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 blessings, but 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).
As a brief review, we have learned that:
- First of all, the sin problem is the same for all humans. This includes: (a) the unbelieving (in the 1st chapter); (b) the decent ethical person; and, (c) the religious person (both described in the 2nd chapter);
- Secondly, the righteousness of God’s judgments is accurate and His grace is unmerited (in the 3rd chapter); and,
- Lastly, the consistency of God’s imputing righteousness based on faith to human beings has not changed throughout history (in the 4th chapter).
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:
- Five Benefits of Justification (Romans 5:1 to 5).
- Here we will understand what God has given us and what it means, specifically: (1) Peace with God, (2) Access to God, (3) Hope in the Glory of God, (4) the Love of God, and (5) the Holy Spirit.
- 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. We will also review the proof of election.
Ultimately, Romans 5:1 to 11 explains the results of imputed righteousness that every believer must exhibit on some level and in increasing measure as their allotted time and their assigned trials permit. Let’s get started.
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. 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).
It saddens me to hear people who profess to be followers of Christ, dispute the words of Christ. To make peace with the world, some Christians have compromised the LORD’s teaching about the way of salvation and its effects on the recipient. Perhaps they “think” they are showing love and expect the way they show kindness to the lost will win a soul so that there is no need to tell them what Jesus said.
I hold the opposite view. It seems unloving to me to willfully turn a blind eye to a person’s ignorance of Scripture, especially where eternity is concerned. I think it’s loving to share the Word. If they can receive it, they will listen; if they won’t, they don’t.
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).
- “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Colossians 1:21).
- “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever 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”. But praise God, Jesus made peace for me and God justified me by His grace through God-initiated faith in Christ.
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.
Let’s imagine a contemporary conversation between the Sovereign and a subject of the enemy’s camp who has seen the goodness of the One they were battling. Now the warring subject must respond in humility; failing this would be ludicrous since the insurrection against the Sovereign is inevitably doomed. It is also obvious that the King has revealed His identity because the subject could not otherwise get close to the King amid the tumultuous disruptions of the raging battle. Peace has been made with the Sovereign on behalf of the defecting subject while the war continues with others in the enemy’s camp. The King of all kings brings the surrendered individual before His Father (the Sovereign) who simply says something like this:
- All is forgiven, I’m glad you gave up and that you didn’t fight to your demise. Did you know that I saw you before the war began? I knew this time would come and I arranged for this meeting. Here, let me show you around My kingdom. There are great things for you to do, and relationships to build. I’m going to enjoy having you eat at my table. Your citizenship training is starting; We customize it to ensure you as an individual successfully develop; and, all of Our citizens are taught the same principles. Here is your personal Trainer, He is always available to you and He will give you direct messages from Me. But don’t you worry; when you need to talk to Me, you can just come into My throne room with your Trainer. My Son and I are there; We’ll hear you. Did you know that My Son talks to Me about you? He’s delighted that I have appointed you for adoption as a younger sibling. That’s right, My Son and your Trainer, have fantastic conversations with Me about moving you into the palace once your training is done. For now, just enjoy abiding in this peace and learning from your Trainer. The war is over.
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!
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. … In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, … In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1, verses 3 to 6, 11, and 13 to 14).
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).
- “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints AND members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:14 to 19).
While that last passage also incorporates the oneness of the elect Jews and the elect Gentiles in Christ as a new creation (or a new type of human being), we can see the consistency of the message of Romans 5:1 and 2. Jesus, the King of kings, 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.
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. … For He (the Father) made Him (the Son) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him “ (2nd Corinthians 5:17, and 21).
- “Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.” (Psalm 85:10).
- “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17).
What a wonderful truth!
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.
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.
Let’s examine this distinction:
- 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.
- “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15).
- This message is usually distasteful to people. You see, even if you want to be acquitted, you cannot be unless the One with the authority to do so, does so.
- Please consider Romans 8:29 to 30. In the list of actions that God does in these verses, do you see the term sanctification (or our shared role in becoming holy)?
- “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
- No, everything listed in Romans 8:29 to 30 is a matter of God’s will. Certainly, there is a place for our response, but in the matter of regeneration through to eternity within the Beloved, the initiating actions are God’s. This Scripture is talking about one group of people that God “knew” beforehand in His mind.
- That said, Paul spends a great deal of time discussing sanctification in Romans 6 and 7, but in those verses in Romans 8, he does not mention our participation. I believe this is intentional. I believe the Holy Spirit wants believers to know that If God started it, He will finish it. (Refer to Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 12:2; 2nd Corinthians 1:22; 2nd Corinthians 5:5; and Ephesians 1:14).
