Can You Stand to be Blessed? – Lite (35 min)

How would you define a blessed person? Is it having great wealth, good health, a loving family, trustworthy friends, and favour in society? I certainly think those things can be blessingsbut depending on the effects on you (or your development), they may not be. What about people who have all of those things, but do not know Christ? What about Christians who have little time for the things of God because of earthly blessings? What about Christians that are in difficult situations? What about Christians physically suffering from sickness or debilitating disorders? Scripture tells us there is no partiality with God; and, since God wants to bless all of His children, is it possible that many believers misunderstand God’s intentions for “blessings”?  

Continuing in the study of Romans, we move into chapter 5 after the Holy Spirit (through Paul) laid the foundational teaching for these new home churches in Rome (and ultimately all believers).

Now, it seems as though the Holy Spirit impresses on the reader to grasp a solid understanding of what they have gained by God’s grace through faith. You see, human beings tend to be motivated based on experiences and feelings (unless there is a higher cause to endure hardship).  When a person treasures someone more than their pleasure or pain, then commitment is possible. Are we truly committed to the LORD; and if so, why?

In Romans 5, we begin to understand how a believer endures (and must persevere) the mountains, valleys, and desert flatlands of this life.  What are the blessings we enjoy now while we are waiting with hope for the promised immortality within the Beloved?

I’ve outlined my study notes as follows:

  1. Five Benefits of Justification (Romans 5:1 to 5).
  2. The Election Bestows Supernatural Strength (Romans 5:6 to 9).
    • Here we will begin to understand how God’s election helps the believer stay the course and the means He has chosen to make us Christlike. At the end, I will place a link to Scriptural Proof of Election for anyone struggling with this.

Five Benefits of Justification

  • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1 to 5). 

How many times have I joyfully repeated this passage without deeply meditating on it? Yes, the indwelling Holy Spirit whispers a calm reverent acknowledgment to God from the believer when reading these verses, but what is so reassuring about this passage? There are so many benefits mentioned throughout Scripture, and I’ve come to understand they all flow from the ones listed here.

Benefit 1: Peace with God

When I consider verse 1, I become overwhelmed that the light of God’s grace has: (1) revealed my need for His Divine intervention due to the corrupted state of the human species; (2) birthed faith in my heart; and, (3) pardoned my guilty sentence. And now, because of this acquittal, my futile battle against God’s will is over. 

Now, as a regenerated person, I have an ongoing peace with God the Father through His Son’s sufficient payment for the penalty of my sin.  

Have you ever really considered that the unregenerate heart is at war with God? God is not fighting us; the unsaved are fighting Him. We talk so much about the love of God that we frequently forget there is a spiritual battle going on between the light and the darkness. 

We forget that if we are not “for” God’s will, we are “against” God. Scripture states it is God’s will to justify souls based on belief on Jesus. Jesus said:

  • The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” (John 3:35).
  • He who hates Me hates My Father also.” (John 15:23).
  • He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21).
  • This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:39).
  • … “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

Scripture states that unless a person receives Christ as Saviour and LORD, they will continue to be an enemy of God. Friends, this is a big deal!

  • “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
  • Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1st John 2:23).
  • “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” (2nd John 1:9).
  • “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Romans 8:6 to 9).
  • “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with GodWhoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
  • “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1st John 2:15 to 16).

That’s pretty clear to me. 

Before accepting Christ and following His teachings, I was at war with God. Without God’s “pardon” declaration, there is “no peace with God”.

Think about that for a moment. If a war has ended, there is cause for celebration; for relief; for rest. Instead of despairingly defending yourself or your position, or expending much energy to vehemently strike out against your opponent, if a war has ended, there is an opportunity to build for the future.  

The terms for peace were drawn up and offered by the Highest Super Power of all forces and authority

All any of us did was give up the futile fight and recognize we were wrong.  

You see, the peace in verse 1 is not a state of mind. It’s an end to hostilities with God, and while it does bring relief, it is not dependent on your actions because it is introduced by Christ and maintained by the Trinity. This is why peace with God is independent of all emotions and circumstances.  

There may be times when our thinking results in an unsettled state of mind, where our faith in dealing with circumstances waivers. Praise God that peace with God has nothing to do with my emotions and everything to do with His election!  I encourage you to read Ephesians 1, verses 3 to 6, 11, and 13 to 14). This will become abundantly clear.

