2020 - Romans
Romans 5:1 Therefore… since…
Therefore, since humanity is divided into three groups…
--Hedonists who do whatever they want…
--Hypocrites worry about looking good, but sin behind closed doors.
--The Arrogant who speak venom to others, judging others in their own arrogance.
Therefore, since…There are three good newses for these three groups…
--The mess that hedonists have made with their lives, will be made right by the righteous God! Now and then!
--The hypocrite who worries about looking good, can be redeemed into a family that accepts them; where there is no need to “look good”. In the family of God there is no need for hypocrisy!
--The arrogant can take their sin to the Mercy Seat… where it is covered.
All three groups receive all three good newses by the sharing the faith of Abraham…
--which starts with an intellectual belief which knows God is the creator of the universe. God calls things that do not exist into existence.
--that continues with hope against hope. Hope is only hope when it shouldn’t hope.
--which is alive; living as if God’s promises already happened!
--that has no distrust.
--which grows stronger and stronger.
--an old faith which gives a lifetime of glory to God
-- which is fully convinced God is going to do what he promises!
Romans 4:22-25 … the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Any time you see a "therefore", in Paul's writings, you had better stop and see what it is there for. There are 17 “therefore’s” in the ESV translation of the letter to the Romans. Of the 17 I’m going to say 4 of them are major “therefores”.
Romans 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…
Romans 15:7Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
The fourth major “therefore” is the one we come to this morning… The “therefore in Romans 5:1 is the first major “Therefore” in the letter.
Romans 5:1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith…
The letter of Romans has been building. Three groups – There good newses – 7 qualities of a shared Abraham faith… This morning we reach the first climax in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The first eleven verses of Romans 5 reaches a high!
Romans 5:1-11 is like…
A kid in a toy store (you still remember toy stores?) When the grandpa says… “Hey, kid get whatever you want…” Our eyes should be wide with excitement at each of the blessings in the toy store. We should run from one blessing to the next staying only long enough to remember another blessing that we want to see. We should feel confused at trying to decide which blessing we want most of all. But the good news is that we are better off than the kid in the toy store with a grandpa, because we don't even have to choose between the blessings… we can have them all!
If you don’t relate to the kid in a toy store, how about Romans 5:1-11 is like…
--A quilter in Joanna’s with an unlimited credit card…
--A Coke that has been taken out of paint mixer…
--like a poorly folded burrito… the blessings fall in your lap.
--Edward Scissorhands on a waterbed,
--like a long-dormant volcano coming to life,
--like an overheated radiator in an old car crossing the Mojave dessert.
You get the picture… Romans 5:1-11 is exploding with blessings!
Perhaps, you think I have overstated the case. “That’s just preacher hyperbole. They think every sermon is supposed to be the best something…” Let’s find out if I have overstated the case. There are Seven Blessings in eleven verses. Let’s do them!
BLESSING ONE - WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
In 1972 I was thankful. My birth date was on a ping pong ball. It was drawn from a hopper on national TV. I was the 52ndping pong ball drawn. The year before they drafted through 200 something. I was going to be drafted. I was going to Vietnam. But that was not why I was thankful. I was thankful because the war ended… before I was drafted. I wasn’t drafted. I didn't go and I was thankful there was peace.
But the war that I am even more thankful is over, is war with God. Paul has already told us that the wrath of God is being revealing against all ungodliness.
Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
Romans 2:5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
God is at war with the hedonist, doing whatever. God is at war with hypocrite who looks good but sins anyway. God is at war with the arrogant for their condescension. I cannot think of anything scarier than being at war with the creator of the universe.
Here is how I picture this war/peace metaphor.
--It is the chihuahua yipping at a Great Dane.
--It’s building a sandcastle withstand the rising tide of the ocean.
--It is a toddler stomping his foot at the injustice of his mother making him go to bed.
It is not so-much that God has declared war on us, as it is, us railing our fist in defiance. “Seriously, you want to go to war with who? With God? You have got to be kidding?”
But God does not want war… God offers peace… God offers a New Covenant. Pressing the metaphor even further… We can change sides. We leave our puny railing against God to enlist in his army. We pick up a sword…
Romans 5:1 Therefore, sincewe have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
We move from war to peace, from yipping to loving, from stomping our feet to bowing our heads; “I’ll show you… to let me show you…” From outside the kingdom to in the kingdom at peace!
Overstated? Just preacher hyperbole? We are at peace of God!
BLESSING TWO - WE HAVE ACCESS INTO HIS GRACE
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
Not only have we given up our war on God, to join his army… we now can stand in his presence!
The picture I see is… entering the throne room of God. Instead of bowing, or crawling, or kneeling… We walk up and before his throne.
Ephesians 1:20 - 2:7…God worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We stand in glow of grace surrounding the throne of God. There is a golden glow emitting from the end of the scepter and bathes us in his grace. It covers us with the light of forgiveness. We absorb the radiance of grace! We have moved from war to kingdom to standing in the grace.
BLESSING THREE - WE HAVE THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD
Romans 5:1-3 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
The concept of the glory of God is one of my favorite thoughts to think.
It begins in the beginning…
--We are made in the image of God to bring his glory to the earth. Our purpose is to bear the light of his glory to the world!
--We absorb the glory from the throne room so we can carry that glory to the world!
--As we interact in the world with the joy of his seven blessings, we bring his glory to others! Joy is contagious! As is whining. But when we have the glory of God shining from us with joy it changes the world. That is the hope of the glory of God.
--A hope against hope that the glory of God will change the world. We don’t just joice we re-joice the glory of God in the world!
Therefore… since we have been made right by sharing Abraham’s faith… we are no longer at war but enter into the peace of Lord Jesus Christ… which gains us access into the glowing grace of God’s presence… which we take from the throne room to share with the world in hope of redeeming all of creation. We will one day live in the glory of God on the redeemed earth!
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We become ambassadors for God… We gain diplomatic immunity. We advocate for God!
Bam – Overstated, I think not!
We are going to stop here… I know you are disappointed… We still have four more blessings. But we will do those next week.
Therefore, since… See the progression of blessings…. War to peace… to grace of his throne room to being an ambassador revealing his glory to redeem the earth!
Let me try another metaphor…
Romans 5:1-11 is like…
It is like being outside of Rose Chocolatier candy store. Then, you are invited inside. Then, we are looking through glass of the display case at the candy. Then, she invites us to sample any piece of candy. Then, she invites us to take some candy and go share it with all the people we meet. We move from outside the store, to inside the store, to tasting the blessings to becoming an ambassador of the candy store.
That is what the first three blessing of Romans five is like. Overstated?
August 23, 2020
Los Alamos Church of Christ
Copyright © 2021 Los Alamos Church of Christ - All Rights Reserved.