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July 3, 2016 — Romans 2:17-29

July 10, 2016 — Romans 3:9-20

July 17, 2016 — Romans 3:21-31

July 24, 2016 — Romans 5:1-11

July 31, 2016 — Romans 6:1-4, 12-14, 17-23

 

    

Sunday School Lesson

July 24

Unwavering Hope

 

Devotional Reading:Psalm 42

Background Scripture:Romans 5:1-11

 

Romans 5:1-11

 

 

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

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

 

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

 

5 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.

 

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

 

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

10 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.

 

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

Key Verse

 

Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. —Romans 5:5

 

Lesson Aims

 

After participating in this lesson, each learner will be able to:

 

1. Give reasons why Christians have unapologetic, unashamed hope.

 

2. Explain the relationship between justification and the believer’s expressions of faith, peace, and love.

 

3. Write a poem, song, or other expression of joy to celebrate the receiving of reconciliation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

Introduction

 

 

A. Stuck in the Snow

 

One December while I was in college, a friend and I were driving together to our hometown in Idaho for Christmas vacation. To get there, we had to navigate several tricky roads (one of which is known as “Deadman Pass”) in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. It was snowing, and my little sports car ultimately spun out and went off the roadway into a snow bank. We were not hurt, but the car was stuck, traffic was very light, and we were alarmed. Providentially it was only a few minutes until a large SUV pulled over to check on us. The driver offered us a lift to the next town, which would save us from freezing to death.

 

Then something remarkable happened. This kind man, who was in a hurry to make an appointment, noticed a pillow in the back of my car that had the insignia of my college fraternity. He said, “My two boys were members of that house.” And he spent the next 90 minutes digging us out of the snow bank, freeing my car. He then followed us to the next town, where he filled my gas tank before he went his way. A dangerous situation became a gracious rescue, more than we expected or deserved (given our foolhardy travel during dangerous winter conditions in an ill-equipped car).

 

Today’s lesson tells the much bigger story of God’s loving us so much that He acted to save us from an eternal death that we deserve. This is a core teaching in the book of Romans.

 

B. Lesson Background

 

The apostle Paul was involved in several great travel adventures, the last of which was his trip to Rome for a hearing before the emperor. The book of Acts ends with Paul awaiting this trial (Acts 28:30, 31). Rome was a destination he had desired for many years (Romans 1:13).

 

Prior to that visit, Paul had spent several months in Greece toward the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:2, 3). There, probably while in the city of Corinth, he wrote to the church in Rome in AD 57 or 58. Included in the letter are the apostle’s understanding of the Old Testament background for the Christian message, the nature of Christian salvation based on the atoning death of Christ, the centrality of faith as the only path for human salvation, the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians in the plan of God, and several other matters.

 

All this makes Romans both the most challenging of Paul’s letters to understand and the richest depository of what he calls “my gospel” (Romans 2:16; 16:25). The basis and reality of being justified by faith is the subject of Romans 1-4 in general and 3:24, 28 in particular (last week’s lesson). Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17 to set the tone for the entire book: “the just shall live by faith.”

 

This means that faith—complete trust in God—is the only way that life may be found. It cannot be earned by obedience, although obedience is important. It is not inherited by ancestry, although this is not unimportant (see Romans 3:1, 2; 9:4, 5). True life, eternal life, the life of salvation, is only found in trusting God to save us.

 

Abraham, the great patriarch of the Jews, was justified by faith (Romans 4:3, quoting Genesis 15:6). Thus the idea of faith in God as the core element of one’s life is not a Christian innovation. Such faith is to be the foundation of our relationship with God. This was intended as central in the pre-Israel period (Abraham), in the nation of Israel itself (Habakkuk), and in the church. This fact takes us into today’s text.

 

I. Unashamed Hope

 

                                                                   (Romans 5:1-5)

 

 

 

A. Result: Peace with God (vv. 1, 2)

 

1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

How to Say It

 

Bathsheba Bath-she-buh.

 

Corinth Kor-inth.

 

Habakkuk Huh-back-kuk.

 

Leviticus Leh-vit-ih-kus.

 

patriarch pay-tree-ark.

 

Pentecost Pent-ih-kost.

