Video Transcript: Blessings of Belonging

This morning we listen to God's word from Romans chapter five, the first 11 verses, the first  word that we're going to read is therefore, and anytime you're reading in the Bible, and  especially in the apostle Paul, when you read the word, therefore, you're supposed to ask now what's the therefore there for, because it means that Paul is making a connection, he is  building, he's built up one thing, and now he's taking it to another level. And so as we move  on to another level in Romans chapter five with that word, therefore, let's just again remind  ourselves what the therefore is there for me begins that passage by saying, therefore, since  we've been justified through faith, and he's been talking in Romans three and four, about how God dealt with the sin problem, and how God could be just and yet justify, declare right with  Him, people who were sinners, the God who justifies the wicked. So again, just to remind you  of a few of those verses from Romans four, to the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. God credits righteousness, apart  from works, God will credit righteousness to us who believe in Him, who raised Jesus our Lord  from the dead, he was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our  justification. And therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with  God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 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,  perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God  has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You  see it just at 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 died for us. 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? Not only is this so but we also rejoice in God, through our Lord  Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. this ends the reading of  God's Word. And God always blesses His Word, to those who listen, reconciliation, another one of those huge words. And sometimes you may say why the big words we've already talked  about that a little bit, the big words are describing big realities. And the therefore connects  the facts of justification, the fact that we're made right with God and that God declares us to  be right with Him. And the redemption that he accomplishes, as God pays the ransom for us.  The propitiation or sacrifice of atonement, as Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins, all of  those things then bring about reconciliation, and reconciliation is belonging, being brought  into relationship. Those other things are great realities, things that we celebrate in the gospel, but they are the things that just make possible the even better reality, of reconciliation, of  being brought into relationship again, and we want to look at this passage at some of the  benefits that come through reconciliation, we have peace with God. We stand in God's favor,  and in God's friendship. We rejoice in the hope of God's glory. We rejoice even in sufferings.  We're flooded by God's Holy Spirit. We're sure of God's saving love. We rejoice in God through  our Lord Jesus Christ, these great realities of these first verses of Romans five or so  tremendous. I commend the passage to you just for memorization and thinking upon it again  and again, repeatedly that you'll know what are the benefits of belonging to God through  reconciliation through being brought back together with our Lord. So let's look at those these  things again, sentence by sentence, since we've been justified through faith, we have peace  with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, peace with God. What a wonderful blessing. What a  wonderful benefit of belonging, that through faith in Jesus Christ, you have peace with God.  Let me emphasize a couple things about this having peace with God, we have peace with  God. We don't just feel peace with God. Peace is a tremendous blessing and feeling when it's  peace in your heart, and when you feel at peace with God. But I do want to say this, that you  have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, even in those moments, when you don't  feel at peace with them, or when you don't feel peaceful, because it is the status of being at  peace, that God is not at war with you anymore, that God is not your enemy. Sometimes you  may feel like it for various reasons. Sometimes it's just physical difficulties that you have, or 

moods or depressions that come upon you. Sometimes it's just, you've done something  wrong, or other things have gone amiss in your life, and you don't feel very peaceful, but you  have peace with God, because God is not against you. When you have your faith in Him,  whether you feel it or not, he's not against you, he has been reconciled to you, and he's your  friend. So I want to emphasize that you have peace with God, even when you don't feel it.  And of course, when you do feel it, that's even more enjoyable, and more wonderful. I also  want to emphasize this peace with God is not just absence of conflict. It's not just that God is  no longer your enemy, or that God is no longer judging you to be guilty and a law breaker and liable to punishment, it is a tremendous blessing, to have that sentence of death taken away,  to have that verdict of guilty removed, to have the judge say, I declare you not guilty. And  that is a great blessing, it's a lot better than being declared guilty and cast off and punished.  But it certainly does not stop there. That was just the preliminary. The judge saying I no  longer judge you is one thing, and it's a great thing. But he is not the judge who then says  okay, I dismiss the case against you, you are now free to go. And then brushes past you out of court and lives with an unlisted number. Because the judge really doesn't want any contact  with you. He just did his job he he made a judgment, he let you off the hook. For perfectly just reasons he was the just justifier. As Paul explains, in Romans three, God needed to stay just  and he wanted to justify us and he did it. But that's not where he stopped. As I said, He is not  the judge who holds an unlisted number so that the people whom He has declared not guilty,  can't reach him, but he's got nothing against me ain't that wonderful, you know, it is true that it is that if the judge declares you right with Him, you should be very, very thankful for that.  