Monday, July 20, 2020

Living By Faith #3: Faith and Salvation – Romans 4:23-5:21

Living By Faith #3: Faith and Salvation – Romans 4:23-5:21


The first half of Romans chapter 1 gives us the theme for the book, which was a letter when Paul wrote it to the church at Rome. The theme is the righteousness of God and it is clearly stated in
Romans 1:16-17 Tells us that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Next Paul states in Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Now from Romans 1:18-3:20 Paul shows that All are guilty before the righteousness of God.
Romans 3:22-23 22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The rest of chapter 3 tells us that God has overcome man’s guilt through “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
And once again we see the theme of God’s righteousness in vs. 26

Then in Romans 4 we see how Abraham was justified by faith. Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

So once we finish chapter 4 we now have the plan of salvation. To be saved all a person must do is know they are guilty before God’s righteousness and believe in Jesus Christ as God’s propitiation, his covering over, his hiding of sin, by the death of Christ for us.

And here was my misunderstanding about the book. I have always viewed chapter 5 as a further explanation of how a person is saved or as Paul describes it, justified. But Paul is not amplifying or expanding the means of salvation in chapter 5. He is now going on too revel in the blessings of salvation. He shares the joy and wonder of living as a child of God after salvation.

Romans 4:23-25 give us the conclusion of how we are justified.
 Now it was not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, 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.
So Paul finishes how we are justified and no goes on to ….

Salvation Living! - Romans 5:1-5 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  

The Blessings Of Salvation

In vs. 1-5, Paul lists seven blessings that are ours after our justification. The verbs he uses are all in the present tense and express constant activity, constant daily life blessings.

He says we have peace with God
We have access by faith into this grace
We now can glory in tribulations
Because through tribulations we have patience, endurance.
And as we endure, we gain experience, because we will not quit.
Then as experience is gained and we see how God delivers and protects then we will have a hope, that maketh not ashamed. Hope that is never disappointed.
Paul finally says we will never be disappointed in our hope because the Holy Spirit has been shed abroad, poured out generously, in our hearts.

 Salvation Living Now

I was so used to view Romans 5 as a doctrinal discourse on justification that I missed the point of the chapter as Paul wrote it. Its not so much how we are justified but instead just look at what blessing we have because we are justified.

In times like these and in all tough times of life and there are many and there will be many more, we need to remember the blessing of salvation found in Romans 5.
These days we are surrounded by turmoil, riots, protests but it is of no account because God’s Word declares we have peace with God. When it seems that events will become too much for us we just have to remember that we have access to grace. I can go to the throne and find strength with my Heavenly Father.

Oh yes, there are many tribulations, we are dealing with a worldwide, plague, forced unemployment, bills going unpaid but here is what you need to hear, “we glory in tribulations” because we are blessed as the children of God and tribulation only mean we will endure when all others have collapsed and given up. We will endure and gain the experience that can only come to those who grow stronger through hardships. We will stand in hope, unashamed and unbeaten because we are the children of God and the Holy Spirit of God is poured into us.

Illustration: Declaration of A Child of God awaiting execution.

"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, letup, slow down, back away, or be still. 

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. 

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. 

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. 

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. 

I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me- my banner will be clear!" - by an Anonymous African Pastor- nailed to his wall prior to his execution.

Transition: Nor is Paul finished with the wonder of the Christian life. In vss. 6-11 he tells us of …

Salvation Joying! -

Romans 5: 6-11 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.    

Joy in Jesus

In that last verse Paul says “we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Isn’t that a truth we need to grasp everyday? If we go back in the paragraph we can see why can joy in Jesus.

We joy in Jesus because he died for us, and we could never deserve sinners such as we were could never deserve such a gift. We joy in Jesus because we are justified by His sinless sacrifice and not our ineffectual goodness. We joy in Jesus because we are justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath. We joy in Jesus because we were reconciled even though we were enemies. We joy in Jesus because if we were reconciled as enemies by Jesus death, imagine what God has in store for us as His children by Jesus life.

We joy in Jesus because God has given Him as our atonement, the payment for the penalty of my sin.

Where Is our “Jesus Joy?”

I love the word joy, when it comes to describing the happiness that we as Christians should have. Now I don’t believe there is a big difference between the words joy and happiness as they are used in the Bible. I just like the word joy. My Mom liked it so much that she named my youngest sister, “Shanna Joy” and my sister liked is so much she name both her daughters Terrica Joy and then she got real creative and name her last child from the Bible after a land and a famous woman, “Tirzah” and yes you guessed it she gave her the middle name Joy. So when she was born she could say, “When you were born I had Tirzah Joy.” I also have dearly love aunt name Joy. So maybe I love the word because of family connections but all of us should love the word because of the Jesus connection. In the last lesson of life that Jesus taught the disciples before he went to the cross, joy was one of the themes.

John 16:20-22  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

John 16:24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Then one of my favorite verses, John 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
We was talking about us, we were the world that he was speaking to and what he said was listen to me, believe in me, follow me and you will have my joy in you.