 

shalom (Hebrew) shah-lome.

 

 

 

The result of our justification by faith is peace with God. This peace is more than a mere cessation of hostilities, a peace treaty. Rather, it is an Old Testament kind of peace, as exemplified by the Hebrew word shalom.

 

In this sense, peace has the meaning of “satisfaction,” or “payment for an offense.” For example, Leviticus 24:21a states that a person who kills another’s animal must replace it. This half-verse uses the verb form of shalom, which is central to this process of making peace with another. Making peace with God is not simply saying, “God, I’m not going to fight you any more.” According to Paul, some sort of restitution must occur to have peace with God. That restitution happens through our Lord Jesus Christ (compare Ephesians 2:14). This is the theme that Paul will unpack in the remainder of our lesson.

 

What Do You Think?

 

In what ways does having peace with God affect the way you live daily? How should it?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

At home

 

At work/school

 

When traveling

 

Other

 

2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

The word access gives a picture of being in the presence of God (compare Ephesians 2:18; 3:12). Access to God was limited under the Law of Moses. Direct access to God’s presence in the temple’s Holy of Holies was reserved for the high priest, and he could claim this access but once a year (see Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:7). But the veil of the temple has been torn open through the death of Christ (Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 10:19, 20), and access is now available to all.

 

This is not because of our own efforts, but by the grace of God. We are spiritually able to stand in God’s presence, to have a living, dynamic relationship with our Creator despite our sin. This is a cause for rejoicing, since it removes the curse of sin that has broken this essential relationship. We can anticipate the future with hope. We need not fear being in God’s presence.

 

Access, Granted and Denied

 

My dad inherited an old piece of furniture called a secretary. Its distinguishing feature was a large panel that was attached to the main body of the unit by horizontal hinges. When swung open, that panel served as a writing surface.

 

The panel had a lock to keep it secure when in the closed position. Unfortunately the key to the lock had been lost. One day my father removed the lock so he could take it with him to flea markets, where some booths would have large jars of old keys. Dad tried all those keys in the lock, eventually finding a fit. As a result, he could lock the secretary but gain access whenever he desired.

 

So often it seems that people pay great attention to locking up their physical valuables (house, car, etc.) while living “lock free” lives in an ethical and moral sense. They want the freedom to do and say anything, and they don’t mind allowing unholy ideas or persons to gain access to them in return. They believe that moral locks are to be left open or removed altogether, with no need for a key.

 

But the Bible notes the importance of keys in a spiritual sense (examples: Matthew 16:19; Revelation 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1). Sin had locked us out of access to God, but Christ became the key that unlocks. May we ever hold that key dear!

 

—C. R. B.

 

B. Result: Gift of the Spirit (vv. 3-5)

 

3, 4. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.

 

Paul turns from grand expressions of spiritual hope to the realities of our lives. How do we attain the hope of verse 2 in the real world, in the daily grind of life? Paul knows that the Christians in Rome are undergoing tribulations, and by this he means suffering for their faith in Christ (compare 1 Peter 1:5-7). This may be true particularly of Jewish Christians if they are constantly threatened with persecution by the more established and powerful non-Christian Jews of the city. This applies to us too, for not everything about being a follower of Christ is easy and without personal cost. As Jesus predicted, following Him requires that we take up our own crosses (Mark 8:34), to die to self and live for Him (see Romans 6:6).

 

Paul reminds his readers of the patience they learn when they suffer (compare James 1:2, 3). The causes of suffering are not always eliminated quickly. Sometimes these situations must be patiently endured. Enduring hardships serves to give us experience. This has the sense of seasoning our souls, thereby giving us hope, because as we have endured suffering in the past, we will be able to endure it in the future.

 

Pain is not a sign that God has abandoned us. Our hope can never be taken from us, for it is based on the gracious expression of God’s love through the giving of His Son, Jesus our Lord.

 

What Do You Think?

 

What have been some personal costs to you in following Christ? How do you deal with the sense of loss that these costs entail?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

Regarding costs in relationships

 

Regarding costs of career opportunities

 

Regarding financial costs

 

Other

 

5. 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.

