Much More Heaven on Earth (Romans Sermon 30 of 120)
June 10, 2001 | Andrew Davis
Assurance of Salvation
I. Assurance: Tasting Heaven While on Earth
We're going to focus this morning on Verses 9-11. About 400 years ago, a Puritan theologian named Thomas Brooks, wrote a book on Christian assurance called 'Heaven on Earth.' Isn't that a great title? 'Heaven on Earth.' To experience here on Earth a foretaste of heaven… I think that would affect everything, wouldn't it? If you could be walking daily with that kind of sense of assurance of salvation and all that it meant for it to trickle down and affect every area of your life. For it to affect your marriage. For it to affect the way you work, the way you pray, the way you live, the way you face temptation, Heaven on Earth. And that's my purpose today.
I want to read a few quotes from Brooks. Brooks did a great deal of thinking on assurance, and I think they're marvelous. Listen to this.
"Assurance is glory in the bud. It is the suburbs of paradise." Isn't that great? The suburbs of paradise, glory in the bud. And he said, "Assurance is the sense that I am wholly his, [Christ's]. I'm peculiarly his. I am universally his. I am eternally his." And then this, "It is the very drift and design of the whole Scripture, to bring souls first to an acquaintance with Christ, then to an acceptance of Christ, and then to build in them a sweet assurance of their actual interest in Christ."
So there's three points, all of them begin with A. Acquaintance with Christ, acceptance of Christ, and then assurance with Christ. I'll preach that sermon some other day. But that was Brooks. And then he said this in, 'Heaven on Earth'. It says,
"To be in a state of true grace is to be miserable no more. It is to be happy forever. A soul in this state is a soul near and dear to God. It is a soul much beloved, and highly valued of God. It is a soul housed in God. Housed in God, is a soul safe in the everlasting arms. It's a soul fully and eminently interested in all the highest and noblest privileges. The being in a state of grace makes a man's condition happy, safe, and sure. But the seeing, the knowing of himself to be in such a state is that which renders his life sweet and comfortable."
You see how he makes a distinction between being and knowing. You can be in a state of grace. You can be justified and not have that full assurance. That's why I'm preaching through this. I wanna labor that those of you who are already justified through faith in Christ might have a full, a rich, a deep assurance of that salvation.
"The being in a state of grace will yield a man heaven hereafter, but the seeing of himself in this state will yield him both a heaven here and a heaven hereafter. It will render him, therefore, doubly blessed. Blessed in heaven and blessed in his own conscience." That's worth laboring for, isn't it?
And it's to that purpose that God gave us Romans 5:1-11. Paul's goal here in the verses we're going to look at today is much more heaven on earth. That we might have much more of an experience of our justification, much more of an assurance of our salvation. Now, we've seen already in the gospel, that the gospel is the message, the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16. And then Paul unfolds in Romans 1 through Romans 3, the middle of three, the need for justification, every single one of us, all of us, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, old and young. It doesn't matter what our national origin. All of us have sinned. All of us lack the glory of God. All of us need to be justified. Every last one of us stands guilty before God. And there is a great and an active wrath that God has against us for sin. Something we'll talk about more this morning because it's in this text.
But God has this wrath and he has in Romans 3, it says that he poured out his wrath on Jesus. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. He is the atoning sacrifice. Well, how do we appropriate that for ourselves? How can we receive this forgiveness? How can it be ours? Well, by faith alone apart from works. Not by working it out by doing good things by works of the law, not at all, but simply by faith. Simply by trusting, justification by faith alone." And so in Romans 4, he gives us the example of Abraham, who simply looked out of the stars and believed a message from God, "So shall your offspring be." And the moment he believed he was declared righteous by God. It's just that simple. You hear a promise from God and you believe it. And this promise is far greater than Abraham's, isn't it? "So shall your offspring be" s the star promise that God made to Abraham. But we get far more, not more than Abraham but more in the promise. The promise of complete forgiveness of sins and eternity in heaven forever and ever if we simply believe.
