Here’s the outline for the sermon on Romans 5:1 that I preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship, our church in Naperville. You can hear the audio here.
Romans 5:1 “Peace with God”
C.S. Lewis once said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” We certainly see that with today’s passage. If it is false, then it is really is of no importance, but if it is true then it is of infinite importance, and the only it can’t be is moderately important. What we are considering today is having peace with God. How can a human being have peace with His Creator? If Christianity is right on this, then it is of infinite importance for all of us, because it radically impacts each of us now and into eternity.
-Clarification: Peace with God does not mean an inner feeling of peace. There is language of that in Scripture (Phil 4:7), but that is not what we are considering today. We thinking about peace in this sense of an absence of hostility between two different parties. In 1942 Germany and England were sending planes with bombs into each other’s lands. By the end of 1944 the two nations had peace with each other. OUR QUESTION: How can we have peace with God?
TWO POSSIBLE OBJECTIONS:
1. It is impossible to know if we can have peace with God. God is unreachable. How can we even know?
A. Jesus has made God known (John 1:18). We can truth about God and the way of peace because of Jesus.
2. Why even ask this question? Of course we have peace with God, if God is love doesn’t He accept everyone?
A. God is love, but also just and holy. He punishes sin and our sin leaves us estranged and guilty before Him.
-In Romans we have learned about our sinful condition and God’s righteous holy anger toward sin & sinners
-We are not born into this world in peace with God, but need God Himself save us and make it happen
In today’s passage we learn about the wonderful peace we might have with God through the gospel. In the gospel, we are brought back to God and can once again have peace with Him. This is a glorious truth! It is not inconsequential, but vital for every one of us. We all need to have peace with God and in the gospel, this is possible for everyone who believes.
*My Prayer: God would help us grasp afresh the wonderful reality of our peace with God that the gospel has made possible.
-PLAN: Consider 3 things that Romans 5:1 shows us about the gospel and peace with God:
1. A GROUNDS for peace with God; 2. a PROCLAMATION about peace with God; 3. a PATH for peace with God.
1. A GROUNDS FOR PEACE WITH GOD “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith”
GROUNDS=Reason why it is right or rationale to believe a claim.
‘What if I said, I just started training, and I have decided that this Fall I will be If I said this Fall I am going to be playing for the Chicago Bears,’ you might ask me ‘On what grounds do you make such a claim?’
-SIMPLY believing or feeling like a thing should be true, does NOT make it true.
-Simply believing we have peace with God does not make it true.Example: Story from U.N.L.V. of flute player who believed she could play with top band but had not auditioned. The sincerity of her belief did not change her situation. She had no grounds for thinking she could be in the group.
*In the gospel we have a grounds for PEACE with God. How so?
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith”
-This points back to ch 1-4, where Paul has explained that in the gospel we might declared right before God (justified) by faith in Jesus Christ. This is a SUMMARY of all 1-4.
1:16-17: GOSPEL! GOSPEL=Good news from God about what God has done for us in Christ.
-Paul is not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes
–Righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith=starting and end in faith.
-FAITH is key
1:18-3:20: BAD NEWS
-Everyone of us in a sinner and under the just wrath of God.
-Gentiles and Jews; Religious and Irreligious are in need of salvation and headed to hell.
-There is no hope for us in ourselves. We do not have peace with God in our fallen state.
3:21-26: GOSPEL EXPLAINED
-God has made a way for us be righteous before through faith in Jesus Christ
-In this God punishes sin by Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, pay the penalty for us on the cross
-God is just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus Christ.
-God is loving, gracious, and merciful. We see this clearly in the GOSPEL!
3:27-4:25: FAITH ELABORATED
-We really are justified by faith and not by any of our works
-This is not a new idea, but one that Abraham and David and OT saints experienced
-Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (4:25)
-Paul’s way to summarize all of this is “therefore, since we have been justified by faith”
APP: The Christian has rational GROUNDS for peace with God in the gospel. We have a rational and reasonable foundation for a true peace with God because of the gospel. This is not an empty hope or empty claim. It is rooted in truth and facts.
-Preach this to yourself when you feel like a failure at following Jesus.
-Preach this to yourself when you feel bored with God
-Preach this to yourself when you feel far from God
*The Grounds of our assurance that we have peace with God is the gospel of Jesus Christ!*
2. A PROCLAMATION ABOUT PEACE WITH GOD “we HAVE peace with God”
For those of you who are married, do you remember your single days of getting to know someone you liked? Remember the times of ambiguity or uncertainty? Is this person interested in me? Or are we just friends?
-There are lots of situations in life today that we just really wish there was more clarity and certainty.
-Often, we just want a pronouncement, a declaration: like on a wedding day
WEDDING DAY: At the end of the service “I pronounce you husband and wife”
-Question: Is it possible for us to have a CLEAR pronouncement from God about our peace with Him? YES! Today, hear the proclamation of Romans 5:1 “WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD”
–God has declared in Scripture what has taken place due to the gospel: “we HAVE peace with God”
-“we”=we Christians, those who have repented of sin and believed the gospel.
-“have”=present reality (not merely future, but now and in the future).
-“peace with God”=a right relationship once again!
-See also: Col 1:21-22; Eph 2:11-13
-God has plainly spoken to us about a WONDERFUL truth: in the gospel we HAVE peace with God!
-This peace with God endures through trials
-This peace with God endures even when we do not feel peace in our hearts.
-This peace we know as we walk by faith, but one day our faith will be sight: new Earth.
APP: HEAR the glorious proclamation again: We have peace with God. Let this ring in your ears and heart. Let the reality of our peace with God lead to a feeling of peace in your hearts.
3. A PATH FOR PEACE WITH GOD: “through our Lord Jesus Christ”
WHO likes going to the zoo? Our family recently became members of Brookfield zoo. And we have gone a few times, and there are actually a number of different ways to get there from our house (go south and take 55, go north and take 88). Some people say, God is like that: there are lots of way to get to know and have peace with Him. -This is known as religious pluralism
-Sounds humble and generous and even common sense. But it is false.
-There are lots of things in life that have many ways and answers.
-There other things where only one answer and way is possible:
(“How many people are in this room? What is 2+2? What day were you born?)
-Jesus claimed to be the ONLY path to God (John 14:6; 1 Tim 2:5-6)
-Jesus is the ONLY PATH for peace with God: “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
-NOT through attending church
-NOT through reading our Bibles
-NOT through accomplishing good deeds.
-Through our Lord Jesus Christ
-Through faith in Jesus and having him as “our Lord”
APPLICATION: Isn’t Jesus amazing? Isn’t it amazing that he leads us to the way of peace with God? Having him as your lord leads to greater freedom, joy, and peace, not less.
UNBELIEVER: You need find peace with God, a real peace, not a fake peace or false assurance. It is yours in Christ if you believe in Him.
BELIEVER, PREACH THIS TO YOURSELF THIS WEEK
1. In the gospel, we have a GROUNDS for peace with God. It is reasonable and right to believe that we have peace with God. God has done what is needed for our us to have peace with Him. We don’t rest on our own understanding, we rest on Jesus.
2. In the gospel we hear the PROCLAMATION of peace with God. It has been clearly spoken. Listen and hear those words again and again “we have peace with God.” Let that give you peace when life’s circumstances steal your peace.
3. In the gospel we see that path to peace with God is through Jesus Christ. Let’s rejoice in Christ and follow Him. Let’s tell others about Him. This week we are especially praying that some students at North Central College come to find true peace with God through the gospel this year. Would you pray that with me?