The theme of the Epistle to the Romans is the Righteousness of God. The reason this theme is so important is that it shows us the only way to God and Heaven.
In earlier messages in this series we covered:
Man’s desperate need of God’s righteousness. Romans 1:18-3:20. We need that righteousness because we are sinners and God will not allow sin in Heaven.
God’s method of declaring us righteous and fit for Heaven is called Justification. Romans 3:21-5:21. God justifies us by offering us His righteousness totally by His grace, apart from any works of our own. God provided it for us by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the penalty for our sins by shedding His innocent blood and dying in our place. God proved His pleasure and satisfaction in this sacrifice by raising His Son from the dead three days later, as prophesied.
Salvation is available to those, who recognizing their total helplessness to change their lives and make themselves fit for Heaven, come in humility and receive by faith the saving work of Christ.
Justification includes two concepts we need to understand.
1. Propitiation is mentioned in Romans 3:25. Unlike the concept of doing penance for our sins, as is taught in false religions; propitiation is the concept that Jesus has already borne God’s wrath for our sins. God’s wrath for our sins, which should have fallen on us for eternity, has already fallen on Jesus and God is propitiated, fully satisfied by that Sacrifice. This concept of propitiation is also taught in I John 2:1-2 and 4:10.
2. Imputation is the other concept. Taught in Romans 4:6-9, imputation is God’s transference of our guilt to an innocent sacrifice in our place. As the Israelites in Old Testament times by faith brought innocent animal sacrifices to theTemple to be sacrificed in their place; so we are saved from the penalty of our sins as by faith and gratitude we accept God’s transference of our guilt from us to Christ; believing that His Sacrifice saves us, making us fit for Heaven.
Leviticus 1:1-5 describes this. When a sinner brought a lamb or bullock to the temple to be sacrificed in his place, in faith in God’s provision, he placed his hand on the head of the animal sacrifice as a symbol of transferring his guilt to the animal sacrifice. Then the priest carried out the slaying of the animal, as proscribed in Leviticus. With the death of the animal sacrifice, the Israelite was forgiven of his sin.
Of course, the problem with this plan was that Israelites had to repeat the sacrifice constantly as they continued to sin. Hebrews 10:1-10 deals with this problem, showing that Christ is the permanent sacrifice and solution. to the sin problem. Hebrews 10 is well worth reading and rereading until you understand it.
This sacrificial animal was a type of Christ, foreshadowing what Christ Himself, in the fullness of time, would accomplish on the cross.
Now let’s get into the matter of the first and second Adam, taught in Romans 5:12-21, as we conclude our study of the doctrine of Justification.
To help us better understand and appreciate this topic, take time to consider this thought-provoking question.
IN WHAT THREE WAYS MIGHT GOD HAVE CHOSEN TO SAVE US?
1. God might have overlooked our sins and allowed us to enter Heaven simply because He loves us. But that would be impossible! That solution would have been contrary to God’s holiness. God’s love and holiness never contradict one another. Heaven would become like Hell.
2. God could have planned to allow only those measuring up to His holy standards to go to Heaven. But that also is impossible! That would rule out the entire human race, for all of us are sinners, having inherited that sinful nature from our first father, Adam.
3. That leaves only one other option. God Himself could become a man and come down to earth to be sentenced to death in our place, the death that we deserved as sinners. That’s exactly what God did. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. God poured out His wrath, which we deserved, on Christ as He became the sacrifice for our sins that we might have imputed to our account, His righteousness. Read II Corinthians 5:21 repeatedly until you understand it.
Now, let’s get back to Romans 5:12-21 as we consider the two Adams.
THE FIRST ADAM
God in His wisdom and foreknowledge, knowing the end from the beginning, created Adam, the first man, from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into him; and man became a living soul. Later, when Adam was emotionally prepared for a wife, God created Eve from Adam’s rib and brought him to Adam to love and to cherish for as long as they lived.
