Romans 5:1-11 (No Longer Slaves Series)
Jason White


Can you truly have assurance of salvation?  How do you know if you are saved or not?  Paul teaches us the results of being justified by faith in Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.





Sermon Audio Transcript
So earlier this week I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize, but it was a Tyler number so I answered it. And a guy comes on and introduces himself and says that he is from Visa Security and Fraudulent Services. And I thought, “oh great…please tell me we didn’t get hacked and have all these charges!” And sure enough… “Sir, we are seeing some suspicious activity on your account…It looks like someone is purchasing airline tickets to several places and it is well over a few thousand dollars, and we are just checking in to verify if this is your doing or not.”And I was immediately beginning to think, “Oh no…how did this happen? Am I going to have to pay for any of this or are we going to have to change things with our accounts,” and just how far is this going to affect me…BUT then something hit me…I couldn’t remember this guy using my name or asking to verify any of my account information…and so I started to think about whether this was someone trying to scam me.So I said, “Sir, what assurances do I have that you are who you say you are?” “Oh, well this is so and so from Visa Fraudulent Services.” I said, “Sir, do you know who you are talking to? I mean do you even know my name?”“Sir, someone is trying to use your card for suspicious activity.” Ha, I said, I know that is what you said, but I asked if you knew my name? I said if you can tell me my name, then we’ll continue the conversation. There was a long pause and then he said, “Your name is Fred.” I said, “Goodbye.” Ha…It's crazy, right? I mean it’s so sad…but you know when we are in situations that maybe don’t quite add up or seem too good to be true, we want assurances. “What assurances can you give me that this is true or that you’ll follow through with what you say you are going to do?”And as we dive into chapter 5 of Romans today, I think the apostle Paul may have thought that those who would be reading this letter he was writing, might be asking the same question, “Yeah but Paul, what assurances do I have that what you are saying is true?”B/C what Paul just finished writing about, and you know this if you were here last week, was justification by faith…that simply through putting your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins that you are declared innocent of all charges against you and you are made right with God!But as great as this news is, it can seem like one of those things that is too good to be true…and so I think as Paul is writing, he could sense some of the Romans saying…“Okay Paul, this is all great news, but what assurances do I have that Jesus really is enough to get me to heaven? I mean, if I go all in on Jesus…like I push all my poker chips into the middle of the table, saying ‘I’m betting everything on Jesus to be the only way to get to heaven,’ is that enough? I mean, am I going to find myself standing before the Lord on the final day and hear God saying, “No, I’m sorry you just didn’t do enough to get in…you should have been following all of my laws or at least these certain ones?” “How can I be confident that what you are saying here Paul, is actually true?WE – And these are great questions to ask…they are questions many of us probably ask from time to time…some of you are asking that today who are here for the first time, or just kind of checking this whole Christianity thing out…wondering what the big deal about Jesus is and if He has anything to do with how you can know you make it to heaven when you die. But some of us who believe that, have made a decision to put our faith in Jesus and been baptized, I think we wonder from time to time “Am I really going to get in?” I mean some of you are kids and may be asking, “Okay, I’m like 8 years old…if I put my faith in Jesus and get baptized and I don’t die till I’m 100, is this enough to last me 92 more years?” “And some of you are closer to the other end of the spectrum and going, “Yeah it’s been a long time since I put my faith in Jesus and been baptized, and I’ve done some things in my life that I’m ashamed of.” And you wonder, “Is Jesus really going to let me in?” There are just a lot of us who aren’t quite sure what the future holds…and a lot of us live in bondage to that…it holds us back and keeps us like always looking over our shoulder to see if we are marching to God’s orders the right way…looking over our shoulder to see if He is pleased with us, looking favorably upon us…wondering if we are really okay with Him and if He’ll be gracious enough to really let us in heaven one day.So many of us are probably asking some of the same questions that Paul knew his audience might be thinking at this point in his letter to them at Rome. So let’s see what he said to them, starting in 5:1…GOD - Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,In other words, like we mentioned briefly last week, what Paul is about to say here is tied into what he has just said in the last several chapters about being justified thru faith and not by works…Since we have now been justified through faith alone in Christ alone, here is what is true about us:we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,This is an indicative statement…an objective statement of reality that Paul makes here. In