Sermon #1022 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “Being Justified…”
Text: Romans 5:1-11
Reading: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12
Subject: The benefits and basis of justification
Date: Sunday Morning – April 5, 1992
The tile of my message is “Being Justified…” In Romans 5:1-11 the Apostle Paul shows us both the benefits and the basis of our “being justified” in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The puritan, Thomas Watson, declared, “Justification is the very hinge and pillar of Christianity.” And he was right. Nothing is more important than justification. It is a basic, fundamental, essential doctrine of Christianity. Be sure you understand what the Bible teaches regarding this blessed doctrine of the gospel. It is vital! No one understands the gospel who does not know the meaning of the word “justified”. To be justified is to be pardoned of all sin and made perfectly righteous before God through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Justification is an act of God, a work of his grace toward his elect that is altogether free. To put it in the words of John Gill, Justification “is wholly without them (us) , entirely resides in the divine mind, and lies in his estimating, accounting, and constituting them (us) righteous through the righteousness of his Son!”
Let me show you what Paul has taught about justification in Romans 1 through 4.
In chapters 1-3 he shows us the utter impossibility of justification by works upon two grounds.
· The universal depravity of the human race (1:18-3:18).
· The just demands of God’s holy Law (3:19-20).
In chapter 3:21-31 the apostle declares that justification is the work of God alone! God alone can remove the guilt of sin, satisfy the justice of the law, and make sinners righteous in his sight.
· We are justified by grace.
· We are justified by the blood of Christ.
· We are justified by faith.
Faith is not, in anyway, the cause of justification. Faith receives justification.
· We are justified without works!
We are not justified by our good deeds, but by Christ’s sacrifice for our misdeeds.
In chapter 4 Paul gives two illustrations of free grace justification. Both Abraham and David were justified by grace alone without any works being performed by them (vv. 1-8).
Paul concludes chapter 4 by telling us that righteousness shall be imputed to us, even as it was imputed to Abraham and David, “if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (vv. 24-25).
Remember, justification is God’s work. It takes place in the mind of God, not in the heart of man. Our justification was accomplished when Christ died under the penalty of God’s law for us. By faith in Christ we receive justification.
Now, look at Romans 5:1 – “Therefore,” upon the basis of Christ’s substitutionary death, “being justified,” all who believe God, being justified by Christ’s blood, enter into a life of incomparable delight and satisfaction.
How I pray that God the Holy Spirit will speak to you today, as I endeavor to preach to you. I want to comfort, instruct, feed, and encourage you who are my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I want to persuade you who are not yet converted to come to Christ now. I do not hold before you a life of ease and pleasure, free from pain and trouble; but I do hold before you a life of incomparable delight and satisfaction.
That person is blessed indeed who, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, can lift his eyes toward heaven and say, “By the grace of God I am justified!”
“Jesus, how glorious is Thy grace!
When in Thy name we trust,
Our faith receives a righteousness
That makes the sinner just.”
· The greatest of all blessings is justification (vv. 1-5).
· The only ground upon which we could ever be justified is the death of Christ (vv. 6-9).
· The solitary cause of our redemption and justification by the blood of Christ is the love of God (v. 8).
· Our being justified by the blood of Christ assures us of every other blessing of grace and glory (vv. 9-11).
I. The greatest of all blessings is justification (vv. 1-5).
“In justification the sinner is not only pardoned, he is promoted.” John Blanchard.
In these first five verses Paul begins to enumerate the benefits and privileges that flow to God’s elect in justification. “Being justified, by faith…”.
A. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Justification has removed our guilt and sin and has made us righteous. Christ has broken down that wall of partition that separated us from God and made peace. What a blessed word that is – “Peace” – “Peace with God!”
There is more to peace than a mere end to conflict and anger. “Peace with God” implies friendship and lovingkindness, for God is either our worst enemy or our best Friend. When Abraham was justified he was called “The Friend of God” (James 2:23), and so are we (John 15:13-15). What more do you need to make you happy and content than to have God himself to be your Friend? This is peace indeed!
This peace is “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Christ is the Peacemaker, and “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14; Col. 1:20). To a guilty, sinful man, the most dreadful, horrifying thing imaginable is God. Without Christ, “our God is a consuming fire.” But in Christ, “being justified, by faith we have peace with God!”
NOTE: Only those who have been without peace know what a blessed thing it is to have peace with God.
B. By Christ “we have access by faith into this grace.”
Every believer is led and introduced into a state of grace. By Christ, by faith in him, we have free and constant access to God himself upon the throne of grace (Heb. 10:19-22; 4:16).
C. Be sure you get these next words, “wherein we stand”!
Not wherein we are, but “wherein we stand!” Standing is a posture that implies our discharge from guilt and perfect acceptance with God. Convicted criminals are cast down before the Judge’s throne; but believers, “being justified,” “stand in the judgment” (Psa. 1:5). Standing is a posture of dignity and honor, becoming one who is altogether righteous and worthy of acceptance.
Behold, I stand before God’s throne
With Christ’s righteous garments on,
Assured that through His blood I am
Absolved from sin, and guilt, and blame.
1. This phrase implies our progress.
While we stand, we are moving forward. We must not sit down in presumptive complacency, as though we had already attained. Nothing is more dangerous than that security which makes men indifferent to Christ!
a. We stand as those that are pressing forward (Phil. 3:13-15).
b. We stand as servants awaiting our Master’s orders.
