8 benefits of justification by faith – Romans 5:1-11

When an individual seriously considers the benefits of knowing Jesus, how can anyone not want to be saved? Why would you not receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Why would you not accept his gift of grace? The apostle Paul describes to us in our text, the amazing benefits of justification by faith. There are eight such benefits that we see here. Let us examine each on carefully.

Past Justification. Notice what Paul says in verse one. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1]The first thing mentioned is the fact (that Paul has already reiterated several times over) that we are justified by faith alone. To be justified is to be ‘declared righteous.’ When you place your faith and trust in Jesus, you are then declared righteous even though you are not righteous. You are declared righteous because of the fact that the righteousness of Jesus is placed on you. Therefore, through the righteousness of Jesus that has been imputed upon you, you are thus, declared as righteous. This does not mean that you automatically become righteous. However, you are declared as righteous even though you are not righteous. This wonderful gift of justification is made possible by faith. In order for justification to be actuated in our lives, we must, by faith, believe on the Lord Jesus. Faith is an act of the human will. It is not a work. However, it is something that we do. Faith is coming into agreement with God over our sin and making the choice to repent of our sin and give ourselves over to Jesus. Faith is putting our life into the hands of God. It is trusting in Him completely. It is realizing that we cannot save ourselves and that our only hope is in Him. The good news concerning justification by faith is that it is a one-time deal. In other words, once you have been justified, you do not have to be saved again. It is sure. It is concrete. Justification by faith is guaranteed by God and is sealed by the Holy Spirit. Once you place your faith and trust in Jesus, your salvation is secure. Therefore, one of the benefits of justification by faith is eternal security. It is the fact that our justification stands firm. At that moment when you accept Jesus, it is a done deal.

Peace with God. Not only do we see that our past justification is a benefit of justification by faith, but we also notice that peace with God is a benefit that we enjoy. Since we are justified by faith, we now have peace with God. This ‘peace’ is not some tranquil feeling. It is not the peace of God, but rather, peace with God. We were once at odds with God. We were enemies of God. But now, through the blood of Jesus, we are at peace with God. Dr. Constable notes, “Paul had been speaking of God’s wrath poured out on sinners. Those who stand justified need not fear God’s wrath since Jesus Christ has made peace between them and God by His blood.”[2] The peace that we have with God is an ongoing peace. It is a continual peace. We will continue to be at peace with God throughout all eternity because of the blood of Jesus. What a wonderful thought! I do not deserve to have a relationship with God. There is nothing that I have done or ever could do to obtain peace with God. However, through the blood of Jesus I now have peace with God since I received His gift of grace by faith. I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad that I have peace with God. I would not want to be an enemy of God. I would not want to suffer the wrath of God. Thanks be to God that I have peace with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Access into God’s grace. Verse two tells us, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”.[3] “The idea here is that Jesus Christ enables us to enjoy continuing relationship with God.[4]” Our continual relationship with God is based on the grace of God. In the original text, the term ‘access’ refers to the ‘privilege of approach’ to a person of high rank. In other words, in Christ, we have the privilege of approaching God. We have access to God because of Jesus. The Bible Knowledge Commentary points out, “Believers in Christ stand in the sphere of God’s grace (cf. “grace” in Rom. 3:24) because Christ has brought them to this position. He is their means of access.”[5] This access is constant. We live within the grace of God. This is why Paul was able to say that he could glory in tribulations because God’s grace is sufficient even in times of weakness. Everything that we enjoy as believers is all by the grace of God. Thank God for His grace.

Joy in tribulations. Verses 3-4 says, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope.”[6]Dr. Constable says, “Peace with God does not always result in peace with each other. Nevertheless the fact that we have peace with God and a relationship with Him, with assurance of standing before Him acceptable, enables us to view present difficulties with joy. We can rejoice in tribulations because God has revealed that He uses them to produce steadfast endurance and proven character in those who relate to their sufferings properly.”[7] No where does the Bible teach that when you come to faith in Christ everything is going to be just perfect. As a matter of fact, it is actually more difficult to live as a believer than it is to live as an unbeliever. The truth is, trials and tribulations will come. It does not matter who you are, we all go through times of suffering. Jesus never said that He would take the trials away; however, He will go with us through the trials. As believers, we can have joy in the midst of the trials because we know that God will use those trials in order to make us stronger and in order to strengthen our faith. This does not mean that God necessarily and purposefully puts trials in our lives. However, He uses the various circumstances of our life in order to mold and shape us into what He wants us to be. Therefore, we should respond to the trials with joy, knowing that God will use the trial for our good and for His glory. This is why we can ‘be thankful in all things.’ He did not say to be thankful ‘for’ all things but ‘in’ all things. In other words, we may not be thankful for the trial that we are going through, but we can be thankful in it and through it because we know that God is working in our lives.

The indwelling Holy Spirit. Verse 5 says, “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. [8] The love of God is experienced in our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The very moment that one comes to faith in Christ, he or she is indwelled by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer for several reasons.

