. This is what we believe. And believing this, we are justified before God, by grace through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Here is the sum and substance of the gospel (v. 6). This is the great article of our faith!
· Who died? The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, God incarnate.
· How did Christ die? He died the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross, under the wrath and judgment of God.
· Why did the Son of God die? — “For” – In the stead of his people, as a Substitute, that God might be just and the justifier of all who believe (Isaiah 53:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13).
· For whom did Christ die? — “The ungodly” — Christ did not die for righteous men. He did not die for good men. He did not die for deserving men. Christ died for helpless, ungodly, sinful men, for men who were his enemies.
· When did the Lord Jesus die? When we were without strength, and in God’s due time, in the time which God had appointed, Christ died (Galatians 4:4-5).
(Galatians 4:4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Righteous and good men are not the objects of God’s mercy, love, and grace (v. 7).
· We might possibly suppose that a man would die for a righteous man — one who is moral, strict, religious, and needed by, though not necessarily loved by others.
· We might think that a man would lay down his life for a good man — one who is benevolent, kind, thoughtful, generous, loving, and loved by others.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” — God loves sinners, and gave his Son to die for sinners (v. 8; 1 John 4:9-10; 1 John 3:16). — This is the cause of our Savior’s death — God loves sinful men! Christ did not die so that God would love us. Christ died because God did love us! (John 3:16).
· God loved us from eternity.
· God loved us, though we were fallen and sinful.
· God so loved us that he gave his Son to redeem us!
‘Twas not to make Jehovah’s love
Towards the sinner flame,
That Jesus, from His throne above,
A suffering Man became.
‘Twas not the death that He endured,
Nor all the pangs He bore,
That God’s eternal love procured, —
For God was love before.
He loved the world of His elect
With love surpassing thought;
Nor will His mercy e’er neglect
The souls so dearly bought.
The warm affections of His breast
Towards His chosen burn;
And in His love He’ll ever rest,
Nor from His oath return.
Still to confirm His oath of old,
See in the heavens His bow;
No fierce rebukes, but love untold
Awaits His children now.
5. The assurances of justification (5:9-21).
· We are justified freely by the grace of God without any works of our own (Romans 3:24).
· Our justification was accomplished entirely by the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ in his life and in his death as our Substitute (Romans 5:18-19).
· We receive justification by faith alone. — Faith in Christ does not justify us. Faith does not cause God to justify us. The ground of justification, the cause of justification is the redemptive work of Christ as our Substitute. Faith receives justification.
Now watch these two words “Much More” – (vv. 9, 10, 15, 17, 20).
(Romans 5:9-21) “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Oh, I love those two words — “Much More.”
Divisions: In this fifth chapter of Romans, writing by Divine inspiration, the Apostle Paul gives five words of assurance to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Being justified by faith in Christ, you can be and should be assured of these five things.
1. We shall never suffer the wrath of God (v. 9).
2. We shall be kept, preserved, and saved by our living Lord (v. 10).
3. We shall receive in Christ all the bounty and fulness of God’s grace (v. 15).
4. We shall reign in life with Christ (v. 17).
5. The grace of God shall be both unceasingly abundant and gloriously triumphant (vv. 20-21).
Saved from Wrath
Do you believe God? Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your complete righteousness, redemption, and justification? I do. Then you and I can be absolutely assured of this fact. — We who believe shall never suffer the wrath of God (v. 9).
(Romans 5:9) “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
If God’s love for us was so great, when we were lost, undone, God-hating rebels, that he gave his own dear Son to die for us —– It is “much more” certain that we shall be delivered from all future wrath by the blood of Christ. We who are in Christ shall never suffer any wrath, anger, or punishment from God, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.
We are justified. —– Therefore we are no longer under the wrath of God.
· Where there is no sin, there is no wrath.
· Where there is no guilt, there is no punishment.
· The law, being satisfied by Christ, has no claim upon us.
· God is not angry with his children.
· We are accepted in the Beloved, perfectly accepted, always accepted, unchangeably accepted (Malachi 3:6).
We are justified. —– Therefore we shall never suffer any punishment for our sins in this world. God made Christ to be sin for us and imputed our sins to him. He will not impute them again to us. God punished our sins in Christ. He will not punish them again is us. The Lord God graciously chastens us because he loves us (Hebrews 12:5-11). But he never punishes us for sin. He never gets angry with us (Hebrews 12:9-10).
· By chastisement, God corrects his children. — “The rod of affliction is the means by which God drives the sin which he hates from the soul which he loves” (Spurgeon).
· By chastisement, our God graciously restrains the evil tendencies of our flesh.
· By chastisement, our heavenly Father lovingly weans his children from this world.
· By chastisement, God tenderly proves our faith and causes it to grow.
· Chastisement, so far from being a sign of God’s wrath, is the proof of his love and a cause for joy (James 1:2-4, 12).
We are justified. —– Therefore we shall never suffer any wrath or punishment for sin in the world to come. — “Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” — No purgatory! — No degrees of reward!
· We shall suffer no loss of reward.
· We shall suffer no loss of privilege.
· We shall have no sorrow to endure. — God shall wipe away our tears.
· We shall, in accordance with strict justice, enter into and possess all the bliss, glory, and happiness of our heavenly inheritance (2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 1:12).
I am talking grace now, pure, free, perfect, complete, eternal salvation in a perfect, effectual, all-sufficient Substitute. Grace forbids fear! (Jude 24-25).
“24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
Saved by His Life
Do you believe God? Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you justified by faith in him? I am; and I tell you upon the authority of the Word of God that you and I can be assured of this fact, too: —– We shall be kept, preserved, and saved by the power and grace of our living Lord (v. 10).
