Share This Episode
Renewing Your Mind R.C. Sproul Logo

Fruits of Justification: Hope of Glory

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2023 12:01 am

Fruits of Justification: Hope of Glory

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1551 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


December 17, 2023 12:01 am

The redeeming work of Christ cannot possibly fail. Everyone who trusts in Him has the unbreakable security of God's forgiveness. From his expositional series in the book of Romans, today R.C. Sproul explains how our justification carries us through all the struggles of this life.

Get Your Copy of R.C. Sproul's Commentary on Romans for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/3106/romans-commentary

Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.

A donor-supported outreach of Ligonier Ministries. Explore all of our podcasts: https://www.ligonier.org/podcasts

s forgiveness. From his expositional series in the book of Romans, today R.C. Sproul explains how our justification carries us through all the struggles of this life.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

The God who is is a holy God, so holy that He cannot bear to look at iniquity, and so that there is a basic revulsion in the very character of God for those of us who are engaged in cosmic treason every day of our lives. So we need reconciliation. We need the end to that estrangement, and what brings it is the good news of the gospel. There is conflict all around us, sometimes in our families, in our workplaces. We see conflict on the evening news and as we scroll through social media. But the greatest conflict, the greatest war, is not between you and your neighbor or nations warring against nations.

It's between fallen humanity and our holy and just creator. Welcome to this Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind. As each Lord's Day, you hear a sermon from the preaching ministry of R.C.

Sproul. Today's sermon is from Romans, and I'd encourage you to continue your study of Romans by requesting the hardcover edition of Dr. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on Romans for your year-end donation of any amount at renewingyourmind.org. It's because the war between God and sinful man is so great that the good news, that through Christ we have peace with God, reconciliation is so good.

To remind us of this, here's R.C. Sproul preaching from Romans chapter 5. Last week I touched lightly on the first verse of Romans 5 when I pointed out that it begins with the term, therefore, indicating a conclusion that follows from what had preceded it, where Paul had laid out for us in great detail and in great depth the doctrine of justification by faith alone. And sometimes when we look at concepts or doctrines such as these, we shrug and say, so what? Well, here is the so what set forth for us in the conclusion of Paul's treatment when he says, therefore, having been justified by faith, the first consequence of that, Paul declares, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to spend some time this evening looking at this first fruit of justification that we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, when we have peace in this world, we may rejoice for a season, but peace is something that just simply never lasts. Peace in this world is fragile. It quickly gives way to new hostilities. But when we come to Romans 5, we have to understand the strong contrast that there is between the peace that we experience in conflict in this world and the peace about which Paul is writing to the Romans. Here he's talking about the end of the worst of all possible wars. Now the New Testament repeatedly describes the natural condition of fallen people as a condition of enmity, that by nature we regard God as our enemy.

Now few people will own up to that. They feign a kind of indifference about all things religious. Yet the heart of man is described as being that which is recalcitrant, that it is reified. It has become hardened to the point that it no longer throbs and beats and pulsates with any spiritual life whatsoever, and the Scriptures tell us that in our natural condition we do not want to have God in our thinking and that by nature we are at enmity with God. That's why the central motif of the gospel in the New Testament is the motif of reconciliation. Why does the New Testament repeatedly describe the ministry of Jesus as a work of mediation? It's because the God-man comes into a world that in its hostility towards God is estranged from God, and so the work of Christ is to be the mediator to bring these estranged parties together.

He is to be the Prince of Peace to end the warfare that is so real. Now again, we can understand if we look at all of the biblical texts that speak about our estrangement that yes indeed by nature we are children of wrath, but it would seem that the only antagonist in this conflict between God and man is ourselves. But surely God is a God of love. He's a God of patience, a God of mercy.

He's long-suffering. He's slow to anger, and all of those things we know about God. Certainly He doesn't regard us as enemies, does He? You see, it's not that we're just at war with God, but God's at war with us, folks. The imagery in the Old Testament is the soldier whose bow is bent.

