The Results of Being a Christian
26 Apr 2003, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: THE RESULTS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN
Theme: The Results of Biblical Sanctification
Scripture Reading: Romans 4:16- 5:2
Biblical Sanctification or Holiness is the continuation of righteousness by faith in the justification supplied by our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is administered to us by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit makes it very clear in the early chapters of the book of Romans, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This indictment is global and includes all races and also the Jews. Justification and sanctification cannot be earned. It is not wages. Sin is the only master who pays wages. Salvation and redemption are a gift to be received by faith in the Giver, and by means of His grace. It is undeserved. Romans 5:1-2
Romans 4:13-16 makes it very clear that the promise of justification, forgiveness and sanctification come by promise. The Promise guaranteed by Faith and Grace. Abraham is the prime example that Paul uses to explain his point. Abraham who after trying his own works finally settled his faith in God who blessed him with a son from Sarah when she was past it.
Moffat in his translation of verse 17 indicates that faith implies the presence of God, in whom Abraham believed. The God who makes the dead alive and calls into being what does not exist. Sarah's dead womb was made alive because of Abraham's faith. Further in verse 18, he took on a believing hope by faith as opposed to his natural dead hope. He considered the factual reality of he and Sarah's state, but was "not weak in faith" of the promised hope from his God, verse 19. Again in verse 20, Abraham did not doubt or buckle in faith with regards to the promise. He was strong in faith and did not dabble in unbelief. Abraham had no faith in his own ability but was, "fully persuaded that what God had promised he was able to perform," verse 21. For this reason, that is his faith, Abraham was "imputed", (reckoned or gifted) righteousness, verse 22.
The good news is that what was gifted by Grace to Abraham is also available the same way to us personally. That is "if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord and Saviour, verses 23-24. Who was delivered to death for our sins BUT "raised again for our justification," verse 25. So Sanctification, our on going righteous living, has justification as its foundation and cause. It is for us too.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS AND BENEFITS OF FAITH. Romans 5
In this chapter Pastor Paul starts, in verses 1-2 with "therefore" and lists the "we haves", of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the logical explanation of verse 24 in Chapter 4 where he climaxes his illustration of Abraham being imputed righteousness for faith and belief in God's promises. " But for us also …if we believe," is now itemized as results of salvation in our lives.
PEACE is the first "we have." The word for peace which Paul used here has a power of meaning. Basically it means to, "to be at one again in friendship." It means, "harmonious relationships" between God and mankind. It is, " freedom from molestation or condemnation." It is, "rest and contentment," as sourced from the "God of peace," as Paul states elsewhere in his epistles.
Enemies of God, those who do not believe, have no peace. Most are loaded with guilt. But justification by faith gives us forgiveness, peace and relationship with God. Therefore let us go on enjoying the peace, " we have", with God through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
ACCESS is the second "we have", as a result of faith. Paul's word here means, " to be led or to be brought by someone into the presence of another person." It is " freedom to enter through the assistance and favour of another." Literally it means, "introduction." This is powerful.. We are through Jesus Christ introduced to God the Father as His trophies. "We have access," to God by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul says in Ephesians 3:12 that faith in Christ gives us "confidence." Confidence in access means acceptance with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Oh what fellowship we have by faith. What a privilege "we have." The privilege of access given to us by Christ brings us "into" our next "we have."
We have GRACE. Paul calls it "this grace", in verse 2. This grace is the entire issue of the book of Romans. This grace is the love of God through the Son and the Holy Spirit. All Three give us access to salvation. Forgiveness we do not deserve. Power to live Christ's life in sanctification, we do not deserve. Ongoing holy relationship with all Three, we do not earn or deserve. We are given their presence and love and grace, "wherein we stand," as if we had never sinned. No wonder Paul bubbles over in to the next "we have."
We have JOY and REJOICE. We have the grounds to rejoice in Jesus our redeemer. The believer's faith makes them joyful in their Lord. We rejoice in Christ's incarnation into our humanity. We rejoice in His power to overcome sin for us and in us. We rejoice that He is now present in presence with the Father and that presence is in us by the Holy Spirit. ( Verse 5. ) This "we have" is a dual one. It is "rejoicing in hope of the glory of God,"
The HOPE of the GLORY of God. "We have hope." Because Christ has been enthroned in heaven for us we have Hope. We have hope of the Gospel's ultimate triumph and our final total salvation. When we accept Christ by faith we are in love with Him who is enthroned in Heaven. We have peace, access, and liberty in Christ with the joy of hope. We share in the GLORY of God now through Christ and in future, by our final uplifting into heaven and His throne as Christ was taken up from us. Note that hope is not without another "we have."