And then in Romans 5:1-11, he labors to show the effects of justification by faith alone, and that is assurance of salvation. So I've just given you a kind of context and now we're zeroing in, and we've already seen in assurance, why assurance is so important. First of all, it's important for assurance of salvation itself. If you have no assurance of salvation, it may very well be that you have never been justified. And if you have never been justified, you're under the wrath of God. If you were to die today, you would go to hell forever and ever. This is a serious issue. If you have no assurance of salvation, it maybe you've never been justified, and therefore this is important. But if you have been justified but have a poor assurance of salvation, this affects everything, doesn't it? It affects your present joy and peace.
Assurance is a good gift from God. He wants us to enjoy a perfect peace and a perfect joy, and if we don't have that assurance we won't enjoy that. And it therefore will affect I think our fruitfulness. We will do less for God because we're so inward focused. We've got a poor conscience. We're struggling with sins. We're wrestling through things. All of that because we don't understand justification. If our conscience is troubled and we fear for our souls, we will be much less fruitful for Christ, but if we have full assurance, we'll be much more fruitful, more impervious to the devil's accusations, much bolder in evangelism. And also, our good works will be done for absolutely the right motives.
What can wash away my sins? Not all your good deeds. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. And then after that, all the good deeds flow out of thankfulness and gratitude, a desire to build the kingdom of Christ, but not an inward focus that you may somehow pay for your salvation. And then ultimately, a good solid assurance gives glory to God. And that's where we're going to end up in our passage today. It ends up giving glory to God. You boast in God, you brag in God, you glory and exalt in God because you realize there's nothing inside you to boast about or brag about or glory in, but in God alone.
II. Context: More Links in the Chain
Look with me. We're going to read the full 11 verses. And we're going to try to understand most especially Verses 9-11.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
The Unbreakable Chain of Seven Links
One of my favorite Bible expositors is John MacArthur. And he saw in these 11 verses, a chain of six unbreakable links that links us to our salvation. An unbreakable chain of six links. Well, I found another one, so I've got seven in there, with apologies to a man greater than I in expositing Scripture. But they are.
- Peace with God
Number one, peace with God. Look at Verse 1 again. "Since we have now been justified through faith, we have peace with God." This is a new status. And this is going to come more alive today as we understand that, we were God's enemies, it says. In the text we're looking at today, we were enemies with God, but now through faith in Jesus Christ, everything has changed. And we are no longer at war with God, and God no longer at war with us," link number one.
- Standing in Grace
Link number two, we are standing in grace. We have gained access by faith into this new standing in grace. We used to have an old standing. It was like a country that we were a citizen of, and we have transferred our citizenship to a new kingdom. We used to live under wrath, under judgment, under condemnation. We're going to find in the rest of Romans Chapter 5. We were in Adam, original sinners. We were under condemnation and under sin. And we have been transferred now into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are now standing in grace. It's a whole new standing. And I also like the picture of standing in graces. Oh, it's a cleansing shower, washing sin from us at all times because we sin all the time, don't we? And it's so tragic. And the more you go on in your Christian life, and read, and see how holy God is, the more you'll understand how much you need grace every moment. And we are standing in grace.
- Hope of Glory
And number three, we have a hope of glory. We actually boast in it. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And this means, I think our own personal glorification, as Jesus said we will shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father. Isn't that going to be something? You got to think about that for a minute. You look over to a Christian brother or sister, and realize, "Some day, he or she is going to shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father." Will that affect how we treat one another? It's incredible. But we boast in this glory that's coming, and we also rejoice in our tribulations.
- Tribulations Producing Proven Character
Number four, tribulations can't separate us from Christ. No, they actually prove, they test and prove our faith. As we go through trials in a certain way, our faith is proved genuine. And we end up with an even greater hope. We have a tested proven character.