This peace with God was because God willed it. God opened the spiritual ears of those He redeemed to receive His grace through the Word of truth which regenerated our hearts to repent and follow after Christ (and not religious laws that cannot save). Jesus put to death emnity and became out peace which allowed us to have access to the Father and become members of the household of God. Please refer to Ephesians 2:14 to 19. The Son of the Sovereign God, made peace with the redeemed by putting to death (on the cross) the cause of hostility and hatred toward God.

When we are under attack, we can stand on God’s Word since He cannot lie! His Word says that a regenerated person is His new creation.  (2nd Corinthians 5:17, and 21).

We are neither under the law nor without it; rather, we are a new type of person who has the Law of God written on our hearts and is guided by His indwelling Spirit.

If making peace with God was dependent on me and my terms, there would be no peace for I could never, ever, understand nor perform to the wisdom and holiness of God. And while God can condescend to meet me, He cannot change His nature (which is what my terms would have demanded).  

While we cannot have “the peace of God” without having “peace with God”, they are two different things. 

  1. Peace with God only comes from having the “legal pronouncement” of “acquitted”, “all charges dropped”, “pardoned”, or “justified” because of faith in Christ’s finished work. This is entirely a work of God. Nothing about God declaring a person justified depends on a human’s actions.  
  2. The peace of God in our spirits does depend on our free will in terms of yielding to the Holy Spirit’s ministry in us and our obedience. Yes, peace in our hearts is a product of sanctification; and, we must allow this peace to rule. Sanctification is a different experience for every believer and rewards and discipline is based on it. As it is written:
    • “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must doBut above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankfulLet the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:12 to 16).
    • So, despite the circumstances of life, as the redeemed, our role is to bring our emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit (Guide and Comforter) in obedience to His Word. Jesus said:
    • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).
    • These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Benefit 2: Access to God

The New Living Translation states:

  • “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Romans 5:2).

Think about that for a moment. For those who have a total reliance on Christ’s atonement for their sin and know that there is nothing they can do (no works) to keep their position because their position was appointed (it was graced), the following applies (drawing from the study in Romans 3 and 4 and Romans 5 verse 2).  

  • First, God’s grace illuminates our hearts so that we can have faith to believe in Jesus Christ.  
  • Then, upon believing that Jesus is the Son of God who rose from the dead and is forever alive (after having paid the penalty of our sin by dying as our substitute and ascending to Heaven), Christ presents us to His Father

Why; how is this possible? 

  • Because having believed, we now have met God’s righteous requirement of faith for eternal life. (Refer to Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; and Habakkuk 2:4). 
  • Now, because Christ’s atonement made peace for those God graced, Jesus has brought the believing to the Father and introduced us individually as the redeemed child from Adam’s race, but newly regenerated, a new creation in Him. The Father declared His pardon on this new creation; and, our names are recorded in the books of heaven as purchased by the blood of the Lamb of God.  

So, we have been given (graced) an unearned position that bears the title of adopted children of God, “king and priest” to serve our God.  

  • “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6).

You know, if I am trying to earn or keep the position that God gave me, then I am actually insulting His character because it devalues both the Father and Christ with the suggestion that I could ever pay Christ’s shed blood. In essence, I would be rejecting His gift.  (Ephesians 2:8 to 9).   He says that He is all-knowing, unchangeable, good, righteous, and holy.  He cannot violate how He justifies.

Whether I realize it or not, I am either not trusting His character or bringing Him down to the fallen human level if I try to repay or earn His gift. But that’s part of the problem. Since humanity is corrupted, it is only natural to wrongly presume things about God from an inaccurate or even sensory perspective. This is why He gave us His Word and the Holy Spirit.  

Just to elaborate on this inability to perceive correctly, please consider this. When Jesus came to establish His Kingdom, those He preached to (whether a disciple or otherwise) had great difficulty perceiving His identity and purpose despite many prophecies about the Messiah.  On one occasion Jesus told the disciples:

  • “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13 to 17).

You see, even Jesus told them that humanity (flesh and blood) could not unveil the Deity of Christ, only God the Father.

