READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Why do we need the righteousness of God? Our journey in studying Romans so far shows us that we need to be justified because of our depravity in spite of knowledge of God (1:18-32); the hypocrisy of and judgement on the Jews (Rom.2-3:8); we are all, without exception, sinners (Rom. 3:9-20). We also learnt that the way of justification is by faith through grace (Rom. 3:21-31) and in fulfilment of God’s promise (Rom.4:1-25).
What is the outcome of our justification?
- Peace with God (Rom. 5:1) – the pursuit of peace is a desire we all have, whether it is for nations, family or ourselves. Peace with God (eirene in Greek) describes wholeness and well-being. This is only possible when we are reconciled with God. It is not simply an absence of conflict but a joining together of our whole being in wellness.
- Grace of access to God (Rom. 5:2) – through God’s free and unmerited favour, we have access to Him. We can call on Him no matter where we are and what we are facing. We stand secure in this continuous grace. We do not fall in and out of grace, as we may have if we face an earthly ruler.
- Hope of glory of God (Rom. 5:2-4) – our hope is founded on God’s promises which do not fail (Rom. 4). This hope is focused on the future glory of God (Col. 3:4; John 3:2) and is formed through present suffering (Rom. 5:3-4). Such suffering, which puts pressure on our faith, develops perseverance. This perseverance produces a tested and mature character, which in turn gives us a hope of glory. This is not a masochistic view of pain but a recognition that there is a divine purpose in suffering.
- Love of unbelievable measure for God (Rom. 5:5-8) – the generous (Rom.5:5), proven (Rom. 5:8) and radical (Rom. 5:6a, 8, 10) love of God is truly amazing. For while we were powerless to save ourselves (Rom. 5:6a), sinful (Rom. 5:8) and still God’s enemies (Rom. 5:10), Christ died for us.
- Salvation for a future with God (Rom. 5:9-10) – we have been saved from future wrath which God will pronounce when Christ comes again. “We have been saved. We are being saved. We shall be saved” (Ben Witherington III). Christ has already come to die for our sins, but He will come again. At that time, we will experience the full and final justification before God.
Knowing these five outcomes of justification, let us apply the following three discipleship lessons:
Rest in God’s peace – the peace of God can come only when there is peace with God. We face difficulties and trouble in life. When we become right with God, His peace comes, even though our problems may not disappear.
Rejoice in the love of God – we are loved with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). How can God love the unlovable? Yet, He does. He will not let me go. There is every reason to rejoice in His love.
Renew our hope in God – our hope is in eternal glory. Every trial is not wasted as He will use these to build our faith, draw us closer to Him and give us a testimony of His faithfulness for all to see.
Let us receive God’s grace to be transformed by Him, for we have been made right to walk right.
(Sermon notes by Angela Goh)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- Share one example of a broken relationship which has not been repaired for a long time.
- What is this peace with God that Paul refers to in verse 1?
- What does verse 2 tell us about the type of access we have to God?
- Hope in the glory of God. What is this glory referred to in v 3?
- How does perseverance in trial strengthen hope?
- What strikes you deeply about the love of God as described in verses 5 – 8? How have you experienced such love?
- What does “being saved from the wrath of God” mean in verse 9?
- Is there an area of your life where you need to find peace with God? Seek Him for this peace.
- Are you going through a situation where you doubt God’s love? Rest in the truth that nothing can separate you from His love.
- What is your hope founded on? What is God calling you to do in the midst of your current trials so as to strengthen your hope in Him? Share and pray for one another.