But God never wanted it to be that way. He wanted it not just to have an absence of conflict,  but the presence of relationship. He wanted to restore it, so that we would once again walk  with Him in the cool of the day as Adam and Eve once did, so that we would again be in the  presence of his favor and enjoy his company and his friendship. And peace then doesn't just  mean that there's no conflict going on at the moment. Sometimes you have people who are  clashing with each other, and finally they just their way of maintaining peace is avoiding each other. If you have a husband and wife who get into vicious conflicts, and finally, they separate and they divorce, and they maintain peace by not speaking to each other, by always  remaining separate. That's not the peace that we have here, okay, we're just going to keep  our distance and we're not going to fight anymore. When you have peace with God, the word  reconciliation if if a husband and wife were separated and they experience reconciliation, that means they're back together. That means they're back to loving each other. Once again.  That's what happens in peace with God. It's reconciliation, not just getting rid of the conflict or the bickering or keeping distance from each other a safe distance, but loving again, back into  relationship again. And this is what happens through God's love and through Jesus blood, that  we are declared right with him not only, but then reconciled and at peace and back into  relationship, and then connected with that as a second benefit, not only peace with God, but  then we have a certain standing in God's favor. And in God's friendship, we've gained access  by faith into this grace in which we now stand. He's not just the ruler who declared us just,  but he invites us to fellowship with Him in the palace, and we have access, we have an  introduction to it. Some of us are a little more hesitant than others, to meet a stranger.  Though some people are trying to gregarious and outgoing Yeah, they're ready to chat with  everybody. I'm not, I'm not that kind of person, I have a hard time talking to people that I  don't already know. And so it's just, I always like it better if if you know, if I'm going to make a  connection with somebody else who can kind of introduce us, you know, it helps a little bit  when you're a preacher, because then you're kind of a public figure. So it's kind of part of  your job to say hi to people you don't know. But by by nature, I just am not that way. And  whatever the case might be, in God's case, we all do need somebody to make an introduction, bring us into His presence, help us connect with Him. And God gives us access by faith. In this grace, in which now sound, you've gained access. If you take the original word it is you've  gotten an introduction, you've been brought into His presence. And now Jesus has brought  you there into the Father's presence, and you can enjoy fellowship with Him, you can enjoy  communion with Him. And not just that, this grace in which we now stand. Grace is  sometimes of course, God's riches at Christ's expense. It's a free gift to us, very expensive gift

for Jesus. But this grace here maybe has a little different shade of meaning. It's God's favor, of course, that the grace was brought about that. God's riches at Christ's expense was God's  favorite too. But here's a standing in God's favor, we're in a sense of lack of a better word for  it. God has a soft spot in his heart for you. He favors you not not in the sense of playing  favorites of one kid over another, but just this favor, this soft spot, this affection that God has. And when Jesus brings you by faith, and gives you access and introduction, you stand in God's favor, you stand in it, and you're positioned there. And he loves you, and He cares about you.  And again, this is one of those things that we need to listen to, and then think about and  meditate on until it sinks in. Because we, for various reasons don't always know, when we're  in somebody's favor, just in human relationships. There are kids who don't think their folks  like them very much when their parents are crazy about them, and would do nearly anything  for them. And, you know, just have this soft, tender spot in their hearts for their children, but  for whatever reason, or whatever the history or whatever else might be there. It's just hard for the kids to realize that. And we sometimes have that same difficulty in our relationship to  God, where we don't really know in the depths of our being that we're in his favor, and that he really does have a soft and tender spot in his heart for us. And so we need to learn to take his  word for it. You know, sometimes, you really do need to believe your parents when they say I  love you, because they do. And when God says I give you access by faith into my grace by  favor, and that's your standing now. You are my treasured possession. You are a darling to me. We need to hear it until it sinks in because it's the absolute truth. And we need to know this  tremendous love of God. Justification is such an essential truth for how this standing was  brought about in the first place. But please, friends don't let it stop there. Justification is not  the pinnacle of the gospel. It's in a sense that some of the theological it's kind of a hinge on  which the gospel turns are the basis on which everything is given. But it's not the inner  depths of of the love of God out poured yet that that you know, it's when you have this peace  with God and this sense of God's favor and this standing and this friendship with God, now  you're starting to get a taste of why God is bringing this all about in the first place that of  where he wants to bring you. And so you know, you stand in his favor. And every day, when  the devil is coming at you and trying to persuade you, that God's against you, you got to say,  Hey, by faith, I've gained access to this grace, and I stand in that grace, and that's who I am.  