Romans 5:1-11 - The Seasons of Life
Intro: We have seen from our study in the book of Romans that true Faith will affect the way that You live !
A) When we come to faith in Jesus Christ God declares us Justified - Righteous !†† That is how the Lord sees us / Position in Christ
B) But being Justified & Living like your justified can be 2 separate things
C) The Christian life is not an easy life but it should be a focused life / a life that is based upon some very incredible truths
1) †Knowing who you are in Christ / where stand / where going / what the Lord is doing to make sure you are prepared when get there !
D) So as we came to Ch. 5 on Wed night we saw where Paul began to outline some of these incredible truths
1) By explaining the† benefits of our Justification When he said
†Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ† through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Now we finished up w/ verses one & two in our study on Wed night but for the sake of continuity let me briefly review
A) Paul begins by mentioning 3benefits that should mark are lives if we truly
†††† grasp what it means† that we have been Justified
B) The first is that we have Peace w/ God ! Which means† The war is over & there is an intimacy that marks our relationship w/ Him !
1) †What happens when you - have a argument w/ your wife before work in the morning - maybe some harsh words are said
C) You rush out the door - as both of you go your separate ways ! But how do you feel as the day unfolds - ( if saved you feel horrible - no peace )
D) There is this wedge that is there between you and your wife / that is not going to go away until the situation is dealt w/
1) †So you call her tell her you are sorry - †can we meet for lunch - †You get together for lunch & like two school kids intimacy has been restored
E) There is Peace once again!††† There is intimacy - There is a confidence - things are OK!†††
1) †Paul says that is what we experience w/ God when born again/ Peace intimacy !
2nd Access by faith into this grace in which we stand !
A) Through faith we now have Access w/ the Father - in fact the writer of Heb. Puts it this way Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
B) The place where we were not welcome before because of our sin we are now told we can boldly enter into - confidence knowing we are welcome
1) †Pastors kids are often - neglected - because they sometimes feel like they have to compete for their fathers time & attention.
C) To avoid that w/ my kids I have told them - that if they ever want to talk to me they can interrupt me at any time simply saying excuse me
1) †My Son takes full advantage of this - numerous times - counseling - no office for seven months - until recently - I would use someone elseís
D) What is interesting is Aaron can always find me - he will burst into the office - say excuse me - Dad can we or I need Ö such & such
1) †He knows that he has access into my office or wherever I am and that he is welcome.
E) That is how the Father wants us to feel - welcome ! That is why when Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray - Start off w/ Father
1) †So often dear God so unworthy come before you ÖÖ He is like get your eyes off of yourself & on to who you are in Christ
F) In Him you are worthy - H.S. in you is crying out Abba Father = Daddy !
1) †Intimacy & a respect !†† SO PAUL SAYS WE HAVE ACCESS
3RD THING THAT Paul mentions is we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God ! Hope = absolute expectation of coming good
A) What is that absolute expectation that we have to look forward to ? That we are going to Heaven & we are going to see the Lord /
B) We are going to experience the glory of the Lord & we will take part in the glory / John put this way - 1JN3:2† Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Bb) We rejoice in that Hope - soon & very soon
C) So the blessing of our Justification is who we are in Christ ! Declared righteous / where we stand -† At Peace intimacy - total Access
1) †And where we are going - We are going to Heaven where we are going to take part in the glory of the Lord
But in V. 3,4† Paul mentions another blessing of our Justification / Not just who we are / where we stand /or where we are going
A) But the next thing Paul mentions is What God is committed to do in our lives in the meantime ! v.3,4
B) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4† and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
C) See here is the situation - God sees us here in Christ - Justified that is our position !† Righteous in Christ - But Practically need a lot of work
1) †So How does the Lord get us from here Positionally to here going to be†† / Ans. w/ another question . How is gold purified ? Put in the fire
D) That is what the father does w/ us / He allows us to be put through the fires
of trials & tribulations - because His goal is to fashion us into image of Christ
1) †Two reasons we are still here / One is to experience the blessing of being used - being vessel - lead others to Christ - build up others
E) 2nd - to prepare us for eternity / That is what Paul is dealing w/ here when says - And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations
Tribulations - could be afflictions, illness, various stresses & pressures of life, even persecution!
A) See the bible doesnít teach that when you become a Christian that you are exempt from problems - sometimes they increase
B) Family friends forsake you - boss doesnít know what to do w/ you / the Christian life can be difficult at times
††††††††† 1) Jesus said †In the world have trib. ÖÖ. Be of good cheer Ö.world
So What does it mean to Glory in Tribulation!
