Thursday, January 17, 2013
Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Yesterday's blog dealt with the Gospel's sinners and Savior. We first of all discovered that in reagrds to the Gospel's sinners, sinners are relationally enemies of God (Romans 1:18-31), morally guilty before God (Romans 2:15) and legally dead to God (Romans 3:10-13). Furthermore, we also looked at the Gospel's Savior, noting that Jesus Christ is Savior (Romans 5:8-10), Lord (Romans 10:9) and Treasure (Romans 16:27).
Today we want to conclude this little study of the Gospel's sinners, Savior and Saving benefits, focusing our attention upon those benefits that are received by and enjoyed through faith.
Saving benefits - spiritual life, forgiveness and sonship
As we look at how Romans unfolds the Gospel, it begins with the bad news, points us to Jesus, and then unfolds the goodnews for those who trust in Him by faith. I find it interesting that for every barrier that separates the sinner from God, the Gospel grants a corresponding solution to those coming to God by faith in Jesus Christ. Let the reader note three saving benefits that result from receiving the Savior of the Gospel by grace through faith:
1. First, the Gospel reveals that sinners are spiritually dead to God and the things of God. Unbelievers are not merely sick patients lying on a stretcher in need of medicine, rather they are spiritual corpses in need of a spiritual resurrection. In the Gospel I am told to be born again and made alive through faith in Jesus Christ. The New Birth is the foundation of saving faith. Romans 6:11 states - "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:10 also reveals - "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness." Thus through faith in Jesus Christ I am raised to walk forth in newness of life. (Romans 6:11).
2. With spiritual life marking the logically beginning of the saving benefits of the Gospel, we see a second benefit received at saving faith - namely forgiveness of sins. The Bible uses the term "justification" to describe God the Father's declaration of my innocence at saving faith. Romans 4:25-5:1 reveals - "He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (5:1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The bad news of the Gospel tells me that I am guilty before a Holy God as understood by the testimony of the conscience. (Romans 2:15) To be justified means God declares me innocent or "just-as-if-I-never sinned". I am set free from the Law's condemnation (Romans 8:1), the condemnation of the conscience (Romans 5:1) and the penalty attached to my sin. (Romans 8:2-5)
3. So with the Gospel's benefits being spiritual life in place of my deadness and forgiveness of sin in place of my guilt, we see a third benefit - sonship in place of my enmity. Recall how we saw in Romans 1:18-20 how the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven? Romans 8:16-17 responds with this hope from the Gospel received by grace through faith - "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." Like the benefits of New Birth and justification, adoption unto sonship is also granted at saving faith. Faith is both necessary and sufficient to receive the adoption of God. Relationally I am set right with God, and he with me.
Conclusion: The Gospel's sinners, Savior and saving benefits
We have toured the Book of Romans and have been instructed on the three elements we can present and understand about the Gospel.
1. The Gospel's sinners are God's enemies, morally guilty and spiritually/legally dead.
2. The Gospel's Savior, Jesus Christ, is Savior, Lord and Treasure
3. The Gospel's saving benefits are received by grace alone through faith alone, resulting from spiritual life through New Birth, forgiveness of sins through justification and relational sonship through adoption.