Hi we're live. I want to welcome those who are watching us by Livestream around the world. Wherever you may be, welcome to our men's Bible study, we're thrilled that you're a part of our study. Before we get started I want to pass out a magazine here, which our ministry, OnePassion Ministries produces.
This year is the Reformation year; it's the 500 year anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Theses to the Wittenberg front door. Every issue has been on the Reformation, and this issue is on the Scottish Reformation. I have an article on John Knox, the father of the Scottish Reformation.
Sinclair Ferguson has a very substantial article on reflections on the pastor/teacher as Reformer. Liam Gallagher, who is at Tenth Presb Philadelphia has followed James Montgomery Bocce, has an article. John McArthur, if you've heard of him, has an article. So if you don't have a subscription to this, I would urge you to get a subscription.
For those of you watching on our Livestream, you can go on our website, www.onepassionministries.org and there's a special heading to sign up and get a subscription. If you're watching overseas, you can get it electronically; you can get it electronically here in the States as well. I prefer the hard copy, but we'd love to send you a subscription.
I think digitally it's $15.00 a year; and hard copy is $30.00 a year, or something like that. But it's very substantial and it will give you a lot of great insight and reading. We're in Romans 5 guys, so come with me to Romans 5; you know where we are.
As we look at this today, I have to tell you the big idea is the blessings or the benefits of justification. We're looking at verses 1 through 5 of Romans 5, and there are 5 benefits, blessings of justification that Paul brings out. And the first we looked at last time in verse 1, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" – that's the first benefit.
I. PEACE WITH GOD
This clearly implies that before we had peace with God we had no peace with God. We were born in to a state of war; we were at enmity with God. And what is worse, God was at enmity with us; He has indignation with the wicked every day. That's the first benefit: that we have moved from a state of hostility with God to now at peace with God.
II. ACCESS TO GOD
Now today we come to the second benefit of justification, and it is access to God. The first part of verse 2, and we'll see; this may be all that we can cover today. And every so often, as I study my Bible, I open a closet door thinking it's just a closet, and I look in there and it's like Aladdin's cave. There's so much in there that I'm in shock that I haven't pulled over here and parked before.
This is one of those cases, so in verse 2 he says, "through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand." The word 'introduction' could easily be translated 'access;' and your translation may have 'access.' I think in this case that's probably a better translation of this word.
What this is saying is when we're justified by faith, it introduces us in to the presence of God, and we have access in to a personal relationship with God. In other words, we have more than just fire insurance; we have more than just being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. We actually enter in to a relationship with God.
I want us to dig down in to this just a little bit. You'll note verse 2 begins, "through whom," and the whom refers to Jesus Christ at the end of verse 1. The only way to have access to God is through Jesus Christ; He has the exclusive monopoly on access in to a relationship with God the Father.
He says, "through whom," and then the next word is important, it says, "also," which means this is a package deal; this isn't separable. If you have peace with God, you also automatically have access to God. The order is very important; if we didn't have peace with God, you would not want access to God.
You would be trying to get away from God if you did not have peace with God. But because first we have peace with God, now second what a blessing this is that we can come in to His presence, and we are received and we can come in to His presence with confidence. Now notice the next words, "through whom also we;" the 'we' refers to all believers.
This isn't for just some believers; this isn't for an upper tier level of executive platinum believers. This is for every single believer in Jesus Christ, we all have obtained this. Now notice the verb, he says, "have obtained."
We have already received this; this is a verb tense that indicates this is a past action with continuing result. We have obtained it; we obtained it the moment we exercised faith in Jesus Christ. At that moment we obtained our introduction or our access to God the Father.
Now, "through whom also we have obtained our introduction;" that's what I have in the New American Standard. And this word 'introduction,' and we're going to talk about here in just a second how it can just easily, and perhaps better, be translated 'access.' It means a privileged access; to come face to face before someone that previously we had no access to.
