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Sermon #55 — Romans Series
Title: “peace with God”
Text: Romans 5:1-2
Subject: Justification and Peace
Date: Sunday Morning — June 14, 2015
Reading: Psalm 37:1-40 or Micah 4:1-13
I have a message today that I am sure will be of interest to everyone here. To you who are without Christ, troubled with your sin, vexed with your guilt, and fearful for your soul, God has given me a message for you. Some of you are hard, stiff-necked rebels, determined to keep your distance from the almighty. You are always mad at the preacher because you are always mad at God. But God has given me a message that I am certain will arouse even your interest. — I’ve got something today you just can’t resist being interested in. And for you who trust my Savior, for you who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God has given me a message you are going to find comforting and delightful. It is going to encourage you, strengthen your confidence and assurance and your faith. I hope you will be compelled by the Spirit of God to listen very carefully to this message.
The title of my message is “Peace with God.” My text is Romans 5:1-2. “Peace with God” — Romans 5:1-2. Oh, what would you give to have peace with God? May God give it to you this hour by his great gift of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 5:1-2) “Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Our text begins with the word “Therefore.” — “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God.” When a chapter scripture or a verse of Scripture begins with the word “therefore” you have to go back a few verses to see what it is there for. — If you come up on a passage of Scripture and it starts this way, “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God,” you have to go back and see what was written before, to see what makes this statement true. Paul’s statement in the opening verse of Romans 5 is true because of all Paul he said before. Well, what did he say before? In the first four chapters of the Book of Romans, the theme is “justification by faith.” That’s the theme of chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Book of Romans.
In the light of all that he said in the first chapters of this Epistle, Paul says, in Romans 3:28
(Romans 3:28) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
That’s how we are justified. Then, the Spirit of God uses Abraham and David as examples of justification by faith. You know that Abraham was called the friend of God; and David was a man after God’s own heart. God spoke to Abraham as a man speaks to his friend. God called Abraham, “My friend.” Whenever God says something about Abraham, I’m interested, because he was a friend of God. Not only that, he’s the pattern of faith. The Book of God tells us that he is “the father of them that believe.” Abraham was a man who was accepted, beloved, and honored of God. Our Lord Jesus, referring to heavenly glory, said that Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom. All of that makes Abraham stand out as a very important figure. —— This man, Abraham, is held before us throughout the Book of God as an example of faith in Christ. We will be wise to pay attention.
What does Paul tell us about him? Look at chapter 4, verse 1. — “What should we say that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?” What has he found? Was he justified by works? If he was justified by works, he has whereof to glory in himself but not before God. But what do the Scriptures say? — “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.” In other words, Abraham was justified before God by believing God. It wasn’t by his works, not by his obedience, but by faith. His works and obedience were the result of his faith. He obeyed God because he believed God. He labored and worked because he believed God. We’re justified by faith. Not by works. That’s what the first four chapters of Romans tell us. We’re justified before God, not by works, not by law, not even morality, but by the faith of Christ. We receive that justification just like Abraham did, by faith in Christ. — “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.”
Paul also used David as an example of faith in Christ. These are perhaps, the two most notable, well-known, famous men among the Jews, (Abraham, the father of the nation, and David, the king of Israel). David is twice called “a man after God’s own heart” in this Book. David was the beloved king of Israel. The Lord Jesus sprung from David, as pertaining to the flesh. The Messiah was the seed of David. And he was a marvelous type of Christ. Paul takes Abraham and says he was justified by faith; and he uses David as an example and quotes David in Romans 4:6-8, “David describeth the blessedness of the man, to whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” David describes the person to whom God will charge, impute, reckon holiness, acceptance, and righteousness by faith, not by works, but by faith, saying, “Blessed is the man to whom God will not impute sin.” Oh happy, favored, highly favored is that man to whom God will not charge sin, the man to whom God imputes righteousness and holiness without works!
If we have righteousness, it will have to be without works, because our works of righteousness are filthy rags. Our works are so incomplete, so unworthy, so imperfect, so sinful that salvation has to be without works. So here, the apostle Paul, when he’s talking in Romans Chapter’s 1, 2, 3, and 4, is talking about how a man is justified before God. We’re justified before God…
What does justified before God mean? Somebody said, “To be justified is to be forgiven.” That’s true, but it is more than that. To be justified is to be pardoned. Well, that’s true, but it’s more than that. My friends, to be justified, is to be not guilty. To be justified is to be not only pardoned and forgiven, but it is to be perfect. It is to be holy. To be justified is to be without blame before God. Listen to what God says…
(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
That’s what it means to be justified. It means more than to be forgiven or pardoned. It means to be holy. It means to be without blame. It means to be perfect. To be justified, is to be without sin, freed from sin, complete in Christ.
