“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:10-11 (ESV)
Before most of us came to believe by faith that Jesus Christ is our savior, we lived thinking that we’re pretty good people. We even believed a God exists. All we had to do was live a good life. However, we remained enemies because by not believing, we were rejecting God. We were at odds and in conflict with God. Our promise today is: God provided a way for all who would believe to be reconciled to Him while still enemies. He made a way for us to have peace. This was accomplished by the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Since reconciliation was provided by Him for all who believed, all can trust absolutely in the truth that they will be saved by Christ. The promises don’t end with that. Our reconciliation comes with our rejoicing in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine being in a serious conflict with someone who spent all his time doing what you need to cross over and join their side. Imagine all he does is to make a way for you to be able to be his friends and brother/sister with him. Forgive and forget – that’s His way.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” – Romans 5:8-9 (NASB)
Truth has always been absolute – even when mixed in with untruthful statements, the part that is true is absolutely true. Today we hear that there is “my truth” and “your truth” even when they contradict one another. This leaves “truth” that cannot really be trusted, doesn’t it? It’s relative truth which isn’t truth. A politician’s promises are spoken and we understand that there is little if anything to trust in those false promises. We learn to distrust because of the pattern of untruthfulness. God has a different way His truth is absolute and based on His character. We can trust Him because of His pattern of truthfulness. When God says He loves us, we can know it is the truth. He demonstrated and proved His love before we were redeemed by Him, when we were still separated from Him by our sin. Doing nothing for it, God demonstrated His love toward us. We have been justified by Christ’s shedding His blood His death and resurrection. The promise He gave us is that we will be saved from the wrath of God’s judgment through believing in Christ Jesus. We’re secure in His Absolute Truthful Word.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)
Every person who by faith believes in Jesus Christ is fully justified and formally adopted by God, our Father in heaven. That is a promise given to all true Christians. At first we knew nothing of these promises and now they are ours forever. We once did not believe this but now we do believe and God’s Spirit is our witness that we are children in the Family of God. Our new birth in Christ came at a tremendous cost; but we did not have to pay it. Jesus Christ paid the cost for us by sacrificing Himself to die on the cross. Our sin caused the death of God’s only begotten Son. Now, we are adopted sons and adopted daughters and heirs with full rights in the Family. In fact we’re fellow heirs with God’s only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. It’s good news for us because by the faith given to us, we are not on the outs; we are in God’s will in more ways than we know. He included us so, we have an inheritance as heirs – that’s a forever promise. Let’s live our lives today with respect to what God has given to us.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 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.” – Romans 5:1-2 (NASB)
Day to day we may not, very often, think about the grace in which we stand. Considering that grace in our lives is pretty much limited to the word “gracious” which, means kind, polite, civil, tactful, and courteous. Grace, however, is much more than politeness or civil behavior. Our promise in today’s verse is powerful because it explains what grace brings to us. Because of the grace God has for us we, who in faith believe in Jesus and His words, have been justified. Notice the “have been” there? It is past, it is a done deal. Being justified provides for us peace with God which is also by grace, our possession. We have such a possession of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and it is through Christ we were introduced by faith into this marvelous grace. We really need to think about this deeply and frequently. It is a gift which continues to develop into more gifts from God. The last promise is hope, and hope is ours because of what God has fully done for us by grace. It a hope for which we can triumph in the glory of God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1 (ESV)
It’s a common struggle for Christian faith believers. We are still staggering under the weight of temptations and continue give in to them even when we don’t want to. The Apostle Paul explains in the previous chapter of Romans, how we all face the ongoing problem of overcoming the pull of our old nature. It is our sinful flesh, often with enticements of our body’s desires, that we seek to satisfy. We learn from the larger context that while we are no longer slaves to the flesh we must continue to wage a war against the desires of the flesh. We want to serve God and obey his commandments but we still have the flesh drawing us away from that good work. Today’s verse gives us a promise that should lift our spirits when we are in this battle. Because of Christ Jesus, we are forgiven and we are not under any guilt or condemnation. This may be a difficult truth to understand – it seems to not make reasonable sense but that is the greatness of this promise. No matter how we reason, God says there is no condemnation for us who dwell in Christ Jesus.
