April 3, 2011, Romans #11
Paul's context is the blessedness of sins forgiven, that is righteousness and justification by faith, and not of faith alone through Christ alone, and Not by works of righteousness which we have done, Titus 3:5.
Paul uses the major saints of old as his example as he defines that blessedness, Abraham and David. That blessedness consists of justification by faith and sins forgiven.
This chapter can be divided into two parts as Paul builds upon what he has presented;
First, vv. 1-11, the results of free grace, or justification by faith. That is free and ready access to God the Father.
Second, vv. 12-21, how the disobedience of one man, Adam, is imputed, or applied to all mankind. And how the obedience of one man, Christ Jesus, is imputed, or applies to many through faith.
V. 1, peace with God.
V. 2, hope, or assurance of our future glory with God.
Vv. 3-5, Divine favor does not mean flowery beds of ease. Rather, the Spirit uses afflictions to assure of God's love and to give us hope.
Vv. 6-10, the assurance of the final salvation of all believers.
V. 11, salvation, or atonement, is not only assurance of future glory, v. 2, but is a present and abundant joy.
V. 1, Peace with God... There are two ideas here:
First, God is at peace with us. We are no longer objects of his displeasure. We are no longer his enemies, but objects of his favor, v. 10. God's wrath agaist us was removed by the death of his Son. Rather, through faith in Christ, we are objects of his favor.
Second, we are at peace with God. We have inward peace, a clear conscience toward God.
Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Paul makes it clear that this peace with God is the result of justification by faith. Those who rely on their own works for justification, can have no peace. They can neither remove the displeasure of God, nor quiet their apprehension of punishment. (Hodge)
V. 1, this peace is part of the blessedness that Paul spoke of in chapter 4. It is only available through justification through faith in Chirst. It can not be through man in any way, not by merit nor by effort. No matter how good those efforts might be, they are all as filthy rags before the thrice-holy God of heaven and earth.
V. 2. Having peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, we also have access to his throne of grace:
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one
Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
this grace wherein we stand. That is, we are firm and immovable in the truth of God as revealed in his word:
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
wherein we stand... Grace prevents our being blown about with every wind and craftiness and deception that comes along.
In Christ, we are on a sure foundation, or hope, that at that time in the future, we will glory in the presence of God. We also have the assurance that our foundation of faith in Christ will not collapse under the stress of tribulation; it provide the grace which allows us to rejoice in hope of the glory of God. For in him, we know that the end result of our tribulation, is boldness, maketh not ashamed.
Vv. 3, 4.
Glory in tribulation... Not only do we glory in our assured future glory, but we glory in present tribulations. Why?
Before our justification by faith in Christ, tribulations and afflictions were expressions of God's displeasure. But now they are manifestations of his love. They prove his love for us as his children:
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Tribulations are not joyous but grievous at the present. But to the believer, they become a matter of joy and thankfulness. For the believer, tribulations are to be cause of rejoicing. Though at the present, they do not seem like it, but they are to bring about the blessing to the Heavenly Father.
Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man... v. 9 Cometh this blessedness...
Matthew 5:4, blessed are they who mourn, v. 10 blessed are they which are persecuted, v. 12, rejoice and be exceedingly glad...
The Apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer
shame for Christ's name, Acts 5:41.
Peter also calls upon Christians to rejoice when they are partakers of Christ's sufferings, and prononced them happy when they are reproached for his sake. 1 Peter 4:13, 14.
Christians do not glory in tribulations and suffering for its own sake, but for what the Bible teaches about tribulations and suffering.
1. It is an honor to suffer for Christ.
2. It is a oportonity for God to show his power.
3. It is a means of sanctification and preparation for usefulness in his Kingdom here and in heaven hereafter.
Notice: If we enjoy hanging around with the unholly here, then how can we enjoy heaven.
While in Indiana, I associated with a preachers' fellowship that exalted those who were involved in tribulation. To them, it was a badge of honor, so several sought that badge. Their efforts had little or nothing at all to do with exalting Christ, but of exalting self among their peers.
4. It is a working of patience in us. That is, constancy. Tribulations
require strength and firmness in the faith to endure tribulations,
and still remain faithful in the most sever trials to truth and
5. It is an experience. Constancy worketh experience. Experience here means trials, evidence or proof. That is, Consistency to our profession of Christ in the midst of tribulation proves or is evidence of God faithfulness to us, and our faithfulness to him.
5. It is an evidence. Tribulation is to produce evidence of the reality of the blessedness of Christianity:
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
We, as Christians, are to consider tribulations proof of God's love, and of his working to conform us to the image of his Son. Endurance of those trials produces hope, strengthen hope and work to glorify God.
The strength in trials is not founded on anything that we might have, but it is found in our assurance of justification by faith, and our boldness before the throne of God's mercy and grace.
V. 5. Hope...
Note how Paul uses hope:
Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Hope is faith in Christ, and confidence that his righteousness is applied to our account.
Paul's context is the blessedness of justification. That blessedness results in a clear conscience of forgiven sin, victory over sin in this life, and the assurance of eternal home with the Father.
Not ashamed... That is, our faith will not be disappointed when we come to the end of our life.