Listen to Ephesians 5:27. There the Spirit of God tells us about the Lord Jesus redeeming his Church, purchasing his Church with his own blood. Ephesians 5:27 says, that his Church is, “Holy and without blemish.” In Colossians 1:22, we are told that in the body of his flesh, through death, we are presented in Christ, holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in God’s sight. That’s what it means to be justified; and that’s by faith. That’s the whole theme of Romans, 1, 2, 3 and 4, justified by faith in Christ we have no sin. — “In him is no sin!”
You say, “How can this be?” I’ve asked that question a thousand times. How can this be? How can I, a sinful man, be justified and perfect, perfect before God? We look at God’s holiness and we cry with Isaiah, “I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips. I am undone.” Standing before God’s holiness, we just see our own sinfulness. Don’t we? We see it in thought, and word, and deed, and imagination. Then, when we look at God’s justice we cry with David, “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Psalm 130:3).
Then, when we look at God’s law we cry with the apostle Paul in Romans 7, “O wretched man that I am.” Before the law came, I was alive, but when the law came, I died. The law slew me. That which I thought to be life, proved to be death. When I got a good look at God’s law, “I died.” Saul of Tarsus was a religious Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin. He depended on his morality. Then, he found out that God’s law required more than outward conformity. It required inward perfection and outward perfection. That killed the self-righteous Pharisee.
When I look at God’s judgment, I say with Job, “Don’t bring me into judgment with you.” I look at my works and say with the prophets of old, “They are filthy rags. Man at his best state, is altogether vanity.”
Job said this (Job 25:4-5).
(Job 25:4-5) “How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? (5) Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.”
(Job 15:16) “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?”
How can we call a man holy without blame, without blemish, unblameable, unreproveable, not guilty before God? How can you do it? I’ll give you one word that answers the question, “How can a man be just with God?”— Substitution! Somebody who is not guilty becomes guilty in his place. He who is guilty takes the place of the not-guilty One, and becomes not guilty. My guilt was transferred to the Lord Jesus Christ; and his righteousness has been transferred to me! That’s what the Scripture is all about. When the Book of God talks about redemption in Christ, it is a talking about the transference of guilt, substitution!
You young people who play sports, you know what a substitute is. It’s someone who goes into the game, takes the place of an active player. When someone goes in his place, he comes out. They both can’t be in the game at the same time. Sin can’t be on me and on my Substitute. The responsibility cannot be on me and on my Substitute. If a man is in the game as my substitute and makes an error, it’s not my responsibility; it’s his. He suffers. He’s penalized for his error. That’s what Christ is. He’s our Substitute.
Listen to the scripture (Isaiah 53:5-6).
(Isaiah 53:5-6) “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
We can’t both take the stripes.
“Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand
And then again at mine.”
Listen to 1st Peter 2:24.
(1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
I’ve already gone to the gallows in Christ. I’ve already paid the debt in Christ. I’ve already died. The justice of God is satisfied in Christ. My debt is paid in full, in full, I said!
“Jesus paid it all,
All the debt I owed.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
“There is therefore, now, no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” Substitution is the doctrine of the Gospel.
(1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
Listen to 2nd Corinthians 5:21. Here is God the Father, God the Son, and the ransomed sinner.
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Christ, the Holy One of God, was made sin and died in our place, in our room and in our stead, in order that we, poor, guilty sinners, might be made the righteousness of God in him.” He, God the Father, has made him, God the Son, sin for us. He knew no sin. He had no sin. He did no sin. We had the sin. Now, we sinners are made the righteousness of God, holy unblameable, unreproveable; and our sins are gone!
“Did you hear what Jesus said to me?
They’re all taken away, away
Your sins are pardoned; and you are free.—
They’re all taken away!”
There was a transference of guilt to my Substitute, on his head, in his body, in my room and stead, he was made sin! And I have no sin. We’re holy, unblameable, and unreproveable, before God. Paul was so bold as to say, “Who can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth!”
(Romans 4:25-5:2) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (5:1) Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Therefore, being justified, by faith, not by works, by faith in Christ, we have peace with God!
Proposition: The only path to peace with God is faith in Christ, faith that brings free, full, complete, irrevocable justification.
