Peace With God
Comments for Study 4
Memory Verse: 1
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>The main point of verses 1-11 is the fruits of justification by faith. The main point of verses 12-21 is death came through Adam and life came through Christ Jesus.
I. The Results of Justification Through Faith (1-11)
>1. According to verse 1, what is the first and most basic result of being justified through faith?
* "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1)
* "Therefore" -Apostle Paul is moving to the next point built on the previous.
* "since we have been justified through faith" -previous point recapped for the sake of moving to the next point.
* "we" -all Christians, those who have faith in Jesus.
* "have been" -justification is something that we have already attained and now possess. In the same way, peace with God is therefore something we have already attained and now possess too. If we have not been justified by faith we won't have the gifts listed in verses 1-11.
* "peace with God" -this is the first and most basic result of being justified by faith.
* "through our Lord Jesus Christ" -constantly repeated in Romans because nothing is possible without Jesus. Paul wanted to emphasize this. (1, 11, 21) Through Jesus is God's way. When men try to come to God and establish peace on their own terms, they will not obtain it and will die. Example: When David tried to bring the ark of God (a symbol of God's presence) on his own terms men died.
* The practical fruits of justification by faith is not so much the blessings in this world that we receive, but the peace with God we have which is not of this world.
* I have felt helpless at various times in my life. Helplessness is the awareness that as much as I want to do something to change something I cannot. It's realizing that I cannot help the circumstances to proceed to change for the better. Rather, things are either fixed in the current mess or will get worse, and there is nothing I can do about it.
The truth of helplessness is not a matter of perspective nor mindset. Its a reality. Helplessness is when I reach a point of no return. An event is in the past and cannot be undone and the consequences will happen.
People who believe in the power of positive thinking will never accept nor acknowledge that at times all can and do reach a point of helplessness with something. One such reality is the helplessness brought about when a sin is committed.
Paul wrote, "You see, at the right time, when we were still powerless..." (6a) Other translations have the word "helpless". Once a sin is committed in either mind or action I cannot undo it. Nor can I stop all the consequences of that sin from happening especially the internal consequences.
I am helpless to get rid of my sin and its consequences. The main consequence is that I lose a relationship with God from then on. There is nothing I could do to change the broken relationship with God when I sin. I am helpless in sin.
However, what is impossible for man is possible for God. "You see, at the right time, when we were still powerless (helpless in sin), Christ died for the ungodly." (6) Jesus allowed himself to be crucified (??. His blood completely drained from his body (9). His selfless act took away the sin that I commit. Through Jesus I have now been reconciled to God (11).
I am helpless in sin, but I am never without hope in Christ (2, 5) "And hope does not put me to shame, because God's love has been poured out into my heart through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to me."
>What does this mean? (9,10)
* "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when 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 though his life!" (9-10)
* "peace with God" -two general meanings:
1) a state of security and/or order within a community, not at war, cessation of war;
2) freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, deep inner rest.
These are distinctly different definitions. The definition that Paul is talking about here, is: not at war with God. He says peace "with" God, not peace "of" God. (See verses 6-9.) The later is a result of the first.
* "saved from God's wrath" -God's wrath is being poured out now, but on judgement day his full wrath against godless and wickedness will be poured out. Now Christians are not under the wrath of God.
* "we were God's enemies" -in the past we hated God and God's people. We didn't even like to think about God. But now we have a right relationship with God.
* "reconciled" -to bring together again in love and/or friendship.
* "reconciled to him" -God dwells in us for we are not held accountable for the sins we committed, and all this because Jesus paid the price.
* People of the world struggle so hard to gain peace. They try to obtain it through work, relationships (boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband), drugs, drink, work, play, music, sleep, etc. But the only way to have peace is to be at peace with God through justification-and justification through faith.
* Cain is an example of those who are not at peace with God. Cain was a restless wanderer.
>What does it mean in our practical lives to have peace with God? (For further thought see Isa. 26:3; 32:17; Jn. 14:27; Jer. 8:11)
* "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." (Isa. 26:3)
* "Their fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." (Isa. 32:17)
* "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (Jn. 14:27)
* "They dress the wound of my people as thought it were not serious. "Peace, peace." they say, when there is no peace." (Jer. 8:11)
* These verses talk about the peace of God, which comes when we are at peace with God.
* Our fears are gone.
* Our pains are gone.
* Our guilts are gone.
* Our wandering life is gone.
* We have confidence in approaching God.
* We have peace with important people in our lives.
>2. Look at verses 2 and 3.
* "through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;" (2-3)
>What is the second result of justification?
* The second result of justification is gaining access by faith into grace. The third is joy, this is what the author of the question sheet wants to talk about.
