Today’s Scripture:  Romans 5:9-11

“9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”  Romans 5:9-11

Introduction:

We continue our series on Reconciliation in Romans 5:9-11, and unlike the previous message…I think we’re going to revisit what I said the first time I wrote a message about this in talking about Reconciliation to see what we can get from a message I’ve written…see if there’s any good revelation we can get from a message of my own…Amen!?!

So…let’s see what the Lord would have to say to us as we revisit Reconciliation in our new series titles…We Have Been Reconciled.

Today’s Message:

We continue our study in Romans 5:9-11. I love the book of Romans. This is one of the books that the religious people steer clear of because in it are a lot of things they don’t want you to know. Whether it’s in chapter one that we read that we should never be ashamed of the gospel…because in it is the power unto salvation, and it also is the first time in this book we read that “The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16-17). The entire book is good, and if you haven’t I would suggest that you get a good study guide, and really get into the book of Romans. There’s a lot of good stuff in Romans, and in it there’s many of the foundational truths of the Christian faith…what we believe, and why we believe what we believe.

The book of Romans provides much of the basic principles, and what we know as “foundational truths”.  What are “foundational truths”?  These are the core beliefs that all Christians ought to have…just like when constructing any kind of building the first thing that needs to be built is the foundation.  Once you have a foundation laid then you can begin to construct whatever the building is.

So…in Romans a lot of the foundational core beliefs of Christianity are found, and like I said back in February if you ever find yourself in a church that avoids teaching out of Romans…you may want to find another one…because every person who is a sincere Bible believing Christian knows that in this book…Paul lays down a firm foundation as to what the core beliefs of every Christian ought to be.

The truth is religion doesn’t want you to know just how simple the becoming, and staying a Christian really is…because in this book we find terms like justification by faith, sanctification, righteousness, and we receive all of this at the same time…when we confess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Lord.

You see, it’s the religious mind that wants you to believe that there’s more to the Christian life, and that you have to work for and earn your “status” by being and doing good.  They shake their finger at you if you drink beer and say that those who drink beer are going to hell because to them whether you drink 2 beers or 20 you’re a drunkard…but really the truth is…that is a sin…and all sin was placed upon the Cross and judged at one time (2 Corinthians 5:21).  So…if you’re a born again, spirit-filled Christian who likes to drink beer…you’re still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  Why?  Because the righteousness you receive isn’t yours it’s Jesus’, and therefore since the righteousness wasn’t yours begin with…it’s not yours to lose…but it is yours to keep…because it’s not your righteousness it’s Jesus’…and because you’re IN Christ…you have what He has…therefore even if you stand with a 40 ounce of Laser Malt Liquor in your hand…and you’re a whosoever that’s called upon the name of the Lord to be saved…you’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

See…that blows the religious mind because they don’t understand what reconciliation is, and they also don’t understand grace, faith, mercy…and the Cross.  It’s foolishness to them because it’s so simple.  The religious mind is always going to have a “work for it” mentality because they don’t believe in justification by faith, and they also have never received the ministry of reconciliation…because they don’t believe you can be reconciled by just receiving it…they believe you have to earn it.

“Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.” Romans 5:9 (AMP)

Some times it’s good to look at certain verses through the eye of another translation.  As I’ve said before I love the Amplified Version because it gives you a good idea of what the verse says without taking it out of context and turning it into something completely different.  There are a lot of versions of the Bible out there that are horrible because the way they’re translated just leads to all kinds of error.

Anyways…as we look at the word justified we see it broken down to include the following words:  acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God.  Well, Bryan…can you tell me how in the world did we get to be justified, acquitted, made righteous, and brought into a right relationship with God?

By Christ’s blood.

I didn’t say it…Paul did by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  We’re justified by the Blood of Jesus.  Funny it doesn’t say that we’re justified by water baptism does it?  Does it say we’re justified by being filled with the Holy Ghost?  How about speaking in tongues?  No…what does the Word of God say?  It says we’re justified by the Blood of Jesus…period.  There’s no work involved on our part here…there’s nothing for us to do…there’s nothing for us to earn…and there’s nothing we can take credit for.  It’s the Blood of Jesus that’s our justification…period.