2. This phrase also implies perseverance.
We stand firmly, safely, and securely, upheld by the power of God’s grace. Like soldiers who keep their ground, refusing to give way to the enemy, God’s saints stand in grace.
3. And this phrase implies our preservation.
Those who stand in high places in this world stand upon slippery ground; but those who stand in grace, before the throne of grace, stand in humble confidence “that he which hath begun a good work in them will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
D. Standing in grace, by faith in Christ, we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
It is written, “The LORD will give grace and glory” (Ps. 84:11). Someone said, “Grace is glory begun, and glory is grace complete.”
· Only those who have grace here have the hope of glory hereafter.
· But those who have the hope of glory hereafter have reason enough to rejoice here. “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God!”
E. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also!”
We glory in spite of our tribulations; and we glory in our tribulations, knowing that they “work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). God’s saints especially glory in those tribulations, which they suffer for righteousness’s sake (Acts 4:41).
Knowing that this would be the hardest point for people to understand, Paul shows us why and how God’s people glory in tribulations. We do not glory because of our tribulations; but we do glory in the midst of tribulations because tribulations, by a chain of causes greatly encourage hope.
1. “Tribulation worketh patience.”
Tribulation itself does not work patience; but tribulation, which is sanctified by faith, works patience. And the patience helps us more than the tribulation hurts us.
2. “Patience experience.”
As we patiently endure tribulations we experience…
· God’s faithfulness.
· Christ’s intimacy.
· The Spirit’s comfort.
· The sufficiency of grace.
· Growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
3. “Experience hope.”
Grace experienced increases hope of grace promised. Deliverance experienced encourages hope of deliverance to come (2 Cor. 1:10).
4. “And hope maketh not ashamed.”
The good hope of grace, the hope of God’s elect, is a hope that will never deceive. It is a blessed and sure hope. “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness; but the expectation of the wicked shall perish” (Prov. 10:28).
Hope causes us to live above our tribulations. We know that if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him.
5. “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (v. 5).
a. The love of God is sealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
b. The sense of God’s love to us draws out our love to him (1 John 4:19).
c. And the blessed experience of God’s love constrains us, in the midst of tribulations, to rejoice in the Lord and patiently wait before him in hope.
II. The only ground upon which we could ever be justified is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 6-8).
When Paul spoke about the love of God toward us, the very first thing that came to his mind was the substitutionary sacrifice and sin-atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. So in verses 6-8, he shows us the fountain and foundation of our justification in Christ.
A. “When we were yet without strength.”
In the sad and desperate condition of helpless, lost, guilty felons, we by nature had no strength…
· To oppose God’s wrath.
· To obey God’s law.
· To improve our condition.
B. “In due time”
· In the time appointed by God from old eternity.
· When the depravity of man had been fully demonstrated.
· When it had been proven that neither the law of God nor the works of religion could ever save.
· When we were utterly helpless. God’s time to help, God’s time to save is when those who must be saved are altogether without strength. He magnifies his power and grace by saving people who have no strength to save themselves.
C. “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
· Who died? The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
· For whom did He die?
o Not righteous men (Pharisees).
o Not good men – (King, gracious moralists)
o But Christ died for the ungodly, sinners, men and women who were by nature his enemies!
Though we were by nature (and are still by nature) completely godless, lawbreakers, and rebels, “Christ died for us!” This is such a great wonder, such a great mystery, such an unprecedented display of love, that even in the time and space of eternity we shall never cease to adore and wonder at it.
“Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
· Christ died for us that we might be “justified by his blood” (v. 9).
The only way the holy Lord God could ever justify us is by the blood, the precious blood of Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). “Without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). “The blood is the life” and that must be sacrificed to make atonement. “It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17;11).
III. Be sure you understand that the solitary cause of our redemption and justification by the blood of Christ is the love of God (v. 8; 1 John 4:9-10).
IV. Our being justified by the blood of Christ assures us of every other blessing of grace and glory (vv. 9-11).
“Much more then” – When I read those words my heart cries, “How can there be more?” But there is much more!
A. “Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
When that which hinders salvation is taken away (the curse of the law), salvation must follow. We shall be saved from wrath and hell in the day of judgment (Rom. 8:1, 32-34).
B. “We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”
o Judicially reconciled when Christ died.
o Experimentally reconciled when the blood was applied.
C. “Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
We were reconciled by Christ crucified. We shall be saved by Christ exalted. Christ dying was the Testator, who bequeathed to us the legacy of salvation. Christ living is the Executor, who makes certain that every chosen sinner named in the Testament receives his eternal inheritance. He who purchased salvation for us will not fail to bestow salvation upon us.
D. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God, who was once our terror, is now our “joy and hope in th day of evil” (Jer. 17:17). Being saved from his wrath, we now solace ourselves in his love, through…
E. “By whom we have now received the atonement.”
True believer, by faith in Christ receive the atonement. “It is not faith, nor anything else of the creature’s that makes the atonement, only Christ; but faith receives it from him, and by him.” (John Gill)
1. God received the atonement for us (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; 28:2).
2. We receive the atonement by faith in Christ.
To receive the atonement is to…
a. Acknowledge my need of it.
b. Assent to the accomplishment of it by Christ.
c. Trust the merits of it.
d. Take comfort in the assurance of it.
Will you who hear my voice now receive the atonement? If now, by faith in Christ, you receive the atonement…
· You are justified by His blood.
· You are saved from wrath.
· You are reconciled to God.
· You stand in grace.
· You shall have peace with God.
· The love of God is now shed abroad in your heart.