Illustration: Beaming Faces Revealed Gold Secret

This story is told regarding the beginnings of the Anaconda Mining Company:
Setting out from Bannock, Montana in search of gold, a group of prospectors went through hardships. Several of their company died en route. They were overtaken by Indians who took their good horses. Discouraged, the prospectors sought to make their way back to Bannock.

As they journeyed back, one of them casually picked up a little stone from the creek-bed. Upon cracking the rock with a hammer, he declared, "There may be gold here."

The company panned gold in the same creek and realized fifty dollars—a great sum in those days. They said: "We have struck it rich!"

Making their way to Bannock, they vowed not to breathe a word concerning this gold strike—and they kept their word. Quietly they equipped themselves with supplies for another prospecting trip. But when they were ready to go back, three hundred men followed them. Who had told on them? No one! The writer of the book accounted thus for the incident: "Their beaming faces betrayed the secret!" - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

Transition: Now what else could Paul possibly add to the blessings we have in salvation and the joy we have in Jesus? The next verse takes it one step higher. Not just salvation blessing and joy today but Salvation Reigning With Jesus.

Salvation Reigning -Romans 5:12-17

 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: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  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.  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.  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.  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.)

Reigning With The Redeemer

As you read this last paragraph from vss. 12-17, look at the contrast that Paul is building. A contrast between what was and what is, who we were and who we we are now.
Vs. 12 says “Wherefore” so we know that Paul is drawing a conclusion or giving a summary from all that has been said before. 

Romans 5:12 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:
So he sums up what he proved in the first chapters of Romans, all have sinned and death is proof of that sin. No way you can argue with that, death always has the final word. And Paul says that final word is all have sinned.

Then in vs. 15 he gives us the contrast between what Adam did and his gift of death to what Jesus did and his gift of life. Romans 5:15 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.

The KJV wording here is awkward in our ears, but it is saying, “But the free gift is not like the offense.” Its completely different, there is no comparison only a vast contrast, because Adams legacy to us as our federal head, is sin and death but Jesus gift to us is life. If many are dead through Adam’s sin, much more the grace of God and the gift of God through Jesus Christ has been abundantly given to many.

Then in vs 17, He gives us our final blessing of salvation, Romans 5:17 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.
Now in place of Adam’s sin making death our ruler, through the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness we are made rulers in life though Jesus Christ.

So, we then are left with one question, one exhortation, one wonderful reality to grasp…

Are We Ready to Reign?

It is easy for us to lose sight of who we are as Christians in this world. That’s why you can never read to much Bible or repeat the truths of Romans. We are viewed by this world as inconsequential, a nuisance, even as evil in this present history of our country. And too often it is too easy to fall into a state of mind that accepts the worlds view, not as truth but as the way things are now. Into that state of mind we need the Holy Spirit to bring the words of Romans 5:17 “We reign in life.” We are rulers of our life through the abundance of grace and gift of God’s righteousness. We are rulers now.

Paul told the Corinthians church, in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Jesus speaking to the apostles in Luke 22:29-30 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

No matter what opposes us or seems to defeat us, the truth is that in this life, right now we are reigning with Jesus Christ. What a difference it will make when we know we are rulers over our sin, rulers over our worries, rulers over our problems through the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness in Jesus Christ.


   General Jonathan Wainwright was the commander of the American troops in the Philippines during WWII. When Japan invaded the islands, it was quickly apparent that the American forces were vastly outnumber and outgunned. General MacArthur ordered Wainwright to hold off the Japanese at the island of Corregidor, at all costs, while he retreated and tried to save what ships and personnel he could. Finally, after fighting for weeks, with no new supplies or reinforcements and under threat by the Japanese of a massacre of all the troops and civilians on the islands, Wainwright surrendered. He was captured by the Japanese and held as prisoner in a Manchurian Chinese concentration camp. He felt he had failed his country, his superior officer and his men. He was the highest ranked officer ever captured and as such he was cruelly treated.  He became a broken, crushed, hopeless, starving man, physically and spiritually.

The Japanese surrendered on August 14th 1945 and about a week later a United States army colonel was sent to the camp to announce personally to the general that Japan had been defeated and that he was free and in command. After Wainwright heard the news, he was walking back to his quarters when some of the guards who had beaten him, humiliated him and ridiculed him, gave the general an order. Wainwright, stopped, looked his tormentors in the eyes and said, "No, I am in command here! Now, these are my orders."

That’s the way it should be for us after we read God’s word and know the full blessing of salvation. We can look what used to beat us in the eyes and say, “No, through Jesus my Lord, I am in command here.”


Child of God we leave here this morning remember the blessings of your salvation.
We have peace with God, access to grace, glory even in tribulations and unfailing endurance
We are gaining experience, and through that experience we know the power of a hope that can never be disappointed. And over all this we have the Holy Spirit, God’s own presence, poured out into our hearts.

We have Joy In Jesus and we Rule in this Life though Jesus Christ. Now that really is “Salvation Living!” (Exclamation point.)

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