Green Valley Sermons

Reconciled Enemies

Sunday, March 8, 2015          

Romans 5:1-11


1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while 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. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

NASB

In these eleven verses, Paul uses four terms to describe us before we were saved. He speaks of us as being helpless. This word has the idea of feebleness, weakness or of being without strength. We were helpless to save ourselves. He says that while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for us who have no strength within ourselves. We are helpless apart from Him.

He says we were yet sinners. Have you heard the definition of sin as “missing the mark”? This is a form of that word that Paul used. It could be said that this word has as much to do with missing out on the prize, missing the share that goes to the one who hits the mark.

As sinners, those who walk in disobedience to the will of God, we miss out on the prize; we miss out on the good things that are there for those who are walking in a relationship with the Lord.

We are weak and without strength. We are sinners and miss out on the good things that God has planned for us because we are ungodly.

This term, ungodly, is about our attitude toward God. It could have been translated irreverant. It is the opposite of what our attitude should be about God. It is not loving and adoring and worshiping Him.

The fourth word is enemies. While we were still enemies of God, Christ died for us. It is the same word Jesus used when He told us to love our enemies, to do good to them who despitefully use us, to bless them and not curse them. We were enemies of God. We lived for our own pleasure, not for the glory of the Creator.

While we were enemies, Christ died for us. While we were helpless, and hopeless, and without strength. While we were missing the mark and missing out on what was meant for those who have accepted the free gift of salvation. While we were still hiding in the bushes in shame, we could not face God. While we were His enemies, Christ died to give us life and hope and His Own Spirit to live within us.

Christ died that we might be reconciled to God. His enemies that are given grace and mercy instead of condemnation and aloneness.

With each of these words about us, Paul points us to what God has done for us. In reconciling us to Himself, we are changed from the creatures we were, helpless and weak, irreverant, sinners, who are missing out on the good, the blessings of what it means to be living with God. We were enemies of God.

But now... Now everything is different. We are different. We have the power of God to enable us to stand. We worship and adore our Creator and Lord. We are living the dream of what we were intended to be when He created us.

We have been reconciled to God. We are at peace with God. We are living in relationship with the God who created us.

Now we exult in the hope of the glory of God.

Exult – It means to boast, to glory in, or to rejoice.

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We boast. . . we glory in the hope of the glory of God.

We see life differently now. Even our tribulations, our troubles, or sorrows are seen as leading us ever closer to the glory we were created for. The pressures of life lead us from our weakness apart from God to the strength of facing those challenges with Him at our side.

God is in our corner. He loves us. He cares about us and our tribulations lead us to perseverance.

Verses 3 - 5 says: 3 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Where once we were weak and helpless, now we can face life with faith in a God who cares about us. Our troubles lead us to perseverance – That means we keep going. Kind of like the marines (Jim says it is the Army, not the marines.) who say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Perseverance is that idea. Our tribulations now lead us to that kind of faith, a faith that hangs in there and holds on. We have a hope that will not disappoint, Paul says, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts. We have something to live for that the world does not understand.

That faith in God that keeps us going even when life is hard, leads us on to proven character. This is character tried by fire. This the life of faith that trusts God and does what is right even when it does not feel good. Like the Psalmist says, the righteous swears to his hurt and yet does it. We are people of character and principle. When we know the right thing to do we do it because we know who is on our side. He will take us through those difficulties to the place of hope that does not disappoint.

Why? Because God's love has been poured out within our hearts. His Holy Spirit has been given to us. He lives within us to lead us and guide us and to whisper peace to our souls.

So we exult, or glory, or rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, but we also exult in our tribulations. We have been reconciled to God. We have peace with God.

Where once we stood alone, we now stand before God, trusting Him to love us, to forgive us, to lead us into the future He has planned for us. This grace that we now stand in was purchased for us by the Lord Jesus Christ.

This hope, this peace, this grace comes with the presence of God in our lives. He is leading us. He cares about. He loves us.

Once we were enemies. Now we are at peace.

Once we were helpless. Now we have the strength of God to see us through to the end.

Once we were ungodly, irreverant and wicked. Now we worship the one true God. We seek to honor Him and glorify Him in all that we do and say.

Once we were enemies, now we are friends of God. We are Reconciled Enemies.

Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while 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. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. NASB

There is a peace that comes with knowing you are loved.

Do you know this peace? Do you believe that God really loves you? Put your faith in Him today. He will not fail you. You can know that even though you were ignoring God and treating Him shamefully, you can be forgiven. God demonstrated His love for you when He sent His Only Begotten Son into the world to prove to you that He loves you. Accept this truth. Become a Reconciled Enemy. Become a child of God. Life will never be the same for you, if you trust Him today.