I want you to keep your finger here and I want you to turn with me to Ephesians 2, and then we're going to look at Ephesians 3, the only two other places in the New Testament where this word is used in the original Greek language. In Ephesians 2:18 we see the second of the three times this word is used. It says – Ephesians 2:18, "through whom" – excuse me, Him, "through Him" – the Him refers to Jesus Christ.
"Through Him we both" – the both represents both Jews and Gentiles – "have our access" – there's our word right there – "in one Spirit to the Father." Please note the Trinitarian focus here; we come through the Son, in the Spirit to the Father. That's essentially how our prayers work; this is how worship works.
We come to the Father through the Son in the Spirit. It's the Spirit who draws us to the Father, and the only way we can access the Father is by coming through the Son. This is a very important verse, and what I want you to see is this word 'access' in your translation and the idea of access.
The imagery here is of a king who does not allow access to commoners. Farmers, blacksmiths would never be allowed in to the palace, would never be allowed in to the throne room, would never be allowed to have an audience with the king. That would be reserved for a very few, and you would have to be of an elite status; you'd have to be a king from another country.
That's what this word 'access' signifies; that we have a privileged access to come before the Father, through the Son in the Spirit. We'll talk about this later, but we can now come before the Father and bring our prayers. We can come before the Father and bring our praise and our worship. We can come before the Father and have fellowship with Him, and have a relationship with Him.
This is a very privileged access to come before the sovereign king of heaven and earth. Now turn to Ephesians 3:12, and I just want you to see the other place in the New Testament where this word 'access' is used. In Ephesians 3:12 it says, "in whom" – and the 'whom' refers to Jesus Christ, at the end of verse 11 – "in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him."
The 'Him' refers to the Lord Jesus Christ; it is implied that the access is to the Father as we have exercised faith in Jesus Christ. This is an extraordinary thing that we would have this introduction in to the presence of God the Father. Now introduction in verse 2, back to Ephesians 5:2, "through whom we have obtained an introduction."
It's only the New American Standard actually that translates it as 'introduction;' the ESV, the King James, the New King James, the NIV, the Holman Christian Standard, and the new RSV all translate it as 'access.' And that probably paints a better picture in our minds of being able to approach God the Father, and to be received. As we approach God the Father, we may come boldly and with great confidence that we will be received gladly by Him.
Now here is the sole prerequisite to have this access, "through whom we have obtained our introduction by faith." It is by faith alone in Christ alone that we have this access to the Father. And the word 'faith' has been the emphasis; you'll note in verse 1, "having been justified by faith," as you will recall, the entire fourth chapter of Romans, the whole focus is that we're justified by faith alone.
That was even introduced at the end of Chapter 3. This continues the focused emphasis. Just to draw this to you attention in Chapter 4:24, "those who believe in Him;" and in verse 20, "they grew strong in faith;" verse 19, "without becoming weak in faith;" verse 18, "In hope against hope he believed;" verse 17, "whom he believed." Verse 16 twice, "For this reason it is by faith;" and then, "those who are of the faith of Abraham;" verse 12, "in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham."
Verse 11 twice, "a seal of the righteousness of the faith;" later in verse 11, "so that he might be the father of all those who believe;" the word 'believe' and 'faith' are the same. There's no need for me to trace this back up through the previous chapter anymore. But the only way that we may access God the Father is through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, "by faith into this grace;" now we would expect that it would say, "Access in to the presence of God the Father." Instead it says, "into this grace." What Paul is wanting to emphasize is that none of us have any claim in and of ourselves to come in to the presence of God the Father. It is exclusively by grace that we come, and it is in to this grace that we stand as we come before the Father.
Grace, as you know, is God's free, unmerited, undeserved favor that God extends towards unworthy, undeserving sinners. Grace denotes the state or the realm in to which God's justifying work transfers us as believers. We now have been moved in to the realm of God's grace.
Now you'll note it says, "in which we stand." This word 'stand' is very important; it means to be made to stand. It means never to be ushered out of God's presence. It means never to fall away from grace. It means to never fall out of grace.
