SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Our Benefits Package
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:1-5

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Why is being a Christian so great? Every unbeliever you meet is asking that question as they observe your life. What are the benefits of living with a committed faith in Jesus? After explaining what it means to be right with God by believing in Christ, and after illustrating that principle with Abraham, Paul gives a short list of some of the benefits of a saved life.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 18, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Our Benefits Package"
Text: Romans 5:1-5

Path

Why is being a Christian so great? Every unbeliever you meet is asking that question as they observe your life. What are the benefits of living with a committed faith in Jesus? After explaining what it means to be right with God by believing in Christ, and after illustrating that principle with Abraham, Paul gives a short list of some of the benefits of a saved life.

  1. Peace with God (v. 1)
  2. Privilege of Access (v. 2a)
  3. Preview of the Future (v. 2b)
  4. Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)
Points

Peace with God (v. 1)Privilege of Access (v. 2a)Preview of the Future (v. 2b)Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)Practice

Connect Up: It's good to talk about the moment God justified you (your salvation). Share your personal testimony. Talk about God's peace, and how it brought purpose to your life.

Connect In: Access to God is a privilege for Christians and the church. Discuss how we have access in the following ways:As Prophet, Priest, and King, how does Christ fulfill each of the above areas? For example, as High Priest, He gives us access to God's throne. As Prophet He proclaims (and is) the Word of God, giving us access to God's truth. And as King, He is worthy of prayer and honor, giving us access to a personal relationship with the King of Heaven. (If time permits, see Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry for more information: https://carm.org/prophet-priest-king.) What other connections can you make?

Connect Out: How can you use Pastor Skip's summary points as a guide in sharing your faith with others, highlighting the benefits of the Christian life? As an example: a Christian has peace with God (justification, evangelism), access to God (via prayer, worship, and Bible study), hope to be with God in heaven, and purpose in life, even in trials (trusting God in all areas).