He placed them in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place He had prepared for them with no sin nor the curse of sin to spoil their perfect life together. You are no doubt familiar with the story of their perfect life until Satan, as a beautiful serpent, came to Eve to tempt her and spoil their perfect life, free of sin and its curse. The full account of their temptation and sin is found in Genesis 3.
Eve listened to the serpent and we learn in I Timothy 2:11-14 that she was deceived. She ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to her husband who also ate. There is no indication that Adam was deceived; but he walked into this sin of disobedience with his eyes wide open.
Up until this time, both were naked and not ashamed. Now they both recognized their nakedness and guilt and tried to hide themselves from God among the trees of the Garden. Of course, no one can hide from God and it didn’t take God long to find them and confront them about what they had done.
They both attempted to make excuses to God; but God was not impressed with their excuses. They made excuses and played the blame game; but God cut through to their disobedience and pronounced a curse on them and on the Serpent, Satan.
Then in Genesis3:15, God announced the future course of history and the basic plot of the Bible.
1. Enmity between God and His family vs. Satan and his family.
2. God’s SEED (eventually Jesus) would mortally wound and permanently destroy Satan
3. In the meantime, Satan would do some relatively temporary, minor damage to God’s family.
This thumbnail sketch of history has been and will ultimately conclude the history of mankind and the struggle between God and Satan and the ultimate destruction of Satan. That is the story line of the Bible.
Some of you are thinking, “But this plan is not fair. Why should God condemn me a sinner for what Adam and Eve did years ago? Let me finish the story and then you can decide how fair God is.
THE SECOND ADAM
God, knowing that Adam would sin and plunge the entire human race into sin and death, in His great wisdom and love devised a plan of salvation even before He created the world. Jesus is seen in Revelation 13:8 as the “Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”
Read Romans 5:15-21 and I Corinthians 15:21-22. Note, as you read these passages the words ONE and MANY. God has two federal heads of the human race. Adam is the head of the human race that sinned and died. Jesus is the Head of the redeemed human race who by faith in Him is given eternal life.
THE ESSENCE OF SALVATION
Through faith in Christ we leave the doomed family of the first Adam and are placed supernaturally into the redeemed family of the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Second Adam
1. We are justified and have a perfect legal standing with God.
2. We have a regenerated and recreated soul that loves righteousness and hates sin.
3. We experience the grace and love of God.
4. We have Peace with God. Romans 5:1
5. Not only are we counted righteous, but we are being made righteous, as we will see in our study of Romans 6 through 8.
What about the Law of God? We can’t just ignore it. Romans 5:20. explains that though we fall far short of it; thank God, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Grace is more than a match for it.
The New Testament epistles use the phrase IN CHRIST. II Corinthians 5:17 teaches that salvation is the state of being In Christ. We were all born in Adam. Are you still IN ADAM or are you now IN CHRIST? If you are IN CHRIST the old life you lived before salvation is passing away and your new life as a Christian is becoming more evident as you seek to allow Christ to control your thinking, your desires and your actions.
IN WHICH ADAM ARE YOU?
The first Adam who sinned and brought the curse of sin on all of us?
Or, the second Adam, Christ Himself, who took the curse of sin for us by shedding His blood for us on the cross?
No one will deny that positive parenting and positive preaching, such as encouragement and positive reinforcement, is effective and to be preferred over negative parenting and negative preaching. You’ve, no doubt, heard the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
But there’s a time and place for confronting our children as parents and our congregations as pastors with negatives. There’s a time and place for preaching “Thou shalt not!” and dealing with sin.
We parents use the words NO and DON’T as we warn our children of evil and danger. Those words can become overused as a bad habit for everything, even things that don’t matter. But we ought not be afraid to warn our children when needed for their safety and for their own good.
We are constantly faced by laws given to us as prohibitions: Do Not Touch, No parking, Speed Limits, No Passing, NO U turns, Do Not Enter, No Loitering, etc. limiting our freedoms for our safety, as well as the safety of others.