That we will forever stand in this grace. He is able to make us stand in His grace. Now as we stand in His grace, this grace is saving grace; it is electing grace; it is predestinating grace; it is redeeming grace; it is reconciling grace; it is propitiating grace; it is regenerating grace; it is sanctifying grace; it is securing grace.
It's the whole package of grace, from eternity past to eternity future, we now step in to this favored privilege realm of grace as we access God the Father. Now this presupposes that before we accessed God the Father we were on the outside looking in. This presupposes that we were far away from God; that we were strangers; and we were aliens of the kingdom of God.
I want you to come back to Ephesians just for a moment, come back to Ephesians 2. In Ephesians 2, beginning in verse 12, I want us to be reminded of where we once were before we were allowed this access in to the inner throne room where God is. In Ephesians 2:12 it says, "you were at that time separate from Christ;" you were separated from Him and there was an insurmountable chasm that separated us from Christ.
He says in verse 12, "you were formerly far off," and very far off; we were so far off there was no way that we could gain any access to God. He says in verse 19 he says, "you are no longer strangers and aliens" – that means we once were strangers and aliens. And that we were strangers – this is a Greek word, [foreign language] from which we get the word 'xenophobia,' fear of strangers, fear of foreigners.
We once were foreigners; we once were outsiders, strangers, on the outside of the kingdom of God. We had no citizenship in the kingdom of God, and we were also aliens, which is a pretty strong word, and that means we were outcasts. We were without any citizenship in the land.
In Colossians 1:21 it also refers – says we were alienated from God; let's remember that. Even if you grew up in church, even if your parents were believers and they brought you to church when you were a little kid. That's true in your life; before you were born again, before you were justified by faith, you nevertheless were a stranger to the realm of grace. You were an outcast from the kingdom of God because of your sin.
It is only by faith in Christ do we obtain our entrance and our access in to the very presence of God. We were barred from entering in to a relationship with God. That's why in the parable of the Prodigal Son, he goes to a far country, a faraway country, and that's where we all once were, before we were justified by faith.
But justification, now, gives us this access in to the presence of God, and I want to give you some words now to help us define this access that we have in to the presence of God.
And number one it's restricted; it is a restricted access; everyone does not have this access. It is only those who are believers in Jesus Christ have this access; all unbelievers are barred from the presence of God.
All unbelievers are barred from having any relationship with God, and their prayers have no entrance before the throne of grace. It is only by Christ do we gain this access in to the presence of God.
Second word is direct; we have direct access in to the presence of God.
By that I mean we do not need any mediator; we don't need anyone else's mediation to get us in to the presence of God. Jesus Christ alone has done it. We do not need a priest; we do not need even a pastor or an evangelist. They can tell us the way to the Father, but they have no mediation whatsoever.
We now come directly to the Father through the Son and there are no other access points that we need to enter in through. If you have Christ, you have direct access to the Father. This is really in contrast to the temple in the Old Testament, where as you would enter in, there was the outer courtyard of the Gentiles.
The Gentiles could go no further than the outer courtyard, and there's a wall up. Only Jews could enter in further, closer to God than the court of the Gentiles. Once you got in, then there was a separation; there was a court of women, and the women could go no further. And only Jewish men could then come even closer in the temple.
But then there was another wall, and only the priest could go any closer, and the rest of the Jewish men had to stay out. But then there's another curtain that led in to the Holy of Holies, and only one man could enter in to the Holy of Holies, and that just once a year, and that was the high priest. It was such a privileged access that if the high priest was not right with God, as he entered in, God would strike him dead.
They would tie a rope around the high priest and put a bell on him, and as long as they could hear the bell, they knew he was moving around, he's still alive. But if they stopped hearing the bell that probably meant God had struck him dead, because no one else could go in to the Holy of Holies; God would strike them dead. With the rope they would pull the high priest back out; no one was allowed to go in to this Holy of Holies except the high priest.
