The Revelation of Grace (Rom. 5:12-21)

The Revelation of Grace (Rom. 5:12-21)
I.               freely receiving the gift of righteousness
A.            God’s grace is a revelation that enables us to reign in life and gives us confidence before God. The gift of righteousness has both legal and emotional implications. It gives us the legal position to stand in the Father’s presence with confidence that He emotionally enjoys and delights in us.
17 Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ…18 Through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men…20 Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life… (Rom. 5:17-21)
B.             Righteousness is a powerful word with many implications. It gives us a new position and a new relationship with God as sons with glorious privileges. It restores us to right standing before God and restores back to us all that was lost in Adam’s fall.
C.             Receiving His righteousness is a legal fact in God’s court. Jesus put the guilt of our sin away and satisfied the claims of justice as our substitute (Rom. 3:24-26). He paid the legal debt of our sin that was required to satisfy God’s justice. This made it possible for us to receive God’s righteousness. A salvation that could not make man righteous is not salvation, but only religion.
17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new…21 For He made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
D.            God has restored His own quality of righteousness to man. Everything that could disqualify us from encountering God is removed. The finished work of Christ guarantees it. Part of our identity is in being the righteousness of God. This identity gains the ascendency in us as we agree with what God says about us as priests, kings, and conquerors! He made it possible on legal grounds for man to break his union with death and darkness and to become a new creation.
E.             The reign of grace has three benefits. We do not ask God for these, but we thank Him for them.
1.              The Father’s acceptance and affection: Receiving God’s righteousness, allows us to be accepted by God legally and embraced by God emotionally.
2.              The authority to use the name of Jesus: We have authority to use Jesus’ name to release the works of God and to hinder the works of Satan in our life, circumstances, and nation.
3.              The indwelling SpiritWe receive the Spirit who empowers our heart with new desires (love and holiness) and insights and our ministry to release God’s life to others. We are no longer defenseless before sinful desires or in darkness without divine guidance.
16 The Father…will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you…17the Spirit of truth…will be in you… 26The Helper…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:16, 17, 26)
II.             walking free from all condemnation
A.            We approach the Father with freedom without any sense of condemnation (guilt and defeatism). Preoccupation with the penalty and power of sin destroys our confidence in God’s presence.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… (Rom. 8:1)
B.             The gift of righteousness gives us a standing before the Father like Jesus had while on earth. Jesus had the right to be in the Father’s presence. Therefore, He was bold in God’s presence and fearless before Satan. He had no sense of intimidation in the presence of darkness and death.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. (1 Jn. 4:17-18)
C.             The revelation of grace breaks our sense of timidity before Satan or sin so that we live without guilt and expectation of persistent failure. We are not beggars, but joint-heirs with Jesus.
D.            Many believers live in perpetual defeat because they do not know who they are in Christ and the position they have before the Father. Our great need is to know who we are in Christ, or how the Father sees us. If we do not understand this, we will not enjoy the benefits of freely receiving the righteousness of God. The passivity so common today is the fruit of lacking the revelation of grace. We stand in boldness that we are sons. God is our Father who loves us.
E.             The sense of unworthiness or condemnation or (preoccupation with the penalty and power of sin) is a root cause for many spiritual failures. It kills faith and spiritual initiative, leaves us with a sense of rejection, and makes prayer miserable. It hinders our desire for God.
F.             A preoccupation with guilt and slavery to sin began when Adam sinned and experienced spiritual death. Preoccupation with the dominance of sin (its penalty and power) in a believer’s thinking is strengthened by those who preach on sin more than on Jesus’ righteousness and the new creation. The result is a deep awareness and preoccupation with sin’s power and penalty over us.
G.            A guilty man who is spiritually dead cannot stand in the Father’s presence. The knowledge of God’s righteousness makes our spirit strong and bold. Until we understand it, sin continues to reign over us as our master. When we know that we are God’s righteousness then sin is defeated in our lives. Understanding of God’s righteousness causes us to have a confident spirit instead of living as a slave with sense of inferiority before the reign of sin.
H.            Man seeks to remove condemnation by showing his sorrow for his sins, fasting, giving money, sacrificial service, and even public confession of his sins. These may bring short term relief, but they never bring confidence to us before God.
I.               The believer with an unrenewed mind does not understand his position and privileges in Christ.

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