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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Gospel of God's Grace # 40

A Study of the Epistle to the Romans

Salvation: The Blessings that Accompany Justification (5:1-11)

The last word in the fourth chapter is the word "justification" which means to declare and treat as righteous. With the close of the fourth chapter, Paul is finished with the discussion of how God justified a certain man, who is representative of all men. He turns to another aspect of justification in the next chapter.

A good many people think of justification as the first or initial blessing of the Christian life, its value ending at that point. But while justification is the initial blessing, it is more than that in the Christian life. Justification is not only the first or initial blessing, but justification carries with it every other blessing of the Christian life, and when a man is justified, he has everything that God has to give.

So, let us never think of justification as being a small thing. It is the greatest thing in the Christian life, because it carries with it everything else. There are a great many Christians who are not enjoying every blessing. There may be some Christians who do not know what they received when God justified them and of course can't enjoy what they are ignorant of. But that does not change the fact that when God gives justification by faith, He gives with that justification everything that He has to give. In these first eleven verses of chapter five, Paul will give a summary of the blessings that go with justification.

There are two key phrases which occur twice in this section. Following the first comma in the first verse, "Therefore being justified by faith," come two words. "We have." This means we have some possessions that come with justification. Then look at the ninth verse: "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be."

First, being justified by faith we have something; and then, being now justified we shall be something. One phrase has to do with the present, the other with the future.

I have spent a good many hours on these eleven verses, and I admit failure to make any outline of them that satisfies me, because the thought and the argument are so close and continuous that it is almost impossible to analyze it without breaking the thought. So I have not tried to do that but am going to point out to you twelve blessings that go with justification using "being justified" as the key phrase:

1.  Being justified by faith, we have peace with God."
2.  Being justified by faith, "we have access, by faith, into this grace."
3.  Being justified by faith, we have a standing in grace.
4.  Being justified by faith, we have joy ("we rejoice") "in hope of the glory of God."
5.  Being justified by faith, "we glory in tribulations." Glory is the same word in the Greek as "rejoice". Being justified by faith, we "rejoice ... in tribulations." We have joy in our tribulations. The unsaved man cannot rejoice in his tribulations.
6.  Being justified by faith, we have a hope that "maketh not ashamed."
7.  Being justified by faith, we have "the love of God ... shed abroad in our hearts." We have an experience of the love of God.
8.  Being justified by faith, we have the Holy Spirit. A justified man need not anxiously look for a future time when he will receive the Holy Spirit (but he can be filled and filled again, and he can grieve the Holy Spirit, and  hinder his faith walk). This fifth verse is a remarkable verse, for it is the first occurrence in the Book of Romans of the Holy Spirit, and here too the love of God is first mentioned.
9.  Being justified by faith, we have the proof of God' love because "Christ died for us."
10. Being justified by faith, we are going to be "saved from wrath." We have immunity from wrath to come.
11. Being justified by faith, we are going to "be saved by his life." This is no denial of the fact that we have already been saved, but this is looking forward to something else.
12. Being justified by faith, we "rejoice in God." We are not afraid of Him any longer, but we actually rejoice in God. We look at Him, see Him in all His holiness, and we rejoice in Him!

First of all, notice the preface: "Being justified by faith." The word "justified" is in a Greek tense that points to an accomplished fact. It occurred at the time of faith. This is a great testimony to the fact that justification is a thing that takes place instantaneously. In this statement the apostle Paul is looking back to the time when these people believed, hence the expression, "being justified by faith." Here is a most practical point. You cannot grow into justification. You cannot be more and more justified. It is not a continuous process at all. It is something that happens suddenly, instantly, in the twinkling of an eye, in the moment you look up into the face of God and say, "I receive Your Son." At that moment yo are justified!

"Now then," he says, "being justified by faith, we have some benefits!"

~Alva J. McClain~

(continued with # 41 - "Peace with God")

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