 

We are not ashamed to hold this hope in front of us. In addition to a sense of “being unashamed,” hope also includes the idea of “not being disappointed.” Our hope is not mere wishful thinking. It has a solid basis, for it springs from mighty acts of God that affect our lives. Paul will go on to explain the powerful implications of Christ’s death, but at this point he gives another, more immediate confirmation and benefit of our hope: the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

To shed does not have the meaning here of “take off,” such as when I shed my coat on entering the house. Here we have an older use of the word shed that we see in the expression “shed blood.” With the sense of pouring, this is a vivid word-picture of a spiritual reality: God’s pouring the Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers. It is reminiscent of the Day of Pentecost, where the dramatic reception of the Holy Spirit among the gathered disciples was seen as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that God would “pour out” His Spirit in the last days (Acts 2:17, 33; compare Titus 3:5, 6).

 

Paul has not yet experienced the fellowship of the Roman church personally, but he is confident of a spiritual connection with its members. All Christians share in the gift of the Holy Spirit, freely given by God to comfort and guide us. Christianity is not a do-it-yourself faith. It is a living reality shared similarly by all Christians, who are vessels of God’s holy presence in their lives. This reality is a confirming factor in our hope, the “earnest” (down payment) of our great future with God (see 2 Corinthians 5:5).

 

What Do You Think?

 

What connections do you experience between having the Holy Spirit and having love in your heart toward others?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

When the Holy Spirit seems active in your life

 

When the Holy Spirit seems inactive in your life

 

II. Unearned Salvation

 

                                                                 (Romans 5:6-11)

 

 

 

A. Basis: Christ’s Death (vv. 6, 7)

 

6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

Having given context for our great hope, Paul now further explains how our salvation is made possible. First, he quickly sketches the human plight. The word translated without strength is often used in the New Testament to refer to physical illnesses, afflictions of those in need of healing (example: Luke 10:9). But the apostle uses it here to refer to spiritual sickness, our weakness when it comes to obeying the will of our Creator.

 

All of the tragic stories of the Old Testament are summed up in the phrase when we were yet without strength: Adam and Eve’s eating fruit of the forbidden tree, the Israelites’ partying around a golden calf, David’s committing adultery and murder because of his lust for Bathsheba, etc. In every case, spiritual weakness led to sin. That is our situation as well. We are on the way to spiritual death, and nothing we do can restore ourselves to health. What is the solution?

 

 

 

The answer is that in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Let’s be very clear: those who are without strength are the ungodly. Our spiritual weakness has brought us to a contempt for God, a frightening and dangerous lack of reverence and awe for the king of the universe. Yet despite this heinous disrespect, God has done something for us that only He can do: He sent His Son to die for us.

 

7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

 

Paul slows down a bit to explain in more detail. Why is it so extraordinary for Christ to die for sinners? Paul answers with the analogy of everyday life, probing the deep feelings of his readers. It would be unusual for someone to give his or her life for another, even for a righteous man. Perhaps, Paul says, it is within the realm of possibility for one to sacrifice his life for an extremely good person, but everyone knows that this is a rare and unlikely occurrence.

 

In the 1960s, former president Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a series of heart attacks and was near death. At the time, a new medical procedure was making headlines: heart transplants. Many World War II veterans who had served under Eisenhower offered to donate their own healthy hearts for their beloved former army commander, an example of someone daring to die for a good man. None of these well-intended offers was accepted, of course, but the willingness to die for another made headlines nonetheless. Thus Paul’s point still stands.

 

B. Basis: God’s Love (vv. 8, 9)

 

8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Paul brings us to a great irony, a great mystery of the Christian faith. When Christ died for us, it was not a deserved act for a beloved and relatively good man like Eisenhower. It was a selfless, inexplicable expression of God’s love for sinners.

 

Paul describes this as God’s commending his love toward us. This has a sense of “proving” or “giving an unquestionable display”—a strong statement! Who can doubt God’s love when realizing that He freely gave His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins? The great mystery is why God loves us so much! He chooses to love us even though we deserve exactly the opposite.