- Spirit-Poured Love
And then number five, the Holy Spirit pours out his love into our hearts. You see this chain of assurance that just is building here in Romans Chapter 5. The Holy Spirit testifies to us that we're children of God. He pours out his love into our hearts. And then we have the great display of Jesus Christ crucified in history. Nothing can erase that. God demonstrates his love for us. And while we were sinners, Christ died for us. We have this display, and that is the love that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts. It's a love of an act in history, 2000 years ago. No one, no potentate or king can ever erase an act of history. It is what it is. And Jesus died 2000 years ago that we might have eternal life.
- Saved by His Life
And then number six, saved by his life. We're going to talk about that today.
- Exulting in God
And number seven, exulting in God. Do you see this incredible assurance, this whole body of assurance working in us?
Now, I organized assurance into three kinds of categories. Steps to assurance you could call it, but all three work together. An assurance reasoned out in the mind, you remember that? Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. There's certain things that we know because the Bible said so, and we believe those promises and we reason out the implications, and our assurance grows as we think more and more about it, and we reason it out. We're going to do that today. Today's text is the highest and greatest form of reasoned out assurance. There's much more argumentation that Paul does.
And then secondly, an assurance worked out in the life. You're going to see changes happening in you. What you boast in or what you exult in and what you enjoy and delight in changes when you become a Christian, doesn't it? You change. You're a different person. And as a result, as Jesus said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad. For a tree is known by its fruit." So if you have become a... Because of justification by faith, a good tree, you're going to bear good fruit, an assurance worked out in the life.
And then thirdly, an assurance poured out into the heart by the Holy Spirit. All three of these work together to give a solid assurance. These are the three categories. If you see none of those three, you're probably not a Christian. And if you're not a Christian, you're still under the wrath and curse of God. And today must be for you a day of salvation. Today must be the day for you to give your life to Christ. It's a terrifying thing to be under the wrath of God. But if you see this assurance in you, it can grow. Reason out in the mind, worked out in your life, poured out into your heart by the Holy Spirit.
III. Backdrop: Wrath & Reconciliation
Now we're going to look at a little bit of the backdrop of assurance. And I wonder sometimes about Americans today. I wonder about Christians. I think we don't think much about the wrath of God. I think we don't think much about hell. Jesus talked a great deal about hell. And the wrath of God that's mentioned in our text today is a future wrath. It's a wrath that is coming. It is a biblical truth. We have universalistic tendencies. We have a sense that everybody's going to be alright. Everybody is going to go to heaven, one way or another, they're going to get there somehow. The Bible doesn't teach this. Does it? And so therefore to people who understand the wrath of God and hell, assurance is precious. It is absolutely precious. But for those who don't grip these biblical doctrines, assurance is relatively worthless. It doesn't mean much to you. Because everybody is going to go to heaven anyway, and besides which, God has no wrath against sin, right?
But is the wrath of God a biblical reality? It's clear in this passage. Look at verse 9. "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" So it's clear in this passage. There is a future wrath. Shall we be saved? That's future. We will be saved from God's wrath, a future wrath through Christ. It's also clear earlier in Romans. Romans 1:18, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness."
And then in Romans 2:5, "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God 'will give to each person according to what he has done.'" That is clear biblical teaching. Jesus taught it too. Luke 12:4-5, "I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear him who after the killing of the body has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." This is the words of Jesus and we must hear him. We must understand what a threat this is.
And then finally, it's clear in Christ's death. What is it that killed Jesus? Wasn't the Romans. It was the wrath of God that killed Jesus. What do you think it meant when Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" What is that coming from him. The Son of God experiencing the wrath that we deserve for our sins.
The Denial of God’s Wrath in Liberalism
Now liberalism, a false form of Christianity which is no Christianity at all, denies this. Does it not? It denies the wrath of God. God has no wrath toward sinners only love. He only has love. And our greatest need is to just know and experience this love. We must come to understand that God loves us all. There's no wrath. There's no hell. There's no judgment. Only love. This is not Christianity. This is false teaching. H. Richard Niebuhr in 1937 wrote a book called 'The Kingdom of God in America' and this is how he summarized the liberal gospel, "A God without wrath, brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Is that Christianity? No.