1st tell you what it doesnít mean
A) It is not the Bobby Mcfferon Philosophy of Donít worry just be happy / Paul is not suggesting that you just pretend to be happy / smiley face
B) Nor does Paul say we are to glory for the Tribulation / in other words lose our Job smitten w/ cancer / Praise you Lord for this
C) Nor is it a Iím going to just grin & bear it - tough it out type of mentality
††† Just hang on until it is over & donít let it get you down kind of thing/† NO
1) †Non Christians are able to do that - bite the bullet - grin & bear it
To rejoice in our Tribulation is to be able to give God Glory even when we are going through severe difficulties - We can still praise Him as God
A) It is to remain focused on Him & not the situation or the trial
B) Quiet confidence that allows us to sing / that impacts us to worship -
Paul & Silas in prison in Philippi - singing at midnight
1) †We can still worship in those times of tribulation because we know something the person w/ out Christ doesnít
C) The trial the tribulation is producing something in us / it is accomplishing something / it is productive ! /
D) Basketball in High School running team - preseason conditioning camp was brutal - coach ran us hard - guys throw up
1) †1st year I experienced excruciating leg cramps - come on me at night while I was doing home work - scream throw myself back in chair
E) It was a very difficult time - but it resulted in me being in the best shape of my life .
1) †When Basketball was over - and went into Baseball which was my main sport - I was stronger, quicker, faster.† Incredible
F) The following fall when Basket ball conditioning camp came around I actually looked forward to it because I knew what the† results would be
1) †New freshmen coming in didnít enjoy it / because they didnít realize what it was producing
G) Paul says we can glory in trib. Because we know it is producing something in us / it is productive
Watch a woman in labor; watch the expression on her face.
A) If you have any empathy in you, you canít help but feel deeply hurt with her because she is going through such pain.
B) And yet, there is also a† joy because she knows that the suffering of childbirth produces children.
1) †It is the child that makes it all worthwhile. The suffering produces something worthwhile.
C) What does the tribulations & sufferings that we go through† produce? The apostle says it produces four things.
First, suffering produces perseverance†
A) In some versions the word is patience. The Greek word literally means "to abide under, to stay under the pressure."
B) Pressure is something we want to get out from under, but suffering teaches us to stay Under, to stick in there and hang with it.
1) †David is a good example of this / at some where between the ages of 13& 15 David was anointed King of Israel.
C) The Spirit & anointing of God had left Saul & was residing on David ! But it would be another 15 yrs until David assumed the throne
1) †Yet David showed great patience & perseverance in waiting on Godís timing / suffering from Saulís Jealousy -
D) I would have bailed the first time Saul threw a spear at me. Yet David continued to serve Saul.
1) †And only left† when it reached the point where it was no longer safe to continue in that situation.
E)David lived for close to 15 yrs as a fugitive running from Saul / yet even though he had numerous chances to take Saulís life / didnít /waited on God
Perseverance is the opposite of panic, of bailing out.† The best translation I can think of is the word "steadiness." Suffering produces steadiness.
A) It is a word that speaks of being focused & immovable & that is what you see in David during most of that time !
During that time that He wrote some beautiful Psalms in which he glorifies the Lord & spoke of† his dependence upon the Lord !
A) Spoke of the Lord as being his refuge / his strength / his strong tower
B) Paul expressed the same thing in 2Cor.12 :10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
CC) Paul discovered during those times of Trib. That Godís grace was
†††††† sufficient - God was able to carry him through / working in him
C) David discovered a similar thing during† 15 year period God was doing a work in David heart that Iím sure that David didnít realize at the time .
1) †David was anointed at 15 to be the King & yet - he wasnít physically or spiritually ready for the task -
D) But the Lord had a 15 yr training program in mind for David ! The† Lord does the same thing in our lives through trials we encounter
1) †Producing a steadiness & a maturity in our lives !
2nd thing Paul says is that the suffering not only produces steadiness but steadiness produces Character !
A) The word Character carries w/ it the idea of being put to the test & approved .
B) Good example of this is seen in the life of Joseph who at 17 yrs of age was thrown into a pit & then sold into slavery by his jealous brothers
1) †taken to Egypt where he became a slave - for a man named Potiphar who was the Captain of Palace guard
C) Joseph persevered in the mist of the trial /become a very trust worthy slave / put in charge of Potiphar's whole house
1) †Handsome† young man - Potiphar's wife attracted tried to seduce
D) Joseph resisted her advances - hurting† her pride / so she accused Joseph of trying to rape her .††† threw him in prison!
Joseph learned perseverance in prison as well - never is there a mention of him complaining - grumbling - put over all other prisoners
A) Butler & Baker thrown in dreams / interprets / tells the Butler who was going to be restored - put in a good word for me /Butler forgets / 2 yrs pass
B) Pharaoh has a dream / canít figure out / needs an interpreter / Butler remembers Joseph - he is summed for
1) †The Lord gives him the interpretation of the dream - 7 abundant yrs followed by 7 famine yrs
C) What Do?† Appoint a Prime minister - stock pile grain during the 7 good yrs / be prepared for 7 famine yrs /† Pharaoh appoints Joseph
1) †Becomes Pharaohs right hand man / sold into slavery at 17- appointed prime minister at 30
D) For 13 yrs Joseph went through this incredible tribulation / not knowing what was going on yet he hoped in God
1) †But it was all part of Godís big plan
E) You see God who sees everything in the now knew that the famine was going to come / and that Jacob - Josephís dad send bros to Egypt for grain
1)Because Joseph was there - the family line through which the messiah†
††† was to come was sustained & preserved -
People might think - Wasnít there an easier way !
