Benefits of Justification, pt. 2
1. Peace with God
2. Access to God
3. Hope of the glory of God.
v. 2b Man can live weeks without food, days without water, but only hours without hope.
ill.--In 1965 James Stockdale became one of the first American pilots shot down over Vietnam. He was a POW for 7 yrs...tortured frequently to get info. and to try to get him to denounce the USA. He was chained for days with hands above his head so he could not even swat the mosquitoes which swarmed his body. His leg was broken and never reset. How could anyone survive 7 yrs. of such treatment? He said it was all about hope...that one day he would go home and see his family again. One by one he saw his fellow captors give up hope and die.
We have an endless hope, but this world has a hopeless end. A great cloud of pessimism and hopelessness covers the earth.
Students were asked their philosophy of life and answered:
Life is a punishment for the crime of being born.
Life is a disease for which the only cure is death.
"Oh yeah, life goes on. Long after the thrill of living is gone!" [Mellencamp]
No wonder scores of Americans end their life each day.
The theory of evolution leaves man without hope. Godless philosophies leave people empty inside. Socialism steals away man's desire to thrive and prosper. Atheism is supposed to close the door on God but instead it leaves man incomplete and inwardly void.
George Barnard Shaw pinned his hope on atheism while he was alive. The closer he got to death the more empty and hopeless he felt. Just before he died he said, "You are looking at an atheist who has lost his faith!"
When the atheist loses his faith there's nothing else left.
Thank God the believer has a Bible full of the promises of hope!
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Jesus gives meaning to life, purpose in life, and hope for the future.
One of the great present benefits of justification is hope.
"Because He lives I can face tomorrow, all fear is gone, I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living!"
Let's get a firm grasp on the Biblical meaning of hope, as many have a wrong concept of it. Hope in the Bible does not mean 'wishful thinking'. Today we say I hope it doesn't rain [wishful thinking] or I hope the Browns win the Super Bowl. [really wishful thinking!]
In the Bible, hope is seldom a verb, and usually a noun. It is not something we do, it is something we have. It is a concrete object, not an airy ideal. It is synonymous with 'promise.' The blessed hope of His return is a promise, not a wish.
And I don't hope for salvation, I have hope in my salvation.
Some say, "I hope I'm saved." That's not good enough.
I know I'm saved because of the hope I received thru justification!
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
I'm as sure of heaven as if I'm already there. Heaven isn't my home someday, it is my home right now, and I'm just away. We're pilgrims and strangers in a foreign land and this world is not our home...
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
God began the mammoth building project of your life at salvation and he never abandons the jobsite. What He starts He finishes.
2 Timothy 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
It's not me holding out, it's God holding on!
Some say it's all about your perseverance in the faith that maintains your salvation. Oh no! It's simply an evidence of the salvation that is already there.
1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
A person who makes a profession of faith and turns his back on it all permanently was never truly saved.
And the hope is for now, not just for the rapture and for heaven someday, but hope for living, and hope for sharing.
And we have the future hope of His glory, that we will be like Him someday! This is the primary interpretation of the end of v. 2.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
In the mind of God we already have this glory in the present. How could this future glory be ours today? How can we reconcile the two as reality? I'll tell you how: because when God makes a promise, it's as good as done! It's already a reality because it's going to happen and nothing can stop it!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for [not just wishful thinking]
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
So it is in the future I have the glory but it's in the present I have the hope [promise] of this reality.
1 John 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
In the future I have the glory and in the present I have the hope. Our God is not restricted by the constraints of time like we are. He is timeless. In His economy I am already in the heavenlies and it's as though I've always been there and always will be.
One of the benefits of justification is that although I am not yet what I should be, praise God, by His grace, I'm not what I used to be, and I'm not what I'm going to be...like Christ in glory!
And with all of this hope, what should be our response?
v. 2 'rejoice!' It means jubilation. We have no reason to fear the future and every reason to rejoice in it because Christ Himself is our hope.
1 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
And I don't worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today He walks beside me
For He knows what is ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand!
Now look at the first 3 benefits of justification together:
No matter how you look at it, my anchor holds!
[there's 4 more benefits yet to come!]
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