I'm treasured by him. I'm loved by Him. And I'm always going to be standing in his grace, and  nothing can bring me out of his grace. And then because of that, you rejoice in the hope of  the glory of God. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That's what Romans said a  little while ago. Yeah, we sinned, and fell short. But now we're looking forward to the hope of  the glory of God. Let me say a word about hope. When Hope is used in some of our  sentences, it's kind of boy I hope and I desperately wish that something might be the case.  The word hope, as it's used here is not I desperately wish that something might be its  expectation. It's anticipation. I know it's going to happen. It's not here fully yet, but I'm  counting on it. And so we have this hope, this counting on the glory of God, we're not falling  short of the glory of God, we are going to attain the glory of God, when Christ comes again in  all of his glory, in all of His radiance in all of his beauty. And rather than being a terror to us,  that glory of God will be our greatest joy. And already Now the Bible says that we with  unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness, from one  degree of glory to another. We're not just falling short of the glory of God anymore. We're  being changed into the likeness of that glory. And when we see Jesus face to face, and we're  made perfect, that glory of his will be our glory, we will be just like him, will be images,  mirrors of His glory. And that's what we were made for. We were meant to be crowned with  glory and honor. Psalm 8 says, You've crowned humanity with glory and honor. And that's who we're meant to be. We're, we're meant to be the reflectors of God's glory, in all of creation.  And we aren't just hoping desperately that some little nice thing will happen here or there.  But the hope of the glory of God is the expectation that God's glory will fill the earth, and we  will be part of that glory, and we will be shining with that glory, the very Shekinah his light  goes before us true enough, but his light shines from within us, that's the ultimate hope of the glory of God. That sense of all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Don't get stuck  there. Okay? You need to know the truth about sin. But don't spend the rest of your days 

saying and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, the heart is deceitful above all  things, and desperately wicked. And you, you know all the great Bible verses about human sin and fallenness. And that's where you get stuck. Those things are true, we need to admit  them, and seek God's grace. But they're not the whole truth. You do not fall short of the glory  of God, you count on you hope in you expect the glory of God, and know that it's already  being reflected in you. You don't just say, Oh, the heart is deceitful above all things, and  desperately wicked, you say by God's grace, I've got a new heart planted within me. And that  heart is filled with the Holy Spirit. And so these are just some of the benefits of belonging,  peace with God standing in God's favor. The glory of God coming with Christ, and being  reflected in us and already tasted by us, even now. And not only so, but we also rejoice in our  sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character,  and character hope. One pastor has said, you know, some of us live like people with a bed  that's really strong on one end, and we look to the past, and we see what Jesus has done. And so that that end is good, you know, we look back and think carefully, we look to the future,  and Jesus is coming, and that's pretty solid. And the bed sags badly in the middle of we, our  present experience seems to be so far from what's promised for the future, or from some of  the great things God has done in the past and we feel like we got a bad back and we're  sleeping on a saggy bed. That's good on both ends, and we're in the middle. But Paul says,  hey, the tribulations are here in the middle, but we rejoice even the tribulations, because God  is up to something. And he's up to something in our lives in the middle of those tribulations.  And that doesn't make the tribulations or the sufferings fun. I mean, pain, by definition hurts.  But you can still rejoice in it. If you know the gain that comes through the pain. And he said  suffering produces perseverance. When you suffer, you get tested, and you keep going, and  you get tougher, and you get stronger. And as that goes along, it shapes you. You don't go  looking for trouble. But when it comes and especially trouble for the sake of the Gospel, when  you stand firm, your perseverance and your character is the end to be tested and developed  and refined, and you're a stronger person in the LORD than you were before those sufferings  came your way. And you also, along with that character, have hope your hope increases for a  couple of reasons. For one thing, the master suffered, did you expect that you are going to  have a life completely different from his, the very fact that your life is resembling his in the  fact that you're going through sufferings, and sometimes even provoking opposition because  you follow Jesus? This is encouragement that gives you greater hope and expectation,  because you're liking in your sufferings. And not only that you're liking in the fact that you  suffer. But you're also liking in the fact that you're becoming shaped into