It was God’s will (His plan) that included the extension of His grace. It was Christ who made peace by being the offering for sin and it was Christ’s introduction to the Father that gave us access.  Since this was Their eternal intention, we can be confident!  This is why we can stand in His presence today!

And the Godhead does not renege on Their gifts. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29). 

And, we joyfully look forward to our inheritance.  One daywe will be perfected. As adopted children of God, we are in a place right now of immovable, unchangeable favour, and eternal peace with God.  We now operate in a place of the Godhead’s protection, blessings and training. Within this position, we willingly and joyfully obey our Saviour’s commands out of love for Him (which was given to us) and because we have been changed(Ephesians 2:10)

The fear of the LORD in the adopted children of God is the understanding of the awesomeness of God to the degree it makes us tremble; but, this knowledge-based fear does not cause us to run away because we know Jesus gave us access and the Father ordained it. 

This realization of God’s grace removes any desire to be at war with God.  

Thank you, my Father, for your redemptive plan and calling! (Romans 8:28 to 30).  I know that I am not my own, because I have been bought with the price of your perfect blood. (1st Corinthians 6:19 to 20). 

Have you ever wondered why the Godhead would be willing to endure so much to bring humans into His kingdom? Think about it. Why would the Father suffer as His beloved Son was physically bearing my shame? Why would the Son want to share His inheritance with us? And why does the Holy Spirit tirelessly work with us on sanctifying us?

I have heard many say that it is because God wanted a family. It seems to me that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who love each other completely are a family. I am not discounting Romans 8:29. In addition, They are surrounded by Cherubim, Seraphim, and all of the heavenly hosts. Trust the Word me on this. According to the first 3 chapters of Romans, there is nothing lovely about our species without His regeneration.

Is God’s grace about saving us, and blessing us, just because He loves us so much that He just wants us to be happy all the time? Is it because He loved us more than Christ? Hmmm. It is written:

  • But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesusthat in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4 to 7).

God saves because it testifies for all of eternity that God is love, gracious, merciful, righteous and holy. Any of God’s creation that would ever accuse Him of being anything less only needs to glance at the redeemed to see how wonderful He is. We are evidence to fallen angels who will be judged. And those He redeemed will voluntarily agree with God’s worthiness for all eternity without any thought of rebellion. Praise God!

I think we need to look up a few words so let’s do that now.   In Romans 5:2, the “access” that Jesus gives us is actually “our introduction” so to speak.  In Greek, the word in this verse is “prosagōgḗ” which includes the “act of bringing to” or granting “admission”. 

Refer to Strongs G4318 which indicates that this admission provides the admitted with an assurance of approach. This word is only used in two other Scriptures. One is Ephesians 2:18 and the other reads:

  • “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” (Ephesians 3:12)

Considering this, aren’t you overjoyed that God’s Son is the reason we have the assurance the Father will always allow us to approach Him in prayer regardless of our faults? This does not mean His answer will always be what we want. No, thankfully.  His answer will be what is best. It will be for His glory and our good (Refer to Romans 8:28). Jesus said:

  • Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7 to 11).

Figuratively speaking, His Highest holds out a welcome sceptre to the redeemed because of His Son; and, because the Holy Spirit indwells the believer! I may rush into His courts in urgency (and not so politely if need be) with a “Help Father” and He will give me His attention because my title is “acquitted” and “adopted child of God”.  He will give me an answer that is best for me and all those involved; and, it will bring Him glory.

It is important to know that standing (position or title) and state are not the same things. So, access is granted to those who He predestined in eternity past. 

That said, those He predestined are justified in a moment within the dimensions of time. This is the reason we preach the gospel. When we love the LORD, we love His will. Many unsaved people are predestined to be justified. Just as God sets the terms of peace with Him, He also chooses the means by which He calls (including the era or age). 

We have no right to presume we know who God saves. There are plenty of examples in Scripture where murders, liars, adulterers, and thieves (and whatever else) were justified.  

  • “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. … For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1st Corinthians 1:18 and 21).

Praise God! It is so very amazing that pre-appointed, unearned access was permanently granted at an appointed time. What an assurance. We will talk more about assurance as we move through Romans 5. For now, understand there are 3 stages of salvation: justification, sanctification and glorification.