(Romans 5:10) “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
If when we were enemies of God we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, and made not only God’s friends but also his sons, it is “much more” certain that being reconciled we shall be finally saved by the intercessory work of Christ. We are secure in Christ (John 10:27-30).
“27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and [my] Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
If we did not perish when we hated God, we surely will not perish now, being reconciled to God.
NOTE: Our security is not dependent upon us, but upon God our Savior.
Illustration: John Jasper
1. We are secure, because the purpose of God cannot be defeated (Romans 8:28-30).
2. We are secure, because the purchase of Christ cannot be disannulled (Romans 8:33-35). (See Isaiah 53:10-11).
3. We are secure, because the promise of God cannot be broken (Hebrews 13:5).
4. We are secure, because the perfections of God cannot be marred. — His Immutability (Malachi 3:6) — His Goodness — His Wisdom — His Love — His Justice.
5. We are secure, because the power of God cannot be broken (1 Peter 1:5). — (See John 17:2.)
6. We are secure, because the prayer of Christ cannot be refused. — He who is our High Priest must and shall prevail with God (John 17:9-11, 13, 24; 1 John 2:1-2).
7. We are secure because the performance of Christ as our Surety would be a miserable failure if even one of his own should perish (John 6:37-40; 10:16; Hebrews 2:13).
Fulness of Grace
Do you believe God? Do you trust Christ? Are you justified by faith in him? Then you can be assured of this third fact also — We shall receive in and with Christ all the bounty and fulness of God’s grace in him (v. 15).
“But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Romans 5:15)
Adam was a type of Christ. Like Christ, he was a covenant head, a federal representative, and a substitute. But, oh, what a difference! — In Adam we lost everything. In Christ we gained “much more” than we lost.
· In Adam we lost innocence. In Christ we gained righteousness.
· In Adam we lost fellowship. In Christ we gained sonship.
· In Adam we lost dominion over the earth. In Christ we gained supremacy over the angels.
· In Adam we lost an earthly inheritance. In Christ we gained a heavenly inheritance.
· In Adam we died. In Christ we are made alive and gain eternal life.
It would have been good had we not fallen in Adam. We would have lived forever in innocence, as the sons of Adam. But it is indescribably better that we fell in Adam, according to God’s wise purpose, for now in Christ we shall live forever as the sons of God. Being the sons of God, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ! — What shall it be to behold the manifestation of the sons of God?
Reign in Life
Are you a believer, justified by faith in Christ? Then you may be confidently assured of this fact too: —– We shall reign in life with Christ (v. 17).
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” (Romans 5:17)
If by our identification and union with Adam, death reigned over us (And who can deny that?), “much more” sure and certain it is that by our identification and union with Christ, being made the righteousness of God in him, we shall reign with him!
Christ is the King of glory; and he has made us kings and priests unto God (Revelation 5:10).
· We reign as kings with Christ in spiritual life (1 John 4:4; 5:4).
· We shall rise from the dead and reign with Christ over death and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:51-58).
· When God makes all things new, we shall reign with Christ upon the earth (Matthew 19:28; Revelation 3:21; 2:26-27; 2 Timothy 2:12).
If you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, if you live by faith in him, you have every reason to have confidence and assurance regarding these things.
· We shall never suffer the wrath of God (v. 9).
· We shall be kept, preserved, and saved by our living Lord (v. 10).
· We shall receive in and with Christ all the bounty and fulness of God’s grace (v. 15).
· We shall reign with Christ (v. 17).
Glorious, Triumphant Grace
And, fifth, the grace of God toward us shall be both unceasingly abundant and gloriously triumphant (vv. 20-21).
“20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)
If sin overflowed, abounded, and contaminated every faculty of man’s being and every part of God’s creation, it is “much more” certain that the grace of God shall abound, overflow, and purify all of God’s elect and all of God’s creation. In this place, where sin reigned unto death, grace reigns, and shall reign, through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
O my brothers, O my sisters, I rejoice to tell you and to proclaim to all men everywhere that grace reigns in righteousness through Christ Jesus our Lord!
· Sin besets us on every side, but grace reigns!
· Satan roars against us, but grace reigns.
· Our flesh is weak, but grace reigns!
· Grace shall have its way.
· Grace shall win the victory.
· Grace shall be triumphant.
Before the world was made, grace was reigning in the covenant and purpose of God. — When sin entered into God’s creation, grace was reigning.
· Satan assaulted God’s throne, but the throne was not shaken. — Grace reigned.
· One third of the angels fell, but grace reigned.
· Adam fell, but grace reigns still.
When Christ came, Satan bruised his heal, but he crushed the serpent’s head and grace reigned triumphant.
· In the Wilderness of Temptation
· In Gethsemane’s Dark Agony
· In the Sufferings of the Savior upon the Cross.
Though we all came forth from the womb in rebellion against God, grace reigned over our hearts in regeneration (Psalm 65:4; 110:3). — Though the flesh lusts against the Spirit, grace is reigning still and shall reign unto the end. — Though Satan shall deceive many, grace shall reign in the end (Ephesians 1:10; 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28). — Satan has slain his thousands, but Christ has saved his ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands! Sin has conquered many, but grace has conquered and shall conquer a great multitude which no man can number.
· Grace reigns in election.
· Grace reigns in redemption.
· Grace reigns in providence.
· Grace reigns in regeneration.
· Grace reigns in preservation — “No temptation —– My grace is sufficient.”
· Grace reigns in sanctification.
· Grace reigns in resurrection.
· Grace reigns in presentation — “Holy! — Unblameable! — Unreproveable!”
· Grace reigns in the consummation of God’s purpose, in “the restitution of all things!”
(1 John 5:10-13) — He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God
[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — April 12, 2015
Reading: Isaiah 45:1-25 and Romans 5:1-21