DETAILED NOTES
"Our Benefits Package"
Romans 5:1-5

  1. Introduction
    1. Have you ever thought about how great the company we work for—the church of Jesus Christ—is?
      1. Our product works universally: you can share the gospel with any person willing to listen and receive it, and it will change their life
      2. We have offices worldwide: you can go to any country or culture and find some expression of the church
      3. Our benefits are exceptional: forgiveness for our past, which means peace of mind in the present
      4. We have a retirement package that is out of this world: when it's all over, heaven is waiting for us and we'll be rewarded based on our service for the Lord on earth
    2. The last word of Romans 4:25 is justification
      1. Justification is how you get right with God
      2. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone; it is not earned, but received
        1. None of us are going to be able to say how good we were to get into heaven
        2. We're all going to point to the man with five wounds and say, "That's how I got here—based on what He did for me"
      3. But forgiveness is just the beginning
  2.  Peace with God (v. 1)
    1. This is the first, immediate effect of justification
      1. Peace with God is not a feeling of peace; it's a fact of peace
      2. An unsaved person is at enmity with and separated from God
        1. Isaiah 48:22
        2. Psalm 7:11
        3. Romans 1:18
    2. The great enemy of peace is sin
      1. We need to have a peace treaty with God
        1. Unbelievers might feel peaceful, but they're not at peace with God
        2. Their feeling of peace is only a temporary illusion
      2. Believers are at peace with God, but might not have feelings of peace because of carnality or because they're untaught in Scripture
    3. God has declared us righteous and made peace possible; the peace treaty has been signed
      1. The cross made peace possible; when you said "yes" to Jesus, you received peace with God
      2. Isaiah 53:5
      3. Once we have peace with God as believers, we should experience the peace of God
        1. Philippians 4:6-7
        2. Peace with God should generate the peace of God, but the first is a fact and the second is a feeling
          1. The first is judicial; the second is experiential
          2. The first is objective; the second is subjective
          3. Jesus as Savior brings peace with God; Jesus as Lord brings the peace of God
          4. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace because He primarily came to make peace between mankind and God
      4. Everybody says they want peace, but not everybody wants what it takes to get peace
        1. They must surrender their lives to Christ
        2. For those of us who have been justified, our number one benefit is peace with God
  3. Privilege of Access (v. 2a)
    1. The word access is used of someone who brings another into someone else's presence
      1. This word could be used of a man who secured an audience with the king and brought another man, properly attired, before the king
      2. In and of ourselves, we are ill clad—our righteousness is as filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6)
      3. Jesus clothes us with His righteousness, then takes us in and introduces us to the Father (see John 14:6)
    2. The idea of access to God was a revolutionary concept
      1. For pagans, the idea of intimacy with and access to God was unheard of
        1. The Greek and Roman gods were angry and petulant
        2. The pagans believed that the gods were to be placated, not approached
      2. Judaism was different, but not much better in terms of intimacy with or access to God
        1. There were different courts in the temple to keep people separated from God
        2. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year—briefly and carefully
        3. All of that ended at the cross; when Jesus died on the cross, a significant event occurred that showed access is now available
          1. The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying that there is no longer a wall of separation
          2. You can come into the court of the king; you have access to His presence
        4. Ephesians 2:13
        5. Lamentations 3:22-23
      3. Jesus introduced us to the Father, then gave us the key card to the throne room so that we can make repeat visits
      4. Hebrews 4:16
    3. Paul used the word stand in verse 2 because we are to stand firmly, immovable
      1. Even when you fall, you can enter the throne room and come boldly before God
      2. The child of a king can enter his father's presence no matter how he looks; you can come because you have peace with God and access to God
      3. God bought us out of the slave market, adopted us as sons and daughters, and brought us into the family so that we have peace between us and God, access to the throne of grace, and all the resources of heaven at our disposal
  4. Preview of the Future (v. 2b)
    1. Our salvation is anchored in the future because we have a promise that all of this will lead somewhere else
      1. If Christianity is just a philosophy that gets people through life—a belief system that people hold on to, so they have a way to cope with this crazy world—then what we're doing is stupidity
      2. Our hope is founded in the glory of God
        1. The glory of God is a reference to heaven, where God's glory will be fully displayed
        2. Moses wasn't satisfied with what he had already experienced (see Exodus 33:18)
          1. God spoke to him audibly
          2. Moses witnessed the burning bush
          3. He witnessed all of the signs that God worked in Egypt
      3. No man can see God and live, but one day, Moses' prayer will be answered for us
        1. We will see God's full glory
        2. Our glorified bodies will share in a glory like His
        3. 1 John 3:2
        4. This is our hope in the glory of God; J.B. Phillips translates it "a happy certainty"
    2. We have hope for two reasons:
      1. Jesus prayed for us to see His glory (see John 17:20-24)
      2. Jesus did something to ensure that it would happen
        1. When Jesus rose from the dead, it proved that everything else He promised is possible
        2. 1 Peter 1:3
        3. When Jesus died, the disciples' hope was dead, but when Jesus rose from the dead, hope went ballistic
        4. All the promises Jesus made are true
          1. John 11:25
          2. John 14:6
          3. John 5:24
          4. John 14:19
      3. When Jesus rose from the dead, His promises became real, with real meaning
        1. If He can rise from the dead, every promise He made about everlasting life is possible
        2. We have a living hope that we know to be true; we rejoice in the certainty of the glory of God
  5. Purpose in Pain (vv. 3-5)
    1. In the past, we have peace with God; in the present, we have access; in the future, we have glory—but what about all the hardships we go through?
      1. Salvation isn't a fairytale; after you receive Christ, you will have tribulation
      2. John 16:33
    2. Justification is not an escape from trials—it is a guarantee that those trials have purpose
      1. Those trials will work for you, not against you
      2. Romans 8:28
      3. The English word tribulation comes from the Latin word tribulum
        1. A tribulum was a piece of wood with spikes
        2. It was used to separate the wheat from the chaff
    3. Tribulations separate what's important from what's unimportant; they work for you because they produce perseverance, character, and hope
      1. We are to glory in our tribulations
      2. We should thank God for our tribulations, because there's a purpose to the pain
      3. Unbelievers are unable to glory in tribulation
        1. To an unbeliever, this life is all there is, and if it's marked with pain and tribulation, they've lost everything
        2. The believer is able to glory in tribulation because no matter how dark the evening gets, the morning is coming
        3. Tribulation will work these character traits and depth into our lives, and heaven is on the other side
      4. This is why we need to be careful when we ask why God lets bad things happen to good people
        1. Be very careful what you're calling bad; what you look at as bad might be the best thing for you
        2. Genesis 50:20
  6. Conclusion
    1. "Why should I tremble at the plow of my Lord that makes deep furrows in my soul? He is no idle husbandman. He purposes a crop" —Samuel Rutherford
    2. Because we are justified by faith, we have peace with God, access to God, hope to be with God in glory, and purpose in our trials
    3. May the benefits that follow forgiveness motivate you to serve Him diligently
Figures referenced: J.B. Phillips, Samuel Rutherford, Kenneth Wiese

Cross references: Genesis 50:20; Exodus 33:18; Psalm 7:11; Isaiah 48:22; 53:5; 64:6; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 5:24; 11:25; 14:6, 19; 16:33; 17:20-24; Romans 1:18; 4:25; 8:28; Ephesians 2:13; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 3:2

Latin words: tribulum

Topic: salvation

Keywords: access, benefits, forgiveness, glory, hope, justification, pain, peace, purpose, resurrection, salvation, tribulations


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