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 are given toIsraelas negatives, except for the 4th commandment to honor the Sabbath Day and the 5th to honor our parents which are given as positive commands. (To learn why Christians today are not under the strict Sabbath laws and the observance of the Sabbath, go to my category SABBATH.)
God is not afraid of warping our personalities with negative commands. In this world we can’t get away from negatives. Our cheerful, humble, obedient responses to the negatives separate us from the scorners.
A wise person humbles himself and surrenders to the negative restrictions placed on him from God’s Word and from human authority God has placed over him as parents, teachers, police officers and judges. A foolish rebel stiffens his neck and refuses to bow to authority. With fire in his eyes, he snarls, “No one tells ME what to do!”
It’s good to take a stand for God and refuse to compromise with evil; but it’s wrong to take a stand for ourselves and insist on having our own way in every area of life, when God has placed us under authority.
Let’s look at some Negatives in Proverbs 3:1-12. Note, that in every case God promises to bless those who obey Him, just as He promises long life to those who honor their parents in the 5th commandment.
I. FORGET NOT MY LAW Proverbs 3:1
It’s easy to forget God’s Laws if we do not spend time in His Word and listen to Biblical preaching. That’s why Paul urges Pastor Titus in Titus 3:1-2 to “put them in mind to be subject to legitimate authority”
We are to keep commandments from the heart. If our desire to obey does not spring from the heart, but is forced or coerced, such is not true obedience, as far as God is concerned, but is mere legalism, an attitude Christians should abhor.
Israelfailed. They ignored God’s Laws, or observed it legalistically, as did the Pharisees in the four Gospels. That’s the story of the Old Testament. They either ignored God and stuck out their tongues at Him, so to speak; or else they went through the motions of observing it legalistically with no heart for God. As a result, they faced His chastening and judgment for their rebellion.
II. FORSAKE NOT CHRISTIAN GRACES Proverbs 3:3-4
Proverbs 3:3-4 encourages us to not forsake Godly attitudes and actions, such as mercy and truth. What a beautiful balance in the Christian’s life! Jesus was filled with mercy, truth, righteousness and peace. Psalm 85:10 expresses it beautifully. “Mercy and Truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The Lord Jesus embodied these four beautiful virtues, as should we who are Christians.
The New Testament is filled with such instruction. For example, Ephesians 4:21-32 describes the beautiful attitudes and relationships that should be obvious among Christians at church and elsewhere. I remind you again from Proverbs 3:1 that these godly attitudes and relationships should spring from our hearts. Proverbs 3:4 reminds us that these heart observances bring favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Could you ask for anything more wonderful than that?
EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIAN GRACES
Note some examples of godly graces, such as truth and mercy, in the lives of well known Bible characters. Read of Joseph of the Old Testament, who was mistreated by his older brothers and later by Potiphar’s wife. Read how when he had the opportunity to be vengeful for mistreatment by his brothers, he showed mercy and truth to them in Genesis 39-47.
Read the stories of David in I Samuel, starting with ch 17. Read how King Saul and others mistreated him and how he responded in meekness and kindness towards them.
In Luke2:52we have a one verse biography of the childhood of Jesus. as He grew to adulthood. There we learn that He had favor with God and with man.
In Acts2:46-47 we have the secret of growth for churches; simply allowing Christ to be seen in our relationships with one another.
III. LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING Proverbs 3:5-6
Use your understanding and common sense; but don’t lean on it. Trust the Lord exclusively and unreservedly, Certainly, don’t lean on your own righteousness, but Christ, as Paul testified in Philippians 3:3-9. Jeremiah warned in his prophesy in Jeremiah 17:9 to beware of leaning on the arm of flesh.
Weight loss and exercises programs have advertised with before and after pictures for as long as I can remember. In the 1940’s when I was a kid, the Charles Atlas ad for a strong, muscular body was in all the comic books.