more a person  whose character is like that of the Lord Jesus. So you have drawn joy and tribulations, not  because they're fun, or because you're some sort of masochist who enjoys pain. But you do  appreciate and value, what the pain and opposition is making of you through the work of  God's grace in your life. And so you can rejoice even in tribulations, even on that bed of  suffering, it's really not so saggy, if the Lord is there with you in it. He's doing the work of  making you more like the Lord Jesus Christ. And then a tremendous benefit. For the first time  really, in the whole argument of Romans, somebody new gets mentioned the Holy Spirit, hope doesn't disappoint. It's because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us in many senses, this is the supreme blessing of salvation, of being  given the presence of the living God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, to live right within  you, and connect you with the love of the Father, and the love of the son. By the way,  anybody who denies the trinity or says it's not in the Bible, you know, is a little bit blind to  these things is again, just here. In these first verses of Romans, it speaks of God, the Father of the work of Jesus, the son of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, again, and again, as you read  the letters of Paul the rest of the Bible, you read of father of the Son of the Holy Spirit, but the fact that God gave the Holy Spirit and continues to give the Holy Spirit that Jesus didn't just  pay for your sins, but Jesus also paid for the right to have you as his own, and have you as a  house for his dwelling. That's what God has blessed us with his own presence that Jesus says  that when he would come to us through the paraclete the comforter, that would be the giving  of the Holy Spirit, he had promised long before to the prophets, I will cause my spirit to live  within you. And he's done that. This is again, more than a standing, being declared not guilty. 

This is God becoming a presence, an ongoing presence in our lives. Someone you can count  on, when you're confused, to give you guidance. Someone you can count on for strength,  when you're weak. Somebody who lifts you up when you're down, somebody who gives you  abilities and gifts you didn't know you had somebody who ignites you and makes you  powerful in the Holy Spirit, somebody who can take just a little bit of you and make it into  something mighty in his kingdom, this, this blessing of the Holy Spirit, I'm not going to say  much more about the work of the Holy Spirit directly today because well, in good fashion.  Paul, as he goes on, just always unfolds something he mentioned in passing. In Romans eight, it's all Holy Spirit wall, the wall. So we'll say a lot more about that in in later chapters, and  especially focused in Romans eight, but this blessing of being flooded by the Holy Spirit.  Again, this is at one level an experience, to experience the joyful presence of the Holy Spirit in you. And there are some times where for various reasons, our own inability to perceive may  block us to the awareness of the Holy Spirit who is in us even when we were not alert to him  and not feeling and in the Bible says don't pinch him, don't ignore him. Again, draw your  attention back to the Spirit of God who is already living within you if you live by faith in Jesus.  And then very closely connected with that, in fact, in the very same sentence, Paul didn't just  say in general, God gives you the Holy Spirit. He says it in this context, that the hope doesn't  disappoint us because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he's  given us. So I want to emphasize now that the love in particular that comes through the  presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit has given us as a downpayment or a deposit on all that  is to come. But the Supreme blessing of that presence of the Holy Spirit is the knowledge that you are loved. And the presence of an outpouring of love. Now, there's a couple of ways  actually, that this verse can be interpreted, if you kind of take it in isolation. In the original, it  says, The love of God has been poured into our hearts. Now, you could say that love for God,  you know that that phrase, the love of God can mean the love for God. And there's a sense in  which that's true. When the Holy Spirit comes into you, one of the Spirit's main activities is  giving you a tremendous love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and a love of God the Father, the  definition of being a person who belongs to God really is somebody who loves him. The  Supreme commandment in the Old Testament was Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. So if God's Holy Spirit gives us that kind of love for God, what a  tremendous blessing that is. And it's a truth that God does that, that he causes us to love him. And that's one of the main reasons the Bible can say that, when you have faith in Jesus Christ  and Holy Spirit in you, you fulfill the law, because the main command of the law is to love  God. So if God pours out love for Him, through the Holy Spirit whom he's given us that is a  tremendous reality, and it is one way that these verses can be interpreted. I don't think it's  what this verse means, however, that fact is revealed elsewhere in the Bible. And so in  denying that, that's what this verse means, I'm not denying it's a wonderful reality. I'm just  saying, this verse really is talking about not God causing us to love him through the working  of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. But God pouring out the awareness and the sense of how  much he loves us. Because in the in the context, that's really what is going on the fact that  God wants us to know how much he loves us, the other will come to how much we begin to  love him. But God wants us to know how much he loves us. And that is one of the supreme  activities of the Holy Spirit in your heart. Every time the word father comes onto your lips, the Holy Spirit has been doing something. I said, I wasn't going to get too far into it. But I'll just  mention this snippet for Romans eight. