Peace Be With You – The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost


let us pray
our heavenly father our gracious king we
thank you for bringing us together
on this first sunday in august
this ninth sunday in
pentecost season we thank you
for your providence and your grace
and as the scriptures we read this
show that you have always been ever
gracious with your people
father we come to you as sinners
we come to you
as weak people in need of grace
as we’re going to learn about this
morning and so father
we come in begging of your grace
and as we come in let us lay all our
our struggles our sins
and our anxieties before you and let you
take them up
and give us your peace we pray these
things in your in the matchless name of
all god’s people said amen please be
what is it we really want in life
what do we really want
i don’t know if
most people were asked if they would
say what paul
holds up here as the primary idea of
what a man
or woman needs in life
what do we sometimes what we want is not
what we need
very often the case we want something
that is not necessary to us and we don’t
want enough
what is necessary to us
in years of pastoring i often encounter
not only in the people i pastor and
the people who come to me outside the
church but their own lives
reflecting my own how often do we let
important relationships that we need to
work on
go to the side while we fuss about other
things that are of
lesser important
importance and yet what paul
talks about here in
romans 5 1-11 is this great
concept called peace
peace with god
and i’d say if you ask most people and
you say
do you have peace i think a lot of us
would say
yes in some ways because we live in a
very civilized country
even though it’s a little upset right
now but
even then these are just little pockets
that are kind of exaggerated by the
most of us are untouched by what
we see going on in these little pockets
of certain cities in the united states
and they’re really a pocket within a
but if we if you ask most people do you
really have peace within yourself
i think a lot of us would be less sure
amen sometimes
even if we’re christian where we know
by reading the scriptures that we have
peace with god
and that’s the power of christianity
it’s not based on how i feel
but if i’m upset that day if something’s
going on
or if there’s something out of place in
my life and that doesn’t have to be
that’s my fault there’s just things that
happen in our life
that are upsetting that are out of our
control a family member
is ill things are always
out of our control and yet paul says we
have peace with god
how did that happen how do we have
peace with god and it comes back to this
topic that he’s been talking about in
the last
chapter or two this idea of
justification and that’s a another thing
where if i said
ask most people what are you looking for
in life i
dare say if i went out and asked a
hundred people on the streets in
providence i don’t think a single one
would say
justification what is it you want in
life justification
and you know paul’s a little academic
and most of us don’t think
quite like paul but most of us wouldn’t
even come in the realm
right most of us wouldn’t say yeah but
the the very thing i want in life
is to know that i’m justified before god
but what paul and the scriptures are
telling us
that’s exactly what we need because we
peace with god
so why does justification matter
what does it accomplish well this is
what he says he says since we have been
by faith we have peace with god
through our lord jesus christ bang
it’s a huge statement that paul says
since we have been justified by faith we
have peace with god
so we could just think of that like a
big banner stretched across the room
this morning that’s the way paul is
making that statement
and if you jump down to verse 510
he says this for if while we were
enemies we were reconciled to god by the
death of a son
much more now that we are reconciled
shall we be saved
by his life and it raises a very big
question what
does it mean to be the
enemy of god he says we were enemies
but strong words those
mean people parties
who are at war and it’s another way we
don’t tend to think about our
relationship to god
but that is how paul thinks about the
sin nature
is that war with god that it’s in
rebellion against his entire cosmic
and sometimes that seemed extreme to us
but when you see all the hurt and
around us and we begin to look deeper
into our lives and to see how we
in that however innocuously
it becomes more meaningful
i mean part of the big reason we miss it
is we that the reason
that god or i’ll say not the reason
but one of the big reasons that god
hates sin so much is because whenever we
we hurt another person
every time we sin we hurt
another person and when you see somebody
hurt another person does that upset you
it should right if you if you if you
you see a person abusing a child
or abusing their spouse or whatever it
may be
or you see somebody stealing a car
you tend to well up in you this
concept of anger of
justice and god put that in our heart
but it’s a little perverted because we
always see it more clearly in everybody
else than
ourselves right we always see it more
clearly in everybody else because it’s a
objective you know we need a mirror to
see ourselves
but if we want a mirror just look at
other people
because we’re all doing the same kind of