I'll read it again. "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." That is not Christianity and it's not what Paul is talking about. But instead we have an understanding that the wrath of God and the love of God both exist in the same eternal being. There's no schizophrenia. Not at all. Realize that the love of God and the wrath of God are two aspects of his personality. And the wrath of God is his aggressive passion concerning his own holiness and his own righteousness. It is a form of love, about purity and about his own glory.
Now, what is our need? If we were under judgment, if we were under the wrath of God, we need to change, don't we? We need a reconciliation. We need to change relationship, realize what we were apart from Christ. We learned last week, we were helpless. We were ungodly. We were sinners. In today's text, we were enemies, that's what we were. And what was God to us? That's what we were to God, what was God to us? Why we hated God? We were at war against him. There was something... There was an enmity in our heart against God. It says in Romans 8:7, "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."
And then in Ephesians 2:1-3 it says, "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts." Listen to this, "Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath." By nature, children of wrath, Ephesians 2:3.
Now how in the world can somebody who is by nature a child of wrath become a child of God? How can that happen? Well through the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's how it happens, but if you don't have the backdrop of wrath and of judgment, assurance of salvation means nothing. It's worthless assurance. Our greatest need is reconciliation with God. I may be speaking today to people who have never come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You're greatest need is to be reconciled with God. It said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "We are therefore Christ ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you, we beg you. Be reconciled to God."
Now it says in our verse, it says, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him? For if when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through his son…" Isn't that beautiful? A reconciliation and notice that it's passive. It's something that happens to us, something that God does. We have been reconciled. Now, I tell you the full implications of this reconciliation where we were enemies and now we're made reconciled will not be seen in this world, but you will see it if you have been justified, you will see the full implications of the fact that God is now your friend and more than that, your adoptive Father. What an incredible thing.
IV. “Much More” Assurance
But Paul and God through Paul are laboring that we might have much more assurance and so they're working, he's working with us, working with our minds, and people think in terms of much more assurance. They think how can the reasoning process have anything to do with faith? Aren't they two different things? When I was at MIT, they kept telling me that, "How can you a reasonable person believe these things?" As though reason and belief are mutually exclusive. Not at all, not at all. See what faith does is it accepts invisible truths as truth, and then we can use our minds and extend those truths into new areas. The more you meditate on these things, the stronger your assurance gets. It's an assurance that's worked out in the mind, reasoned out in the mind, and we know that because Paul is doing some logic with us here.
He's saying, "If this, then that…" Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more having been justified shall we be saved? There's a how much more language. If A is true, how much more will B be true. You see how it's working. So there's a logic, he's reasoning with us. Okay well, let's give an illustration. It's a reasoning from the greater to the less, from the more surprising to the less surprising, from the harder to do to the easier to do. Imagine an Olympic power lifter… As I was thinking about the sermon, I was thinking he had to be Bulgarian. So imagine a Bulgarian power lifter, have you seen these guys? They're unbelievable. Strong chest and big arms, and this guy won the gold medal in his weight class, and he has just finished receiving his medal and the Bulgarian national anthem is playing whatever that is. Does anyone know what the Bulgarian national anthem sounds like? I don't, but anyway, he has won the gold medal, comes down off the podium and his little 2-year-old son comes kind of toddling over to him.
If he can pick up a gold medals worth of weight, how much more can he pick up his 2-year-old son? You see how it works? It's an argument from the greater to the lesser. If he can do this, surely he can do that. That's how it's working. Well, Paul uses this. Romans 8:32 is an argument from the greater to lesser, "He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not along with him graciously give us all things?" Other things that are so much less than Jesus.
