Romans Study #16
Hope (Part 2)
1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2through 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. NASB
1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Message
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked (Deuteronomy 25:1). Here it is obvious that the question is not one of moral improvement. The judges are not to make the righteous man better. They are to vindicate his position as satisfactory to the law.
We need the voice which says, not merely, you may go; you are let off your penalty; but, you may come; you are welcomed into My presence and fellowship. We shall see later how important this difference is in the practical problems of our full salvation. But one thing is evident at first sight, namely, that this is implied in the very word Justification. For Justification, in common speech, never means pardon. It means winning, or granting, a position of acceptance. You are justified in taking this course of action, does not mean, you were wrong, yet you are forgiven. It means, you were right, and in the court of my opinion you have proved it. In religion accordingly our Justification means not merely a grant of pardon, but a verdict in favor of Our standing as satisfactory before the Judge.
Faith, in actual common use, tends to mean a practical confidence.
reliance, reposed on a trustworthy object, and exercised more or less in the dark
But the action to this end was on their part sublimely simple. It was reliance on the
the Promiser. Taking Him at His word.
We have seen a moment ago that one meaning most certainly cannot be borne by the word by. It cannot mean on account of, as if Faith were a valuable consideration which entitled us to Justification. The surrendering rebel is not amnestied because of the valuable consideration of his surrender, but because of the grace of the sovereign or state which amnesties. On the other hand, his surrender is the necessary means to the amnesty becoming actually his: It is his only proper attitude (in a supposed case of unlawful rebellion) towards the offended power. That power cannot, in the nature of things, make peace with a subject who is in a wrong attitude towards it. It wishes him well, or it would not provide amnesty. But it cannot make peace with him while he declines the provision. Surrender is accordingly not the price paid for peace, but it is nevertheless the open hand necessary to appropriate the gift of it.
In a fair measure this illustrates our word by in the matter of Justification by Faith. Faith, reliance, is, from one side, just the sinful man's coming in to accept the sacred amnesty of God in Christ, taking at His Word his benignant King. It is the rebel's putting himself into right relations with his offended Lord in this great matter of forgiveness and acceptance .... It is not a virtue, not a merit, but a proper means.
A word about peace. The runner up entry in a contest to draw a picture illustrating the word, “peace,” was a picture of a quiet meadow on a sunny day.
The winning entry was a tree in a field in the midst of a powerful dark cloud, hard rain, storm, but in the midst of the picture, perched on a branch (a branch too small and too far out) was a tiny bird, head tucked down, sleeping!
That is a picture of God’s peace, not a peace based on outer surroundings, a peace based on knowing that God is control and as Larry said on Sunday, a knowledge that “your problems” are His problems.”
Had to do a “hope” part 2 because I heard or read a neat story that makes “hope” more clear.The wives of the POW’s from the Vietnam war were waiting and hoping for 6 years, the hope began to fade, when one day a letter from the government arrived.
“Your husband has been located and will be on this ship
in the San Diego harbor on this date.”
Suddenly their “hope” sky-rocketed because
they had a letter from the government with an assurance that their “hope” would one day be sight. Our hope should sky rocket, we have a “letter” from God, guaranteeing the outcome, promising His love. Proclaiming freedom, and power and joy available to us.