things as each other does and that’s why
paul spent so much time on say in the
early chapter so who are you to judge
right back in chapter two
who are you to judge in in whatever
you judge you do the very same thing
and so to be the enemy of god is to be
at war with god
and yet sometimes that war is that war
is really going on
silently or very
unaware to us as a human race
while it’s very real to god
and so he says here in in verse 1 it
says therefore
since we have been justified by faith we
have peace with god through our lord
jesus christ and he says this in verse 2
through him we have obtained
access by faith into his grace
by which we stand and we rejoice in the
and the glory of god what a mouthful
well what does he mean what what does
paul mean there
he says through him we have obtained
access access to what
access to god
access to god and he talks about this
grace by which we stand
you see he says through him we have
obtained access by faith into his grace
through him what he means is jesus
in his work on our behalf of sinners it
is the objective means
through him what jesus did jesus death
burial and resurrection
and it’s through jesus’s sacrifice on
behalf of us
that we have access and so when you want
to think about well what do we mean
about access you think about that old
testament picture
of the tabernacle where the priest would
have to go into the holy of holies into
the holy place on
the day of atonement and make atonement
for the nation
you see that’s access no one else but
the high priest had access and
and the whole book of hebrews deals with
the high priesthood of jesus how he’s
entered in
behind the veil and he’s gained for us
access to god you see while we were
we weren’t even in the city we’re
outside the walls
that’s that’s what the ancient world
would think of when you say enemies
that’s somebody outside the world
outside the walls of your city
who is trying to invade you and yet god
has brought us into relationship with
him and made us
friends friends of god and how does this
happen he says by faith it’s trust in
and the work that grants us access
this is the subjective side
god provides the objective means in
christ he provides the subjective means
faith and the good news is god is such a
god of love that he pours out his spirit
to give us the grace
to turn to him and so he speaks of this
by which we stand
what does he mean by stand but what he
is to be able to stand in the judgment
that when god
comes when we come into the presence of
that we’ll be able to stand that we will
be able to endure
it’s not by our strength or moral power
but by the grace of god
that we stand that we have hope
one writer says peace with god is
contrasted with every form of
intoxicated security
of the flesh
peace with god is contrasted with every
form of intoxicated security in the
flesh you see we’re always trying to
security in something other
than the gospel itself other than jesus
other than god and his gospel itself
and the gospel comes along and says away
with that
and that there’s one way to god and
that’s by trusting god at his word
and there’s a paradox in that right
there’s a paradox
because it’s not concrete like this but
it’s concrete in the kingdom of god
we’d like to be able to hold on to our
worldly things
and anything else that can give us
comfort but god gives us
his word and that’s why abraham
we just learned in chapter 4 is held up
because when god
spoke the word he just believed it
doesn’t mean he never had any moments of
doubt well he did
we saw it we saw him try
you know in the story of abraham he and
sarah tries to see well let’s see if we
can finagle
this thing and
have the child a promise through your
maidservant hagar
that didn’t work out so well did it no
that didn’t work out
you see god’s in love with us
god loves you and god is taking
our lives and molding our lives
and see the grace is poured out in this
that’s coming through the person and
work of jesus christ
but he’s also working in our life right
now conforming us to his image
and he’s giving us again not necessarily
what we want
but what we need that’s what a good
heavenly father does right that’s what a
good parent does is they give
their children what they need not
what they want
lucky for my 12 year old yesterday what
he both needed and wanted was a new xbox
at least in dad’s opinion so dad’s a
dad’s uh
a hero right now
but i digress
but look at romans 5 3 not only that but
we rejoice in our sufferings knowing
that suffering produces endurance
and endurance produces character and
character produces hope
and hope does not put us to shame
because god’s love has been poured in
our hearts through the holy spirit
who has been given to us now i’m just
curious how many of you woke up this
morning and said god
i want some character this week
because if you’ve been a christian for
more than about 10 years and you prayed
that you’re crazy
because he’s going to give you character
now amen if you did okay
because you see look what he look at the
progression there right
we rejoice in our sufferings
so if you say god i need you to work on
my character you just prayed for more
suffering right
the old prayer for patience god make me
a godly person
are you crazy don’t don’t let him hear
you say that
but absolutely that’s what he’s doing
he’s giving us
what we need knowing that suffering
produces endurance now