 

9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

The implications of Christ’s death for sinners include past, present, and future aspects. First, the death of Christ is a past, historical event. The great sacrifice for human sin was accomplished during a Passover week in Jerusalem more than a quarter century ago from Paul’s perspective. Jesus needed to die only once, for He was the perfect and final sacrifice for sin (see Romans 6:10; compare Hebrews 9:28a).

 

Second, the blood of Christ and our faith in its saving power have the effect of making us righteous, justified. This legal language indicates salvation in the present. We don’t have to wait for justification. We are justified by grace right now.

 

Third, the Bible promises that all will be subject to judgment after death (see Acts 17:31; Hebrews 9:27). Paul promises that Christ will save us from the deserved verdict of our judgment, the wrath of God against sin. The righteous, perfect judgment of God is sure. But also assured is our salvation through the atoning death of God’s own Son, for He will come again to save us (see Hebrews 9:28b).

 

C. Basis: Christ’s Resurrection (vv. 10, 11)

 

10. 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.

 

Paul presses further by describing our unsaved state as being enemies of God. This is a warfare analogy, but God was not the aggressor—we were! We were the cause of hostilities! We were the perpetrators! We were found to be fighting against God (compare Acts 5:39; 26:14). And in the midst of this one-sided battle, He brought peace. We are now reconciled to God.

 

Whereas the language of justification in verse 9 is legal in nature, the language of reconciliation here speaks to a personal relationship. Reconciliation is a key concept for Paul (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). It is the process by which adversaries become friends. This is central to the gospel message, that we no longer need fear that God hates us and wants to destroy us. Instead, we believe that He loves us and that there is no remaining cause for alienation and no excuse for rejecting His offer of salvation.

 

Paul drives this home by reminding us of the hope we have for the future. This is especially based on his life, referring to Christ’s resurrection. We are saved now by His atoning death, and we will be saved in the future by our resurrected and living Savior. He will not forget us when He comes again in power and glory.

 

Reconciled, Saved

 

Years ago, I had a friend who built his own house. He had a full-time job, but evenings and weekends he spent on this project. He contracted for some of the work, such as wiring and plumbing. But by and large, he did most of the construction himself: he laid floors, put up wallboard, installed windows and cabinets, painted, hung lights, etc.

 

When construction was finished almost two years later, he and his family moved in. We would think, of course, that that was the natural and reasonable thing to do. That’s why he was building the house in the first place. To have abandoned the house upon its completion would be far outside the bounds of expected behavior!

 

God has gone to great lengths to reconcile us through the Son so the Holy Spirit can “move in.” Would God finish construction only to abandon us? Of course not! Collectively, we are being “built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). Those He reconciles, He will also save. This we can cling to even in (or especially in) our darkest hours.

 

—C. R. B.

 

What Do You Think?

 

When was a time that your reconciliation with someone bore similarities with how people are reconciled with God? What did you learn from this experience?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

Regarding who made the first move in reconciling (Matthew 5:24)

 

Regarding how the first move was received

 

Regarding the permanence of the reconciliation

 

Other

 

11. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

These are not grim words of judgment and warning; the apostle is rejoicing as he explains these things. Earlier he noted that people of faith should be people of hope. Now, he concludes this section by saying that people of faith and hope will also be people of joy.

 

The reason why is summed up in the word atonement. This noun translates the same basic word that Paul uses in the previous verse, where as a verb it is rendered “reconciled” (twice). This reconciliation/atonement word is used in the financial world of Paul’s day to refer to paying up an account, making good what is deficient. It is not far removed from today’s accounting world, where “reconciling accounts” refers to making records come out evenly. The debt for sin is paid by God’s Son. Our personal account, with all its sin debt, is paid off by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. No wonder Paul is so thankful!

 

What Do You Think?

 

What can we do to put aside the felt need to “even the accounts” with other people?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

At work

 

In marriage

 

With a sibling

 

On the freeway

 

Other

 

Conclusion

 

 

 

A. Proven Love

 

How do you “prove” love? How do you prove to someone that you love him or her? In medieval times, a man would bend a silver coin and give it to his sweetheart as a promise of his love and intention to marry. This is similar in some ways to a man giving an expensive engagement ring to his fiancée. In both cases, this is wealth not easily spent. At the core, this is a demonstration of love that is proven by actions, not simply by words.

