Sermon Details

There's Something Missing in My Life (Part 1)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

­Do you have times when you're so overwhelmed with anxiety that you start to panic in fear? You trust God have faith in God, but you're unsure. ­Have you ever felt that something was missing in your life? You know you love the Lord, and walk with the Lord, but something isn't quite right. ­Well, be of good cheer because in just these first two verses of Romans chapter five, we will see three truth's that we can reclaim for our lives.

­Today's teaching will be part one in a new series I've chosen to title; "There's Something Missing in My Life." ­At the risk of sounding sensational and provocative, I believe that the chapter before us has the potential to change our lives in a profound way. ­I'm not alone in this, there are many others, some of whom are now with the Lord, that had some very powerful things to say about Romans 5.

Martin Luther ­“In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.”

­As the Apostle Paul turns a corner beginning here in verse one, he sort of re­shifts the focus from how grace works to what grace accomplishes. ­Let me explain; that which we have been given, vis­a­vis grace, may be the very thing we're missing in our lives, or is no longer real in our lives. ­We see the first one in verse one where Paul starts with what we can now possess because of our justification through faith in Jesus Christ.

1. Peace with God (Verse 1) ­v1 Paul says that since we have been justified through faith by God, we now have peace with God, by virtue of the finished work of Jesus Christ. ­Some of your translations may render "we have peace with God," as "let us have peace with God," which, sadly, is a poor translation at best. ­What Paul is establishing in verse one is that justification, past tense, results in peace, present tense, and as we'll see next, glory, future tense.

­In other words, the war is over! A ceasefire has been declared, and though I had nothing to do with it, I now have peace with God because of it. ­Lest we deem this a firm grasp of the obvious, we would do well to have "ears to hear," what the Holy Spirit is saying through the Apostle Paul. ­Just because the war is over, doesn't mean that I've stopped fighting. Just because the war is over, doesn't mean I'm living my life as if it was.

­I would suggest that we as Christians are so prone to live our lives like God is mad at us, at war with us, and who's anger will come down on us. ­This type of Christian experience will be marked by continually hiding from God, and running from God, as one distances themselves from God. ­The consequences of living my Christian life in this way is I forfeit, of my own volition, this peace with God, and subsequently the peace of God.

­I become like a soldier who is found years after a war was over, still living in isolation, still building my fortification, thinking that I'm still at war. ­We do this with God. We distance ourselves, we build walls around our lives, and in so doing, we live joyless, and fruitless, Christian lives. ­If you were to ask me what one of the most successful campaigns of Satan was, it would be that he's deceived us, to believe God is mad at us.

­This explains in part why it is that Christians are not joyful, and won't read their Bible, or worse yet, don't pray. They think God is mad at them. ­If I think God is mad at me, I will do everything to keep my distance from Him. Conversely if I know I have peace with Him, I'll draw near to Him. ­Here's the bottom line; there's nothing I can do to make God angry with me, or have less love for me, because my justification was not by me.

Charles Spurgeon ­"Faith lays hold upon the righteousness of Jesus, and so makes us just before the Lord, and this brings a heavenly peace into the soul. No self­confidence can ever do this. Our own good works are faulty, and can neither make peace for us, nor work peace in us. What a joy it is to be just before God... No wonder that the man who is so favored enjoys peace of soul."

2. Access to God (Verse 2a) ­v2a Paul goes on to write that through Jesus Christ, we have gained access by faith into this grace, which is now the basis upon which we stand. ­This is interesting for a number of reasons not the least of which is, it carries the idea of having access to someone in a high ranking position. ­When Jesus said; "it is finished," that which separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, was torn, granting us unfettered access to God.

­However, if God is still mad at me then so to would God not be accessible to me. But, if I have peace with God, so too will I have access to God. ­This peace with God, and access to God, is grace based, and if the truth be known, we don't want it any other way. If it was then there's no way. ­If peace with God, and access to God, was based on good works for God, then my peace would be temporary, and my access would be limited.

­By way of illustration, it would be like someone I don't even know just entering into the church office expecting to have unlimited access to me. ­He would first need to have an appointment with me, before he could have access to me. Now, if he gained access through my son, no problem. ­This is how it is, and the way it is that we have gained access, by faith, into this grace. We now stand on the basis of God's son, Jesus Christ.

3. Confidence in God (Verse 2b) ­v2b Paul explains how it is that we can rejoice in the hope, or maybe better said, have confidence in the hope that we'll receive the glory of God. ­Another way to read and understand this verse would be that we now have a sanctified boldness and confidence in the certainty of God's glory. ­It's for this reason that I can rejoice with a new song on my lips, a new spring to my step, a sincere smile on my face, and pure joy in my heart.

Charles Spurgeon ­"Being at perfect peace with God we are enabled to approach Him, and in His presence we obtain a fullness of joy. Do we know anything about this? Let us answer this question each one of us for himself."

Psalms 16:11 NKJV You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

­Could it be, absent these three, peace with God, access to God, and confidence in God, that we need look no further as to why we have no joy? ­If I do not possess peace with God, neither will I access the throne of God, and there­in lies my problem of not having fullness of joy from God. ­Question; "have you ever looked with disdain at a Christian who always seems to joyful?" Why is it that they seem to have that which I do not?

William Newell ­“Alas, how few believers have the courage of faith! When some saint here or there does begin to believe the facts and walk in shouting liberty, we say (perhaps secretly), ‘He must be an especially holy, consecrated man.’ No, he is just a poor sinner like you, who is believing in the abundance of grace!”