So…if it’s the Blood of Jesus that purchased our justification…then it’s the Blood of Jesus that is also responsible for us being reconciled to God.  I’m not reconciled to God because I’ve been baptized…or because I’ve received the Holy Ghost.  I’m not reconciled to God because I speak in tongues once in a while.  I’m not reconciled because I’ve gone to the same church for almost 2 years now.  I’m reconciled to God because of the Blood of Jesus…and so are you.

In this verse we read the justified means acquitted, made righteous, and brought into a right relationship with God…and how is that made available to us? That’s right…the blood of Jesus. Did you know that the moment you confessed Jesus as Lord & Savior by faith…that is when justification by faith happened…you were given HIS righteousness, and immediately brought into a right relationship with God? See, here again is one of the verses that the religious world doesn’t want you to know, and understand because when you do…you really get the understanding that justification, salvation, and reconciliation is NOT your responsibility…and that there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to earn it, get it, buy it, or maintain it.

It’s amazing isn’t it?  I wrote this in February.  It’s now October.  You know…when you basically say the same thing as you did before…and it’s said again by inspiration of the Holy Ghost…then what you have here is absolute truth because the Holy Ghost only exalts Jesus and the Word of God.  He leads and guides into what?  All truth.

I promise you that I didn’t read what I wrote back in February until just now…and it’s almost exactly what I just wrote here in October.  “The moment that you confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior by faith is the moment you were reconciled, justified, and made righteous.  This was all made possible by one thing…the Blood of Jesus.

39  One of the criminals who was suspended kept up a railing at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ (the Messiah)? Rescue Yourself and us [from death]!40  But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty?41  And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way [nothing strange or eccentric or perverse or unreasonable].42  Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory!43  And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Luke 23:39-43 AMP

One of my favorite stores in the entire Bible is the story of here about the thief on the Cross.  You see…if you really, truly believe the Bible (like I do) then you believe that when you get to Heaven (like I do) that one of the people that’s going to be there to greet you is this thief on the Cross whom Jesus promised Paradise to.  But the important thing about this story is that it illustrates just how simple reconciliation with God is.  It’s here that we see Romans 5:9 (AMP) illustrated.

Remember those words!?!  Acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right standing with God.  Now here’s the part that blows the religious mind again.  If there was anything other than being a “whosoever” that calls upon the name of the Lord for salvation…then the Bible lied to us.  How can I say that?  The thief was on a cross next to Jesus right?  Did he have time to atone for all he had done? Did he have time to get baptized?  Did he have time to be filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues?

I’ll help you with answering those questions.  The answer is no…to all of them.  Yet…Jesus said to him:  “THIS day you WILL be with me in Paradise”.  Friends…the thief on the Cross was reconciled to God right there on the Cross.  There wasn’t time for him to do anything other than call upon Jesus as Lord…and then death came.

So…here’s the truth.  Either it really isn’t that simple, and the Bible lied to us all…or the Bible is true…and that thief will be there just like Peter, James, John, Paul, David, Abraham, Smith Wigglesworth, TD Jakes, and all else who called upon Jesus to be Lord…that thief is going to be there to greet us too.  I don’t know about you, but I choose to believe the Bible’s account that thief had with Jesus, and when Jesus said to him:  “This day you’ll be with Me in Paradise.”…I believe that’s where the thief is, and that he’s going to be there to greet me along with the others when I get to Heaven.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot believe that justification is instant, and believe that you have to earn your way into heaven. Because YOU CAN’T. There is absolutely, positively NO way to earn your way into heaven…it cannot be done, and if you believe it can then you do not believe that the Cross was enough.