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are  God's children. And it says just before that God didn't give us a spirit of fear, again to slavery,  but a Spirit of sonship, and by him would cry, Abba, Father, the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit, that we're God's children. So when you get to pray to God as your Father, when you  speak to Him as His child, that's the Holy Spirit working in you. When Jesus teaches us to pray the Lord's Prayer, Our Father, who art in heaven, we, we say that because he is our Father, we are His children. He loves us, and the Holy Spirit that work of sealing on our hearts. He puts a  seal on us of how much he loves us. So we have this love is meant to be experienced. I've  been emphasizing that you have a position in God's favor, even when you don't feel that way.  You have peace with God, even when you don't feel it. You are loved by God, even when you  feel unloved. But the Holy Spirit also gives you a sense of inner peace. The Holy Spirit also 

does give you a sense of being loved, sometimes stronger, sometimes less strong in your  experience. But I pray that each of you has had those times and in a sense, an ongoing  experience that you are treasured, and loved by God that you can talk to your father and  know your his child, if not that. Be aware that if you trust in Jesus, it's true. And ask the Holy  Spirit to more and more, make that reality of being loved and treasured and at peace, a part  of your experience so that you know beyond a doubt that he loves you and that he's your  father. This I'll just say this if if you have that, almost nothing else matters. If you know that  you are loved by the Lord of the universe with an everlasting and unstoppable love. And if you know that he has brought that love to bear in your experience, you can handle just about  anything. You can handle anything. But Paul knows how we work. He knows how the Holy  Spirit works. And he knows that sometimes the Holy Spirit works in hidden ways. He works  like the wind you don't even know it was him sometimes until later. And sometimes your own  experience will be kind of the love of God is poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit. And then  there's some days when you say well it's pretty dry today, I don't feel there's a great flood of  love. Well, there is the experience of love. And then there is the outer objective demonstration of love. So right after talking about God's love poured out into our hearts, in experience of the Holy Spirit, He says, You see at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died  for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, for a good man, someone  might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates or proves or shows His love for us in this  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, and then a little bit later, he says we were God's enemies when Christ died for us. So this is the objective demonstration of God's love. It's a  demonstration. If you go back to chapter three, the Apostle said something else about  demonstration, there he's talking about being justified being given a new standing, and  having Christ's righteousness given to us. And he said that, that Christ suffered, as in a  sacrifice of atonement received through faith in his blood. And God did this to demonstrate  his justice, because he had to put the punishment for sins on hold. He just overlooked them  until the time he would deal with them. So the cross demonstrated God's justice, it proves  that God is just that he punishes wrongdoing. But he took the punishment for that wrongdoing in the person of his son. And so that gives us that right standing with God. God demonstrated  His justice at the cross. What a wonderful truth. God was true to himself and to his justice.  And that's not all. He demonstrated justice. But here Paul says he demonstrated love, he  demonstrated a love that surpasses all understanding. He showed that his love is greater  than can possibly be imagined. The angels never knew how great the love of God was, until it  was displayed on the cross, even the angels long to look into these things as the Bible  because you can out of that, Paul says, think about it. How many of us would die for  somebody? How many of us would die for a good person? Somebody who's just outstanding,  in a sense, who deserves to be rescued, and you're willing to take the bullet for them, you're  willing to fall on the grenade because your buddy is such an outstanding person? Well, you'd  have to be pretty, pretty loving to do that most of us wouldn't. But every now and then, if  there was a good person, you might lay down your life for them. And Paul says, Now let's  think about it. When we were powerless, when we were ungodly, when we were still sinners.  When we were God's enemies, he piles it up higher, higher, godless sinners, powerless  enemies, that's when Christ died for us. And he did not just receive a lethal injection, or a  firing squad. He was beaten and tortured, His beard was pulled at He was whipped and  flogged. On his back, he was nailed to the cross. He suffered terrible agony. He suffered the  eternal punishments against sin. He did all of that horrible suffering in his death for people  who deserved that death, who were not good, who were sinners. And he demonstrated that  love of God. And Jesus said, nobody has any greater love than to lay down their life. So the  cost that he paid shows how great God's love is, how little we deserved it, and earned it  shows how great God's love is. And you should not think that God began to love us after Jesus died for us. There is a sense in which the Bible says that he was slain before the foundation of the world, because God loved us with an everlasting love. It was the Father's love all along,  that planned out that way of salvation and justification. It was God's love all along that gave  His Son and gave him up for us all. And so if you have your days when the spirits ministry  inside you isn't being felt very much, then it's time again, to look outside you and look at the 

