Much of the middle of the book of Romans speaks to the assurance of salvation that is ours in Christ. This truth is overtly apparent in the middle of Romans five where Paul assures us that, on the basis of our justification and reconciliation in Christ, how much more certain are we able to be that we will be spared from God’s wrath and saved into Christ’s life at the final judgment. These truths are therefore cause for us to exult and rejoice in Christ our Lord. So Christian, where is your joy?
As we continue our study through Romans 5, here we see Paul explaining the nature of God’s love for us. Through his divinely inspired words, we come to understand our total inability to affect our salvation as well as the amazing demonstration of God’s love in and through Christ’s sacrifice for us. Particularly, the fact that Christ died for us when we were at our worst gives us assurance in the present to battle our sin and rest confidently in the grace and love of our Lord.
While Jesus suffered on the cross, He thought about caring for and bringing comfort to His mother, keeping the 5th commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.” Listen to this sermon to hear the heart of Christ for His mother, Mary.
In this passage of Luke, we continue to explore how Christ was welcomed into the world at the time of His birth. He was the Author of the Law, born under the Law in order to fulfill all righteousness. His parents were faithful to fulfill all that the law required concerning his circumcision, presentation in the temple, redemption price, and the sacrifice for Mary’s cleanliness. Even more, when Simeon beheld the Christ child, he erupted with praise, proclaimed the good news, and warned of how Christ Himself would be the dividing line of history, separating believers from unbelievers.
The second words Christ spoke from the cross were “Truly I say to you, ‘Today, you will be with me in paradise.’” In these gracious words, Christ assures a believing thief of his inheritance of heaven. Here we have an example of what it means to be soundly converted through a sight of Christ.
Jesus was born among a conquered people to a common family under coarse conditions, but every circumstance surrounding His birth was in accordance with the sovereign purpose of God. From the proclamation of the angels to the earnestness of the shepherds, we see the good news of salvation begin to unfold before the world and we learn again the wonder of the incarnation as we are brought to the manger to worship heaven’s King.
Enduring suffering and building a proven character have a way of making us understand what is really important and lasting on this life. Our trials do not lead us away from hope, but to deeper, more certain versions of our hope. Our tendency in our immaturity is to invest ourselves in so many fleeting and temporal things. It is through our trials and tribulations that we are made to see again and again that the things of this world offer no true comfort, no true fulfillment, and certainly no future. Through our trials, God build in us appetites that only heaven can satisfy.
As we transition into Romans 5, Paul makes a distinct shift in his thought as he now begins to enumerate the blessings of our salvation along with developing a theology of our sanctification in these subsequent chapters. In these introductory verses, Paul give us insight into our past, present, and future as believers in Christ: Our Past — We have peace with God; Our Present — We stand fully and irrevocably in His grace; Our Future — We rejoice in hope of His glory.
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The first words Christ spoke from the cross were “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Here we see Christ’s compassion toward sinners who were determined to hurt and kill Him, and we learn of His great love for us, as well as the way we should treat our enemies.
Abraham was Reckoned righteous by God on the basis of his faith — that is biblical justification. When we compare the example of Abraham to the full revelation of the New Testament, we see an inherent continuity in the promise of redemption. Intrinsic to that promise is the resurrection — “He was raised for our justification.” So justification is more than just a forensic transaction. It also involves a living relationship with God through our union with the risen Christ.