This is the truth.  You can’t have it both ways.  Either everything we receive is by grace through faith…or it’s not.  Why?  Because faith and works are direct opposites of one another.  I know…I know.  There’s always the argument that comes from showing our faith by our works, but that’s not talking about salvation.

Listen.  Everything…and I mean everything operates in God’s Kingdom by love.  There isn’t anything that happens in God’s Kingdom without love.  I know that’s hard to understand, but the chief characteristic about all of them is that God is what?  LOVE.  Jesus said you’ll know my people by what?  LOVE.  Faith, hope, and love…the greatest is what?  LOVE.  If you’re in ministry, if you volunteer at the homeless shelter every week, and speak in tongues…it’s worthless if it’s done without what?  LOVE.

Friends…the work that faith should lead to is LOVE not salvation.  Look, I just said that everything in the Kingdom operates by LOVE.  The key to accessing everything in the Kingdom is FAITH.  The greatest work in the Kingdom is SERVICE…the work of service is done out of what?  LOVE.

So…all this talk about revealing our faith by our works…if our works aren’t producing love…they are useless.  The only way to show faith is by the fruit of LOVE.  If LOVE isn’t your proof…then it doesn’t show FAITH…it shows PRIDE.

If you’re attempting to prove you belong to God by works…then you’re no better than the goats who are going to beat their chests before God talking about how they did this, they did that, and how good a person and how hard a worker for the Kingdom they were…but God’s not going to be impressed by that.  In fact, He’s going to say to them:  “Away from Me…I never knew you.”  Why?  Why is it that God won’t be impressed by their works?  Because they weren’t done out of LOVE, but PRIDE.

If you’re attempting to receive justification, sanctification, redemption, reconciliation, and right standing with God by your works…you won’t get it…because it cannot be earned…it can only be received.

The truth is that there is NOTHING we can do. That’s where John 14:6 comes in again. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father, but by Me. I didn’t say that…Jesus did. I didn’t tell the thief on the cross that the moment they died the would be in paradise together…Jesus did. Did Jesus lie to the thief?

And we’re back to the thief.  Do you believe that thief is in Paradise with Jesus or don’t you?

If you believe the thief is in heaven then stop trying to work to earn something you can’t. Sure, we should get baptized, we should get filled with the Holy Spirit, we should start walking with God, and we should start day by day looking more like a Christian and less like the world…but it really, truly is this simple.

So…that’s all from verse nine, and there’s plenty more that can be said on this.  However, I think that it’s time to move on, and see what we can get from the rest of the message.

Look at this. Here’s verse 10. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life.”

Look…Paul didn’t say that we’re trying to become reconciled.  He didn’t say that if we got baptized, cleaned up our lives, and worked to keep the ten commandments we would one day be reconciled.  Paul writes that we ARE reconciled.  Friends…does anyone other than me know that ARE is a “right now” word?  I mean ARE is present tense.

In fact, here’s something the Lord spoke to my heart the day before I was wrote this message:

“We all died on the Cross with Christ. We all went to hell with Christ. We all rose again with Christ blameless, holy, and in right standing with God.”

If that doesn’t make you shout…nothing will.  We all died with Christ, we all went to hell with Christ, we all rose again with Christ, and to add to that…because Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father (and we’re in Christ) we are sitting at the right hand of the Father too.  We ARE reconciled…and we ARE seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.  Now, I think I just wrote myself happy!

We are is present tense.  That means right now at this very moment if you have believed in your heart the what the Bible says about Jesus and the Cross is true, and based upon that belief you confessed that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior by calling upon Him as Lord…then you are fully, flawlessly, and perfectly reconciled to God…now…today…at this very moment…and there’s nothing that you can do or not do that changes the fact that you are reconciled to God.

Friends.  I wrote the first message to this series eight months ago, and I can promise you that I didn’t read that message before I started writing this one.  So…what I’m about to say is another shouting point.  I’m writing the same things today that I did eight months ago…and do you know why that is?