other words, “because we have been justified thru faith WE HAVE PEACE W/GOD.” It already exists…it’s not something you need to go in search of…it’s not something that is going away based your performance or your behavior or actions… you have peace with God…In other words, assurance! So rest assured that peace exists between you and God if you have been justified thru faith. YOU DIDN’T HAVE IT…you were considered an enemy of God b/c of sin in your life… there was a state of war and antagonism…and you had every right at that time to walk around wondering and being nervous and scared about your status with God and what would happen to your eternal state with Him when you died…BUT NOT NOW! NOW, SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED – SINCE YOU’VE BEEN DECLARED INNOCENT AND MADE RIGHT W/GOD THRU FAITH IN JESUS…YOU HAVE PEACE! The result of being justified thru faith is a deep inner rest of assurance…peace w/God. So if you’ve put your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross for you, take a deep breath and rest in the peace that’s been provided for you…BUT THERE’S MORE…Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.I love this b/c there is this myth that many of us as Christians buy into about how grace is just the entrance into a relationship with God but then it becomes about law or our good works and the things we do now that we are Christians…but Paul says here that we gained access by faith into this grace, but then he says “in which we now stand.” In other words, it’s not just the entrance…where God is going to say, “Ok, I’m getting you started thru grace and now the rest is up to you…let’s see how you read your Bible, how you go to church, how you stop sinning, how you serve other people…& then when you get to heaven, we’ll see how you finished up as to whether you get in.” Again, lack of assurance…I hope I do enough now that I accepted Jesus’s gift to really get in one day! NO, it’s grace that is the entrance and it’s grace in which we stand all the way thru our Christian life here and into the next life. It is ALL a gift from God, not by anything that we do…so we can do what Paul says next…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.The word translated “boast” here in the original Greek carries both the idea of taking confidence in and rejoicing in. Because we have peace with God and stand in His grace, we rejoice in the confidence we have to share in God’s glory at the end. And again, it’s not a personal boast, we boast in the Lord and His grace and His ability to provide peace and assurance for us! 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.So just in case someone thought that since we have peace with God and stand in His grace that our lives should be a bed of roses now or just in case some thought that the suffering we do experience proves that Paul is wrong & we don’t have real peace with God b/c suffering is God’s way of punishing us or taking out his wrath on us…Paul writes“NO, actually we will continue to experience suffering in this life, but suffering does not contradict what I’ve been saying about the wonderful blessings of being a Christian b/c God actually uses them to bring about greater blessing! As a matter of fact, Paul said that God uses the suffering in our lives to produce PERSEVERANCE (where we can stand in the suffering that comes our way without feeling like we have to get out from under to experience God’s blessing…no we can experience Christ in the suffering b/c we know we still have peace w/God & stand in His grace and that He is using it for our own good)…And as that happens, Jesus is producing character and hope… a continued confidence in our final assurance b/c God is working even in times like this Many of you knew Teresa Cannon (show picture) who was a member here and passed away back in March at the age of 68…and many of you know that she was born Turner’s Syndrome which causes a lot of health problems throughout her life…she went through a lot of surgeries and really did suffer at times b/c of her health. I saw that first hand when I visited her in the hospital before she passed…but I also saw HOPE…I saw joy in her…as a matter of fact, each time I would visit, there was not one time that she didn’t say, “Pastor Jason, God has been so good to me.” And that was the way she had been her whole life as she suffered with all of these medical problems…This is what Paul was teaching…that we are not slaves to our circumstances in life…we are not slaves and in bondage to suffering, b/c we know God is in it with us…persevering us, producing character, and giving us reassurance and hope…Paul goes on in v. 5 and says5 And hope does not put us to shame,In other words, we will not get to the end one day and say, “Oh man I am so ashamed that I put my faith in Christ to get me to heaven. I am so disappointed b/c now I see that Jesus wasn’t enough for me – that there was more to it.” NO, we won’t say that b/c we will not find that to be true at the end. We will find that it is true at the end for sure, and here’s why Paul says in the rest of verse 5…because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. In other words, we know it will not disappoint us in the end b/c we already have God’s love poured out into us through the Holy Spirit. And watch this…Paul is like, you want me to show you? You want me to show you how God’s love has already been poured out and we won’t show up at the end and see that God really didn’t love