He is the one whose chariots come to trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. The book of Romans began with Paul giving the lengthy exposition in the first chapter of this epistle of the reality of the wrath of God, which anger is directed against sinful people who refuse to honor Him as God, who refuse to manifest gratitude to Him, and whose basic penchant is to exchange the truth of God for a lie and engage in idolatry by serving and worshiping the creature rather than the Creator. When God looks at our idolatry, He is not at peace, but He is at war with us. And we maybe have come so hardened in our hearts, so stiff in our necks, that we've become at ease in Zion and think, Oh, surely God could not be at war with us. Beloved, this is the legacy of nineteenth-century liberal theology that captured the church in Europe and then was exported to the United States so that you have been born and raised in a country that tells you every day that we are all God's children and that God is a God of love who has no capacity for wrath, no capacity for judgment, no judgment, and that God that you hear of every day in the marketplace is an idol.

That God simply does not exist. But the God who is is a holy God, so holy that He cannot bear to look at iniquity and so that there is a basic revulsion in the very character of God for those of us who are engaged in cosmic treason every day of our lives. So we need reconciliation.

We need the end to that estrangement. And what brings it is the good news of the gospel, the good news that publishes peace, the good news that says the war is over. For being justified, we have peace with God. God has taken the initiative to bring about that peace. We didn't surrender and soothe for peace, but God has conquered us, and in His gracious mercy has enabled us to be reconciled to Him through the work of His Son and has said to this, if you embrace my Son and you put your trust in Him, then all of the implements of war that are at my divine disposal I will set aside, and I will not set those tools of war aside for a season. You see, beloved, when God enters into a peace treaty with His people, it's a permanent peace. It's an eternal peace. He's never going to rattle the sword against you again. He may be displeased with you.

He may be grieved by you. But once we have peace with God through the work of Jesus Christ, that peace is ours forever. You know, when Jesus was about to go to His death, and He gathered His frightened disciples in the upper room the night in which they celebrated the Lord's Supper, He gave to them His last will and testament.

Do you remember that? He said, Oh, my home in Capernaum I leave to Peter. To you, Matthew, I leave my writing implements so that you can be accurate when you assess the taxes for the people. Thomas, I leave you assurance to get over your doubting characteristics. Oh, and my robe. I know the soldiers are going to want it, but I'm going to give it in my will and testament to you, Nathaniel. You know that's not what He said. He didn't have any worldly goods to bequeath to His friends.

And so what was His legacy? He said to His disciples, Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you.

Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled. You see, it's this peace with God that settles the soul, that gives us the assurance of our forgiveness.

See, that's the gospel in advance. Where once we are justified, the Holy Spirit testifies to us saying, Comfort ye, comfort ye my people. Speak tenderly to my people.

Tell her the war's over and peace has been declared. Now my conscience is not always at peace. I sin, and when I sin, my conscience is troubled.

And I'm sure you experience the same thing. And sometimes we tend to look over our shoulder to see if God has bent the bow again and pointed us at us, but He doesn't. When He looks at us, He sees us covered by the righteousness of Christ. We have the peace of Christ. Christ is our peace. And so for us, no more war with God. What a tremendous, tremendous thing. But that's only the first benefit that Paul mentions here.

The second one is another one that we should never take lightly. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ. As we comment on that, that the peace comes through the peace agent, the peacemaker, the Prince of Peace, who is the medium, the means through which this peace is given to us. And then he goes on to say, through whom, that is through Christ also, we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We have access to the Father through the Son. Do you know what that would mean to a God-fearing and devout Jew of the Old Testament who looks back at the whole scope of redemptive history, goes back to the day to the dawn of creation where God creates human beings in His own image, creates them but little lower than the angels, and gives them dominion over the whole world.

And the best thing that Adam and Eve experience is unlimited access to God. Their greatest delight is when God walks in the pool of the garden, and they rush to commune with Him until that communion is totally ruined by the first transgression. So now instead of rushing to their Creator when He enters the garden, they flee from His presence, they head for the trees, and they hide themselves because now they are aware of their nakedness and their nakedness, and they're overcome with a sense of shame. And I've pointed out to you when we looked at imputation that the very first work of redemption that God accomplishes is He makes clothes for His embarrassed creatures, covers their nakedness, covers their shame. Why?