Romans 5 describes for us the before and after truths of Justification by Faith.
I. BEFORE JUSTIFICATION
Before Justification we were ungodly, not at all God-like, Romans 5:6 declares.
Before Justification we were without strength to live a godly life. Like the impotent man of John 5 who sat by the pool for 38 years waiting for someone to help him into the healing waters of Bethesda, we were helpless to even lift a finger to help ourselves become godly. So today the unconverted are helpless to save themselves and live a godly life.
God alone is our strength to live a godly life, we learn in Psalm 19:14, Phil. 4:13 and II Corinthians 12:9
Before Justification we were sinners, Romans 5:8 declares. We commit acts of sin because we are sinners. That’s the theme of Romans 1-3. Listen to Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Before Justifications we were enemies of God, Romans5:10 declares. Sinners are not neutral nor passive about God, but active enemies of God and all those who belong to God. At the same time sinners enjoy an active friendship with this sinful, God-hating, Bible-hating, Christian-hating world system.
By world system, we’re not referring to God’s wonderful creation. Every Christian rightfully loves and appreciates God’s wonderful creation and it is not out of place for us to be concerned environmentalists.
On the other hand, the God-hating atheist actually worships the creation, rather than the Creator. They are the extreme environmentalists who make life miserable for the rest of us. Romans 1:18-25 describes these enemies of God who, in their rebellion, hold down or suppress God’s Truth and end up worshipping the creation, rather than the Creator. As you are well aware, these enemies of God are not Creationists, but evolutionists.
Before Justification, we were dead in our sins, Ephesians 2:4-5 teaches.
Before Justification we were facing God’s eternal wrath. Romans 1:18
So with whom is God angry, according to Romans 1:18?
Not only is He angry with out-and-out atheists; but He is also angry with those who claim to be Christians who claim to hold the Truth of God’s Word, but are actually suppressing the Truth by claiming to be Christians, but having absolutely no love for God, for His holiness, or for His Word.
There has been absolutely no change in their lives. They are much more at home in this sinful world system than they are sitting under the teaching of God’s Word. Basically there his been no change in their lives since they claimed to be Christians. Their’s is a dead, hypocritical faith according to James 2:17-20. making their claim to Christianity null and void.
The message of II Corinthians 5:17 is just as much a part of the Gospel as John 3:16. That message is that those who put their trust in Christ for salvation are born again as a new creation. The old life with it lusts and pleasures is passing away and the new life of love for Christ and His holiness is progressing in us as Christians.
Yes, we are saved by a simple faith in Christ. apart from any works on our part. See Ephesians 2:8-9 But Galatians 5:6 adds that it is a faith that works by love. The Book of James concentrates on this truth, as does II Corinthians 5:17and many other Scriptures.
The point that is clear in Scriptures is that salvation is given as a free gift by faith apart from any works. But once one has been born again, he begins to grow and by the power of God’s indwelling Spirit, he begins to live a new life of good works. As Justification is the doctrine that teaches how we are saved by faith apart from works, so Sanctification is the doctrine that teaches how the Christian begins to grow in godliness. The doctrine of Glorification continues with the ultimate result of perfection in Heaven. For much more on this go to my series on SALVATION on this web site.
Well, we’ve dealt with life BEFORE JUSTIFICATION.
Let’s move briefly to the next division,
II JUSTIFIED BY CHRIST’S SHED BLOOD
Romans 5:8-9 teaches us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God did not save us after we decided to clean up and make ourselves worthy of salvation. He did not save us after we proved to Him by our works that we really wanted to be saved. He did not justify us after some religious ceremony, such as baptism or communion. Rather, He justified us “while we were yet sinners”. Romans 5:8
People don’t normally sacrifice or die for undeserving enemies. But Jesus did. He died for us while we were yet sinners and His enemies. That’s the message of Romans 5:7-8
III. AFTER JUSTIFICATION
After we have put our trust in Christ, the war is over.