cross and say whatever I happen to be feeling for the last 10 minutes. That's the  demonstration. That's the outer objective proof of who God is. In His great love. He  demonstrated His justice, yes, true enough, but he demonstrated his love. And so he not only  made us right with him, but he brought us into His favor and into the experience and  awareness of His love. And then we become sure of God's salvation. And here the apostle  does something that some of us aren't that fond of doing. He makes us think it's always a  good idea. idea to think even though it causes some brain strain. But he says, Think about it.  And use a little bit of reasoning here a little bit of logic here. We've been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him? If we've already been  justified, then when the day of wrath comes, he's already declared us not guilty. So when that  day comes, he's gonna do it too. And then he uses an even stronger logic. He says, 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? He said, Okay. Let's think  about it. When you were a sinner, when you were an enemy, when you were at odds with God completely, when you were when everything was the wrong with you, and God had every  reason to wipe you out and destroy you. He laid down the life of his son and shed his blood.  He, when you were his enemy, made you right with him through the death of his son. Now,  now that you're already right with him, now that you're in friendship with him, do ya think,  you're not going to be saved. How stupid? Impossible? If he saves you when you're his enemy, if he loves you, when you're a stink bomb. Well, what do you think he's going to do when  you're his friend? Now that you're his friend, and in his favor, of course you're going to be  saved through his life. So that's, that's Paul's line of reasoning he said man. When everything  was wrong, God did that. paid that price. Now that the hard stuff is done. And now that you're  not who you were, of course, you're going to be saved through his resurrection life. So you've  got somebody who is bad, and for whom Jesus is dying over here, and then you've got  somebody who's being made good. And now Jesus is alive and reigning. God is not about to  get in a bad mood. You know, that's speaking, maybe a little bit irreverently. But it's saying  then. You know, God did that when you were that way. And he did it through His death. Now  Jesus is alive, he's not dead anymore. And you're not dead anymore. either. You're alive in  him. And so it just follows logically that when the day of His return comes, you're going to be  saved, how much more. So those are some of the benefits of belonging, you have this peace  with God, you stand in his favor and friendship You're At Home With him and you've got  access into His presence, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, we rejoice in sufferings,  we're flooded by his spirit, we're sure of God's saving love the logic of salvation, how much  more we're sure of God saving love. And then Paul says, And not only this, we rejoice in God,  through Jesus, we rejoice in God, there is a there's a stage at which we're enemies of God.  And even the mention of God disgusts us. We try not to believe in Him, sometimes we're try  to be atheists. But if we can't manage that, then we invent other kinds of gods that are a little more comfortable, but but at some point, we get beyond that and, and now we're put into a  status where we're justified and whew, I'm off the hook with a judge man that was close. But  there comes something much better. And that is when you actually delight in God, you rejoice in God, you're glad he's God, you're glad he's the way he is. You think he's the greatest thing  in the universe, because he is, and you just rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And,  you know, Paul phrases, things differently, different passages, the fruit of the Spirit is love,  joy, peace. You know, the big three at the top of the list of the fruit of the Spirit are all over  this passage we've just been studying. These are benefits of belonging, we are sure of God's  saving love, and we just rejoice that God is God that He is our portion, that we belong to Him  forever, and that we'll be enjoying him forever. We do. Thank you, Lord, for the tremendous  benefits of belonging to you. We thank You, Lord, for the wonders we've heard about  previously in the scriptures of your forgiveness and your justification. But now we thank you  for reconciliation. We thank you for peace. We thank you for the outpouring of your loud in the demonstrations of your love at the cross and in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in you as the great God of justice, love, holiness and mercy, of splendor and beauty. And we pray,  Lord, that as we rejoice in your glory, that glory, they more and more be dazzlingly reflected  in our own lives and we look forward to that day Lord Jesus when you come again and make 

all things new, Lord, when we do struggle, in our own experience, give us more through Your  Holy Spirit and experience of your peace and love. And help us also just to use the logic of  love the truth of the Word, to give us a firm place for our feet when things seem unsure. to  reason again that if when we were enemies we were reconciled through the death of your son how much more now that you're alive shall we be saved through your life Lord Jesus we praise you and thank you in Jesus name amen

Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 11:03 AM