So they can be comfortable in His presence. Because if your sin is not covered, if your shame has not been removed, there's no way. You can never be anything but a fugitive. You can never be comfortable in God's presence. But despite that unbelievable work of condescension, of mercy and grace, still there were penalties that had to be paid. Oh God, it said, the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. And they did suffer spiritual death, but what He was telling them about was thanatoth, physical death. And God postponed that judgment and let His creatures live, covered in His presence, but with no further access to the Garden of Eden. They were expelled.

They were removed. They were driven out of paradise into the darkness. And not only were they sent into the darkness, but a no trespassing sign, as it were, was posted at the entrance to paradise where God puts an angel by the garden with a flaming sword. And the purpose of that sword is not to rattle it in case something goes wrong, but to use it as an instrument of coercion to make certain that no creature tainted by sin and defiance against God could ever enter into that place again. No access to the Garden of Eden.

So the loss of access was one of the greatest losses that human beings have ever incurred. The significance of that loss is reiterated again and again through the Old Testament Scriptures, even in the deepest moments of the intimate life of the Jewish community in worship where God comforted His people by saying that wherever you move as a nomadic people, you will take the tent of meeting with you, and wherever you stop, you pitch the tent. And the directions there for the establishment of the tabernacle was that when the tribes of Israel would encamp, they would encamp in a circle according to the tribes so that at the very center of that circle would be the tabernacle. And the point of the circle was to ensure that no one tribe had greater access to the presence of God than any other tribe. And the glory of the people of Israel was in the tabernacle because it manifested the presence of God. And they said, we will not be moved because God is in the midst of her, wasn't He? In this gracious condescension where God said, I will dwell with My people.

But even in that grace, there was a limit. In the center of the camp was the tabernacle. In the center core of the tabernacle was the sanctus sanctorum, the Holy of Holies. And contained in the Holy of Holies was the mercy seat, the throne of God. And in that chest are copies of the Decalogue of some of the manna from the wilderness and Aaron's rod that had blossomed.

It was on top of the mercy seat, the katalage, that the blood of the offering was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement. But of the whole nation of Israel, only one person was ever allowed inside the Holy of Holies. They could be in the holy place or in the outer court. You could come so close to God this far, no further. Only one person, and that only once a year, the high priest. And even the high priest could only go in there after going through elaborate ablutions and rites of purification. And he entered the Holy of Holies in a spirit of fear and trembling. One tradition says, we don't know if it's accurate, that the great high priest would have a rope tied around one of his legs, and there were bells on his cassock so that if he would have a heart attack and fall over, the bells would ring. If he stayed in there too long, he could be dragged out by the rope because no one else was allowed to go in there even to save his life.

You see the picture over and over and over again? No access. And to make certain of that, one of the most intricate things that was designed and installed in the tabernacle was the curtain or the veil, the veil of the tabernacle, later the veil of the temple that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies. Very, very thick drapes of composition that could not be broken. And it seemed that nothing could break through that barrier that separated the people from the immediate presence of God until Golgotha, until that afternoon in Jerusalem when the sun was blotted out of the sky in the middle of the day, and it became pitch black even as night. And as Christ was the curse on the cross, there was an earthquake. And in that earthquake, Matthew tells us, the veil of the temple was ripped like tissue paper.

Why? Why the earthquake? I heard a missionary say, when I read that, he says, it was like God the Father in the midst of the death of His Son took the earth by His hand and shook it for what they had done to His Son. And in that earthquake, the wall of partition came crashing down by the work of the mediator, by the work of the Savior, who then when He rose from the dead, entered into the heavenly sanctuary to the heavenly Holy of Holies where He gives us access. And I tell you this, when we come together for worship on Sunday morning, as the author of Hebrews tells us, we no longer come to that mountain that was shaking and hidden in clouds and thunder and lightning where nobody can touch. But every time we come into worship, we come into the heavenly sanctuary, the presence of Christ, the presence of angels, archangels, spirits of just men made perfect, the general assembly on high to the presence of God.