* "have gained access by faith into this grace" -this implies that we did not have access before. But now through faith we have gained access. For example: like gaining accesses into a new land because we have been given a visa. The Israelites gained access to the promise land and was able to enter into it. In the same way we have gained access to the grace of God. We can go to the very throne of God. We have access to God anytime and anywhere. We have a close relationship with God, a better relationship because of faith.
* "grace" -unmerited divine assistance. So we have gained access to God and his helping hand, even though we don't deserve it.
* "through whom" -through Jesus we have gained access into grace.
* "in which we now stand" -firm and clear. This is in the present tense.
* "rejoice" -to express happiness in the heart; not just externally.
* "joy" -lively emotion of happiness. "J"-Jesus first; "O"-Others second; "Y"-Yourself last.
>What are the things in which we rejoice?
* According to these verses there are primarily three things:
1) "in the hope of the glory of God" (2b),
2) "in our sufferings" (3),
3) "in God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (11).
* People in the world have temporary joy. These three joys are uniquely found in people who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
* "in the hope of the glory of God." -God and his glory, him being glorified; in Jesus and his glory and being gloried; in the Holy Spirit and his glory and being gloried; in heaven and heavenly things, the kingdom of God and its growth. (8:17) The kingdom of God on earth is in men's characters, so, we can practically experience the glory of God in us and through us; experiencing God, the greatest will be when we see God in heaven after the body dies. (1 Peter 1:8) Unbelievers can never understand the glory of God, and so they can not understand why we get so excited about it.
* "hope" -this is continual future tense.
* We shouldn't hope in something that will rust, spoil, or fade away for we will only be disappointed. Worldly joy is an immediate gratification that goes away rather quickly and is replaced by something negative as a result of pursuing worldly joy.
* "in our sufferings" -we don't rejoice for our sufferings, but in our sufferings. Suffering of all kinds hurts our physical body, but we, as Christians, realize what suffering will do because God is using it to grow us. The next question talks about this growing aspect.
* "in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" -this is a little different than "in the hope of the glory of God". Hope is continual future tense. "In God" is present tense; which is a present state of being. "In God" is being in God; Having him in us. He is working in our hearts at the present moment-stirring us to him and his will.
>What is the source of our joy?
* "through our Lord Jesus Christ" (10)
* This is because it was he who brought reconciliation and justification. Through Jesus we have peace with God and access to God.
>How do our hopes change?
* Our hopes change from worldly hopes into the hope of the glory of God.
* The longer we are in Christ and undergo his discipline and training the more are hopes are changed from worldly things and self to heavenly things to the glory of God.
>3. What is the attitude toward suffering of people who do not know Jesus?
* There are three major reactions;
1) They see it as an agony, opportunity to despair, with fear and they recognize it and try to avoid it. In general these people see it as a negative thing. They don't learn through suffering.
2) They see it as a result of sin, a punishment and/or a course of God. So they are angered by it and toward God. Rebelliousness is stirred in their hearts. They grow to hate God and/or learn the wrong point.
3) They try to face it with courage and strength. However, they can not rejoice as Christians do. They would say, "Keep a stiff upper lip." They avoid the reality of the reason behind suffering.
* "sufferings"-there are many types of suffering: persecution, cross, betrayal, sins, illness, pressures of life, stress, injuries, other people, sinful and cursed world attacks us.
>What should be our attitude? (3-5)
* "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (3-5)
* We should rejoice. (3)
* We should have a positive attitude about it.
* This is uniquely Christian.
>Why? (1 Peter 1:7; 3:17; 4:13)
* "These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:7)
* "It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil." (1 Peter 3:17)
* "But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (1 Peter 4:13)
* To see the maturity of a Christian see how he endures under sufferings.
* Our reaction to suffering has a lot to do with our attitude of sufferings. It is more than just saying, "Praise God," on the outside. It has to do with the assurance of our convictions. Our reaction is determined by our perspective of suffering.
* Suffering is objective. One persons suffering is not another's. This is because the later has been trained through harder sufferings.
* There is no way to avoid some kind of suffering in anyone's lives. The suffering talked about in this passage is the sufferings that are unavoidable, and therefore from God.
* When Christians suffer they can think of Jesus who suffered and dies for them.
* In the past we suffered because we were under God's wrath, now we suffer because we carry our crosses.
* When being a Christian it is vital to not confuse our sufferings for sin because we do still commit sins and suffer for them. For example David suffered several times because he sinned.
* James 1:2-4; Hebrews 12:11; and 2 Cor. 12:10
* "faith" -pure not impure faith. When a persons faith is tested by suffering it is refined, but if faith isn't tested by sufferings it isn't good for hardly anything. To refine gold heat must by applies.
* Suffering for the sake of the gospel and Jesus will led to a reward after this life is over.