All of this was an object lesson. You say, "Why would God keep the Gentiles out; why would He keep the women out; why would He keep the Jewish men out; why would He keep the priests out?" It's all just a symbolic object lesson to show us what a privileged access you and I now have to come in to the very presence of – and to come confidently and boldly, and know we're not going to be struck dead.
This is a privilege that is unspeakable that has been opened up to us, and we must consider the privilege in prayer; the privilege in worship; the privilege in fellowship with God to be a privilege of highest honor. That we can now have this direct access to God the Father.
Third, and I've already said this but I'll say it again, it's privileged access.
We're going in to the very presence of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. This is not an access with our next door neighbor, or a football coach, or a businessman; this is a privileged access in to the presence of the Sovereign of the universe.
Fourth, it's an undeserved access; none of us in and of ourselves have any basis whatsoever to come in to the inner throne room, except through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fifth, it is a permanent access; we will never be expelled; we will never be cast out. This access has been secured forever; good days, bad days, days when we're walking in obedience, days when there is disobedience in our life. It is a permanent access.
Sixth, it's a spiritual access; this is within our own heart. We're not talking about getting out of this room and walking in to another room, and we would be any closer to God. You can access God spiritually within your heart no matter where you are, whether you're at church, whether you're at home, whether you're at work, whether you're by yourself, whether you're in the middle of a football stadium with 70,000 people; wherever you are.
Seventh, it is constant access; this access is open to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is never a time when this access is not open to us.
And then eighth, it is anticipatory, meaning one day in our future home in glory, we will come immediately before the presence of God, and before the Lord Jesus Christ.
This present spiritual access is anticipatory of one day in heaven when we will come immediately before the throne of grace, and it will not be just in our heart; it will be in our glorified body. And with glorified feet we will approach the throne of grace; and with glorified knees we will bow before Him; and with glorified eyes we will look upon Him; and with a glorified tongue we will give Him praises. This present access within our heart right now is anticipatory of that day when the full realization of this access will be realized.
Right now is, in a sense, only prepatory for the ultimate access. When we die, we will go immediately in to the presence of God. So this is an extraordinary access that we have; this should not be taken lightly. And that's why, as I've been looking at this in Romans 5, and I've got my notes for the rest of these verses, I just can't get past verse 2 at the moment; I'm stuck at verse 2.
I'm just savoring verse 2, and this is a truth and a thought that has not been at the forefront of my mind like it should be, because this is an unspeakable privilege that we have. It's not just that there's been some paperwork that's happened in heaven where now I'm forgiven, and God credits this in to my account, and this is all taking place in heaven. This is a real experience within my heart, and within my soul.
I now know God. I now have fellowship with God. I talk to God; He talks to me in His Word. It is a living vital dynamic relationship that I have with God, just like I know you guys, and like I know my wife, and I know my kids.
In reality, we know God even better, because He has opened up this way for us to come before Him. Now I want you to come to the book of Hebrews, and this is an emphasis that the book of Hebrews intentionally makes. There are different threads that run through different books in the Bible, and one of the threads that runs through the book of Hebrews 4:16 is this thread that we can draw near to God and come before God's presence.
In Hebrews 4:16, "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace" – the throne of grace is the throne of God. He substitutes grace for God, again, to emphasize how undeserving we are to be able to access the throne of God. Just as a reminder to us; it's the throne of grace; it's not a throne of merit.
It's not a throne of worthiness; it's a throne of unmerited favor and grace. He says, "let us draw near," meaning that by faith we draw nearer and nearer and nearer as we grow closer and closer and closer to God. As we do he says, "so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Well that time of need is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes we're more acutely aware of our need, in a crisis or in a trial, but the fact of the matter is we are in great need of God's sustaining strengthening grace every moment of every day. As we draw nearer to God in prayer, and in communion with Him, we find all that we need from Him.
We find grace that gives us the strength to live the Christian life. All right come to Hebrews 7:19; I want to trace this out for us this morning. He says, "there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." That word 'near' is a precious word in the English language. We draw near to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has opened up the way for us to access the Father, and He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. As we come, it is the Son who makes us worthy to approach the Father. Look at verse 25, Hebrews 7:25, "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him."
