Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’


This is an Exposition that I did for a sermon I preached at one of our sister churches in the PCA several years ago on true peace with God and benefits. I made emphasis at the end on being preserved in Christ until the end for our ultimate salvation. May God use this for His glory.

Title: Reconciliation, When Sinners become the Just

Open Gods Word to Romans 5:1-11

5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Exegetical Context of the book of Romans

The Apostle Paul wrote this epistle to the saints in Rome just shortly before visit to Jerusalem with gifts from the Gentile congregations you will find this evidence in chapter 15:25 and Acts 24:17. The book of Romans is the Apostles most thoroughly comprehensive explanation of the true essence of the gospel so much that John of Chrysostom, one of the fifth centuries greatest preachers, had Romans read to him once a week. As a matter of fact even Augustine, Luther, and John Wesley all came to true faith through the major impact of this epistle. The Reformers themselves had viewed Romans as a God given key to comprehending the total sum of Scripture after all Paul puts together all of Holy Writ and its major themes and these greatest themes are sin, law, judgement, the destiny of humanity, faith, the correct understanding of works, grace, justification, sanctification, election, the ordus salutis the plan of salvation, the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Christians only hope, the nature and life of the church, true Israel and reprobate Israel etc….

But in chapters 1 through the first half of chapter 3, Paul starts of this Epistle with some pretty bad news that all men are corrupt and unrighteous before a Holy and Righteous God under His wrath and condemnation, all are guilty before the righteous throne of our Lord because of original sin and mans total and radical depravity so that none are righteous no not one and none is justified by their argumentation against God and are all without excuse. Man that really stinks! What in the world is the remedy? How can Gods enemies come to peace with God and be reconciled? Let us then turn our attention to chapter 5.

Sinful man vs God

Brother Paul having fully and clearly asserted and fully proved the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of faith, proceeds to convey the awe inspiring fruits and effects of this great blessing, known and enjoyed by the believing one; as also the source and spring of it, the love of God, which appears in the death of Christ, in the substitution of His people, which is the foundation on which it stands and likewise gives an illustration of this benefit, by making comparison of the two heads, Adam and Christ, together. The first fruit and effect of justification, as a benefit only received and enjoyed by faith alone, is peace with God through Christ.

Rom. 5:1 (all scriptures quoted will be in ESV)

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Being in a present peace with God implies that we were once at war with God being hostile and vigorously opposed to God as it teaches in Rom. 8:7,8 and as I already mentioned earlier fallen man is at enmity with our Creator and we are born from the womb shaking our fists towards the heavens. Romans 8:7,8 read as follows:

“7. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The word “Hostile” in its greek form means to have a profound hatred for and in opposition to, the greek word used for “hostile” in Romans 8 is echthros ech-thros’ from a primary echtho (to hate); hateful (passively, odious, or actively, hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan):–enemy, foe. (Strongs greek lexicon 2190)

We can trace the beginning of this declaration of war after the fall in Gen. 3:15 where after Adam and Eve sinned against God’s direct command not to eat of the fruit but failed and fell into blatant disobedience into wretched sin.

Gen. 3:15

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

What we observe here is the hostility between good and evil, an inevitable fight between the Son of God and the sons of depravity, fallen men, and we all know that our arms are too short to box with God; just ask Jacob who actually attempted to wrestle with God and was given a bum hip as a reminder God always wins. But what we also have here in this text is what in theology is called the proto-evangelium aka “first gospel” in its literal Latin meaning. Here is actually the first revelation of the Covenant of Grace, this was the first dawning of the light of the Gospel on earth. A descendant from Eve the woman’s seed, namely Christ, will deal a death blow and utter defeat to Satan the serpent at the cross, while Satan would bruise Christ’s heel, that is, cause Him to suffer.

That’s good news better yet its great news it is the gospel, not the total sum of the gospel but most definately the introducing of it. But this good news presupposes or implies a bad news and it is this bad news that I make emphasis on here because its the bad news of humanity in what I like to call Anti-evangelium. So what’s the bad news what’s the antievangelium? The antithesis to the Gospel, in that God declares war against the unrighteous seed and because of this, man in his unregenerate state by nature are children of God’s wrath and in addition man by nature who were once God’s enemy, hated God in return hence the enmity. The Apostle James tells us that if we consider ourselves friends or at peace with the worlds system then we are in fact at enmity, at war with God.

Jam. 4:4

4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Saints, the glorious cross is the climax and fruitation of the protoevangelium, that covenant promise God made to crush the serpents head and free us from the bondage of his will replacing our darkness for His light, forgiving our blatant hatred for His divine persons and His holiness, coming to Christ and waving the white flag in humble surrender making peace with God our once sworn enemy, our eyes being opened to fully envision, realizing that we were at war with the all powerful Divine Being who creating all things; it is too absurd to fathom.