>What other fruit does suffering produce in one who has been justified through faith?
* "sufferings, produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (3b,4)
* "perseverance" -to be able to withstand. Keep working until we overcome an obstacle. The only way to learn perseverance is through suffering.
* "character" -nature of a person. Cain's character was weak, "I can not bear." David was strong at Zeglog when it was burned and his family taken captive and his life was threatened by his own men. In other words; the image of Christ. To see the fruits of suffering for Christ Jesus; think about Jesus' sufferings and the fruits he bore for others and himself.
* These have to be exercised by sufferings to grow, just as our muscles have to be exercised with physical suffering to grow. And just the same, over a period of time we will lose fat and gain muscles. However, if we stop we will lose muscles and gain fat again. Neither progression or regression is noticed right away.
>4. What should we remember about our lives before we were justified through faith? (6, 8, 9, 10)
* "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." (6)
* "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us." (8)
* "since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (9)
* "For if, when 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!" (10)
* You see" -in verses 6-8, Paul is reflecting back to a previous point so that we will remember what our past life and heat was like and what God did for us while in that state. Paul is remembering his past state, which tells us that all mature Christians always remember the facts he mentions in verses 6-8.
* We were "powerless" (6), "ungodly" (6), "sinners" (9), "under God's wrath" (9), "enemies of God" (10).
* Men are generally forgetful of the good others done for us especially of what God has done for us.
* To respect God's grace we must always remember what we were like.
* Those who are justified through Jesus have no trouble with the fact of our condition presented here; even recognizing our weaknesses now.
>What makes people so powerless?
* Sin, the fear of death, and the lack of faith (unbelief, which is a sin).
* powerless" -no one has the ability to come out of that state by our own strength. We had no power over sin. Our sinful nature was there overpowering us. We can do a lot, but we are limited in all things.
* For mankind, even basic human duties are hard to do, let alone overcoming sin at the same time.
>5. What did God do with such ungodly people? (6-8)
* "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us!" (6-8)
* He sent his son to die for us.
* This is hard for sinful man to understand because it is not his nature.
* He loves us.
* "But God demonstrates his own love for us" (7)
* "For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
>What is our assurance? (9,10)
* "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when 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!" (9-10)
* We are saved from God's wrath. (9)
* We are saved through Jesus' life. (10)
* We are reconciled. (10)
* Abundant life.
* "how much more"-true assurance.
* "since we have been justified by his blood" -this is God's love and we are sure of God's love because Jesus shed his blood.
* Christians are fully assured of God's wrath and being enemies of God. But how much more are we assured of God's salvation.
>What should be our attitude toward God's grace?
* We should honor and thank him.
* We should rejoice. (11)
II. Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ (5:12-21)
>6. Read verses 12-21.
>>>>> The main pint of verses 12-21 is death through one man Adam, and life through one man, Jesus Christ.
>What do these verses teach about the crucial importance of one man?
* Death came through one man, Adam.
* Life came through one man, Jesus.
* "how much more" and "so also" (which are similar in meaning), and "Again" and "Consequently" (which are "indicators") and "Therefore" (which shows that this is a conclusion and a continuation of the earlier point) are repeated a lot in chapter 6. This is because Paul is repeating the same point over and over again. He repeats himself so as to explain his point from different possessions.
* Death didn't come through the law.
* Death came because of Adam. Law wasn't the cause of sin.
* The law reveals sin.
* Paul compares the result of Adam action to Jesus's action. I want to list just what Jesus did.
1. Jesus brings a gift to many (15, 16).
2. Jesus brings God's grace to many (15).
3. Jesus brings justification to many (16).
4. We receive God's abundant provision of grace through Jesus (17).
5. We receive God's gift of righteousness through Jesus (17).
6. Those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through Jesus (17).
7. Jesus's one righteous act brings justification for all people (18).
8. Jesus's one righteous act brings life for all people (18).
9. Jesus's obedience will make many righteous (19).
10. Through Jesus Christ my Lord's grace reigns through righteousness to bring eternal life (20).
>About the relationship between pride, disobedience, sin and death?
* death reigned" -pride leads to disobedience. Disobedience is sin. The penalty of sin is death.
>About obedience, the gift of righteousness, grace and life?
* Faith leads to obedience.
* Obedience leads to the gift of righteousness.
* The gift is only by grace.
* Because of grace we have life.
* We will reign with Jesus.
* Verse 19-It is ours to chose the path of life we will.
* Our de scions on which path of life to choice affects many people not just ourself. This is a spiritual law. We may not think it will hurt anybody else but it will.
* By choosing either path we can set a pattern for others to follow.
* "the gift is not like the trespass"
* God sees us either "in Adam" or "in Jesus".
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