Because it doesn’t matter when I write this…this is truth.  If the Lord leads me to write about this again in another eight months…I’m probably going to say the same thing again…because truth is truth.  The Holy Spirit is saying the same things to my heart today He did eight months ago…and even if I waited years before talking about this subject…I’m certain I could and would write the same things.

Listen it’s not truth because I write it…it’s truth because the Holy Spirit is speaking it, and it’s also truth because it lines up with the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit is never going to have me write anything that’s contrary to what’s written in the Bible…so the fact that we’re almost repeating what we wrote eight months ago…this is exciting to me…because it’s the Holy Ghost.

Verse 11 reads:  ”Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.”

I just wrote about verse 10 that we “are” reconciled, and that “are” is present tense.  So then, Paul follows up with verse 11, and writes that we have NOW received our reconciliation.  When did we receive our reconciliation?  When we called upon the name of the Lord to be saved…we received our reconciliation right then and there…and because of that we can enjoy our reconciliation NOW.

Friends…we don’t have to wait till we get to Heaven to enjoy our reconciled relationship with God.  We can enjoy it NOW because we are reconciled to God right NOW.  We’re not waiting for some wonderful day in the sweet by and by…we are saved, we are sanctified, we are justified, we are righteous, we are redeemed, and we are reconciled right NOW…today…at this very moment.

Come on…if that don’t get you shouting than you’re full of dead religion, and you’re probably steaming mad right now because none of this sounds religious at all.  But…if you are a whosoever, and you have called upon the name of the Lord…you ARE reconciled to God…RIGHT NOW.

Praise the name of Jesus!  Glory to God.  Hallelujah!   Oh friend, I don’t know how to make this any clearer or more plain.  I don’t have the words to describe how awesome this is…and what revelation just came to me as I was writing that we are able to enjoy reconciliation RIGHT NOW.

Friend…that’s the goal of Christlike Ministries NWA.  For all of us to enjoy that intimate…personal relationship with God…NOW.  Verse 11 is confirmation that we’re not waiting for the opportunity to one day have a personal, intimate relationship with a God who is our loving Father…we can enjoy God as that right NOW because we ARE reconciled to Him…right NOW.

GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! Anyone other than me happy right now?  Anyone else shouting on the inside?  My oh my…what an awesome message this has become.  I think I’m just gonna stop this message right here.  If you want to read more from the first time I wrote this message than click on this link right here:  Reconciliation Day 4 February 2012, and you’ll be taken right to it.

Conclusion:

I know it’s taken a while for me to get this message finished, but my work schedule has once again kind of worn me down.  I hope that this message was worth waiting for…and thank all of you who were patient enough to wait for it to be posted.

I realize we’re behind in both of our series…and will do my best to catch us up and get this one and the American Bible Challenge Week 2 back on track…

The Christlike Ministries NWA Prayer for Salvation:

Friend…do you know Jesus?  Are you a whosoever that’s still waiting for that day when you feel worthy to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved?  I want you to know that today is that day.  Friend…you can come to Jesus right now, today, and just as you are…and you too can be reconciled right now…today.

It’s really easy to do.  All you have to do is do like Paul writes.  Believe in your heart that everything Jesus did on the Cross was for you, and then become a whosoever that confesses with their mouth that you need Jesus to be your Lord and Savior…you don’t need some fancy prayer…all you have to do is say something like this out loud with your whole heart…and you will be reconciled to God.

Dear Lord Jesus…come into my heart.  Forgive me of my sin.  Wash me, cleanse me, and set me free.  Jesus, thank You that You died for me.  I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You’re coming back for me.  Place me IN Your Ark right now, today.  Fill me with the Holy Ghost.  Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God, and a holy boldness to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I boldly confess that I am a whosoever that has called upon the name of the Lord…that I am IN the Ark…and that I am saved…I am born again…I am forgiven…I am the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus…and I am In the Ark and on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.  In Jesus name I pray…Amen!

Friend, if you prayed that simple prayer…you are saved, you are sanctified, and you ARE reconciled to God.  Welcome to the Body of Christ.