Because the love of God... That is, the basis of our assurance is not our strength or confidence in our own goodness or abilities to "hang on till the end". Rather, our confidence is in the Love of God as witnessed in our hearts.
First, that love is not proved by external circumstances which may be great tribulation, vv. 3, 4.
Second, that love was proved in our hearts by the witness of the indwelling Holy Ghost.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22, Ephesians 1:14.)
Third, that love is witnessed in the death of Christ for the ungodly, v. 6.
The Spirit never witnesses to the children of the devil that they are the children of God.
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
We, God's people, are the object of God's love. Dying for another is the highest proof of love; the death of Christ for his people represents the highest possible proof of his love for sinners.
Without strength... Lack of spiritual strength to do anything that might be considered good.
We can understand that God might love a good, godly, righteous, pure person. But that is not the case here. He gave his son for an ungodly, sinful people who hated him.
If God loved us because we loved him, then only so long as we loved him would he love us. But God loved us as sinners, so his love is not based in any good we have done, but based on the good Christ has done. God's love caused Christ to die in our place for our justification and our salvation.
Regardless of how the world might attempt to present Christ, Christ did not die as an example of love nor as a martyr, but he died as a substitute to pay the eternal price for specific sinners.
V. 7, Paul further emphasizes God's love, again pointing out the unworthiness of the objects of God's love. So far from being good in any sense of the word, we were sinners.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not
inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: [when Christ died in your place]
but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
We had no nor now have righteous in any sense of the word that might have influenced someone to die for us. Rather, we were ungodly sinners who were in love with the sins of the world, flesh and the devil, and were at war with God. 1 Corinthians 6.
V. 8, God proved his love. How can the redeemed believer doubt his love, though all the circumstances might be against him?
V. 9, is the assurance that all believers shall be ultimately saved in the wrath to come.
If Christ died for his enemies, he will surely save his friends.
To be justified means more than to be pardoned. It includes the idea of restoration to the favor of God that Adam lost (reconciliation). That restoration to favor is based upon the satisfaction of God's justice against our sin. That is, the blessedness spoken of by Paul.
V. 9, Justified by his blood, not by our works, our faith, nor our new spirit of obedience. We are justified by what Christ has done for his people:
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Salvation includes justification and deliverance from the eternal wrath to come against sinners. But it is far more; it includes preservation from all causes of destruction, a deliverance from power of the surrounding evils here in this life. It includes introduction into the blessedness of heaven.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
The word salvation (soteria) means deliverance, preservation, victory, and health, and it refers to material and temporal deliverance, as well as personal, national, temporal and material triumph. The biblical doctrine of salvation is so clearly one of victory, that it must be emphatically stated that salvation is not escape. Many pagan concepts of deliverance are really doctrines of escape. (R.J. Rushdoony, Salvation and Godly Rule, p. 1. Ross House Books.)
2. The righteousness of Christ, blessedness, for salvation does not release us from the law of the Lord as revealed in the statutes and percepts delivered through Moses. Rather, the law is established as our standard. As Christians, we now have God's standard established for us, from the inside out. Salvation does not do away with the law; rather it establishes the law for us. Before, we had no standard except ourselves. Now God's law is our standard. Even the unsaved pagans are expected to follow God's standard of righteousness Leviticus 19:15 and 36. Paul has already established the fact that the pagans will also be judged according to the truth, Romans 2.
3. Isaiah 51 defines His salvation as His judgment against sin, eradicating sin (v. 4-6). Moreover, Isaiah 11:4 tells us that His righteous judgment against sin (the rod of his mount, which is His law-word) will result in the slaying of the wicked, the exaltation of righteousness and the earth being filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Revelation 1:16, 2:16, 19:15, 19:21)
Romans 5:10 continues with the idea of v. 9.
Paul has said that as sinners, we are justified, just as though we had never sinned. Then, as enemies, we are reconciled. That is, through Christ, God's eternal wrath against his people is appeased. The death of Christ is the sacrifice that satisfied divine justice. Sanctification is the natural result of justification. If no sanctification, there is no salvation, for if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. 2 Corinthians 7:17, Galatians 6:15.
Lesson on Sanctification. See Ryre.
We are now called friends of God:
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
On the other hand, I cannot identify any place where God is called our friend. That is to say, our fallen nature is still at war with God.
V. 10. As sinners, we were the objects of divine displeasure, but that displeasure has been taken out on his Son.
While sinners, we are justified; while enemies, we are reconciled. It does not say that when we were enemies, we laid aside our enmity against God, and became friends with God. It is God who became friends with us.
Reconciled by his death, saved by his life. All writers like to use parallel constructions, and Paul does so here.
Basically, Paul says that if while were enemies, we were restored to God's favor by the death of his Son. The fact that he now lives will certainly secure our final salvation. There are a great many verses that make this understanding clear. I will only give one:
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
V. 11. There is more to the eternal salvation, of which we are assured. The benefits of redemption start here on earth. Salvation is not only deliverance from the wrath to come, but salvation includes joy and glory in the present favor and love of God.
We owe that joy and glory to Christ Jesus, because he is the one who secured our reconciliation to the Father. It is because of Christ that we have the blessedness promised back in chapter 4.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
V. 11 refers back to v. 2,
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Salvation begins here on earth, at the moment our conversion takes place.