- In another study, I will be reviewing the word “proginṓskō” (G4267) which is used in Romans 8:29 as “foreknew”. This word is a compound word that joins the meaning of beforehand (G4253) and to know (G1097). Since God knows everything, He does not learn. Rather, He wills things. So contextually, as it pertains to God, to know (ginṓskō) means to have selective intimacy with an object or person as understood in Matthew 1:25; Matthew 7:23; Matthew 13:11; John 10:14; Romans 1:34; 1st Corinthians 8:3; Acts 2:23; and, 1st Peter 1:2.
- Now, returning our focus to the distinction between the peace of God and the peace of God. Since peace with God is entirely God’s doing, is there a part for the free will of humans? Absolutely. God does not want relationships with robots. So then, let’s see about the peace of God.
- 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 do. But 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 thankful. Let 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 (our Trainer, 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).
I am thankful that the Godhead did all the heavy lifting! I am thankful that I have the freedom to grow and make choices and that He delights in the process. How do I know that? The Father sent His Holy Spirit to indwell me knowing that I falter. He did this to guarantee I would be transformed into the likeness of my Redeemer and to ensure I make it to glory.
According to Ephesians, Romans, and Christ’s prayer in John 17, this is the will of the entire Godhead! Why? He transferred me out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His marvellous light because He wanted to; it brings Him glory.
- “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2nd Corinthians 4:6).
- “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7).
Thank God that Jesus made peace with God for me! Friend, have you heard Christ’s call yet?
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.
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 what the Kingdom was.
Although it was prophesied that the Messiah would bear the sins of many (Isaiah 53:2 to 12) and be cut off (Daniel 9:26), they could not understand how a kingdom could be established this way. Instead of being born to overthrow the rule of Rome, Jesus came to give his life as a sacrifice for sins. On one occasion Jesus told the disciples:
- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).
On another occasion after that time:
- “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. Another account of this conversation goes on to say:
- “And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” (Luke 9:21 to 22).
- “He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” (Isaiah 53:9 to 12 New Living Translation).
This is the reason we can be confident about everything! This is why we can stand in His presence today! 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.
And the Godhead does not renege on Their gifts.
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29).
- More on this in another study.
And, we joyfully look forward to our inheritance. One day, we 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.
- “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (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). Thank you, Jesus, my LORD, for purchasing me from slavery to sin (for paying my penalty)!
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). Thank you, precious Holy Spirit for your patience as my thoughts often argue with my circumstances. You are so welcome to dwell in me and train my spirit for that glorious day!
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. In addition, They are surrounded by Cherubim, Seraphim, and all of the heavenly hosts. Trust Scripture on this, according to the first 3 chapters of Romans, there is nothing lovely about our species without His regeneration. This takes nothing away from Romans 8:29. Understanding that human beings interpret things through a selfish lens, it’s natural to assign human thinking to Him. But it is entirely appropriate to apply Biblical thinking to Him and it is supernatural to be able to rightfully do so.
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? 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 Jesus, that 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:
- “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)
- “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.
The New American Standard Bible (1995) states Romans 5:2 like this:
- “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.”
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.
Believers Have Been:
- Justified by grace through faith; declared to be in Christ’s righteousness and as such right with God; and, 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.
- Yielding to the Holy Spirit’s work in the heart which is sanctifying obedience to God’s Word; becoming increasingly holy, righteous, and sanctified apart from the world; and, being delivered from the power of sin by crucifying the fleshly desires and renewing the mind. This happens (current tense) moment by moment in life on earth as the believer puts on Christ and puts off self (to separate the believer from the ability of sin to grow). 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 being caught up. 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).
I am grateful, access was dependent on Christ and not me. I am grateful I don’t have to prove that I am worthy of God’s love, that my account is settled in Jesus. 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 His 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 can expect to be blessed while increasingly understanding my insufficiency in light of His holiness. I am shamelessly and joyfully standing dependent on the LORD in a world that promotes independence. May I learn to trust Him 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 along with some context.
- “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things (and the things that are not) to nullify the things that are, so that no one may (here is the word G2744) boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God; that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts (here is the word G2744 again) boast in the Lord.” (1st Corinthians 1:25 to 31, New International Version).
- ” “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 G2744) rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,” (Philippians 3:3).
