Peace, Access & Rejoicing
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. NKJV
As we said last week, this passage is very important. In these two verses Paul encompasses the next four chapters. We touched on many things last week, but there is still much ground to cover.
So this morning, we want to deal with the basics of what this peace with God means in doesn’t mean and what this access with God means and doesn’t mean and just what rejoicing as Paul talking about here in the glory of God.
The outline below is taken mostly from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Exposition of Chapter 5
I. Peace with God.
A. What kind of man knows that he has a peace with God?
1. The first answer is that a man who has peace with God is a man whose mind is at rest about his relationship with God.
a. In John Bunyan’s great Grace Abounding he tells us that for 18 long months he was in agony concerning his relationship with God.
b. There is no peace between man and God until a man grasp this doctrine of justification by faith alone.
2. A man who knows that God loves him in spite of the fact that he is the sinner and in spite of his sin.
a. The person must be able to answer the accusations of his own conscience.
(1) If you cannot answer your own conscience then of course you cannot be at peace with God in your own heart, although God is at peace with you.
(2) That is why Paul writes in Phil 2:12-13 “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” NKJV
(3) Again Paul writes in 2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” NKJV
b. A person must also be able to answer the accusations of the devil.
(1) The devil would resurrect everything you ever did wrong and cause it to pass as a horrible panorama before your eyes and then challenge your claim to be a Christian..
(2) In the closing phrase of one of John Newton’s favorite hymns the words he says, “I may my fierce accuser face, and tell him Thou hast died.”
(3) The person who believes vaguely in the love of God cannot do that. His knowledge is only general and not specific.
(4) There is only one thing that the devil can never answer and that is the argument of the blood of Christ. Revelation 12:11 “they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”
3. Another test is there any longer a fear of death, a fear of judgment?
a. Have you ever visualized yourself lying on your deathbed? What are your feelings when you do so?
b. Are you still afraid of death?
c. Are you still afraid of the judgment of God?
d. If you are, you cannot know you have been justified by faith and are at peace with God.
e. If your faith cannot stand up to these tests, yours is not truly the Christian faith.
4. The last test is, how does the person face sin in their own life?
a. Do they question their salvation because they fall into sin, do they doubt their justification?
b. Do they wonder whether or not they have ever been Christians at all?
c. Do they lose their peace and are tormented and in agony?
d. A man in that position is betraying the fact that for the time being at any rate, he is not clear about the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
B. But some will say what a dangerous doctrine.
1. But think of a son, a son of the king. If he should do something that displeased the king would he doubt that he was still the King’s son?
a. Of course he would not.
b. When we understand that by faith our sins have been imputed to Jesus Christ and the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us, then we have nothing to fear.
c. We will definitely repent and be sorrowful for our sin.
d. But we will never doubt that we are a child of the King. That relationship can never be severed.
2. This does not mean that faith will not have it struggles.
a. For the whole nature of faith is to struggle and fight.
b. But faith must always win in order to declare its true character.
3. It is sort of like a compass.
a. A good compass will always point to the north.
b. But if you bring pieces of metal close to the compass it will act erratic and confused.
c. And if you bring a magnet close to the compass it will act very very disturbed.
d. But once the metal or the compass has been taken away the compass once again points due north.
e. So it is with a Christian, the struggles of the trials of life may shake even a person of faith.
f. But when all is said and done that faith will still point towards Jesus Christ.
4. We do realize that a person can be a Christian without full assurance of faith,
a. But a person cannot be a Christian at all without having justification by faith and the element of assurance that is involved in that doctrine.
C. There are some people who have a false peace, they think they have peace with God but they do not. So what are the characteristics of a false peace?
1. One of the characteristics of a false peace is that people take faith simply mean to believe something or giving an intellectual assent to a certain proposition of truth.
a. Their idea is if you say it, and sort of believe it then you are okay.
b. Essentially if you say Jesus is Lord then you’re in whether or not there’s any evidence of your conversion or not.
c. But faith is not only a matter of intellect; it is deeper, it involves a commitment, a faith that believes with all of its heart.