 

God’s love for us is more than promises or words. He has proven His love by sending His only Son to die for us while we were hostile and disobedient. The fact that the sinless one gave himself for sinners means that we need never doubt His love for us. So when you feel that life is rotten and unfair, remember that God has proven His love for you. When it seems that He has abandoned you, remember that He has proven His love for you. When you feel worthless and insignificant, remember that God has proven His love for you. He does so now and forevermore.

 

B. Prayer

 

Loving Father, we do not fully understand why You love us, but we believe it. When we were weak-souled because of sin, You loved us. At the right time, You proved Your love by sending Your Son to die for us. May we love You more and more each day. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

C. Thought to Remember

 

God’s proven love is the basis of the Christian’s hope.

 

 

 

Kid’s Corner

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles God’s Enemies

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

 

 

Romans 5:2-11

 

(Romans 5:1)  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation “by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27), we have peace with God because God has declared us to be right with Him (justified) and in a right relationship with Him (reconciled); furthermore, we have peace within our hearts and minds. We are no longer at war against God; we are no longer His enemies, and God no longer considers us enemies or in rebellion against His Kingdom, for we have been changed and the Holy Spirit indwells us. We are no longer at war against the followers of Jesus Christ or at war within ourselves. We love to follow and obey Jesus Christ because He is our Lord and Savior;

our Lord has saved us by His free grace and power as a gift, a gift we totally do not deserve and could never earn.

 

(Romans 5:2)  through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

 

We stand before God by God’s grace, forgiveness, and pardon for our sins; we obey the law of faith and trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation (we are justified). We stand in the presence of God as one of God’s friends instead of one of God’s enemies, as one of His loving and devoted children by our adoption into God’s family (we are reconciled). By faith in Jesus Christ, we stand in joy and peace in the presence of God, which is made possible by God’s friendship and fatherhood toward us, expressed to us through our Lord Jesus Christ and His work in our lives. We now have hope, the assurance and conviction that what God has promised to do in and for us God will do. Through Jesus Christ, we will be enabled to show forth the glory of God, the image of God, and after our resurrection from the dead we will be glorified. We can boast in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, and in Jesus’ gracious words and works, but not in our faith or works.

 

(Romans 5:3)  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

 

We glory in God and the future that God has prepared for every believer in Jesus Christ. We also glory in our sufferings because our sufferings are not meaningless; God has a plan to use our sufferings for our good always. Through trusting in Jesus, whose Spirit lives and works within us, our sufferings will make us better believers and better able to bring God honor and glorify God in every situation, whether or not our sufferings are removed in this life. The Holy Spirit will work in us while we suffer and empower us to persevere in faithful trust and obedience to Jesus while we suffer—we glory in this fact and the opportunity we have to show forth the faithfulness of God to His children.

 

(Romans 5:4)  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

 

As we suffer as believers, we are conscious of making a choice (often repeatedly) and sometimes after great struggles to persist in faithful obedience to God in Christ rather than give up and turn away from God. As we choose to trust in Jesus with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power, our character (our moral power and consistency of purpose to keep loving God, others, and ourselves) further develops and glorifies God. Perseverance and character development are not automatic or mechanical, but through our faith in Jesus Christ; therefore, our hope of obtaining God’s future for us becomes more assured and we become spiritually stronger to face life’s challenges.

 

(Romans 5:5)  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

As Job suffered, his “friends” and Satan unjustly tried to make him feel ashamed and guilty and deserving of God’s punishment. Similar afflictions and “comforts” can happen to those who keep trusting in Christ while they suffer. Through the Holy Spirit, God pours out His love into the hearts of everyone who believes in Jesus Christ for salvation. The loving work of the indwelling Holy Spirit will grant us assurance of God’s everlasting love and grace in our suffering. Believers do not need to rely on their feelings of being loved by God while they suffer; rather, they trust in God’s Word that the Holy Spirit has brought home to their hearts as they have studied and applied the Scriptures over the years. The Holy Spirit has indeed been given to all who believe in Jesus Christ, and they know His love and peace; therefore, their suffering will not make them ashamed no matter what their accusers say.