From these verses, we understand when it is appropriate to boast, and what is appropriate to boast about. Boasting in the LORD is valid. Boasting in the flesh or what the world considers important is vain or vain glorying (Revelation 18:17 and 1st Corinthians 1:29).
- “Like an earring of gold and a jewelry piece of fine gold, Is a wise person who offers rebukes to a listening ear. … Like clouds and wind without rain Is a person who boasts of his gifts falsely.” (Proverbs 25:12 and 14, New American Standard Bible)
Considering all of this, I recognize that the peace of God and 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: 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.
Jesus will forever be preeminent.
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. Submission does not mean less than. 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!
At the end of the ages, God promised to regenerate this planet which will be subject to futility (Genesis 3:17) until such time.
- “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (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).
- “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech” (2nd Corinthians 3:12).
- “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Galatians 5:5).
- “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,” (Titus 1:2).
- “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13).
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1st Peter 1:3).
- “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1st John 3:3).
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. We enjoy betrothal boot camp as we prepare for our day of union!
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 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. This is not groundless optimism. This is solid ground.
Jesus told us that God loved humanity so much that He was willing to pay the price of the sin that corrupted all of humanity. And with that penalty paid, anyone who believes in Him can have everlasting life. (Refer to John 3:16).
- “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who 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 sinners, Christ died for us. Much 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).
- “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow (not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love). No power in the sky above or in the earth below; indeed, 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.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached his first public sermon, and 3000 people got saved. Here is part of that message.
- “… Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst (as you yourselves also know). Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” (Acts 2:22 to 24).
It is also 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 appeared, not 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 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 believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who 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. While the penalty has been fully paid, and the work of regeneration is finished for believers, because we are not yet 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.
The love and joy experienced in relationship with the Godhead are worth enduring the storms of life. Many people think that being a follower of Christ is difficult because of the things we refrain from. But being delived from slavery to sin is the easy part because He did that . God’s illumination in our hearts helps us overcome. I now don’t want to sin.
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.
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. Most of society wants to be free from biblical standards. Within a cancel culture, that creates animosity.
- “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
- “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 sake. Rejoice 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).
- “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3).
- “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 (one day, an eternity void of trouble will begin for believers).
Since we are blessed now, we are to be a blessing to others (although it may not always look like a blessing to some initially). Also, know that the lesser blessings we prefer (such as wealth and health) are tests as well.
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).
We pray for people who are struggling with how God is working in their lives. There are plenty of biblical examples like Jonah who tried to willfully run from God. But when people walk away from Christ because of changing culture, or simply unbelief, only God knows what their end will be. But if they do not repent, I would say that the Holy Spirit did not regenerate their hearts in the first place. This does not mean that He will not in the future, it just means that they do not know the love of God yet; and, we do not know if they ever will. 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. 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).
- “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:27 to 29)
- “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 all 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.
Proof of Election
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.
The disciple John who knew how much the LORD loved him wanted other believers to have assurance. So he wrote:
- “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1st John 5:13).
Let me share the proof points John noted concerning regenerated believers.
Our LORD knows that we are in the process of being made perfect so He inspired John to write these Scriptures.
When we miss the mark periodically, it must not be habitually. Here is the Scriptural evidence of a regenerated heart (all must be present in varying levels).
- You believe in your heart that Jesus is the resurrection Son of God and you have recognized your need for His forgiveness and are dependant on His grace for eternal life. (1st John 1:1 to 8).
- You remember committing your life to follow Jesus Christ for justification and you continue to confess your sins to God, turning away from it. (1st John 1:9).
- You obey God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. (1st John 2:3 to 6).
- You love other believers. (1st John 2:7 to 11).
- You reject the world. (1st John 2:15 to 17).
- You increasingly can discern what is true by the Holy Spirit. (1st John 2:18 to 27).
- You live righteously without practicing sin. (1st John 2:28 to 1st John 3:10).
- You have confidence when standing before God now; rather than hiding, you run to Him. (1st John 3:19 to 24).
- You have an increasing love of God and you do not walk in fear. (1st John 4:17 to 19).
- You receive answers to your prayers. (1st John 14 to 17).
If you have received the love of God in your hearts by the Holy Spirit, all of these are yours along with His fruit here and now:
- “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22 to 25).
The LORD has given us these 5 immeasurable benefits stemming from the gift of His grace. From them, all other advantages flow. When all is said and done, I am blessed to be called his pardoned child of God. I hope you are too!
- “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)
- “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty. For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. … “I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. … (1st Chronicles 29:11,12, and 17).
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 https://desiringfruitfulness.ca/choices/
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