Sunday, September 1, 2019

Romans: Peace, Access, Hope

Book of Romans - the message so far:
I)  All have sinned and are separated from God
Therefore, stand in (1) a state of condemnation - already
                             (2) need of Reconciliation  - already

This is BAD NEWS!!  Because (3)  the damage is irreparable!!

BUT there is Good News!  (the Gospel - Old English = godspel - good tale, good story)

II).  Reconciliation is available!!
       (A)  to all!!
       (B)  at NO COST!!  (ie no cost to you!! - tremendous cost to Christ.  Just no our work!)
it is:  (C)  By Grace .... Through faith .... IN Jesus Christ!!

So........ Rom. 3:20-24 - Review:  righteousness = ability to stand at ease in God's presence.  Vs. 23 - to all who BELIEVE!!  Example:  Abraham - Rom. 4:1-5
He believed God!!  left his homeland - went to Canaan -- believed the land would go to his heirs (though he had no heir!!) - believed in 'son of promise'  (though was OLD!!) - believed enough to offer (sacrifice) that promised son!!

Abraham believed God and "it was credited to him as righteousness"

On one hand, Abraham didn't get everything right!!!
However, he believed and obeyed which counted as faith, which credited as righteousness!

Now ... from was'm to is'm - Rom. 4:20-25  We get salvation the same way.
Is for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus from the dead.

Rom. 5:1-2 - "therefore" = because of His Work and our response ... we (now) have:   Peace .... Access .... Hope

I.  Peace with God = harmony, fellowship, friendship, reconciliation
Example:  Contrast Adam and Eve's relationship before and after sin.  Sin has separated sinful people from fellowship with God.

Note:  Peace greater than feeling = actual, factual state of being.

You may say "God and me are on good terms!'
BUT .. is that what God says???

Options:  Therefore = (1)  trust your notions/feelings,
or                               (2)  trust the person and words of Christ!!

II.  Access to God
On one hand, God = omniscient and omnipresent (aware and available)
However, this access = for those in "Right Standing"

Illustration:  the temple layout
Center = Holy of Holies (High Priest has access once a year) , in front of that = the Holy place (only the priests can minister here),  then court of Israel, then court of Jewish women, then court of gentiles.

On one hand, all are free to approach and pray.
However, only the High Priest could enter into God's symbolic Presence!  - UNTIL ... Matt. 27:50-51

This access is:  (A)  initial (salvation, reconciliation) - when initially crossed the bridge
                       (B)  continual - Heb. 4:14-16 - the irony is that when we need His mercy and grace the most, we avoid Him.

Because of His work and our Response ... we no have ...
          I)  Peace with God
         II) Access to God
        III)  Hope for the future.

III.  Hope for the future   (hope for the glory of God!)
"Hope" = (confident) Expectation  (joyous) Anticipation - based on fact!
Is more than dream, wish, desire, longing, which is the current use of the word.  ie:  I 'hope' it rains.  I 'hope' I pass my test.

"Glory" = all the glorious things He has promised in this life AND (especially) in the NEXT!!

So.... Titus 1:1-2,  1 Pet. 1:20-21,  Col. 1:26-27

Because of ... what HE has done  (the cross), (plus) what I have done  (crossing over) = Reason to Expect (Anticipate) all the glorious things He has promised!

Rom. 15:13 - He is the GOD of Hope.  We are the People of Hope.

So..  Rom. 5:2 - "we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."

On one hand we have Hope (expectation) for the future!!
However, we live int his present, troubled world!!

So........ (meanwhile)  - Heb. 6:19  "... firm and secure".  - anchor for the soul.

Closing Scripture:  1 Cor. 10:13

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