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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

May 19th, 2024: Reconciled to God- Romans 5:1-11

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (2 Peter 1: 5-9).


Paul spent a great deal of time talking about the things that separate mankind from God. The sin in the garden, the Fall as it is called, left man unable to dwell with a holy and righteous God.  The Law of God, though perfect, shows us what sin is and brings the sinfulness of every man into the light. Since being guilty of any part of law made us guilty of all of the law, we were estranged and alienated from our Creator. Jesus offers Himself as the sacrifice;  reuniting and offering atonement for us all. The question is always, what will you do with Jesus?  If you choose Him, the benefit of His atonement is that we are reunited with God, and we have peace. We become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus; reconciled to the Father, born again into the family, becoming spiritual children of Abraham. There are benefits of being in harmony with God. "There is none good, not one,” and yet God reaches out and draws us to Him with abounding love, He settles our debt, and grants us peace. There is a difference between having the peace of God and being at peace with God, and as Christians, we have them both!


Peace of God: Walking in the confident knowledge that God can be fully trusted with our past, present, and future and that no power of earth, hell, or the grave has any dominion over us.


Peace with God: We are justified by the blood of Christ, and when the Father looks at us, the righteousness of His Son is all that He sees. We are fully and eternally redeemed.


Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


There are many that believe God is out to get us; that He is just waiting for us to mess up so He can strike us down. The Bible does say that it is “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a just God”, and fearful it will be if we attempt to approach Him without Jesus. However, don’t miss the personality of God. Jesus walked this earth, taking on human form to show us the heart of God - Love; abundant, abiding, sincere, truthful, life-giving love. The kind of love that recognizes our weaknesses, knows our frame, and understands that we are just flesh.  He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, that would be ridiculous, He knows we are not.  But we can be at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, we transform from the outsider into the family, in faith and Grace. Here, we find the hope of the glory of God. 


And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;


Wait what?!?  Is Paul actually saying that we can glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience?  In another place, he says it like this, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”(Romans 8:28). All things, even the trouble, and suffering?  No one enjoys these things, however James, the half brother of Jesus agrees with Paul. James says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1: 2-3).


 It sounds like we need to learn and have patience. Why? Because “In your patience possess ye your souls.”(Luke 21:19). So what is patience? What makes it so important?  It is the ability to endure difficult people and hard situations without sinning in our anger, or losing hope.  It’s not quitting when someone is acting badly who should know better.  It is loving the unlovable and forbearing in situations that make us want to lose control of ourselves to act un-Christlike.  Without patience, we lose our joy.  We no longer love others, we are loving ourselves above everything else.  Without patience, being right can make us act wrong.  How long was God patient with us before we turned to Him?  Does he give up on us and storm away with every mistake or every plan we fail to follow, or every time we quench the guidance of the Holy Spirit?  Think about patience and consider how much has been extended to you, by others, and especially by God. 


And patience, experience; and experience, hope:


And with the understanding of the patience that has been extended to you, you accumulate experience.  Experience builds up your character.  It adds virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc. Experience allows you to recall what worked the last time you were in the same situation. Experience builds up your skills, your talents, and helps you stay away from the things that take away instead of building up.  Experience adds wisdom.  And with experience comes hope. 


And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


Hope is an expectation that we can rely on God. Hope in a covenant-keeping God builds our confidence. We practice patience, and we gain experience in watching Him keep His word, and then we understand even better the hope that will be steadfast in our future.  We are not ashamed, there is no need to cower when someone asks if we are Christians. Our Savior keeps His promises.  We learn to boldly testify of the love of God that has changed us from slave to this word, to free men and women in Christ; Redeemed. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, empowering us, guiding us, and letting us shine a light that reflects the Son, our Savior and King. 


 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


The example of Jesus goes beyond mere bravery, chivalry, or any courageous and honorable attribute we can name.  He didn’t die because we were good and worthy.  He died for us when we were enemies of God. Paul’s point here is that we might expect a few to sacrifice their lives in love; for someone dear to them deemed worthy of it.  But the love in this sacrifice is from the Father, and unearned.  He loved enough to send his own son (which we could never do) to die for the ungodly and sinners. Lest we forget, that is ALL of us.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17).


Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.


The blood of Jesus brings us into peace with God and gives us the peace of God. The resurrection of Christ is the pattern for our new lives in Him. We are no longer separated or alienated.  We are saved from the wrath of God.  The scriptures warn us repeatedly through prophets and parables that there will come a time of reaping.  God will separate the chaff from the wheat, those that believe and those that do not. He will pour His righteous wrath out upon this earth.  Be we are not appointed to wrath as believers - we are spared by the atonement of Jesus Christ.  We are redeemed by the price our Savior paid.  We exchange an old nature for a new one to receive the favor and joy of the Lord.   


O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95: 1-3).


Thank you for studying with us! God bless!


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