Bible Study 2022
The subject that is addressed in the opening eleven verses of Romans 5 can be summed up as security of our salvation. “Being justified by faith,” in verse 1, can be explained through a lot of instructions. Having peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, a faith that enters us into grace in which we stand, the idea of hope, tribulation, perseverance and proven character.
Verse 5, the love of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, and then in verse 6, the marvelous realization that while we were helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. This is the essence of the purposes of God. Christ came to be a sacrifice for sin to demonstrate God’s love at the cross in verse 8. This section of Scripture, Romans 5:1 - 11, is loaded with great gospel realities.
But the core of all of this is the security of our salvation. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:5, “We are kept by the power of God.” By what means does God wield that power in our behalf? Well, that is delineated in these eleven verses. It is most comforting to me and to you to know that our salvation is forever and secure. This takes away fear and gives the believer a sense of wellbeing, hope and joy.
And the security of our salvation is not dependent on us, it is basically dependent on the unchanging character of God and the absolutely limitless power of God to overcome all things for the accomplishment of His own purpose. Paul moves into this flow of the argument in Romans. He told us that all men are sinners. The only way to be delivered from the wrath of God is by faith in Jesus Christ.
You can’t earn it, can’t gain it by merit or ceremony, it comes by grace through faith in Christ alone. Abraham is the model that shows us that throughout all redemptive history, salvation has always been by grace through faith. Is faith alone enough? What if we sin? Will my faith hold me all the way to the end and lead me into heaven?” Paul’s answer here is absolutely yes.
And it is not because of something we do. While it is true that we need to persevere in faith, and in obedience, while it is true that we persevere in love for God and love for one another, but our faith is not perfect, our obedience is not perfect, our love is not perfect. And those imperfections could raise the question about whether or not we are actually able to hang onto our salvation.
And so it’s wonderful for us to know that even though we do not have a perfect faith or a perfect obedience or a perfect love, we are kept by the perfect power of God. And in Romans 5, Paul lays out six elements of the keeping power of God. The first two realities that tie us permanently to Christ are number one, ‘peace with God’. “Therefore having been justified by faith,” is what Paul been talking about.
Prior to coming to Christ, every human being is an enemy of God. Whether people are conscious of it or not, whether they think they have respect for God, admiration for God, worship God, believe in God, apart from believing the gospel of Jesus Christ, they are at war with God, and according to Ephesians 2:3, “All men are children of wrath, headed for eternal judgment.”
The debate about whether salvation is eternal has been raging through history. But God’s anger over our sin has been satisfied because Christ paid the penalty for our sin. Now we have a new relationship with God. We have a permanent peace because His anger has been satisfied in the perfect suffering of Christ on our behalf. We are secure, because of this relationship of peace with God.
Number two, Paul introduces us to standing in grace. Through Christ’ work on the cross, through His atonement, and through His ever constant intercessory work on our behalf, we have obtained our access into grace. We have entered the realm of grace, we live in the sphere where grace operates. We do not live in the sphere law dominates, we are no longer under the law.
We are in a place where grace operates fully, and even though sin exists in our lives, where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. God’s grace is constant, His grace is limitless on our behalf. Whenever we fail, whenever we sin, grace operates in our behalf. Our Lord Jesus opened the door to God, ushered us into His presence, and in His presence, grace dominates. We stand in grace.
Number three is the hope of glory. At the end of verse 2 it begins, “And we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint.” Three times the word “hope” is mentioned here and this is the third link.
Hope looks to the future. The believer has a secure salvation going forward because we have been promised glory. We have a pledge from God. The word “exult” means more than rejoicing. It refers to joy at its highest level, a kind of a confident joy. Knowing that we’re at peace with God, knowing that we stand in grace, we have no fear for our future. Our hope in future glory is based on Him.
1 Peter 1:18 says, “You are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, but with precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, for He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope are in God.”
And in Romans 8:18 it says, “I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Paul says no matter what goes wrong in this life, no matter how much you suffer, you can’t compare it with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Verse 24, “In hope we have been saved. If we hope for what we do not see with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it.”
Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” This is the heart and soul of predestination. Before time began, God predestines the elect to be conformed to the image of Christ. The doctrine of election is not election to salvation, it is election to glorification. If you understand that, then you understand the security of salvation.