2. The person with a false peace is generally found to be resting on his or her faith rather than on Christ and his works.
a. They are looking to their own faith, and they turned faith into a kind of work on which now they can rest.
3. Another characteristic of false peace is a person who is never troubled by doubts.
a. These people can set through the most stirring evangelistic services without ever feeling uncomfortable of all.
4. Another characteristic of a false peace is that the person is only interested in forgiveness and not in true righteousness for himself.
a. He does not think about being positively righteous and he is not concerned about being holy and walking in holiness before God so he is negligent about his life.
b. He does not pursue after holiness.
c. In Hebrews 12:14 it says, “follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
5. Another characteristic of false peace is when the man falls into sin, he takes it much too lightly.
a. This man says, almost as soon as he is fallen. “It is all right, the blood of Christ covers me”
b. This man with false peace frees himself much too quickly, much too easily, much too lightly.
II. What are the characteristics of true peace.
A. The man with true peace is never glib and never lighthearted about his faith.
1. The man who is a true Christian has had a glimpse of hell and knows that there is only one reason for the fact that he is not bound for it.
B. He is a man who is always filled with a sense of wonder and amazement.
1. The songwriter wrote, “amazing love, how can it be that now my God shouldst die for me.”
2. This seems to me to be inevitable.
3. The man who has true peace is a man who never ceases to be amazed that he has it.
4. He is amazed at the fact that he has ever been justified at all
5. That God has ever looked upon him and called him by his grace.
C. The next characteristic is he is humble.
1. He gives glory to God and does not give the glory to himself.
2. As a matter of fact, the outstanding characteristic of the Christian is that he is humble.
3. Poor in spirit meek and lowly, he owes everything to Jesus Christ.
4. Christ has done it all for him.
5. There is no better index of where we stand than the amount of praise and thanksgiving that characterizes our lives and our prayers
D. Finally, a man who has true peace is always careful about his life.
1. Not that he may be justified as a result of his carefulness.
2. He is careful because he has been justified.
3. I John 3:3 says, “he that hath this hope in himself purified himself even as he is pure.”
III. Access “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand”
A. The Amplified version says, “Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) AMP
1. Notice the Amplified version uses the words entrance, introduction.
2. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that this word is found but three times in the N.T.
a. NT:4318 the right or opportunity to address someone, implying higher status of the person addressed - 'approach, access.''because of him we have boldness to address him with confidence' Eph 3:12 (from Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain. Copyright (c) 1988 United Bible Societies, New York. Used by permission.)
b. Eph 2:18 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father NKJV
3. What our Lord Jesus Christ did was introduce us, give us entrance into the presence of God.
4. Before that we had no right or standing before God, we were filthy sinners and rebels against God.
5. By this Jesus brings us into a relationship with God from which we receive benefits and blessings from God that we were not to receive before.
B. This introduction put us under grace.
1. “Before we were justified by faith in Him, before we had this introduction, this entry, God looked upon us in a legal manner. We were ‘under the law’. God did not look upon us as children then; He looked upon us as rebels, because we had all rebelled against Him.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones
2. Don’t forget that God is holy and cannot look upon sin, and that is what we were in His sight.
3. But Jesus changed all that. Instead of standing before God as our Judge we now stand before Him as our Father.
C. Now we come boldly to the throne of God.
1. Not because of us, but because of the one who represents us.
2. Now we pray with confidence, not from fear
3. You have access because you have been brought in by God’s own Sona and you can’t get any higher than that.
A. Paul uses this word 36 times while only James uses it elsewhere and that but 2 times.
1. The word had the meaning to boast.
2. NT:2744 to express an unusually high degree of confidence in someone or something being exceptionally noteworthy - 'to boast.' (from Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain. Copyright (c) 1988 United Bible Societies, New York. Used by permission.)
3. Now everyone likes to boast .
4. But Christians boast in the hope of the glory of God.
B. In hope of the glory of God
1. John 17:1-5 "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. NKJV
2. John 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; NKJV
Where is your boast? Is it in the glory of God? It is if you know that you have been justified by faith.