There again we see that he says forever. This access to God is permanent; it's eternal; it is irrevocable. We will never fall away from God, and the reason is, he says, "He ever lives to make intercession for us."
Hebrews 10:1, come to Hebrews 10:1, I just want you to see this theme drawn out. "For the Law, since it was only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near." The sacrifice of Christ has made us perfect that we may genuinely truly draw near to God.
Look at verse 19, "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus," verse 20, "by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God," verse 22, " let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith." Here again we see that we are to draw near within our hearts to God. There are times in our hearts when we become preoccupied with other things, and we're pulled away in other directions.
We must be continually drawing near to God. There need to be times of focused prayer in which we draw near to God. There needs to be throughout the day, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and thinking about how I need the Lord as I'm driving in my car; as I'm sitting at my desk.
We need to be making intentional steps within our mind and heart to draw near to God. So that's the focus here. Now I want to take you to one more verse and then we're going to open it up. Come back to Matthew 27:51, and this all ties in together, as Jesus died upon the cross, in verse 51, "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."
The veil is what separated the Jewish men, the Jewish women, the Gentiles from being able to enter in, even the rest of the priests. For only the high priest could enter in, and that this veil was torn in two indicates that the barrier has now been removed, and that we may enter in to the very place where the presence of God dwells. You'll note it's torn from top to bottom, indicating that God's the initiator of this; it's not bottom to top, as though we have done this. It's top to bottom, indicating it's God's work to tear it. You have to be up on top to tear it so that it tears from top to bottom. If you are down below, you would tear it bottom up.
It indicates it's the invisible hand of God reaching down from above that has ripped it open, such that now there is this new and living way to come in to the very presence of God. All of these verses in Romans, and Ephesians and Hebrews, here in Matthew, they all tie together. Say basically one and the same thing: that we previously were outcasts, we were foreigners, aliens, strangers; and through Jesus Christ we now can come in to the very presence of God the Father and have this living relationship with Him; that we can know Him.
By way of application, and I've already tipped my hand on this, but by way of application, this speaks volumes to prayer. What a privilege prayer is, and that we can only come in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; otherwise there is no access to God the Father. What a privilege it is to bring our burdens, to bring our needs to the Father, and receive mercy and find grace in a time of need.
He is there for us; He is ready to receive us; He is ready to hear from us every moment of every day. Second what this says about worship, we should be worshippers, continually praising the Lord throughout the day; bringing our praises to Him. And to realize that we are in His very presence as we do.
Third this speaks to our fellowship; we do have vital communion with God the Father. We have a living dynamic relationship with God the Father. We experientially know Him in our heart. It's not just that we know about Him intellectually, theologically, doctrinally, but that we actually know Him within our own soul.
I'm going to add one more here, there was a Latin phrase that came out of the Reformation, coram Deo which means: in the presence of God. And the Reformers understood that we live coram Deo; we live in the presence of God. Therefore, every conversation is in the presence of God; every act is in the presence of God.
Nothing is done away from God. When we go to work, we go to work as in the presence of God, even if it's a foul godless office and environment, we live in the presence of God. Therefore, we must do our work as unto the Lord. Not that unsaved boss, or that unsaved contractor, or unsaved banker or whatever; everything that we do is in the presence of God, as unto the Lord.
This should be a great encouragement and it should be a great challenge. It's a great encouragement that He will never, never leave us nor forsake us; we are constantly in the presence of God in our life. It should also be convicting that He is an observer, He is a listener of every conversation, and of every deed.
Just because we walk out of the house and someone in the house can't hear the conversation, God is where we are any moment of every day. This is a whole new perspective for how we live our Christian lives. We stand in this grace; it is a posture of strength; He makes us strong and He makes us stand in grace in His presence.
This is our study this morning, and I could kind of blow on and go on to the next part of Romans 5, and I'm not going to slow down for every verse. I want to have some movement here. But every so often I'm just awestruck by a particular truth that we come across, and it's very worthwhile for us to pull the car over to the side of the road for a moment.
