THE NARROW ROAD TO SALVATION (Revisiting the Book of Romans) Part 5 By Robert Wurtz II
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us(Romans 5:1-5).
When we exercise a verifiable faith in Christ, we are justified (acquitted) of our sin before God. Rather than God imputing our sin to our account, He makes a demand upon the finished work of Christ which was bore out at Calvary. This work which God does on our behalf, brings peace between us and God. Before we were saved we were the enemies of God. As it is written....And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister (Colossians 1:20-23).
The Just are Standing by Grace
Having been reconciled to God, we also have access into the grace in which we stand. We are not standing in our own strength, we are standing in the grace of God. We are told in scripture, that those who appear to be falling in the faith, can actually be held up by a God who is able to keep us standing (Romans 14:4). God does not glory in the fall of a believer, He has too much at stake to sit around and glory when someone falls short. Who could imagine a God that would send his Son for the salvation of mankind, and then sit and nit pick every little thing so that He could then turn and send them to Hell? God expects us to live lives that are holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight (Hebrews 13:21, Colossians 1:22), but we are to do these things through Christ and not in ourselves. We are to yield to the working of God as He changes us, and realize that we are justified during the process. God judges apostasy, but He, as a father would his child, chastises our disobedience (Deuteronomy 8:5, Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:4-11).
In Time of Need
There are times in our lives that we are going to need extra grace, or maybe even in very difficult times...a very special grace. God is a God of great grace. We are told in Romans 5 that we have access by faith into this grace were in we stand, but Hebrews 4:16 tells us... Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Boldly He said, not arrogantly, for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble (James 4:6). God's grace is manifold according to I Peter 4:10, and that grace is God's unmerited provision of all things that we need in order to be successful as a believer (Hebrews 12:28, II Peter 3:18).
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (Romans 6:5-11).
God loves us so much, that He sent His Son to die for us before we even cared to be saved. When we were living our lives with no regard for Him, He was thinking of us, and how He was going to save us. We were wildly unworthy of God's love and Christ's obedience to God's plan for our salvation. As a matter of fact, in ourselves, we are still just as unworthy as we were when we were yet sinners. ALL of our righteousness is as filthy rags in the presence of a holy God. And in our obedience as servants and sons and daughters, we are to consider ourselves as unprofitable servants who merely do that which is their duty. As it is written... But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do (Luke 17:7-10).
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:12-21).
There is a principal throughout scripture that tells us that to whomsoever we yield our members, of them or that, we are a servant. God before the foundation of the world knew that Adam would sin. So He made a law that goes like this...the soul that sins will surely die. Adam having been the first created child of God, found himself with his wife in the Garden of Eden with two very special trees, among many others. God told Adam, in the day you eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil you will surely die. They then encountered the Serpent, which seduced them into yielding to the sin that he tempted them with. At that exact point, sin entered the world. Not only did sin enter, but death as it's penalty came with it. And just as Esau sold his birthright to Jacob to be heir of all the Kingdom, so his ‘father' Adam sold his birthright as the first created child of God. Adam is now a slave to sin, and slaves to sin cannot be servants of God at the same time. But God had a plan. God banished Adam from the Garden before he could eat of the Tree of Life and live forever as a slave to sin. Adam's only means of being free from sin...was to die to sin and be resurrected IN Christ in ADAM all DIE, but in CHRIST shall all be made ALIVE. At physical death, slaves are free from their masters, wives are free from their husbands, and all legal contracts (except will and trust) are void. Freedom from slavery to sin is the purpose of physical death.
When a child is born to a slave are they free? No, they are the property of their parents slave master. So it has been with all humanity. Adam did not just forfeit his own birthright and freedom, but he forfeited it for all of his children as well. And those children are all of humanity. The proof that sin had corrupted humanity is found in God not allowing the children of Adam and Eve back into the Garden after their parents died. It is also proven in the sickness and disease that plagues our bodies until death. The presence of sin is not fully gone until DEATH is fully gone. If there is death there is still sin present in some way. Otherwise man would live forever after accepting Christ. They still die! Why? Because they die to sin by faith- but if they are in Christ at death- they will be resurrected in Him unto eternal life.
Grace Did Much More Abound
So man's a slave to sin, what now? Did sin take God by surprise? Nay! God as it were was going to ambush the Devil! There is no such thing as Satan having the upper-hand over God. Do we think that God would have to submit to something that Satan did? There has never been a time that when sin was abounding, that grace did not MUCH MORE abound. And there has never been a time that God was worried what He was going to do when man fell. Satan has not as much as seen a glimmer of glory in introducing man to sin, but to God be the glory the day that He introduced us to His Son!
Precious in the Sight of the Lord...
In Genesis 4:7 God told Cain that if he did well he would be accepted of God, but if not sin would be lying at his door like an animal waiting desirously of him. What Cain didn't know, was that 65 books and 4000 years later, Christ was going to walk up to the front porch of humanity, with sin lying at is feet and commence pounding a nail scarred hand upon the door of all mankind. Standing and knocking-relentlessly- making the call for salvation and a reunion with all those who have gone astray. Though Satan might of threw a party when Christ died at Calvary, the grave couldn't hold Him, and sin couldn't intimidate Him. There was no fear of Satan before His eyes. He bruised His brass heel upon the head of the ole' serpent!
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15). When Satan stood rejoicing at the death of each and every Saint that has ever died, even fighting with Angels to try and get to their graves (Jude 1:9), Christ was planning a day of redemption in the which He would step out onto the clouds of glory as the angel sounds the trumpet of God. As it is written.... Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:51-58).