 

(Romans 5:6)  For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

According to God’s perfect timing, Christ died for the ungodly, and Paul has already proved that Jews and Gentiles have behaved in ungodly ways—that includes us today. Because we have behaved in ungodly ways, we are unable to save ourselves or stand in the presence of God in the right (as righteous or justified) apart from the work of Jesus Christ and faith in Him. We are powerless to make ourselves right with God. God himself began to make us right with Him when Christ died for the ungodly (which includes us) and God completes our justification (makes us right in His sight and just judgement on the Great Day of Judgment) when we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.

 

(Romans 5:7)  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

 

A “righteous person” in this context is one who appears to be right before the watching world. In their own eyes the Pharisees were “righteous” because of their works according to their laws. Rarely will someone die in the place 0f someone who lives like the Pharisees acted in their presence. A “good person” is probably one who strives to do good to others or help people in need. Paul wrote that a “good person” might so win the admiration or love of someone that they might be willing to die in their place for them.

 

(Romans 5:8)  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

When God looked (and looks) at sinners (and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God—Romans 3:23), God does not see righteous and good people because God looks into our hearts. But rather than see us all judged and condemned to eternal death because we have violated God’s Law of Love, God has proven His love for us by sending Jesus Christ to die for us—so God could be just when He justifies us. Because we know these facts even while we suffer, we have hope for the future and for the glory of God that we will experience in ever greater measures throughout eternity.

 

(Romans 5:9)  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

 

No matter what we feel or what is happening to us or around us, we have the hope, the assurance of God’s fulfilled promises and works, that we will be saved from God’s just punishment on the Great Day of Judgment (the Day of God’s wrath). By grace, Jesus Christ shed His blood as a sacrifice on our behalf and we have been justified and have peace with God now and forever through faith in Him. We know we will be saved on the Great Day of Judgment because God’s love has been poured into our hearts and the Holy Spirit has been given to us.

 

(Romans 5:10)  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

 

Paul emphasized the benefits of faith in Jesus Christ, and we begin to consciously receive these benefits when we believe in Jesus Christ. We do not trust in our imperfect life and works or what we hope to do in the future, but we trust in the life and works of Jesus Christ who died and rose again for us before we ever repented and began to love and trust in Jesus or our heavenly Father. Since Jesus has done all that Paul has described and even more for us while we were still God’s enemies, by His life and work in our lives we have the assurance that He can and will give us eternal life as He promised (see John 3:16).

 

(Romans 5:11)  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

 

When we sinned against God and refused to love God and others as we ought, we sinned personally against a personal God (not some distant dictator or potentate who is concerned only for his selfish interests and obedience to his rules). After we rebelled against God and brought disgrace upon ourselves, we could not have an acceptable personal relationship with God because of our true moral guilt. A judge in a courtroom can justify or condemn us impersonally without ever desiring to have a personal, loving relationship with us. But God created us in His image and God loves us and wants to have an eternal loving personal relationship with us. Therefore, Jesus Christ came into the world to justify, forgive, and pardon guilty sinners; through Jesus Christ God has established a personal, loving relationship between God and us. Jesus prays for us as our High Priest in heaven, God the Father hears and answers His prayers for us, and the Holy Spirit indwells us to comfort and guide us—these are some of the fruits of reconciliation that we have received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Our reconciliation is with and through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our justification through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made our reconciliation possible. Our God and King, the Judge of the universe, wants to have a personal, loving, everlasting relationship with us, and through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we have become true and lasting friends with God and members of His forever family.

 

 

 

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles

God’s Enemies

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

 

 

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10).

 

In Romans chapter 5, we learn that Jesus died for people described as powerless, ungodly, sinners, and God’s enemies. Paul explained why Jesus died for such people, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8). Most Christians will admit that they have done things that were sinful and ungodly and though forgiven they still need God’s help to overcome temptations; therefore, Paul assured believers that Jesus Christ lives and will save them through His life. Earlier in his letter, Paul wrote that those who have placed their faith in Jesus and His death for them will be declared justified or right with God. On the Day of Judgment, God will declare they are justified and free to live forever in His Kingdom, similar to a human judge in a court of law judging a defendant not guilty and free to live in human society. A human judge probably does not desire a close personal relationship with every person who comes to trial in their courtroom, but God loves us and wants a loving personal relationship with everyone who repents and believes in Jesus. To be reconciled by God through faith in Jesus Christ means we stop being God’s enemy with Jesus bringing us into a close, loving, personal relationship with God the Father, Himself, and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Because Jesus lives, He will graciously save from sin, judgment, and eternal death those justified by God and reconciled to God and freely give them eternal life.