Let's get out of the car and just look at the Grand Canyon, and observe the beauty of this. We'll get back in the car and we'll go on down the road next week. But for today, I want us to think about living in the presence of God. I want us to think about that we have this access to God, and using this access to God, and how privileged we are to have this introduction in to His grace and be able to approach the throne of grace with boldness and with confidence.
And not because of us, but because of Christ. I'm going to wind down our study here at this point. I'd love to hear from you; I'd love to know what you're thinking as we go through this, or have gone through this. What impresses you; what encourages you.
What we studied in church on Sunday, talking about citizenship. In heaven, there are walls in heaven, and this is our ID card, this is our get in to heaven card. Because it says in Revelations 12:14 it talks about being aliens.
No aliens are permitted in heaven; this is our get in to heaven card. Our citizenship is based on what you just taught us today.
Yes our citizenship is in heaven from which we await a savior.
When we are – this is our firm affirmation that we are saved and we have nothing to worry about once we get to the pearly gates. This is what we – we're saved, right?
Right. And we are just as certain for heaven this moment as if we have already been there 10,000 years. Because we presently stand in grace; we'll never fall away from grace; or fall out of grace.
Yeah we have citizenship in heaven through what we learned today.
Right, exactly. That's great Chris. Someone else? Don't make me call on you.
Well I like what you said about just how we have constant access and we have it through our own soul wherever we are. Just because you think about today and all the technology innovation, always trying to get more access to different things. But we have the best access we could ever have within us at all times.
That we just – I know for myself I don't use it enough as I should.
Yeah, no absolutely, and I don't either, and I don't think any of us do. I mean, who among us is gonna say here, "You know, I just pray too much."
Liar pants on fire; none of us do. And to me one great thing about that, Luke, is I don't have to be in a certain geographical location in order to access God. I don't have to be sitting in church on Sunday morning in order to access God.
Now, I need to be in church on Sunday morning, but nevertheless, at the office Monday morning; at the airport Tuesday, you know, wherever; on the golf course Wednesday I can access God and find grace – the grace that I need to help in time of need. I mean, He's always open. I was thinking about saying – I went to Africa two years ago, they put me in a hut where I had electricity for only a third of the day.
The thought of having 24 hour electricity was just a great blessing to me, and just thinking about this. I mean, God's throne of grace is always open to us. They're not banking hours, you know, it's always open to us. And we need to take advantage of this and use this access.
Yes, this guy asked how is the Catholic Church able to continue deceiving people when Romans, as well as other verses, describe our access and citizenship to/with God?
Yeah it's just a whole system in the Roman Catholic Church in which it's a false system in which they have – they want to keep people under the Law, and keep them bound, and keep people dependent upon them. We have no need for a priest; Jesus is our high priest; and He has made us to be a kingdom of priests. So why does a priest need a priest?
He's made us priest where we have the direct access. And how do they do it? I mean, it's just very simply by keeping people out of the Bible to keep the game alive. Yeah, yeah?
When you were talking about coram deo living in His presence, and nothing we do is out of the presence of God. How do you see when we do sin, is it – like, the Spirit that's in us, I mean, does God the Father look on sin; does Jesus see sin; or is it just the Spirit? How do you envision how that works?
Yeah well we do sin.
I mean, 'cause I've always been taught God can't look upon sin.
Well God cannot look upon our sin in a judicial sense, for eternal forgiveness. We have to understand there are two levels of forgiveness that we need from God: 1) is judicial; the other is parental. Judicially we have been forgiven all of our sins forever and ever, and in judicially He remembers our sins no more.
Now if that's all that it is, then God would never be able to discipline us and correct us for sin in our life, if He never could see sin in our life. God does see our sin and know our sin parentally, and that's a whole – once we're saved, God is no longer our condemning judge. There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
But we have entered in to a new relationship with God now and He is our Father. That is why we must confess our sin daily to God, or as often as we're convicted of our sin. So there's a hyper grace teaching out there today that's a total abuse of grace that says, "Well you never need to confess your sin now; they're all forgiven."
