Walking with Spiritual Confidence

Man Standing Firmly

A sermon idea based on Romans 5:1-8.

The Big Idea

Because God loves us so deeply and works in us on the basis of grace, we get to walk through life with great spiritual confidence, no matter what suffering we face, because the work of Christ in the past has provided peace for our present and hope for our future.

Romans 5:1-8 NRSV

[1] Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. [3] And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, [4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, [5] and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. [6] For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. [8] But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

There is a difference between our current state and our current standing with God. Our current state is often frailty, weakness, and striving to try to do better. But our standing before God has been provided and secured by the work of Christ on the cross.

Paul uses this part of his letter to make a connection between our justification (which he lays out in chapters two through four) and the fruits of that justification that we get to enjoy both presently and eternally.

The words, “Therefore, since…” tell us that this passage is like a great door, hung on great hinges, that opens to reveal something entirely new for us.

“Since we are justified” speaks to our current standing before God. We are declared not guilty, in spite of the awful history of humanity’s enmity against God and with one another.

And then Paul turns to the blessings we possess now in light of what Christ has accomplished. “We have peace…” “We have obtained access…” We boast in our hope… and our sufferings…”

And finally, “God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

It’s important to remember that the “we” and the “us” of whom Paul speaks here is the united family of believers, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or religious heritage. The purpose of Paul’s letter to the Romans was to call everyone to see how Christ had leveled the playing field and made God’s grace fully accessible to all on the basis of faith with no favoritism given to any group of people.

The truth is, all of humanity was at war with God, and Jesus absorbed our violence and sin in his own violent death on the cross so that we might be brought to a place of peace with God and with each other again.

Life throws a lot at us and much of it is a plot of the enemy to destroy our confidence and to cause us to walk under the weight of guilt and fear. But we who follow Jesus get to fall back on these big truths that inspire our daily, confident spiritual walk forward.

  • We can walk in spiritual confidence because Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
  • We can walk in spiritual confidence because we have been justified and declared no longer guilty.
  • We can walk in spiritual confidence because we have peace with God in the middle of a chaotic world.
  • We can walk in spiritual confidence because the Holy Spirit is present in our lives as God’s gift to us.
  • We can walk in spiritual confidence because our suffering makes sense in light of Christ’s suffering.

God has proven his love, not in mere words but through his sacrificial act in the form of the death of Jesus on a Roman cross and his resurrection from the dead.

So when the world around you feels like a dark and discouraging place, come back to the fact that Jesus died and rose again to give us a peace and a power that is ours to enjoy now and forever.

 

Recommended Resources

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Romans: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Volume 6)
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