Monday, January 30, 2023

2023.01.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 5:9–11

Read Romans 5:9–11

Questions from the Scripture text: How does the assurance attained in Romans 5:9 compare to the hope that what came before it? What has happened to us to make it “much more”? Through what have we been justified? What can we be even more sure will happen to us? From what will we be saved? Through what (Whom!) will we be saved from wrath? What was our status, when we were justified by His blood (Romans 5:10)? What did this justification do between us and God? Through what? How does our confidence about the second half of the verse compare with the confidence we might have had for the first? What sure thing is yet to come? By what shall we be saved? What are we now able to do in God, rather than fear His wrath (Romans 5:11)? Through Whom? What have we received through Him?

What confidence and joy come from knowing God’s love to us in Christ? Romans 5:9–11 looks forward to the sermon in this week’s midweek meeting. In these three verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that as the Spirit increases believers’ knowledge of God’s love for them in Christ, He increases their confidence and joy. 

Being made right with God through faith (Romans 5:1a) has brought us into a new condition of life. Not a condition of sin and misery, but a condition of holiness and joy. We have seen that these come not through comfort and ease, but through sufferings. But they come! As tribulation produces endurance, we see the first shoots of the tree of everlasting holiness that the Lord is growing. So despite believers’ troubles, their life is a life of rejoicing, a life of glorying: glorying in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2), glorying in tribulations (Romans 5:3), and now glorying in God Himself (end of Romans 5:11). 

Justification was just the beginning. We say “beginning,” but it really comes in the middle. As we have been hearing, when the Lord brings us to faith in Jesus Christ, we discover that this gift of faith itself proceeds from eternal, electing love (Romans 5:5b). And the height of the display of that love was Christ’s dying for the powerless, the ungodly, the sinner (cf. Romans 5:6-8). Indeed, He still demonstrates that once-for-all love, whenever Christ is preached.

So, justifying a sinner by bringing him to faith in Christ is not the end of his salvation. Christ will save completely. He will bring to completion that salvation which eternal love has purposed. He Who began the work, having determined to do so from eternity, will most certainly complete that work by and on the great day, the day of Christ Jesus (cf. Philippians 1:6). Our passage makes this point twice: “we shall be saved” (Romans 5:9) and “we shall be saved” (Romans 5:10).

More of our salvation is coming in the day of wrath. There is coming a “day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds” (cf. Romans 2:5–6). But believers look forward to that very day with joy as the day upon which their conformity to Christ is completed by the redemption of their bodies in the resurrection (cf. Romans 8:20–23). There is a salvation yet to come. How we shall feel and know ourselves to have been delivered with a great deliverance, when many are being cast body and soul into Hell; but, through totally free and entirely unmerited grace, our happiness is being perfected! 

We can be even more sure of future salvation than we are of present justification. “Much more then” says Romans 5:9. We have not only been justified through faith (Romans 5:1); we have been justified by Christ’s blood (Romans 5:9). Our justification came via the mechanism of believing in Jesus, but its motivation was shown by the bleeding of Jesus. God has demonstrated everlasting love. And if this love was already sure in Jesus for sinners under condemnation, how much more sure we can be of that love for those who are righteous in Jesus. The love is from Jesus and in Jesus, and now we have been united to Him through faith. Much more then we shall be saved!

But we are not only united to the Son; we are reconciled to the Father. God gave Jesus to die for His enemies. Now that we are His reconciled children, can we imagine that He would do less for us? Much more shall we be saved, due to our reconciled status. And Jesus is not now dead but risen, and living, and interceding for us (cf. Hebrews 7:25). Much more shall we be saved, due to our Savior’s resurrected/living status. Much more shall we be saved!

The trifecta of rejoicing. Romans 5:11 brings us to the last of three rejoicings/gloryings in Romans 5:1–11. Now, we are rejoicing in God Himself. This is that glory, the mere hope of which was worth rejoicing in, back in Romans 5:2. This is that usefulness of sufferings, which made them worth glorying in, back in Romans 5:3—that our holiness will be fully functional, enabling us to take full joy in God Himself. 

But we already have God Himself. We are united to the Son. We are the reconciled children of the Father. We are the subjects of the Spirit’s continual love-drenching work. We rejoice in God.

For the believer, the moment of justification is past, and the moment of salvation from wrath is future. But in between, now in the present, we have already God Himself. “We have now received the reconciliation.” And since we have Him, it is Him Himself that is our great joy and glory!

How do you have the Father? How do you have the Son? How do you have the Spirit? By what exercises/disciplines do you keep this on the forefront of your mind and heart so that you glory in Him?

Sample prayer:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise You for the everlasting love by which You have purchased us in time by the blood of Christ. Now that You have reconciled us to Yourself, we pray that You will make us absolutely sure of the salvation that is coming, but that even now in the present, You would make us to know that we have You already, so that we may rejoice and glory in You, Our God, in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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