Well yes, judicially, eternally, but I've entered in now to a new relationship with God who is now my Father. And I need to confess my sin to the Father; Jesus taught us that in Matthew 6, that we need to – as often as we're asking for daily bread, we need to be confessing daily sins. So yes, God knows everything, so there are no blank spots in God's knowledge.
It's not like we know about our sin but God doesn't. So we know something God doesn't know? What kind of a crazy doctrine is that? Like we're omniscient but God's not?
The devil knows about our sin but God doesn't? So now the devil's greater than God? No it doesn't work that way. It's a metaphor that He's taken our sins and placed them behind His back; He's buried them in a sea of His forgetfulness; He can remember our sins no more.
Yes and no; yes eternally, judicially; no parentally, daily. So we still have need of confessing our sin to God; He knows all about it. He's the one who's bringing the conviction by the Holy Spirit. So just because we're saved doesn't mean, "Okay now I can live however I wanna live and God will never see my sin, and I'll just sin up a storm."
I remember when I was in college, walking in to a friend's dorm room and he had a poster that said – what did it say, "Sin in liberty; seek forgiveness in leisure," or something like that. I mean, it was just a total blasphemous thing that he had up just mocking Christian liberty. Be assured God sees your sin and God knows, and God will bring conviction.
If you don't repent, God will bring discipline; and if you don't repent, there's a sin unto death. God will just take you home early. He obviously sees what's going on, and He obviously knows what we know, and He knows more than we know.
Thank you; that gives us a chance to say what needs to be said on that. Someone else, what else? So the teaching was just so outstanding that nothing further can be said on the matter?
You know when you think about this, if you live your life moment by moment, your thoughts – we get so bogged down in the minutia of life. We get bogged down in the details of life, and it is wonderful to marinate in this great salvation that we have, and all the blessings that we have in this salvation, and what God has done for us and we didn't deserve it. You talked last week, you used the term bells and whistles, talking about analogy of a car.
It's overwhelming what we have through the Lord Jesus Christ. This salvation is so beyond what we can consider, and I think often in our daily life we take it for granted. And so it is wonderful just to sit and meditate upon who God is and what He has done for us.
It's great beyond our comprehension.
It is, which is why when I was looking at verse 2 last week, and looking at verse 2 this week, it's like you walk past a store window and you do a double take, and maybe even a triple take. I mean, something just catches your eye; as I just kept passing by verse 2, I just found myself turning back and glancing. Last week I had verses 1 through 5 in my notes, and I just couldn't get past verse 1; it's just so rich.
And I fully intended to do 2 through 5, and yesterday as I'm sitting looking at this, it's just like they took me by the lapel and just drew me in. And it's, like, you know, I just really need to contemplate what this is saying. I haven't been marinating on this recently, and I hope that this is something that you need to marinate on, but I certainly do.
Every word in the first half of verse 2 is just loaded, and I hate to slow down to a literal word by word, and we're gonna pick it back up. But for the moment, I just needed to just try to wring everything I can out of this, and then open up the lens, and take us to some other verses. Yeah so what else? We've got maybe one minute.
It's time for us to wind this down, but as we slip out today and we go live our life today, let's remember, I mean, we live in the presence of God. We stand in this grace, and throughout the day we need to be drawing near, with our thoughts, with our prayers, with our worship of God and have this living dynamic relationship with God. I think Paul wanted us to know here it's more than just bookkeeping, accounting that's going on in heaven.
That we actually are in the presence of God now. That's pretty incredible. Well let me close in a word of prayer, Father thank you for this study. Thank you for the reality of what we have looked at.
I pray that you would give us an increased understanding of this, but more than that, an increased experience within our own hearts and soul of this. Father I offer much praise and much thanks to you for this, in Jesus' name, amen.
© 2019 Steven J. Lawson