  Believers Have Been:

  • Justified by grace through faith; declared to be in Christ’s righteousness and as such are in a right position with God. They are delivered from the guilt and penalty of sin. This happened (past tense) at a specific time in history as a one-time event when a believer received faith and repented.

 Believers Are:

  • Yielding to the Holy Spirit’s work in the heart which is becoming increasingly holy, righteous, and set apart apart from the world. They are being delivered from the power of sin by crucifying the fleshly desires and renewing the mind in the Word. This happens (current tense) moment by moment in life on earth as the believer commits to putting on Christ’s nature and denying self . Ongoing repentance for new missteps is a part of life.

 Believers Will Be

  • Removed from the presence of sin; made righteous. This will happen (future tense) when we pass from this life into the next by either death or the catching away. This is when the believer is glorified. We will forever be with the LORD in His unimpeded presence wherever He goes.
  • “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24 to 25).

This is so liberating because my focus is on praising God rather than being defeated by my inadequacies. My access has been graced to me with God’s foreknowledge of all of my sins (past, present, and future). And it is on this basis, I can have no inhibitions to receiving His love. I am shamelessly and joyfully standing dependent on the LORD in a world that promotes independence. May I learn to trust Him more so that I willingly yield more.

Benefit 3: Hope in the Glory of God

The last part of Romans 5:2 states that believers rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. What does that mean? Let’s start with some terms.  

First the word “rejoice”: The original Greek word that is used is “kaucháomai”. This word has been defined by Strong’s (G2744) as to make boast, glory, joy, and rejoice.  It is to boast a thing on account of a thing. Here are examples of where this word is used:

  • ” “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather (here is the word G2744) boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9).
  • “But God forbid that I should (here is the word G2744) boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
  • “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, (here is the word G2744rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,” (Philippians 3:3).

From these verses, we understand when it is appropriate to boast. Boasting in the LORD is valid.  Boasting in the flesh or what the world considers important is vain glorying (Revelation 18:17 and 1st Corinthians 1:29).

The peace of God that gave me access to Him results in boasting about Him and the work He has done; and, in testifying to this, joy is realized, a deep inner exceeding gladness. And this joy is part of my strength.

  • “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.” (Psalm 28:7).

The second word we will look at is “hope”. The original Greek word that is used is “elpís”. This word has been defined by Strong’s (G1680) as to anticipate, usually with pleasure; to have an expectation or confidence.  

The remainder of the verse explains our hope is in the glory of God which brings us to the next phrase we will review: the glory of God. Strong’s (G1391) is “doxa”; and, Strong’s (G2316) is Theos. This terminology expresses the magnificence, excellence, pre-eminence, dignity, and grace of Divinity. This describes the condition of Jesus Christ after He had achieved his work on earth and ascended to Heaven where He forever lives to make intercession for us.

Jesus prayed for his followers saying:

  • And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. … “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:5, 24)

It is written:

  • “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11).

And can you imagine that Jesus also prayed that believers would join to the Godhead to share this blessedness so that we could glorify God forever and also enjoy Him forever? Please read John 17:20 to 24.  Wow!

Friends, we truly want everything to be about God’s glory and goodness. It’s His goodness that gives us the benefits. All truly regenerated Christians will receive a glorified body like the resurrected Christ and be perfected! Praise God. 

We will be His and under His rule. Christ will remain under the Father, and God will fill all. Oh, the perfect humility of Christ. He loves His Father so perfectly that while He shares the same qualities as the Father, He submits to the order of the Godhead. I have NO PROBLEM being subordinate to the Giver and Sustainer of life in a condition where I have been perfected by Him and fulfilling His eternal purpose! He is the highest good!

Jesus will forever be preeminent. 

At the end of the ages, God promised to regenerate this planet which will be subject to futility (Genesis 3:17) until such time. Even creation is longing for the day believers will be glorifed. Please read Romans 8:18 to 21.

God created humanity in His image to reflect His glory and believers will once again walk in unhindered fellowship with our creator, fulfilling dominion over the works of His hands. (Refer to Hebrews 2:5 to 9 in light of Genesis 1:26 to 28; Psalms 8:5 and 6; Ephesians 4:24; and Colossians 3:10).