How is it possible that you will one day stand in the presence of God blameless? Because you live in the sphere of grace where sin is constantly being forgiven, constantly being covered. It never accumulates. That is why the relationship can never be altered or ended. Number 4, verse 5, “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.”
When you came to salvation in Christ, it was an act of love. You were redeemed by love. It was love that bought you. It was love that called you. It was love that saved you. That is the message of verse 5 through 8, which culminates in verse 8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He loved us so much that He gave His Son to die for us.
His love, then, is demonstrated in the cross and then it is shed abroad in our hearts. It is His love for us. It has an inherent quality to enable us to love Him back and to love others, but it is His love poured out in us that is on the mind of the apostle Paul as he writes, His great love for us first demonstrated in that He loved us when we were yet sinners and enemies of His.
This is unlike any kind of human love that anybody would ever know or experience. In Romans 8:35, it is a love that neither tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword can alter. It is a love that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will ever be able to separate us from.
The one who secures that love in us, the one who distributes that love, in our experience, in our worship, in our prayers, and in our ministry is none other than the Holy Spirit who has taken up permanent residence in us. The Spirit is given to us to distribute in all our spiritual experience, this immense love that comes from God. In Galatians 5, the first fruit of the Spirit is love.
How extensive is this love? Verse 6, “While we were still hopeless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” The point there is it was a love first extended to us, not because we deserved it or earned it, when we were ungodly. It is a kind of love that is very different than the world gives, for people are so self-preserving that they seldom would die for anyone.
How different is this love of God? If He loved you like that when you were ungodly and unworthy and wicked, you have been transformed in the newness of life. If He loved you then, it’s not difficult for Him to love you now. Verse 9, “Much more than now, having been justified by His blood.” Much more does He love us now, when we have been justified, when we now belong to Him.
Number five is called deliverance. Deliverance from what? Well, deliverance from wrath. Wrath does not pertain to us. Verses 9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Verse 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.”
Those two verses are really very important. This is a foundational promise to believers. It’s reiterated in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, which says that we, as believers who have turned to God, wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead - that is Jesus - who rescues us from the wrath to come. His wrath was fully satisfied against all our sins and, therefore we are delivered from final wrath.
The judgment of Revelation 20 is known as the great white throne judgment. “I saw a great white throne, Him who sat upon it from whose presence earth and heaven fled away no place was found for them. I saw the dead, the great, the small, standing before the throne, the books were open, one of which was the book of life. The dead were judged from the things written in the books according to their deeds.
The sea gave up the dead which were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead in them. They were judged, every one of them, according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire, and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” This is eternal hell. We are saved from that.
Our peace, our grace, our hope of glory, our love, our deliverance are not based on our works, they are based on Christ’s death. Our justification requires Christ’s blood to be shed. He is the faithful offering, the satisfactory substitute for sinners. And this is what it means when it says His blood, it doesn’t mean the fluid, it means His death. Blood is a graphic way to symbolize His sacrifice on the cross.
God never found anything in us that was good enough for that deliverance, never found anything in us that made us worthy, never found anything in us deserving of heaven, deserving of salvation. Don’t get the illusion that you bring anything to the issue of salvation - you don’t. Even the best that you do is mingled with our sinfulness. He saved us for His own glory in spite of us.
Now, Paul emphasizes this point in verse 10, “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” If when we were enemies He could reconcile us by dying, now that we have been reconciled, He can certainly keep us reconciled by living. If He could do what He did through His death, how much more can He do through His life?
Number 6, the priestly ministry of Jesus, “He ever lives to make intercession for us.” The reason we don’t fall away, the reason we don’t abandon faith, the reason we don’t deny Christ, the reason we don’t lose our salvation is because we have a living, interceding High Priest named Jesus, whoever lives to make intercession for us. We are kept reconciled by a living Christ.
Hebrews 2:17 says, “Christ had to be made like His brethren in all things so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of His people, and since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” He always assists us, aids us, guards us and keeps us.
Verse 11, “And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” We also rejoice exceedingly in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation. Salvation is not merely a future, it is a present joy in anticipation of that future. That is why it’s a sin not to have joy.
Everything else is considerably less than this. Because of all these wonderful things, we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ because all of them have come to us through this unearned, undeserved reconciliation. You are secure forever, unalterably so. You have been given divine peace, divine grace, divine hope, divine love, divine deliverance, and divine joy. Let us pray.