Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God

Rom. 5:1-11 NLT  
   3 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 
   3  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 
   6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

We were talking about how Jesus was raised from his heinous death, to life, for the very purpose of making you and I and everyone else who accepts it, right with God. That says that we recognize we are, at first, 'wrong with God.' That is, we are on the wrong side of the great conflict in the universe-- the conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan. Before we align ourselves with God through Christ we are owned by Satan because of our fallen nature. Our choices are always self-serving and evil (when contrasted to God's righteousness).

Chapter five begins with Paul saying "therefore. . . " He says that because of chapter four. Because of all the truth unpacked thus far, THEREFORE. . .The truth that we were made right in God's sight by our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the THEREFORE.
  • Therefore we have peace (vs 1). 
  • Therefore we have true faith (vs 1). 
  • Therefore we have an undeserved privilege of standing in the very presence of God (vs 2). 
  • Therefore we can look forward to sharing God's Glory (vs 2)
  • Therefore we can rejoice the face of trials because we will have endurance (vs 3-4)
  • Therefore such endurance creates character within our new nature that is being made like Christ's nature (vs 3-4).
  • Therefore we have hope of salvation (vs 4)
  • Therefore we have been given The "Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love" (vs 5).
There was a time when we were lost and without hope. Had we remained estranged from God by not accepting Jesus Christ to be Savior, AND Lord over our lives we would still be there. But Christ came. He came at "just the right moment" according to verse 7. By this coming and His sacrifice we have record of those who witnessed first hand God showing His Great Love (vs 8). And in our faith we have directly experienced His Great Love. This experiences has removed us from any sort of condemnation, though we deserve condemnation. Christ has removed our condemnation. This all has restored a relationship between you and God-- between me and God, between each believer and God. This relationship is termed 'friendship.'  You are friends with God. God is your friend.

Look with me at verse 11. Read it out loud several times. Each time let your voice emphasize the subsequent word.
"SO now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God."
So NOW we can rejoice in our. . .
So now WE can rejoice in our. . .
So now we CAN rejoice in our. . .
So now we can REJOICE in our (etc).
I suspect you will be jumping for joy in your spirit by the time you finish repeating that verse in that way.

Oh fellow friend of God, rejoice with me today.

Your servant in Christ's love

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