Now let’s return our focus to the word “hope” (G1680). Here are examples of its use:

  • “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Romans 8:24).
  • “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. … Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:4, 13).
  • looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13).
  • Also consider 2nd Corinthians 3:12; Galatians 5:5; 1st Peter 1:3; and Titus 1:2,

This saving, purifying, sustaining God has placed the hope of eternity with Him in us so we confidently expect the day when our faith becomes sight.  

  • “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1st John 3:2 to 3).

We confidently endure our training on earth with exceeding joy.

As it says in Romans 5:3 and 4:

  • We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”(New Living Translation).

Benefit 4: The Love of God

  • Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts …” (the first part of Romans 5:5).

This confident expectation of God’s glory is not just knowledge acquired by study; nor is it faith we conjure up by our will. We have this hope because God poured out His love into our hearts. We are certain that He will sustain us, complete us, and then fulfill His eternal purpose because we know He cannot change nor can He lie.  We know His great love He has for us because when He regenerated the heart, He placed His love in it.  

If the Father loved His Son and the elect so much that He and His Son were willing to endure so much to purchase our salvation, we can be assured that He will fulfill His promise to unite us in Christ.   

  • “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His namewho were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12 to 13).

Consider this passage closely:

  • “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinnersChrist died for usMuch more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when 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 that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:8 to 11).

Now consider that nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 and 39 New Living Translation)Lord, thank you for the Love of God deposited into my heart!

Benefit 5: The Holy Spirit

So how did we receive this love? Let’s look at Romans 5:5 in its entirety now.

  • Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5).

Do you see what a gift justification through faith is? God decided in eternity past to save us. He sent His Son to pay the penalty of sin for humanity. Jesus preached the Gospel and trained others to do the same. He laid His life down and rose again. Those whom God calls, hear His voice and respond in a faith that is born of the Holy Spirit whom God deposits in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit speaks to the redeemed confirming everything that Jesus said.

It is written:

  • “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17, New American Study Bible 95).
  • “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appearednot by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3 to 7).

After spending so much time defining the depravity of all human beings (Romans, chapters 1 to 3), and after explaining the need for God’s intervention to save souls through the righteous requirement of faith in Christ to pardon (Romans, chapter 4), Paul, through the Holy Spirit introduces the seal of salvation to the church. This is the first time in Romans that the Holy Spirit is mentioned.

This indicates that every believer’s justification was a result of the Godhead’s past actions. This means (in this age of grace) that when we first believed in Christ, the Holy Spirit poured out His love in our hearts, and this love, God’s love, remains in our hearts for a future purpose. As it is written:

  • “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. … Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:1, and 5 to 8).
  • “In Him (Christ) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believedyou were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promisewho is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13 and 14).

If you reread Romans 5:5 to 11, you should notice that the love of God that the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts was given to the believer while helpless and unable to find a solution to the war with God. So, at the point of being declared pardoned, the Holy Spirit regenerated our hearts through God’s love (verse 5) and sealed us so that we will be saved (future tense, see verses 8 and 9) from the wrath of God through faith in Christ.

Friends, do you see it?  Every member of the Trinity actively participated in the believer’s regeneration and They are actively securing your eternity with Them. Until we are glorified, the Holy Spirit will continue to train us to be holy. This training requires our participation which we will talk about briefly next.

The Election Bestows Supernatural Strength

What wonderful benefits we have as children of God! Let’s take another look at why we have been given these gifts. Now that we have access by faith to the Father, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (now refer to Romans, verses 3 and 4).

  • And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” 

This love of God (deposited by the indwelling Holy Spirit) gives the believer the strength to persevere with joy and hope in the Glory of God. 

The love and joy experienced in relationship with the Godhead are worth enduring the storms of life. Walking a life of obedience to the Holy Spirit’s guidance through the Word can be challenging because He is bringing us up to the standard of loving God like Jesus loved God (and He was certainly tested and endured much).

Jesus loved God unto perfect submission and trust. That is not natural, it’s supernatural. 

The Holy Spirit will train us to be like Christ which ultimately separates us and makes us look so distinct (Titus 2:14 and 1st Peter 2:9) that the uncommonness is not always applauded by those around us. It means we will not embrace every teaching, philosophy, and ideology that is common in society. (James 4:4). Most of society wants to be free from biblical standards. Within a cancel culture, that creates animosity. 

Jesus said:

  • Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sakeRejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22 to 23).