But this brings us back full circle to Rom.5:1, Pauls statement that “we have peace with God” and also tells us that we have been reconciled to God through the appeasing or satisfying work of Christ on the cross.

Rom.5:9,10

Since,therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Mans frienship with God is restored and renewed through Christ having faith in His finished work on the Cross. Peace is now a reality peace now rules in our hearts, reconciliation has been made being once alienated and distant unreachable to man but God has drawn us near to Himself and has given us membership to His Holy family entrance into His Divine Glory. AMEN!!

Rom.16:20

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Eph. 6:15

“and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”

Eph. 2:12-17

“12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.”

Col.1:21,22

“21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”

How eternal is the mercy of the Lord! How infinite is His wisdom!

To amplify this glorious truth even more and what blows my mind and brings me complete comfort is the benefits of being reconciled but I purpose to emphasis only two as I have found in the Romans 5 passage.

Rom. 5:2 Standing on Grace waiting for His Glory

Unlike those still at enmity with God or unsaved, we who have been justified by faith and who now have peace with God, rejoice for grace and stand firm on Gods promise and we rejoice in hope of the appearance of God’s glory. It is by grace we have been reconciled and saved and it is by grace we maintain saved and at peace with God. We as God’s covenant people await the majestic return of our King in confidence. So we hope or earnestly await the return of Christ in His Glory for the redemption of our bodies and eternal bliss which the Holy Spirit bears witness in our hearts.

Rom. 5:3 Peace in Trials and Tribs

Here the Apostle Paul makes a connection with the last point we just made that seems strange at first but if understood correctly leads to a logical conclusion. He tells us here that not only do we hope in God’s glory but that we also glory in tribulations and proceeds to connect a chain, if you will, that leads right back to the hope we just spoke of. Paul asserts that we should glory or take delight in tribulation because tribulation connects us with perseverance which connects us with character which connects us with hope and all this says verse 5 is attributed to the working of the Holy Spirit which was given us. We find this same reasoning in the first chapter of James verses 2,3 and 12 where we read that we are to count it all joy when we fall into various trials, James states that the testing of our faith produces patience or perseverance as worded by other translations. When we endure these tests in confirms in us that confidence that the day we are looking for will soon be and it is only those who have been justified by faith and who has made peace with God can hold claim of. Therefore even in the midst of such sufferings we Christians, followers of the Lord, still dwell in peace and will always be in peace and persevere to the end.

Rom. 10 Eternal Friends

Now watch this, verse 10, so powerful, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more,being already reconciled we shall be saved by His life.” This verse thrills me and I want you to understand it.

Now watch, follow Paul’s reasoning, just profound. “If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God,” stop right there. If God brought us to Himself when we were His enemies, how much more will we be kept and secure in His grace being reconciled now that we are His friends. In other words, if God reconciled us to Himself when we were His enemies, don’t you think He’ll keep us and secure us to the end and beyond now that we’re His friends? You see, when He reconciled us in the first place we were wretched, rotten, vile, godless sinners. And if this poses no barrier to Him reconciling us then it poses no barrier to keeping us reconciled for eternity. Do you understand that? So, being now justified, reconciled, when we were at one time enemies, don’t you think God will much more keep us justified and reconciled when we are now His friends? If He redeemed us while we hated Him, don’t you think He will not keep us when we love Him? Here it comes. “If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by…what?…by the…what?…”the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” I think that’s the idea there, “by His life.” Now, what is this saying? If Jesus saved us in His death, don’t you think He could keep us in His life? In other words, if a dead Savior on the cross can redeem us, can’t a living Savior keep us?

What a great truth, isn’t it? If Jesus in death provided our salvation, how much more is He doing now in glorified resurrection life? You see, that’s the whole point. If He could save us in His death, He can keep us in His life. Great truth. You have seen me use the phrase “much more” several times its because it is thematic in this context. Paul is using what theologians call in theology a fortiori argument. It argues from the lesser to the greater. If God already did the greater, saved us when we were wretched sinners, will He not do the lesser in keeping us. If Christ did the greater when He was dead and buried, can He not also do the lesser now that He’s resurrected and alive sitting on His throne at the right hand of the Father? What great comfort. Our salvation is secure and preserved in Christ by the Father through the Holy Spirit. These divine truths can only be realized through Jesus Christ analyze Rom.5:1-11; verse 1, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Verse 2: “By whom also we have access.” Verse 6: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Verse 8: “Christ died for us.” Verse 9: “Justified by His blood, we’re saved from wrath through Him.” “Reconciled to God,” verse 10, “by the death of His Son.” We shall be saved by His life.” “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It’s always through Christ. The center of our worship and adoration is Christ our reconciliation our ultimate shalom . Solus Christus!

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