The war that God declared on Satan in Genesis 3:15 is not over. Satan is His sworn enemy and will spend eternity in Hell fire one day. His eternal future is described in Revelation 20:7-10
The war that God declared in Genesis 3:15 is not over for Satan’s seed, that is all who follow him in rebellion against God. Their future is described in Revelation 20:11-15. It is one of the most chilling, horrible scenes in all the Bible.
But for those who have been justified and reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus; that war is over and we have peace with God. See Romans 5:1
To those who are now in Christ Jesus through faith in Him, we are reconciled to God. Read II Corinthians 5:18-20. Those of us who have been reconciled to God are given the responsibility of sharing this good news with the world. Our message is “Be reconciled to God!” Paul concludes this message of reconciliation with that wonderful, favorite verse of mine. II Corinthians 5:21, the verse that explains the wonderful trade God has made with us. He took our sins in His body on the cross and died, paying the penalty we deserved to pay. And He has given us His righteousness as a totally free Gift. He has put His righteousness to our account, thus making us fit to dwell with God in Heaven for eternity.
It takes two to be reconciled. God has taken the initiative and done His part. He suffered the pain and agony onCalvaryfor our sins. Will you simply accept His Gift of Grace to you by receiving His sacrifice for your sins?
Those who reject Christ, go to Hell with their sins fully paid for by Christ. The reason they go to Hell is because in their pride and self righteousness, they stubbornly refused His Gift. If a prisoner on death row is pardoned by the Governor, the pardon is worthless if the prisoner refuses to accept it and walk free. Everyone who goes to Hell goes there with the peace-treaty half signed. God signed it, but the sinner refused to sign it. Can you see the insanity of the unbeliever? Jeremiah 51:7 describes the Christ-rejecters as mad.
A study of Proverbs 2
Knowledge is information acquired from observation of the universe, from the immediate world around us and from media tools used to store and deliver information or data, such as computers, books, radio, TV.
Knowledge is also acquired from our parents, teachers, preachers and others, as well as from life experiences.
Knowledge reaches as far as the brain where, if it seems applicable and valuable to us, it is stored for future use; or if it seems irrelevant and worthless to us, it is ignored and forgotten.
SOUND WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING DEFINED
Sound wisdom and understanding is the ability to process and use knowledge so as to live for the glory of God, which is the highest purpose of life.
THE SOURCE OF WISDOM
True knowledge, wisdom and understanding ultimately come only from God, according to Proverbs 2:6.
Christ, our Lord and Saviour, is our wisdom. as well as our righteousness, sanctification and redemption, according to I Corinthians 1:30-31.
THE PURPOSE OF WISDOM
Wisdom is not just for our heads. It is for our hearts. It affects our walk. It affects what we love and value, as well as what we hate and reject. It affects how we live. It affects our priorities and how we use our time. It affects how and why we pray. Turn to Ephesians 1. It is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians that they might have wisdom and prudence. Interestingly verses 3 through 23 is all one long sentence.
Since wisdom is what we value and how we live life and ultimately our success under God, it is of supreme value. The ultimate purpose of wisdom is to guide and direct us as to how to live for the glory of God.
GOD HAS ORCHESTRATED MY LIFE.
From my birth, God planned every detail, even to where I went to college. From age 11-16 I was sent to Westervelt Home and School for missionary children outside of Batesburg, S.C.from 1944-1949 where I lived and studied with about 100 other missionary kids from all over the world where I learned about life and the value of character
From 1949-1950 I spent my sophomore year of high school in a high school associated with Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.
From 1950-1952 I spent my Junior and Senior year of high school in Culter Academy, a private Christian school inLos Angeles at that time. There I continued to build my life on the foundational lessons I had learned at Westervelt and PBI.
Finally, from 1952-1956 I attended and graduated after four years of college at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.