A) I think that is sometimes our problem we are always looking for the easy way out ! / short cuts to spiritual growth & maturity
B) Cliff notes or fast food spirituality !††
C) But we need to understand that it is through the difficulties & stresses that Character is developed in us
D) During that 13 yr. Period Joseph was transformed from a boy into a man
1) †When the whole thing unfolded & Joseph understood what the Lord had done / He told his bros You meant evil - God meant good !
E) Sometimes Satan is the one who brings trials into our lives / God allows but Satan is the instrument- he means it for evil but God means it for good
1) †We can rejoice in our Tribulations when we see them from that perspective - all part of Godís plan in preparing me for eternity
Now Iím sure that Joseph thought his life was over when he was placed in the pit & then sold into slavery - but all part of Godís plan
A) So too in our lives God has something for you in eternity that you could never conceive of - training you for that now
B) The Lord might have something planned for your life 2,3,4,5 or 10 yrs from now & through† the present trial you are now He is preparing you !
C) My life moved to OR. 2 weeks before we moved - meeting w/ Jon - Salem is your training ground for what God has for you in the future
1) †Never forgot that although I had no idea what it meant at the time
D) Like most Church plants our time in OR was difficult especially the 1st year !†† Times of incredible warfare & Challenge !
1) †Stretched from every side & stripped of all self sufficiency
E) And although the Church grew & the Lord blessed wonderful body of believers - I always felt like that God was holding things back !††
1) †Spout where blessings come out - was just a trickle -
F) Yet God continued to speak to my heart in prayer & through the word that he was going to do something in my life I couldnít conceive of
1) †I had no idea that His plan was to send me back here !
G) And when Brian called to ask me to pray about coming back to Vista - I was immediately reminded of what Courson said - Prophetic
1) †Salem is your training ground for what God has for you in the future
H) Suddenly it all made sense - I could look back on a lot of the situations we went through that other Pastors / I talked w/ werenít dealing w/
1) †Began to see this is what the Lord was doing !
Now the 3rd thing that Paul mentions is that Character - which could also be translated experience - produces Hope = assurance or confidence
A) The reason is this when you go through a trial & see the Lordís faithfulness in the trial - it produces an assurance & a confidence in your life
B) So that when a new trial comes along you are able to look back on the trial that you just went through & realize that God will bring me through this one too
1) †Iíve encountered some situations already here at Vista - that were so similar to what we† went through in OR
C) Learned some lessons the hard way / that even when my faith faltered or my faithfulness failed God was still faithful
D) Now Seeing† the Lordís faithfulness in those we went through in OR has
†††† made it much easier to trust HIM in the situations here
1) †Through that experience that was gained in OR we have been able to avoid some of those same mistakes here
Now Paul goes on to explain why hope does not disappoint us.
A) He says it is "because God has poured Out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
B) Now, , this is one of the most important verses in Romans. It is a significant verse because it adds a thought we have not yet seen in this book
1) †It is the explanation. above all else, of how to gain that perspective that enables us to† rejoice in suffering.
C) This is the first mention in Romans of the love of God. Up to now Paul has not said anything about the love of God;
1) †but now he says† "God has poured our his love into out hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
D) The Love of God is the thing that ties together vs. 1-4 w/ verses 6-11/that enables us to be people who can rejoice in the Trib.
E) And Godís Love for us is most clearly seen in the Cross ! Paul says that is the place that every Christian can look back to know God Loves them
Follow Paulís train of thought here / The H.S. in our hearts gives us an assurance & a confidence in the mist of Trials
A) Because He continues to reassure us of Godís Love -
B) Reminding us that Jesus died for us at just the right time v.6,7 ††For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7† For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
C) Christ Died for us at just the right time !†† When we were wasted† & w/out strength - totally undone & hopeless
And Having done that He is not going to give up on us now ! V.8-11
A) 8† But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9† Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10† For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
B) When we were enemies - reconciled - now He is going to carry us through!
11† And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
C) Seasons in OR.† Fall - things begin to die / trees lose their color - / winter come - dead cold - Rain
1) †As those months of rain would drag on find yourself hoping for spring
D) Come flowers bloom - color of leaves - everything rich green /
1) †Winter rain wasnít always enjoyable but necessary
Christian life is just the same we have our seasons times when Fall when things begin to get ruff