Exhortation for worship in church. Text: Romans 5:1, 2.
Just two verses in Romans, but what a wealth of blessing! First, we are justified by faith. What is faith? It means: “I believe Christ died for me, and He rose again on my behalf. I believe Romans 4.25: He died for my sins (offences) and rose again for my justification.” (Resurrection is proof that I have been acquitted, cleared of all charges, and justified before God.)
What does the word ‘justified’ mean? It means more than ‘forgiven’. It means I am declared to be righteous. I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ, Isaiah 61.10. God has not only forgiven my sins, but He has forgotten them. My sins are buried out of sight, out of mind! The huge debt of sin has been cleared; the heavy burden of guilty has been rolled away. I am free. Justified means: “Just as if I have never sinned!”
I am justified by His blood, Rom 5.9. I am justified by faith, Rom 5.1. I am justified freely by His awesome grace, Rom 3.24.
Then secondly, we have peace with God. Once we were enemies to God, Rom 5.10. We hated God; we found fault with Him. We suspected Him; we blamed Him for everything. We hid from Him, just as Adam and Eve hid from Him in the garden of Eden. We were alienated from God, but now we have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, Rom 5.10. We have peace with God. We learn that God has always been for us. He was never against us. God is love; He gave up His only-begotten Son to die a terrible death on the Cross for our sins, John 3.16. And Rom 8.32 goes further, by saying that, having given us His Son, God will freely give us all things!
Thirdly, we have access into ‘this grace in which we stand’. Earlier we lived in bondage and fear. Our hearts were restless, because of sin; and we worried about punishment. We had guilty consciences. But now we know that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, Rom 8.1. Grace has removed the punishment for sin; Christ bore the penalty for sin on the Cross. Now all my sins, past, present and future, are forgiven. Yes, grace is available for present and future sins also. As believers we fail, we fall. But when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, 1 John 1.9, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I am not under the Law; but I am under Grace. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more!Rom 5.20. Grace reigns, Rom 5.1. I am now in the realm of grace. Grace is available to the worst sinner; remember the thief on the cross. Failure is not final; there is grace for restoration. David sinned terribly, yet he was restored, and he became a man ‘after God’s own heart’. Remember this also: When we suffer for sin, God uses that suffering to refine us. It is part of the chastening of His sons. All things work together for good in the life of a believer, Rom 8.28. All our setbacks and tragedies are woven into a wonderful fabric, which we do not see now – but when we are in heaven, we will see that our ‘falls and failures’ have been woven into a glorious work of embroidery, God’s ‘poema’, His superb workmanship, His excellent piece of art.
Fourthly and finally, I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. The grace which saved me, which sustains me, which is transforming me, is leading me on to glory. One day this vile body of mine (the source of all my infirmities and offences), this vile body will be changed into a glorious body, Phil 3.21. And I will be delivered not only from the penalty of sin and the power of sin, but also from the very presence of sin! There will be no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more sin! Rev 21.4. Do you know what glory is? Right now we are being changed from glory to glory. Paul says, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the (glorious) things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” That’s glory. We cannot imagine it; it’s beyond belief!
Keeping these thoughts given to us from the two verses in Rom 5.1,2, let us worship the Lord in spirit and truth.