 

 

 

Thinking Further

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles

God’s Enemies

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Name ___________________________

 

1. What kind of peace do believers in Jesus Christ have through faith in Him?

 

 

2. When is boasting wrong and when is it right?

 

 

3. Give one reason the followers of Christ can glory in their sufferings?

 

 

4. What reason did Paul give for our hope as believers not putting us to shame?

 

 

5. What were we like when Christ died for us?

 

 

 

 

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

 

1. What kind of peace do believers in Jesus Christ have through faith in Him?

Because they are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, they have peace with God. They have stopped being enemies of God. Because they believe in Jesus, God has declared them justified (right). They have peace within themselves. Because their behavior has changed, their conscience no longer accuses them. In some cases, by asking forgiveness and making restitution where possible and wise, they have peace with those they have wronged. They stay at peace with others when it depends upon them and is possible.

 

2. When is boasting wrong and when is it right?

Boasting is wrong when we boast that our works make us acceptable to God and that we are better than others who do not do the works that we do. Boasting is right when we “boast in the hope of the glory of God” that we have access to by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Boasting is right when we boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received reconciliation.

 

3. Give one reason the followers of Christ can glory in their sufferings?

They know their suffering has meaning and purpose and will produce perseverance, character, and hope that does not disappoint.

 

4. What reason did Paul give for our hope as believers not putting us to shame?

 (Discuss Romans 5:5)

 

5. What were we like when Christ died for us?

Powerless, ungodly, sinners, God’s enemies

 

 

 

Word Search

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles

God’s Enemies

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Name ______________________

 

 

X Q G Q M C N G M X H L Q I R

V Z U T H W R X D Q O B E A W

R O P R B A F Q M I P Z H M E

P W I O C O S I N N E R S C G

L S V E R K T A M K R Y N Z D

T O Y A J E H L V E T A U E F

G M V I K I W J C E R L I R P

N O T E S B U O L E D F N E U

I W H Y O J N E V K I Z A T N

R D N A H C N E Q T F C F C G

E P S Z I E S L S I E G D A O

F T F L M R G U F A D L T R D

F N E I E D J N C B I O Y A L

U D E P H P F A I T H R G H Y

S S S S E L R E W O P Y I C X

 

Justified

Faith

Peace

Christ

Grace

Boast

Hope

Glory

Suffering

Perseverance

Character

Love

Powerless

Ungodly

Sinners

Enemies

Reconciled

Saved

 

 

 

 

True and False Test

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles God’s Enemies

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Name ____________________________

 

Circle the true or false answers. Correct the false statements by restating them.

 

 

1. We cannot have peace with God until we get to heaven and see Jesus. True or False

 

2. It is always a sin to boast. True or False

 

3. Our works are more important than grace in order for us to get to heaven after we die. True or False

 

4. We have good reasons to glory in our sufferings. True or False

 

5. Perseverance in suffering can produce proven character. True or False

 

6. There is a relationship between proven character and hope. True or False

 

7. Through the Holy Spirit God’s love is poured out into the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. True or False

 

8. Jesus Christ came at just the right time. True or False

 

9. The death of Christ for us demonstrates God’s own love for us. True or False

 

10. Through our Lord Jesus Christ believers in Him receive reconciliation with God. True or False

 

 

Answers to the True and False Test

Romans 5:1-11

Sunday, July 24, 2016

 

1.     False

2.     False

3.     False

4.     True

5.     True

6.     True

7.     True

8.     True

9.     True

10.   True

 

 

Closing Prayer

 

Loving Father, we do not fully understand why You love us, but we believe it. When we were weak-souled because of sin, You loved us. At the right time, You proved Your love by sending Your Son to die for us. May we love You more and more each day. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.