You know why? Because we have access into His presence. There's no more veil. The angel's sword of flame has been doused with the blood of Christ, and God welcomes us into His presence. There's no greater human experience in all the world than to have an overwhelming sense of being in the presence of God. The greatest of Christians testify that in their lifetimes, the times that they can recall an acute sense of being in the presence of God can be numbered on one hand. But if you've ever tasted it, you've had a taste of heaven.

You've had a taste of that presence of divine glory that Christ has opened up for us. See, our justifications are not just about forgiveness. It's not just about the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. It's not just about escaping the judgment of divine wrath, though it includes all of these things. But in our justification, we have peace, peace that passes all human understanding. And where once we were barred admittance into the immediate presence of God, now we are called to enter into His presence boldly.

Again, there's a difference between boldness and arrogance. We're never called to enter into the presence of God arrogantly. You know, it never ceases to amaze me how people speak so flippantly in such terms of familiarity about their relationship to Christ or to God, as if God is their pal, as if Christ is their peer.

And I'll say, stop that. If Jesus Christ walked in this building tonight, everybody in here would be on his or her face in a posture of submission and of adoration, being overwhelmed by His glory. We have access by faith into this grace. Again, faith and grace are inseparably related, and this is the most unmerited favor that any creature, any sinner could ever experience, the grace of being allowed into the presence of God.

Think about it. How would you feel if you got a written invitation for a personal audience with God? What would you wear? How would you feel?

What would you say? Well, you see, that engraved invitation comes to all who are justified. It is a fruit of our justified. That is the grace in which we stand in Christ Jesus and in which we rejoice in hope in hope of the glory of God.

I'm just going to comment on that briefly. We'll expand on it further, God willing, next week. But it talks about the third aspect is the hope of the glory of God. Paul tells us that the three virtues, the triad of Christian virtues are faith, hope, and charity, and the greatest of these is charity or love. But the New Testament again and again and again and again speaks of this concept of hope. That word hope or alpis in the Greek is one of the richest terms that we find anywhere in the New Testament, and it is the gift that God gives to every person who is justified by faith. And that hope so differs, so radically differs from our normal human understanding of hope. Not so with the biblical concept of hope. The biblical concept of hope.

The Bible uses the metaphor to describe it as the anchor of our souls. Our souls are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We have stability in our lives because in the midst of the tempest there is an anchor, and that anchor is the hope that God the Holy Ghost has spread and shed abroad in our hearts. It's a hope that can't possibly be ashamed as we will look at next week. It is a hope that carries with it God's assurance, a hope that cannot fail. In one sense our faith looks backwards, and we put our trust in what Christ has done for us. Our hope looks forward with the same assurance to what He will do when He completes His work of redemption in us, a work that cannot fail. And so those three things are the first three things Paul tells us of the fruit of our justification, peace with God, access to His presence, and the hope of His glory that is shed abroad in our hearts.

And what a great anchor our hope is. Today on Renewing Your Mind, you heard a message from R.C. Sproul's sermon series in Romans.

These sermons were preached at St. Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and they became the foundation of his expositional commentary on Romans. Today only, with a gift of any amount, you can request your own copy of this hardcover volume and walk through this masterful letter of Paul's line by line. Give your year-end gift of any amount in support of the daily outreach of Renewing Your Mind and the global work of Ligonier Ministries, which is serving millions of Christians every year at renewingyourmind.org, and we'll send you this resource as our way of saying thanks. Only hours remain for this offer, and it won't be repeated next Sunday. So give your gift at renewingyourmind.org today. Next Sunday, Christmas Eve, you'll hear a Christmas message from R.C. Sproul, so I hope you'll join us then here on Renewing Your Mind. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 02:52:32 / 2023-12-17 03:01:21 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime