A Threefold Blessing through Jesus

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

We used to have a relationship with the world. Now we are still in the world but our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God and we are His ambassadors from His Kingdom. We can no longer accept the ways of this world for God hates the adulterer. “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Our relationship is no longer with the world but with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. Looking back what benefits did our relationship with the world ever give us that would have lasting peace, access to the grace of a loving Father, and hope in sharing the glory of God the Creator?

Paul says that our faith justifies us before God. Before we accepted Jesus as our personal savior from God’s wrath we were in rebellion against God’s Word. There was a war going on between us and God. It may not be from our view point that we have been at war with God although by our rejection of Him certainly means that we decidedly said we have no need of God. The truth is that we may have not realized that through our rejection of God we are at war with Him, but He is most certainly was at war with us. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36) Through our faith in Jesus we have been reconciled to God, by His righteousness. Our spirits which have been stained by the ravages of sinful living have been washed in the cleansing perfect blood of Jesus. Our sinful soul was once like scarlet but now it is white as wool. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) God does not see us as we were but sees us as we are, forgiven, are sins are as far from us as the east is from the west. “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

By our faith in Jesus we have been justified before God. The word justified comes from the Greek word “righteous” and means “to-declare-righteous.” This verdict upon us includes our pardon from the guilt and penalty of sin. The righteousness of Jesus has been imputed to our account giving us the positive righteousness that we need to be accepted by a righteous and holy God. God sees us as righteous through the righteousness of His Son Jesus whom we have placed our trust in Him to receive that which we cannot obtain on our own. Our justification is a one-time legal declaration which will have a continuing result. Our justification is not an ongoing work but a finished work as Christ’s said on the cross it is finished. (John 19:30)

By our justification we now have peace between us and God. The Word peace anticipates the metaphor of reconciliation that we see in Romans 5:10-11. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:10-11)

Our faith in Jesus also gives us access to the grace of God upon which we stand secure. This grace, the unmerited favor of God means that nothing can separate us from the Love of God. By our faith in Jesus we have been placed in the most secure position there is in His whole of creation. It is a place where none can take us from, a place where no evil spirit that travels the heavenly places can reach us. It is not the false securities that we seek in this world but an eternal security that is both now and forever more. We are in the hand of the Good Shepherd. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30) God’s love is beyond our comprehension, it is unconditional and unfailing and there is nothing in His creation that can separate us from His love. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) The kings of this world may show their favor towards us and then they may withdraw it. God’s love is not short sighted and endures forever as God is eternal and unchanging.

The Greek word for introduction is “prosagoge.” This is the word that was used to introduce someone to a king. By our faith in Jesus He prepares the way for our approach to God and to receive His grace. This same idea is used by Paul in his letter to the Ephesian Church. “For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18) In the Old Testament times of all the people of Israel only the High Priest could enter into the holy of holies, and only on the Day of Atonement. Now that we are in the age of God’s grace we have access to our High Priest who is Jesus Christ. Thus through Him we have access into the sphere of God’s grace.

Let us no take a look at the meaning of the word hope. Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. Hope is not a certain thing but a longing that something will come to pass. In our lives we have hoped for many things but all the things we have hoped for have not come to us. Possibly we have had much disappointment in our life as the things we have hoped for have be denied to us. Bottom line is that when our hope is based expectations from events and circumstances which have developed in an uncertainty of realization, then we gamble much on the word hope. The former thought is the definition that the world teaches us about hope. We all hope for good things but not all things we receive through our hope is a good thing. We live in a temporal world that is sifting in time as the sands of the desert. One cannot base their hope on an ever-changing possibility that something good might happen from it. Hope that is not based upon a certainty is a wish that might come true.

The hope of the Christian is built upon the rock of God’s Word. “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) The Word of God is eternal. His Word existed in the eternity of the past and will exist in the eternity of the future. God’s Word created all things. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3) God’s Word is a certainty and the promises that He has made are true. God’s will shall be done. The Christians ultimate hope is that he will share in God’s glory. “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) The Christian has this promise of God upon which to build his hope, a certain hope that will not fail. Mankind was created to have a part in God’s glory. “Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” (Isaiah 43:7) This purpose of God’s creation, this purpose for man, has been spoiled by the sin which has entered into the world. The Christian by his faith in Jesus can be sure of his hope that one day he will share in the glory of God. That will happen on that great day when we are changed, when we receive our glorified bodies and are able to take part in God’s glory. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

Through our faith in Jesus Christ we have been reconciled to God the Father. Through Jesus we are seen as righteous as His righteousness in imputed to us. We can access the Father through our High Priest Jesus Christ and enter in the holy of holies and have fellowship with God. Thus we have been redeemed by the atoning blood of Jesus and now are reconciled before God. No longer are we enemies of God but have become Children of God. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26) Now we are partakers of God’s standing Grace, we receive His unmerited favor knowing that as His children He will be our faithful provider of our needs according to His will and purpose. “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:32) Our faith in Jesus gives us a certainty of hope. This hope is proven to us by the manifestation of His Spirit which dwells within every believer of Jesus Christ. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) The believer’s hope comes through the scripture which is applied to our heart through the power of the Spirit if Truth. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 20, 2014

Durant Bible College

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