The interesting thing about all these choices is that none of them were my decisions. I simply followed my Mother’s instruction. She had been widowed when I was four and remarried another missionary when I was 16. I followed her instruction, advice which she received from her older preacher brother in Toronto, Canada.
As a result of simply following Mother’s instruction, I received the best, most well rounded education possible, taught by the best of teachers.
At the age of 22 I married a godly young lady whom God had brought into my life and at that time ceased following my mother’s instructions and started making my own decisions for my wife and me, considering my wife and children’s good, as well as my own.
Read and consider carefully the words of the Bob Jones University hymn, written by Dr. Bob Jones Jr, son of the founder of Bob Jones University. It is profound and says so much about wisdom.
Wisdom of God, we would by Thee be taught!
Control our minds, direct our every thought.
Knowledge alone life’s problems cannot meet;
We learn to live while sitting at Thy feet.
Light of the world, illumine us we pray.
Our souls are dark, without Thy kindling ray.
Torches unlighted, of all radiance bare,
Touch them to flame and burn in glory there.
Incarnate Truth, help us Thy truth to learn,
Prone to embrace the falsehood we would spurn,
Groping in error’s maze for verity,
Thou art the Truth we need to make us free.
Giver of life, we would not live to please,
Self or the world, nor seek the paths of ease.
Dying Thou bringest life to sons of men,
So may we dying live Thy life again.
Captain of Might, we yield to Thy command.
Armored by faith, Thy Word, our sword in hand:
Fierce though the battle. Thine the victory.
Bravely we’ll strive and more than conq’rors be.
Eternal Lord, let heavens pass away.
Earth be removed, no fear our hearts shall sway.
Empires may crumble, dust return to dust,
Secure are they, who in their Saviour trust.
Unfailing love, we are so cold in heart.
To us Thy passion for the lost impart;
Give us Thy vision of the need of men,
All learning will be used in service then.
Great King of kings, this campus all is Thine.
Make by Thy presence of this place a shrine.
Thee may we meet within the classroom walls,
Go forth to serve Thee from these hallowed halls.
Copyright by Bob Jones University.
THINK ABOUT CHRIST
He gives purpose to life.
“For to me to live is Christ. To die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
He gives protection.
“He is our shield and buckler.” Proverbs 2:7-8, Psalm 91:3-7
Psalm 37:23-24, 30,31
He gives understanding. Proverbs 2:9
He removes confusion from our lives and keeps us on course. James 1:6-8
We can know what is right so we can do right. I Chronicles12:32
Psalm 23:2, 25:4-5, 27:11
He gives discretion. Proverbs 2:10-11
That is, He gives us moral understanding of right and wrong, This protects us from moral indiscretions and foolish decisions that start us down the road of sin and failure.
Discretion follows spiritual wisdom and gives us good judgment and prudence. Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, used discretion when faced with the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Though he ended up in prison temporarily, he eventually became Prime Minister of Egypt under Pharaoh. All things worked together for good and Israel and Egypt were saved from starvation
He gives deliverance
From evil men Proverbs2:12-15
Leading us to separate from those who speak contrary to God’s Word.
Who leave paths of light to walk in darkness.
From evil women. Proverbs 2:16-19
She is recognized by her flattery.
She has forsaken the God of her youth
Sexual sin leads to death.
Note the finality of sexual sin. Proverbs 2:19 states that NONE who get involved in such sin ever return. I wouldn’t say that, but God does.
All I can say about this is that although God will forgive it confesssed to Him as sin; all sexual sins leave a permanent blot on lives that can never be erased or forgotten.
WISDOM TEACHES US TO FOLLOW GOOD EXAMPLES.
That’s why we must guard our associations and all we receive into our minds and hearts through books, music, television, movies, and from our computers. Examples matter. As parents we had better be good examples and also be aware of our children’s friends and influences.
YOUR ONLY TWO OPTIONS
Make wise, Christ-honoring decisions throughout your life starting now.