listen endurance is not easy endurance
is what you need when you’re competing
an event
it endurance is what you need when
you’re doing a marathon
endurance is what you need when you’re
under stress
endurance is what you need is what
soldiers need
when they’re in the heat of a battle
endurance is something you
use when you’re under high stress in
this world
living as a christian in this world
right now
is high stress and that’s why even as
christians sometimes we don’t feel like
we have peace with god amen
but the thanks be to god we do have
peace with god
even when we don’t feel like it we do
have peace with god through our lord
jesus christ and it’s because and we
also have the promise that god has
poured that love into our hearts through
the power of the holy
spirit and as we get farther in the book
of romans we’re going to
we’re going to dig deep into what the
holy spirit does in our lives because
there’s a lot of confusion
about what the spirit does okay there’s
a lot of confusion about that
but the spirit is an ever real presence
in our life
and is life changing
and so
often we are still not where we’re
supposed to be in our
or we feel like we’re not where we’re
supposed to be
in our lives and why because sin
the look at the mercy of god in romans 5
6 for while we were still weak
at the right time christ died for the
for one will scarcely die for a
righteous person
though perhaps for a good person one
would even dare to die
but god shows his love
god shows his love for us in that while
we were still
sinners christ died
for us that is the good news
ladies and gents that while we were
still sinners while we were still
weak now i want to think about that for
a minute
if we go out into the world and we even
examine our own lives what does the
love the world loves power
the world loves strength the world
loves beauty the world loves and
these are all gifts from god
but the world loves and respects those
and yet god is characterized by
loving the opposite he’s not
impressed with the powerful he’s not
impressed with beauty because he made it
he’s impressed with compassion
you see god
you know this is grace the whole gospel
stands on this grace
and it’s a gracious posture of god
toward us the gracious work of cro
of christ paying for our sin
you see god takes and loves what is ugly
what is unattractive what is weak
he talks about being sinners and weak
and if you just watch what happens in
social circles if you watch
kids on the playground it’s the weak
kids that get pushed aside
and the strong kids everybody follows
right it’s not going to be that way in
the kingdom
you know the bullies won’t rule the day
but the meek will inherit the earth and
that’s what we’re called to be
in this world as we live out our
and live out our faith in the world is
to be a people who begins to love
what is ugly and what’s ugly we are
not calling anybody ugly in here i’m
just saying
it’s our sin our moral character that is
broken and weak
that takes love
anyone’s been married for a while like
most of you knows
that the the luster of romance goes away
pretty quick
and then we have to learn what it really
means to love
and that’s the kind of merit that
survives it’s learning
to have a life that’s steeped in grace
that’s what god does he steeps us
in grace
and so here in in 5 9 he says since
therefore we have now been justified by
his blood
much more shall we be saved by him
from the wrath of god
what are we justified by his blood
let me tell you let me tell you this
there’s a lot of people in the world
today who do not
like the idea of god
accepting the blood sacrifice of jesus
but i want you to see it right here
that’s what it says
since therefore we have now been
justified by his blood
much more shall we be saved through his
what this means is that jesus died in
our place that’s called
the substitutionary atonement and
there’s a lot
of people who don’t like that idea for
whatever reason
but if you don’t like that idea you
don’t like christianity because that’s
what jesus did because there’s a
beautiful thing about it there’s a
in jesus’s sacrifice of his own blood
it means god is that loving
and it means we are that bad without god
and it’s a tough pill to swallow and
that’s why people don’t like it
that’s why some people like to call the
death of the the sacrificial the
substitutionary death of christ is
divine child abuse
which is silliness that’s not what it is
at all
the writer of hebrews says who for the
set before him endured the cross
despising the shame and was set down at
the right hand of god
jesus did it with joy jesus
addressed the weakness and sinfulness in
with joy with love with kindness
and so here’s the big
question what precisely
does god save us from
and paul gives us an answer here
since therefore we have now been
justified by his blood
much more shall we be saved by him
from the wrath of god
what does god save us from god saves us
from himself
and from his own justice that’s what god
saves us from
and so that’s where we see the
magnificent love of god because god
loves so much that he’s willing to let
his son joyfully die
in our place so that we might know
the fellowship of god and that we might
one family of god under god
in jesus christ through the power of the
holy spirit
and let that holy hallelujah go up
amen praise god for the word of god

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