First of all, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer as a guarantee of salvation. Notice what Ephesians 1:13-14 says. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” [9]There is a key point to be made here and that is that the Holy Spirit is given to us after we believe on the Lord Jesus. He is given to us as a down payment to heaven! The indwelling Holy Spirit is our seal. Once we are sealed by God, the seal cannot be broken. It is a guarantee!

Secondly, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer to comfort us. John 14:16-18 says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” [10]As believers in Christ we are never alone. We can have joy in the midst of trials because of the Holy Spirit within us who is our comforter.

Third, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer to convict us of sin. As we study God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will convict us of those areas of our lives that we need to work on. He reveals our sin to us in order that we might confess and repent. He empowers us to live holy lives by showing us our weaknesses and those areas that we need to work on and repent of.

The Holy Spirit also indwells believers in order to empower us to witness. Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[11]Through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God we can change the world. He gives us the boldness and the confidence that we need to proclaim the Gospel to the world. When we don’t know what to say, He gives us the words to say. He empowers us. He speaks through us.

I am very thankful for the indwelling Holy Spirit. If it were not for the Holy Spirit in me, I would have no hope. Due to the Holy Spirit, I have hope. I have confidence that no matter what I go through and no matter what happens in my life, I am safe and secure in Him.

The love of God. One of the greatest benefits of being justified by faith is the love of God that we experience. Notice what verses 5-8 says. “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. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”[12] We have a hope, a confidence in God, because of the love that God has for us. We can confidently expect that we will get through the trial because God loves us and enables us to get through those times of testing. The love of God is beyond anything we can imagine. It is because of His great love for us that He sent Jesus to die so that we may live. God proved that He loves us by having Jesus die for us even while we were still lost in our sin. In the midst of our sin, in the midst of our road to hell, Jesus died in our place. God’s love stretches to the lowliest of sinners. It does not matter what you have done or how far you have gone, Jesus loves you. He desires for you to come to Him and receive Him and accept His gift of grace. God’s love is so awesome and amazing; it is beyond what words can describe. I love the words to that old hymn:

“The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”[13]

You and I have the privilege of experiencing the great love of God because we are justified by faith. You can never fully enjoy God’s love for you until you come to Him by faith. When you do, you will understand what love really is. You will experience a love like you have never known. His love is truly amazing!

Deliverance from future condemnation. There is coming a day when God’s wrath will fall on this sin cursed world. There is coming a day when all those who fail to receive God’s free gift of grace, will experience the awesome and terrible wrath of God. But for those who are justified, the wrath of God is nothing to fear. Notice what verses 9-10 says, Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 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.” [14]We are saved from the wrath of God, because we are at peace with God. We have been reconciled to Him. We were once enemies of God. We were once estranged from God. Yet, through the blood of Jesus, when we believe on Him by faith, we are reconciled to God. We are no longer an enemy of God. We are made to be in right standing with God. The bottom line is, you do not have to go to hell. If you end up in hell, it is your own fault. God does not send anyone to hell. He has given and offered the gift of salvation to everyone. All those who accept His free gift is reconciled unto Him and will escape His wrath. Praise God, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!

Present reconciliation with God. The final blessing or benefit of justification by faith is the fact of our present reconciliation with God. Verse 11 says, “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” [15] “The word atonement means “reconciliation, brought back into fellowship with God.” The term is mentioned also in Romans 5:10. In Romans 1:18–32, Paul explained how men declared war on God and, because of this, deserved to be condemned eternally. But God did not declare war on man. Instead, He sent His Son as the Peacemaker (Eph. 2:11–18) that men might be reconciled to God.”[16] Jesus Christ paid for our sins, thus, reconciling us to God. The original intent of God was that mankind would live in perfect holiness and in perfect union with Him. However, man chose to rebel against God. Because of the sin of Adam, sin has now entered into the world and the world is cursed by sin. Every single person that is conceived inherits a sin nature. We, as mankind, are no longer what God intended for us to be. Yet, God still loves us. He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to atone for our sin. Through the price that Jesus paid on the cross, we now have the opportunity to be reconciled with God and to have God’s original intent for us to be restored. What an awesome truth! Those who come to faith in Jesus will live in that reconciliation. We will always be in right standing with God because of the blood of Jesus. We will never again be estranged from God. We will never again be enemies of God. Once we are reconciled to Him, we are His forever!

A review of these eight blessings or benefits of justification by faith shows how certain our salvation is in Christ. Totally apart from Law, and purely by grace, we have a salvation that takes care of the past, the present, and the future. Christ died for us; Christ lives for us; Christ is coming for us! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

 


[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Dr. Constable. Notes on Romans

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:2). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Dr. Constable. Notes on Romans

 

[5] Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 456). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:3–5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Dr. Constable. Notes on Romans

 

[8] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Eph 1:13–14). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[10] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Jn 14:16–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[11] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ac 1:8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[12] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:5–8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[13] Fredrick Lyman. The love of God.

[14] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:9–10). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[15] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 5:11). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[16] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 528). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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