us as much as we thought? He says, “let me give you an example…V. 66 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. In other words, it would have been one thing if you had cleaned your life up, started doing all the right things, following God’s ways, treating people well, and all the above and Jesus died for you on that basis…like, Jesus saying “Oh man, I see how Susie has really turned the corner now on being a much better person, so I am going to die for her now.” But that’s not the case, when Paul says “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” that means that when we were all as far away from God as we could possibly be, that’s when Christ died for you. Martin Lloyd Jones in his commentary on the book of Romans puts it this way…The truth about us (when Christ died for us) was, and is, that there was everything in us that was wrong and vile and hateful…everything calculated to antagonize God towards us – enemies, hateful, vile, ungodly, sinners as we were. We must realize that our salvation… arises only and altogether from the love of God in His infinite grace.Okay so here is Paul’s point about assurance and the love of Christ. If your salvation depends on the love of God, and if God showed you that He loved you by letting Jesus die for you even when you were considered His enemy, then you will always be in the scope of His love…always. B/C God does not change…cannot change, and so your love is secure. So rest assured…you will not be disappointed one day to have put your hope/confidence in Jesus as the only way to heaven. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!Now there’s some assurance, right? Paul says “If you have been declared righteous already then that’s your judgment. God has made His declaration that you are innocent and cleared of all charges against you thru Jesus’ blood.” So that’s your declaration in Jesus which means that you will be saved from any future wrath that would have come when you died if you hadn’t put your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross for you. 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! So, we are not just saved through Christ’s death but also through His life! Jesus rose from the grave and still lives today, and the best news is that He comes to dwell in us through the Holy Spirit the moment we put our faith in Jesus for salvation and we are reconciled to God. The relationship that was broken in the garden due to sin is restored, and we are united to God in this relationship forever!So, it’s through His life and the union we have with him that gives us once again final assurance of our future salvation…it is secure.Now, there are also present implications of the salvation we experience through Christ’s life being in us, and Paul is going to expound on this in more in the next chapter, so we’ll leave that till then…But look at how Paul finishes up now in v.1111 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Paul’s already mentioned this idea of boasting or rejoicing in the confidence we have of future glory with him, but here at the end of this section he highlights boasting and rejoicing in the reconciliation we have. And we have it NOW…a relationship w/the Lord through having been already justified & having already been united to Christ. And that is what gives us so much assurance of our future…because basically what Paul has been showing is that the future is so certain, because these things are true of us right now in the present…you are declared righteous…you are united to Christ and reconciled to God even right now. And being an eternal, unchanging God, since this is who you are in union w/Christ then your status will never change YOU – So what does all of this mean specifically for you this morning? Well, it means that if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for you that you are at peace with God because you have been declared righteous and you’ve been reconciled to Him and his love for you will never change, so your final salvation is secure. It means that you don’t have to walk around as a slave…in bondage to what your future will hold for you. You have been set free from death’s grip and you can be free from the worry and stress of making sure you try to present yourself as being a good person before the Lord to stay in good standing with Him. You are in Christ – so you are and always will be in good standing before the Lord). So breath deep, and experience the inner rest that you already have in Christ.And for those of you who are here today and have never put your faith in Jesus to save you…you can have the same assurance in your life too. If you will just go all in on Jesus as the only way to be reconciled to God…b/c that is basically what it means to put your faith in Jesus…When a poker player feels so confident that the cards they are holding will win, they go “all in” – they bet everything they own on those cards. And that is similar to what we are saying when the Bible talks about putting faith/trust in Jesus for salvation. You become so confident that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to God that you quit counting on any other way to get you there…good works, another god, a different religion. You bet everything you have – your life on Jesus and what he did on the cross. So, if you’ll do that, then you will be forgiven, declared righteous, and reconciled to God…and you will receive the same freedom of knowing what will happen to you on your final day.