Romans 5:1-11 NIV
We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory. 3 And that’s not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on. 4 The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. 5 And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. 6 At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. 7 It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. 8 But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 The blood of Christ has made us right with God. So we are even more sure that Jesus will save us from God’s anger. 10 Once we were God’s enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives. 11 And that is not all. We are full of joy in God because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of him, God has brought us back to himself.
Key Verse: 2b “We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory”
Review: In a previous study we considered how God’s elect children have been granted access into the grace of God, through Jesus Christ. He suffered the violence of the Cross to ensure our peace and right standing before God. See Ephesians 2:8-18.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
This access is the privilege of all who are in Christ. Jesus is the one who throws open the door and ushers us into God’s presence.
The Hope for Glory
To begin this study I want you to listen or read carefully this paraphrase of the first 3 verses.
Being justified (acquitted), then, on the basis of faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access to this grace that we stand in, glorifying in the promise of God’s glory —but not that alone.
What an amazing state for the saints of God to consider! That we should exalt in praise when we look forward to the fulfillment of the promise of our enjoyment of/in God’s glory.
My dear brethren. Is this what you are hoping for today? I pray it is.
When we at last shall see the glory of God it will greatly exceed earth’s most wonderful and pleasant experiences. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Paul whets our appetites.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
In 2 Timothy 2:10 Paul told Timothy that he endured all things for the elect’s sake, that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Do we even reflect Paul’s desire for God’s elect?
God’s Glory, what is it?
Up to this point we’ve seen from the passages we have read that this hope for God’s glory is something to be longed for. But why? Why the glory? It’s simple. God is not without His glory. J.I. Packer said;
“All serious Christian thinkers acknowledge that glorifying God is at once man’s divine calling and his highest joy, both here and hereafter.”
But what exactly is this “glory”?
The principle word for glory in the Hebrew is “Kabob’. Literally it means “to be heavy,” thus giving the idea that the person having glory is “heavy” with position or power or wealth. (Hey man, God is the heaviest!’)
“Kabod” also has a very broad range of meaning. E.F. Harrison explains that “labor” also denotes the manifestation of light by which God revealed Himself, whether in the lighting flash or in the blinding, a splendor which often accompanied theophanies (thee-off-fah-knees)”.
For an example of God displaying His glory turn to Exodus 24:9-12.
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
Introduction to the Meaning and possible uses of Lapis Lazuli.
It is one of the most sought after stones in use since man’s history began. Its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth. It is rock formed by multiple minerals, mostly Lazurite, Sodalite, Calcite and Pyrite, and is a rich medium to royal blue with gold flecks (pyrites). Referenced in the Old Testament as sapphire (unknown in that part of the ancient world), Lapis Lazuli is most likely the fifth stone in the original breastplate of the High Priest, as well as those of later times.
But that’s not all. Open to Ezekiel 1:26-28.
(NIV) Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
Do not miss the importance of verses 27-28.
So here we have a picture depicting something of God’s glory. Note that in our quote from Ezekiel 1:26 it is said that high above this lapis lazuli throne was a figure like that of a man. And what else did Ezekiel see?
27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.
28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
Now turn to Luke 9:28-36.
(NIV) About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
This blessed sight is what Peter writes of in his second letter. 2 Peter 1:17-18.
(NIV) For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
God’s glory, the saint’s reward.
Return now to Romans 5.
Now when we speak of rejoicing in God’s glory we know that God’s word is encouraging you and I to be longing to possess the fullness of God’s perfect light and that we should desire with all of our being to dwell, to live in His perfect splendor and magnificence. Jesus, the man high above the throne of lapis lazuli, has himself encouraged us through these words. Open to Matthew 13:36-43.
(NIV) His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
If you haven’t as yet put it together on your own, then open to Genesis 15:1.
(NIV) After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.
Are you still wondering what’s going on here? Open to John 17:20-24.
(NIV) My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
The Saint’s suffering for God’s glory.
Again Romans 5. Note that the Spirit of God now moves Paul to speak of suffering, namely our suffering, the suffering of His saints. Romans 5:2-5.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
At the beginning of verse 3 Paul says, “Not only so” which in the King James translation reads ‘not only that”. In other words there is more to be said. We would probably say it this way. “On top of all that God adds the following.”
Now listen carefully to what the Spirit of God says here through Paul. It is truly God speaking to you.
3 “We are full of joy even when we suffer.”
What?!!! Paul, Is this something we should be getting excited about? Thankfully he didn’t stop there. He continues.
that our suffering gives us the strength to go on.
The strength to go on produces character.“
Character produces hope.
And hope will never let us down.
God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.”
Suffering is designed to move you closer to your Jesus, the God man. It is, in and through suffering, where God meets us in a most peculiar way. For the world, adversity drives them to despair. For the saint, adversity drive them into the arms of the Good Shepherd. Why is this? Because He cares deeply for our souls.
How about your dear Christian, God’s beloved? Are you living to the praise of His glorious grace?
Paul has these encouraging words for you this morning. Ephesians 1:11-14.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
For the true believer, their trials, tribulations, and suffering, becomes purposeful and have meaning. Ask any older saint if God has ever failed them during their seasons of suffering. They know…
- that their life and welfare are completely under God’s watchful eye and care
- they know that whatever befalls them, whether good or bad, they are used of God for our ultimate good and for His glory.
First comes the troubles, then from out of the troubles the saint learns how to patiently wait upon God. And from patiently waiting upon God we gain hope. And all this for our participation into God’s glory. John 17:24.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
So now we know why we suffer. Suffer well my dear friends. God will meet you in your sufferings and God will richly bless you on the day when we are gathered before His Holy Throne.
One last passage for you from Song of Songs 5:10-16.
(NIV) My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. 11 His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. 12 His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. 13 His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. 14 His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. 15 His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. 16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.