It is also written in the epistles:

  • “…, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9 to 10).
  • “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).
  • “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (2nd Corinthians 4:17).

You see, the reason we can rejoice in tribulation is that the Holy Spirit strengthens us with God’s love for Him and each other; and, the Holy Spirit prays for us, just as Jesus does. 

In addition, we can rejoice because we know that the trials we face are temporary and changing us into Christ’s likeness. One day, believers will be in an eternity void of trouble.  

Regardless of whether the pressure of trials comes from blessings or calamities, how we handle tests is very important. We must recognize all tests as divinely appointed for God’s greater purpose. He may even use the enemy’s schemes to create inner strength through the armour of God. Call it resistance training to learn how to stand (Refer to Ephesians 6:10 to 20).

Every person is born sinful and headed on a road to hell; God chooses to save some from eternity past and intervenes at a given point in time (and we know not who or when). Jesus explained it this way:

  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they (the deeds) have been done in God.” (John 3:16 to 21).
  • All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37 to 40).

While not all human beings have been predestined, we know that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Please consider Ezekiel 18:32; Ezekiel 33:11; and, Romans 9:11 to 15, and 18 to 23). We do not know what God does on a deathbed; consider the thief on the cross.  I am personally thankful God does not share that type of information with us. We might be tempted to treat people less than God commands.  

I understand why we are are deserving of being eternally separated from God; but, I do not know why God chose to pardon my sin from eternity past before I could do anything. I am thankful for His mercy (forgiving me for what I deserve) and His grace (giving me faith and the appointment in time to receive Him).  

Just as salvation is by the will of God, so is tribulation (James 1:2 to 5 and 12; 1st Peter 1:6 to 9; Psalms 66:10 to 12; and Proverbs 17:3).

Knowing that all the tribulation that comes into a believer’s life is “permitted” by God who will work everything out for our good and His glory gives the believer an eternal perspective and reduces characteristics that are not Christlike.  

What do regenerated Christians do when tribulation comes? We drop anchor in the storm and rest in God’s purpose in allowing the storm. We do not know what is around the corner, and we do not know how this developed resilience and perseverance will be needed in our future or even used to benefit another person.  

So, can you stand to be blessed?  Tribulation is divinely assigned waves to cause you to look back at Christ’s finished work in remembrance and rejoicing. It separates the wheat from the chaff. Here and now is the only place this training can occur because there will be no suffering in Heaven. As we learn to endure hardship and recognize it is permitted by the Godhead who loves us so very much, we then learn to get our sustenance, worth, identity, joy, love, our everything from our loving Father because of Jesus who is praying for our success.

Now if we gauge our salvation based on experiences and emotions, it is likely that we will live a dramatically fretful and potentially fearful life.  This is not God’s intention for us. When we miss the mark periodically, it must not be habitually. The Bible has provided assurance for believers found in 1st John which I have gathered and posted in the “lite” blog called Scriptural Proof of Election. It is a 5 minute that address the evidence necessary for assurance of election.

Now, if you have received the love of God in your hearts by the Holy Spirit, you have these 5 immeasurable benefits of justifcation along with the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22 to 25) stemming from the gift of His grace. From them, all other advantages flow. 

  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” … “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.” … “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (1st John 4:4; 1st John 5:4; and, Revelation 21:7)

Why Not Take The Road Less Travelled?

If you have not placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Redeemer and you sense a tugging at your heart, it’s probably the Holy Spirit beckoning you to meet Him. His call is within the heart and usually is not an audible voice. You can use your own words to tell the LORD you believe and ask Him to fill your heart with the knowledge of Him and the power to choose freedom over sin.

Then start reading the Bible (perhaps start in the book of John). Get connected to other believers who will help you understand and encourage you during life’s challenges and celebrate the journey with joy!

For prophetic documented proof that Jesus is the Messiah, please visit

Published by OneBranch

OneBranch believes the Word of God is effective for fashioning a heart committed to loving God and loving others. As such, internet content is published with the intention of motivating others to read Scripture for themselves. The content is created from personal devotional/study time in the Word of God and can be viewed as an online journal in the life of one of the branches in the LORD's fruitful vineyard. Readers/listeners are encouraged to validate all Scripture and concepts using the Holy Bible and prayer.