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” – Romans 10:12-13 (ESV)
We can hardly choose among all the promises of God, and name one or even some as the best promises of all. Everything that comes to us from God is a blessing that cannot be measured; gifts, abilities; strength; endurance; faith; grace; and we could go on and on. However, our promise of salvation, given to the human race in Genesis 3, after the sin of Eve and Adam, is the most vital because without receiving promised salvation from God, no other blessings will be ours. Important to notice is that God’s promises are given to everyone who calls on His name to be saved. Absolutely no distinctions exist between any races or cultures. In the first century during the early development of the Church, there was a distinction made by some people between Jews and Greeks, and between men and women. It is no different today. Perhaps you’ve heard about Critical Race Theory? It is a theory that claims the supposed appearance of race and racism across and in cultures exists everywhere. With God, He promises that there are no such distinctions between races or classes or genders. Let’s live according to that promise in our lives.
“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
God saves us because He chose to do so. Our salvation happens when we believe that truth and confess with repentance to God. Our verse of promise says, “Confession is made unto salvation.” We are not saved by our mouth’s confession, but rather, our mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which we received by a gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). This is not a simple acknowledgment that He is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true (James 2:19). This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is our own master or sovereign. Paul emphasizes the importance that this comes from our heart. The heart is not merely the seat of affection or emotion. As used in the Bible, our heart is the hub of the wheel of human existence and life – intellectual, emotional, and volitional. First of all there must be faith in our heart. Without such faith a confession with the mouth would be mockery. But even if there is faith in our heart, confession with our mouth is altogether natural when our faith is genuine.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
We all lose things from time to time. They are misplaced is likely the main reason but sometimes just forgetting where it is even supposed to be. We look earnestly, even frantically. How many times do we go to the same places we have already looked because we’re convinced that is where our item is supposed to be? We keep looking until we find it because we believe we will. We believe it still exists in our world. Seekers who are looking for the Truth will find it where God is and has spoken – like the Bible. But finding God’s Truth requires our belief that He is real, that He exists because He does. Believing in the existence of God and His word is how our search must start. He is the God of the Bible. So when we believe that the God who reveals Himself in the Bible really exists and is there for us, it pleases God. Then too, we must believe that God responds to our desire to find Truth, to know Him, and He hears our prayers. That also pleases Him and He rewards our faith – He meets our needs.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”” – Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)
These are words of testimony from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers living in Rome. He wanted to preach and teach in Rome. These two verses form the thesis of the entire letter—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which Paul unfolds and clarifies in the following chapters. The apostle was not reluctant to preach the gospel, for he loved that good news. Our promise is that the righteousness from God is ours and is available to everyone who in faith believe. There is no distinction in God’s family. The push in our world today to identify each other by race or by any other classification is purely a human method of manipulation and it is not of God. We are promised and declared righteous in Christ by believing in His word. That is how we live, believing in why He came to earth. That’s the gospel Paul was not ashamed to preach. He suffered imprisonment, was chased out and had to be smuggled out of cities. He was laughed at, called a fool and even stoned nearly or to death. Because of God’s promise let’s also be eager to proclaim our faith in the Gospel.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16 (NIV)
The popular Southern Gospel song, “Family of God” includes the lyrics “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” Our verse selected today reminds us of this important work of the Holy Spirit. When we believe and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are brought into the family of God. God puts within us His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. It is the Holy Spirit who makes the knowledge of our joining the family of God very real to us. Others might tell us this fact and we can read and sing about being children of God but in order for it to become really meaningful for you and I we need to hear confirmation from the Holy Spirit. How wonderful that the Spirit of God Almighty testifies with us that we are His children. Children of God by Spiritual re-birth and by God the Father’s adoption of us into his family. There need be no question about it and no doubt at all. Let’s just listen to Him and let Him convince us each day that we have been adopted and full members of God’s family of love.