We're going to be studying today from Romans chapter 5, the first five verses. We'll start with verses 1 and 2 in a moment, as we go through life, we face difficulties. There are a lot of things that come up in our lives that cause trials disappointments and discouragements. We need help on a regular basis.
Sometimes we just need help just to make it through the day. Just to make it through one more day being a faithful Christian. God has promised to help us and to sustain us in living for Him.
- Psalm 55:22
And we see here in Romans 5 verses 1 and 2, four very encouraging words.
- Romans 5:1-2
And so we see here four words.
Encouraging Words from Romans 5
We're going to study these four words in our lesson this morning.
1) The Word - Faith
We're going to begin with [the word] faith. The importance of faith in the life of a Christian cannot be over-emphasized. It is essential to us.
- Hebrews 11:6
- John 8:24
- 2 Corinthians 5:7
It is important that we have faith in our life. Have you ever gone through a difficult situation and realized that your faith is what helped you get through it?
Must Grow in Faith
We need to be like the apostles who said, Lord, increase our faith. They wanted more faith. They wanted to grow in faith. You know, that should be our constant desire and prayer.
- Luke 17:5
To grow in faith, we must take action. to increase our faith. How do we do that? By study.
- 2 Timothy 2:15
We study, we meditate in the Word of God and we put it into practice. We exercise our faith. It's been said that if you feed your faith. Your doubts will starve to death.
Several Kinds of Faith
The Bible mentions faith in a number of different ways.
- Little faith
- Matthew 6:25-34
- Psalm 37:25
- Weak faith
- Romans 14:1
- Shipwrecked faith
- 1 Timothy 1:19-20
- Sincere faith
- 1 Timothy 1:5
- Great faith
- Matthew 15:28
We see little faith, weak faith, shipwrecked faith, sincere faith, and great faith. What kind of faith do I have? What kind of faith do you have? That's what we need to always be asking ourselves. We always need to be like the apostles wanting to increase and grow in faith.
During the ministry of Jesus scripture records only two times where it says that Jesus marveled.
- The Gentile with great faith
- Matthew 8:10
- Jews for lack of faith
- Mark 6:1-6
Which faith best describes me as a Christian? Which faith best describes you? Does Jesus marvel at the greatness of my faith or the lack of it?
We often sing songs like Faith is the Victory (John Henry Yates). Do we live that way? You know, faith can give me the victory and sustain me in my daily living. If I am feeding my faith and if I am not starving.
2) The Encouraging Word - Peace
Another great word found in our text here is we have access by faith into this grace and we have peace. The word peace appears about 370 times in the Bible. That peace is one of God's ultimate goals and can be seen in Isaiah's depiction of the Messiah as the Prince of peace.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6
And that verse here answers the question, is Jesus God?
A kind of a side note here, He's called the mighty God. He is God in the flesh. He came and is the Prince of Peace. And so peace, the restoration of peace between God and man was Jesus' purpose upon the Earth. It is the point of the gospel, is to reconcile man back to God.
The devil is the destroyer of peace.
Peace was once enjoyed on earth when Adam and Eve inhabited the garden. But what came along? The devil came along and destroyed that peace and brought suffering to all those who followed him. No wonder Jesus referred to Satan as a liar.
- John 8:44
The devil is the destroyer of that peace. Peace will never come to those who follow his ways.
The state of the sinner
- James 4:4
- Romans 8:7
- Isaiah 57:20
- Psalm 23:2
The followers of God
- Isaiah 26:3
- Psalm 119:165
- Philippians 4:7
Peace is Made Through the Cross.
- Colossians 1:20
We can think back to maybe the most peaceful moment in your life, the most free from care you ever experienced in all of your life. Yet, the peace of God passes all of that and surpasses that beyond understanding. That peace only comes as we follow God. We only lie in green pastures beside still waters when we're led by the Shepherd when God is our Shepherd. Paul wished God's peace to Christians in each of his books of the New Testament and every one of the books he wrote.
He writes something along the lines of this God, grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He always desired peace, peace with God.
Peace with God is possible because of the blood that was shed upon the cross.
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven." — Colossians 1:20
And so this is what reconciled us to God to make — that peace.
Peace Through the Storms of Life
We can also have peace in the storms of life.
- Mark 4:37-39
He could calm the seas. He can calm the storms, calm us through the storms of life. He will see us through the storms. He will sustain us. No one's life is perfect but remember this statement.
“Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.” — Alexander Maclaren
Do you have the peace of God to sustain you today?
3) The Word Grace
The next word I want us to look at is grace. Now we've looked at grace a lot this this entire year.
The dictionary defines grace as favor or goodwill, kindness or graciousness, shown by a superior to an inferior. Sometimes, we use the word grace in a worldly sense and we talked about this just last Sunday night. We talked about maybe a 30-day grace period: we're not talking about theological grace here. We're not talking about God's grace in that. Theologically speaking, it is the free or the unmerited favor and love of God.