All my life I’ve heard people use this phrase, “Peace with God.” I hear people say, “Have you made your peace with God?” “How can you and I make peace with God? Can we make peace with God? Can we put sin away? Can we write our names in the Book of Life? Can we put away our transgressions? How are you and I going to make peace with God?
You’ve heard people say, “Well, he was ready to die. He made his peace with his Maker.” How did he do it? Did he join the church? Did that make peace with God? Did he get baptized, and make his peace with God? Never! You can’t get off that easy, when you break the laws of the land; and you can’t get off that easy when you break the law of God. Did he promise to do better? Why don’t we have all the criminals line up and have them promise to do better, and give them peace?
There is only way to have peace with God. “Therefore, being justified, by faith we have peace with God. Here’s why, for it pleased the Father that in Christ should all fullness, holiness, righteousness, grace, mercy, peace, love, life, heaven, and forgiveness dwell.
(Colossians 1:19-20) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
That is how he made peace with God for sinners like you and me. — “Through the blood of his cross!” “By him, I say, (by Christ), to reconcile.” What is reconcile? It’s to make friends, to bring enemies together, to put away the enmity. — In Christ, God reconciled sinners to himself!
Joining the church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than owning a piano, makes you a musician. I owned a piano for years, but I’m no musician. You can have your name on a church roll, but that doesn’t give you peace with God.
(Colossians 1:20-22) “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
Oh, I wish I could shout that to the whole world!
(Colossians 1:19-22) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
Now, look at the next verse. — Romans 5:2. We not only have peace with God; and this peace is a very distinct blessing of grace. Peace gives us rest. It gives us a quiet spirit. It gives us comfort and confidence.
(Romans 5:2) “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
We not only have peace with God, but we have access to God. We have access into this grace, wherein we stand, and rejoice in our hope of the glory of God. You can have peace with a man who forgives you and then walks off and leaves you alone. But we don’t just have peace with God, we have peace with God and free access to God! We have access into all of his mercies and blessings. We have access into his presence. “Having made peace for us through the blood of his cross,” The God of all grace bids needy sinners come to him (Hebrews 4:16).
(Hebrews 4:16) “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Come boldly into the presence of God by faith in Christ. We call God, the God of Glory, Father. All blessings are ours in Christ.
(1 Corinthians 1:30) “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
(1 Corinthians 3:21-23) “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; (22) Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; (23) And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Therefore, being justified, (holy, unblameable, unreproveable), without blemish, in his sight. He is able to present you faultless, and without blame in his presence with exceeding joy. To the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty!
Then, Paul says, “wherein we stand.” We have peace with God. We have access into his presence. We have access into his grace, and here we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Martin Luther said this....
“Although, by nature, I am a sinner, yet I despair not, for Christ Jesus who is my Redeemer, and my Righteousness, and my Advocate, and my Intercessor, liveth in the presence of God.”
In Christ, because of his death and his precious blood, I have no sin. That is peace! My sins are gone; they are put away. I have no fear. I have no sting of conscience. I have no fear of judgment. —I’m justified! I’m justified in Christ and “There is therefore, now, no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit!” Justified, peace with God, access into the presence of God, and rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. — Isn’t that wonderful?
There was a great preacher in the South of England in the late 1700s who wrote many of the great hymns we like to sing — Augustus Toplady. He died as a young man; but he was and is still greatly used of God. Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.” He wrote another song that most people have never heard. It is called “A Debtor to Mercy Alone.” I want to read it to you.
“A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do.
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo,
Or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the Earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in Heaven!”
That’s mercy! That’s grace! That’s peace! And that’s the result and blessing of justification in Christ, by Christ, through Christ, by faith.
Look at my text again, and I’ll wrap this up. — Therefore, we are “being justified,” not guilty, without sin, without blemish. We are holy and righteous in God’s presence, by faith in Christ Jesus. It is not in your church, not in your experience, and not in your profession, but in Christ Jesus, because “He loved us and gave himself for us.” “We have peace with God.” I didn’t make it. He did. It wasn’t established on my obedience, it was established by his obedience and his death. I have peace with God, peace of heart, and peace of conscience. I have access to God and access to Heaven through Christ. In him we have access to all the mercies and blessings of God. They are ours in Christ; and we stand secure in hope of the very glory of God — Someday! — Maybe soon! — Maybe today!
Would you have “peace with God?” Come to Christ. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and go home “being justified” and having “peace with God.”
(Micah 4:1-5) “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. (2) And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (3) And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (4) But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. (5) For all people will walk everyone in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”
Illustration: “All this, free for nothin’?”