Live life to the fullest for others to the glory of God. Let your motto be, “For to me to live is Christ; to die is gain” Philippians 1:21
Waste your life living only for yourself and die.
I liken our study of Romans to taking a road trip into a majestic mountain,
the mountain of our salvation.
As we come to Romans 5, we come to a rest stop. It’s time to get out of the car and see from where we’ve come and then look ahead to where we’re going.
As we look back to the earlier chapters of Romans we’re reminded of the bondage and misery of life before Christ. We learned that all are sinners facing God’s judgment. We stand in our sins, both public and secret sins, inexcusable, and we face the inescapable judgment of God.
We had been aliens, outsiders and strangers to God, spiritually dead and with no hope.
It’s in this state God found us and came to our rescue. We learned in Romans 3:21 continuing through chapter 4, that God reveals His amazing love and grace in justifying us as we come to Him in faith. all based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross where He shed His blood for our sins and then rose again bodily and returned to Heaven.
Now in Romans chapter 5 we learn the wonderful results of God’s act of justification. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Paul also writes about this in Ephesians 2:12-16.
The world vainly seeks for peace and offers a psychologically-based empty peace. Jeremiah, centuries before Christ, wrote in Jeremiah 6:14-18 and 8:11-13 about those false prophets who offer this false peace when there is no peace.
There is nothing wrong with counseling if it is Biblically based. Such counseling lifts up Christ as the only Saviour and the only true source of peace for those with troubled hearts over the consequences of sin. But don’t waste your time and money sitting under the teaching and counseling of ungodly men and women, Psalm 1:1-2 warns us.
True, lasting peace comes to those who simply trust the shed blood of Christ who shed His blood on Calvary’s cross for cleansing and forgiveness of sin. Read Philippians 4:6-9 and Colossians 3:15-17.
ACCESS TO GOD
Not only do we have cleansing, peace and forgiveness of sin from a guilty conscience; but we experience and enjoy access into the very presence of our Heavenly Father into the grace wherein we stand. What does that mean? Those of us who trust Christ as Saviour; not only have peace, but according to Romans 5:2 we move into a new realm of grace, access to our Heavenly Father. Ephesians 2:13-22 says more about this.
In Old Testament times Leviticus 16:2 informs us that Israel and others had no opportunity to know and experience this access to God. Now that Jesus has risen from the dead and returned back to Heaven in His glorified body; we, by virtue of our relationship with Him through His blood sacrifice, have the opportunity of living in the realm of His grace. Be blessed as you read in Hebrew 9 and 10 of the access to God that each of us Christians have through the shed blood of Jesus. This access requires no priest or any other mediator.
Through this direct access to God we are filled with joy and peace, as Romans 5:3-5 testifies.
ASSURANCE OF OUR HOME IN HEAVEN
Through faith in the shed blood of Christ, we also rejoice in the hope and blessed assurance of the glory of God and of our eternal Home in Heaven. In stark contrast, the lost face death and eternity in Hell.
A promise is only as good as the one who makes it. God made the promise to us and it is as sure as already accomplished.
Have you experienced that peace with God, that assurance of Heaven and that freedom in Christ from the bondage of dead religion? If so what should your response be?
For the answer to that question, read the story of the freed slave in Exodus 21:1-6 who was so grateful to his master that he went through a procedure of having a hole bored in his ear lobe as a sign that he was fully devoted to his master for the rest of his life; so every Christian who has experienced salvation from the penalty and power or sin, ought to make that same commitment to Christ to love and serve Him willingly forever.
Freedom in Christ is not an opportunity to live your life as you desire, giving in to the temptations of sin and living as though you were independent from God. Rather, freedom in Christ gives you and me the opportunity to surrender our lives to the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit, allowing Him to direct us and use us as He sees fit for the rest of our lives. Read the 5th chapter of Galatians concerning this new life and make that surrender today.