It's been said that that grace is getting what you need instead of what you deserve. And I think that's an apt description.
- Ephesians 2:5-10
You know, the Greek word here, Charis, contains the idea of kindness, which bestows upon one, what he has not deserved. New Testament writers use the word preeminently of that kindness by which God bestows favor upon the ill-deserving and grants to sinners the pardon of their offenses and bids them accept eternal salvation through Christ.
We could never, ever, by meritorious works nor any effort of our own, [earn grace]. Some would say that nothing must be done to be saved. You know, one who would say that has not read the next verse here, vs. 10.
We have been saved by grace so that we can do the works that God has preordained that we should do. Are works necessary for salvation? Absolutely. The works, though, are not works of our own merits. They're not works by which we earn salvation, but simply doing the things that God has given us to do.
Grace has TWO parts: Divine and Human
You know, the best way, maybe, to describe grace is to realize that grace has two parts. A human part and a divine part. The divine part is that God did His part by sending His Son, supplying us with a plan of salvation.
- Divine: God sent His Son.
- Titus 2:11
- Human: Accept grace by obedience
- Titus 2:12
- We must not abuse grace.
- Romans 6:1-2
Grace is getting what you need instead of what you deserve. May we allow God's grace to sustain us through the troubling times of life.
4) The Word - Hope
Hope is desire plus expectation. When either of these is not present then this is not true hope. You know, we have the full assurance of hope.
Full Assurance of Hope
- Hebrews 6:11
The full assurance is a firm persuasion, full of conviction without doubt. We wish to reach Heaven. We expect that we can, and we have a reason to believe it will be ours.
Hope is an Anchor of the Soul
Hope is then like an anchor of our soul. It holds us in the faith. It anchors us.
- Hebrews 6:19
The idea here is that the anchor goes down through the ocean and anchors into the bottom. It latches to the bottom and holds the ship in place. Here, he says it's like an anchor of the soul, but it goes into the soul's home. Into the veil, into the presence of God and it anchors us there. That hope is the anchor of our soul.
If trials come, we can be calm in our secure hope of Heaven. If this hope gives way when all is lost like when a ship pulls its anchor and drifts ashore, runs aground, and sinks.
This aspect of our hope is illustrated.
- Jeremiah 17:7-8
When our hope is in the Lord, it's like that tree, he says, whose roots go down into that subterranean water. It doesn't matter if it rains or not. It doesn't matter how hot it is. That water to sustain that tree is always there, always present.
We don't we don't have to fear if we remain close to God. Our hope is like that tree that puts its roots down into the ground. It's not going to be afraid when the heat comes when trials come.
Hope will sustain us.
This hope will sustain us in this life, and it will be realized in the next.
- 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
It is not the way we deal with our human situation that is the basis for hope – hope is the basis for how we deal with our human situation.
It's not the way that we deal with our human situation that is the basis for our hope. Hope is the basis for how we deal with our human situation. Our hope is in Christ. Our hope is in God. Our hope is in the promises of God. In Christ, you'll never have to abandon hope.
There was a flight headed from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1st, 2009. This jetliner carrying 238 people broke apart mid-flight. Investigators are not sure exactly what happened or why it happened. What they do know is that there was no chance of landing and no chance of escape, no chance of survival for the passengers on there. Air France finally had to tell the passenger's family members to abandon hope. It is said to be the worst commercial air accident since 2001.
Certainly, this is a tragic accident, and our prayers should go out to those family members who lost their loved ones. The most tragic part though, is that they were told to abandon hope. These family members had nothing to cling to. And nothing to give them rest.
But thankfully, those of us who are Christians, always have hope. No one can take away the hope that all Christians should live with.
The Hebrews writer describes again our hope as an anchor of the soul. This is to say that when we feel things cannot get worse, we need to reflect on our hope. Remember that no matter how bad a situation becomes, we know that when it's all said and done we have a rest waiting for us. We should never abandon our faith because only through Christianity do we have this hope.
The Christian then, must never abandon hope.
What can SUSTAIN the Christian life? Four Words
- Our Faith in God
- The Peace from God
- The Grace of God
- Our Hope in Christ
Do you have these things in your life today? You can, through Christ Jesus.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. " — Romans 5:1-10
We have that faith that brings us this peace. And it's the trials that we overcome through faith that give us hope. And it is hope that helps us to endure to the end.
We see the price God paid for our salvation. That even for a good person, we might give up our life. For a bad person, there's no way we would. Yet, God looked on us in our sin and He gave His only begotten Son to die for us.
We urge you, if you're not a Christian, to respond to God's grace that's been offered to His Son, Jesus Christ. Respond in obedience by believing and repenting of your sins, confessing your belief, and being baptized for the remission of your sin.
If you're a Christian who has not been faithful to God, we urge you to repent to come back to Him.
If we can help you in any way to respond to the invitation, please contact us so that we can study with you and assist you in finding the joy of these four words of comfort in your life.