We have Glory of God. The glory of God His grace and love. It is all They, the heavenly trio are to us the believers. The glory of God is our forgiveness. The glory of God is our power to conquer sin daily, so that we can be truly "overcomers" in Their strength. We have the hope of the glory of God that will one day soon, give us the finals of hope and joy and the ultimate of access when, "we shall all be changed." 1 Cor 15: 51. When we will lose all tendencies to evil. When we shall have our carnal human nature with all its inherited tendencies eradicated forever. When we will be finally totally sanctified and there will be no reversals.
We have the glory of God, His glory and grace and love, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. By faith we have His righteousness. All His glorious character bestowed upon us, by faith Now. We share His enthroned glory. All the glory He has for saving us. No wonder Paul could say in verse 3, "we glory."
We have "Glory". This is glory that we have from Christ. Peace and access and joy bring it with them from our Saviour. The word Paul uses means "boast, glory, rejoice to exult." So we are to boast in Christ and His power of justification and sanctification in us and with confidence. Confidence in Him. But that is not all, "We Have glory in tribulation!" Oh yes, final glory and salvation are not yet. The final glory we boast of is still future.
We have TRIBULATION verse 3. This word which Paul used means real serious troubles. It is, "pressure, circumstances outside of us" thrown against us by the world. It is, "crushing pressure and oppression." This is the type of trouble Paul had when he was stoned at Iconium but the next day reminded them all on the way to Derbe, "that through much tribulation thou shall enter the kingdom", finally. Yes, "we have" tribulation and Jesus made it clear in Matt 5:10-12 that we should, "rejoice and be exceedingly glad," about it!! Again, in Luke 6:22-23 Jesus said about "pressure" times, that we should react and, "leap for joy." Think of it!! We have the power and peace of mind of Christ to jump for joy when trouble strikes. Paul talking of trials in 2 Cor 12 concludes that in "weakness he is made strong." Tribulations confirm that we follow in the path Christ suffered on our behalf. He suffered and we will if we have Jesus us our friend. We have the privilege of proclaiming Christ and His gospel. That is the result and effect of justification and sanctification in our minds and lives. But before the final harvest we will have persecution trials and afflictions. However, tribulation results in "patience", (endurance- we hang in whatever); "experience" which trains us how to handle life with Christ as we progesss in sanctification; and " hope which does not make us ashamed, " Romans 5: 3-5.
We have "UNASHAMED HOPE." It is because we are Christ's family on earth. We are not ashamed of the Gospel because we know it is, " the power of God for our salvation," to all who believe in God. We are not ashamed because , "we have", "the LOVE OF GOD" shed abroad in our hearts." These are all the results of being obedient believing Christians.
Unashamed hope and the love of God in us, how? Paul goes on to explain in the last of verse 5.
We have THE HOLY SPIRIT who has been gifted permanently to us. We have Christ the gift of God to the whole world. We have the Holy Spirit, Christ's gift to ensure we live the sanctified life. With Him we have all the, "we haves" above. We have God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit living in us if we believe and obey their will. In John 14:23 and the context of chapters 14-16 Jesus made this promise very clear.
In verses 6-11 of Romans 5 Paul makes it very clear why "we have" what we have. It is because, " Christ died for the ungodly," like us. "God commended His love toward us." He made the first move, "while we were still sinners." Christ died for us and justified us. He paid the cost of sin, our death, "by His blood." So the result is, "we shall be saved from wrath..." We have been, "reconciled to God by the death of his Son." That is justification. Then Paul says in the same verse 10, "much more" in other words more than having been justified or reconciled, now we are, " being reconciled." That is progressive justification and reconciliation which is sanctification. So we are being, "saved by His life," rejoice and "joy in God." Our joy is because Christ has given us and "we have", "atonement" or reconciliation in fellowship with the heavenly trio. That is the result of being a believing and obeying Christian.
Let us all continue to rejoice and joy in the "we haves" of the Gospel.
We have, Jesus Christ and He gives justification which is our forgiveness.
We have His peace which brings fellowship and relationship with The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Sanctified peace with our God.
We have access into the presence of the Godhead.
We have the joy which the glory of God brings into our lives.
We have tribulation and life's pressures but we have God's power to support us.
We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, minds and lives.
We have the Holy Spirit to do it all in us and with us.
We have God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit living in us and with us. Not of works but by faith. It is counted for righteousness, holiness - sanctification.
We have it made. Salvation is ours here and now.
We have the promise of final Salvation with brand new bodies without the taint of sin when He appears soon.
We certainly have it made.
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