Delivered on Sunday 3/28/10

We live in a world that greatly desires peace. Peace is a hot topic today. Everywhere you go it is more than likely that you will see a peace sign. People are always talking about peace among the nations and how to attain it. We are clamoring, trying to figure out how nations can live in peace with one another. There is a massive gathering called the U.N. who’s purpose is to make nations live at peace with one another. We want peace throughout the world. Even the most war accepting person would want a world where peace rules.

We want to live in peace. We want peace with ourselves and peace with our neighbors. We don’t want to have to go out of our homes carrying fire arms because we are afraid of the neighbors.

We want peace with our families. We don’t want to have to constantly face children that are angry with us. We want to live knowing that there is no one who has a grievance against us.

Yet there is a peace which we must seek for that transcends all the other peaces. It is a better and more important peace. We can strive to have peace with men, but there is a much more important peace we must seek to have. For if our creator has a grievance against us, we have a major problem.

It is amazing when we will seek so hard to have peace with one another yet totally forget God. Or we automatically assume that God is fine with us. But when we read in the Bible we read something totally different.

Why do we need peace? We are at enmity with God

i. First part of Romans.

1. 1:16-32 is about People suppressing the truth of God. They recognize what God wants from them and they willingly reject it. And thus living in complete rebellion against God.

2. 2:1-29 is about living up to the law’s demands. If one can be good then they will be accepted. Yet we cannot live up to the law

3. 3:9-20. all are under sin. When we stand before God’s law all are condemned as guilty. We have all broken the law of God and never stand before God as good people.

4. 3:21-4:25 being justified by faith in Christ. And how that truth is shown by Abraham.

Main point: Peace with God. How do we attain it?

Rom 5:1-2a. This section is about how one attains peace with God. A peace where there is no hostility between you and God. Where you can come to Him freely with Him having no grievance against you. Where there is only acceptance and reconciliation.

We are going to talk about what it means to be “justified.” And then what it means to be justified by “faith.” Because it is by these we have peace with God.

Rom 5:1

1. past action: justified (by faith). There is a past action that has happened in a believer’s life. We read the words, “since we have been.” And what happened to a believer in the past? We were justified by faith.

a. what is justification. What does it mean that we are justified. Let us talk about this word, “justification.” I know that we can come across big words in the bible and want to quickly move on. But doing such is a big mistake. The realities communicated by these words are beautiful and glorious as we will see with this word.

i. To be justified or have justification means that God declares you righteous before Him. It is where God makes people who are sinner, righteous before him. It is a legal act. Just like a judge would say that person is innocent or guilt. The criminal stands before the judge and the judge will say guilty or innocent. God says to the person who has faith in Christ that they are justified, declared to be innocent before Him. God looks at the person before Him and say, “I declare you to be perfect in the sight of the law. I do not see any wrongs you have done.” Now why can God do that?

ii. This is only Because of Christ. God does not justify someone because they tried really hard to be good. No, Jesus is the perfect one. He did all that the law demanded. He is the one person who was not a sinner. Thus, when one has faith in Jesus, Jesus’ perfect obedience is credited to your account. Meaning, God see Jesus’ perfect obedience as your obedience. You don’t come up to God and say, “look at how I obeyed you!” You, say, “Jesus was obedient for me. So I am accepted.” If you were in a legal court God no longer looks at your record, instead He looks at Christ’s record.

iii. So there are the two parts. 1) God looks at the perfectness of Jesus and not my imperfectness. 2) And thus He will see me as being righteous. He justifies me.

b. what is faith

i. faith is not faith in faith. One hears about faith constantly in this culture. Faith is a popular. You stand around where you work and you hear people talking about the need to have faith. There is a specific section in the paper that has to do with faith. Every one is talking about their personal faith and how it is good for them. Having faith is very acceptable today. The problem is that “just faith” will not save you.

ii. faith is trusting in the finished work of Christ on your behalf (4:24-25). Looking at verse 24 in chapter 4 we see that it is faith “in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord.” It is faith in the real, living God that God will recognize.

1. Just think through the Old Testament. Do you not think that people had faith in Baal? Do you not think that the Egyptians had faith in their gods? Faith means nothing! It is the person who you have faith in which matters. Think about real life, can I get in to my car that is empty of gasoline and then just have faith that when I push the gas pedal it will go? No! The car is unable to perform what I need it to. It does not matter how much “faith” that I have. Faith means nothing when what or who we have faith in is unable to perform that we need it to do. So one can have faith all they want and it will end them up in hell at the end.

2. What matters is who you have your faith in. It is faith in Jesus Christ who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for your sins, gave you his righteousness, and rose again. It is Him who your faith has to be directed to. If you place your faith in any other object or person it will fail!

iii. It is faith in Jesus alone. How you attain this justification is by nothing else but having faith in Jesus. In His work on your behalf and nothing else. Only by believing that Him being delivered up for our trespasses, and Him being raised for our justification is all we need.

1. Our church attendance meaning nothing to this justification. It is not, our faith in Jesus plus how well we attend church. The amount of time we spend reading the bible doesn’t mean anything either. It is faith alone in Jesus that gives this justification. No obedience on our part contributes anything to this justification. It is by faith alone, in Jesus alone which give us this justification.

2. That is why justification is a past action, “we have been justified.” It is not something which we keep on trying to attain. Every morning is not a new morning to try and be justified. You are not to go throughout the day trying your hardest to be justified. It is a done deal! When one has faith in Jesus, they have been justified! It is because one has faith in Jesus alone that they are justified.

2. present result: peace with God. So we now read what comes from this justification by: peace with God.

a. No hostility. God is no longer hostile against you.

  • i. Because one is under sin they are against God. one who is not a believer in Jesus Christ is not on friendly terms with God. Rom 3:9-18.
  • ii. However, because one is justified by faith in Christ alone, all this sin is gone! It is all washed away by the blood of the lamb! And now we are at peace with God.
  • iii. God has nothing against those that have been justified. There is no fear of rejection, no fear that God has something against you, no fear that He will strike you because of a sin which you commit. There is only Peace. Peace with God

Application:

1. Do not look to your works for you standing before God.

The foundational way a believer relates to God is by a justification which comes by faith in Jesus. Understand that how you are made right with God is not by your obedience but by faith in the work of Jesus.

There is temptation for Christians to start trusting in their works for justification. Christ’s work on the cross starts to fade out of picture and the basis of our relationship to God becomes, how well we attend church, how much we read the bible, how much more obedient we are than the other people. Those things start to become our basis.

2. Don’t basis your relationship with to God on your feelings. Christ is your basis.

So when you get up in the morning, when you go about through the day, when you see that you are sinning again and again, have faith that it is Jesus who has justified you! And no matter how bad you feel, because of Jesus you have peace with God. I know, that I get up in the morning, the alarm is going off, and I don’t feel very justified. But I am! And I know the feeling I received after I have fail again and again the course of the day. Not very justified. But I am! Not because I am good. But because I am justified by faith in Christ. Make Jesus you foundation, not your feelings.

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