You see how it works? Is there anything in all the universe as valuable to God the Father as God the Son? And he gave him up to death for us, full gift. Then he'll give anything that helps his cause and helps your soul and his kingdom. Anything is yours. Argument greater to lesser. Jesus did the same, remember? Remember in the Sermon on the Mount, we're talking about how Jesus argues us out of anxiety? If that is how God clothes the grass in the field consider the lilies of the field. If that's how he clothes the grass in the field which is here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith. If A is true, much more will B be true. That's how it works. Or he does this in terms of prayer. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
You see how it works. It's an argument from the greater to the less. Well, how does it work here? Apparently, in God's way of thinking and in Paul's way of thinking, it was a greater thing to get you justified than to keep you saved for the rest of your life. You see how that works? It was harder to get you forgiven, than it is to keep you there and bring you the rest of the way to heaven, harder for him.
Now that might not make sense, we've got years to go some of us. Lots of temptations to face, lots of opportunities to blaspheme Christ, lots of opportunities to apostatize and fall away, right? But in God's way of thinking, it was harder to get you saved justified than it is to keep you there the rest of the way. Apart from Christ, we were helpless, we were ungodly, we were sinners, we were enemies. He gave his perfect son and poured out his life blood, that is a greater thing than now that we are adopted children of God and growing in grace and walking with him and yearning to love him and please him will he save us. A dead Jesus with his blood poured out on the cross got you justified, a living Jesus will most certainly keep you the rest of the way.
You see how the argument goes. So you've got it. We'll understand the greater to the lesser argument. Let me give you another illustration. This did not really happen, but just I'm trying to illustrate a point. Imagine during the Vietnam War, a soldier fighting in 1971, near Da Nang, hears the cries of a little boy in a bungalow, and he's had just about all he can take of death and destruction, and he wants to do something to do with life. And he runs across a field of fire, and he grabs this little boy and he runs back and in running, he gets hit, he gets injured, the boy's safe, but he's injured, he keeps going, he manages to get him to safety. He finds out once the battle's over that the little boy's parents were killed in that firefight and so now this boy's an orphan, and so he sets him up in an orphanage and continues to keep in touch with him.
He provides for him, provides lesson maybe English lessons, because he already has in mind, he wants to adopt this boy. And he provides for him, he gives him food and clothing, and then he starts to work with the agencies and pulls in every IOU he's ever got from the military and he managed to get that boy out of the country and sets him up in his home, loves him, cares for him, and then one day, the little boy looks up at him and says, "Daddy, will I be with you next year? Will I stay with you?" Now he who risked his life in a firefight running across machine gun bullets and all that was wounded for him, paid for him to get out of the country and went through the legal steps of adoption. If he did all that, is he going to keep him for another year? Absolutely and that's the same argumentation that's going on here.
Past Justification Guarantees Future Salvation
Past justification guarantees future glorification. Get that in your mind. If I am justified today, I will someday shine like the sun in the kingdom of heaven. So the issue is, am I justified today? That's what we have to know, but am I, if I am justified today, I will most certainly be saved in the future. By the way, I mentioned this to our class on Wednesday evening, and by the way, all of you are invited, it's not just for Sunday School teachers, but for everybody.
But we're talking about how Southern Baptist tend to use the word "saved" interchangeably with justified. They are not interchangeable terms. Salvation is bigger than justification. It's true that we have been saved. It says that in Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace, have you been saved through faith" in Christ. That's justified, but it's not done yet. We've still got a ways to go. We're going into sanctification and Romans 6, 7, and 8 deals with that. So we are presently being saved, aren't we? Sanctification's going on every day. We're growing in godliness, we're putting sin to death, we're growing to love the things of God.
That's a present salvation going on in our lives, and there is a future salvation too, isn't there? And really in two parts, one in that Judgment Day hasn't happened yet, has it? You may think you have a course down in college or whatever, but if the final exam hasn't happened yet, you haven't passed the test yet. Judgment Day hasn't come yet. The wrath of God has not yet been poured out on this earth. How do you know you're going to survive that? That's the purpose of the passage here. And also, there's a future salvation in what will happen to us, we will be glorified as already mentioned.
Salvation's bigger than just justification. But if you have been justified, you will finish the whole course, you're going to finish the salvation plan that God has. No way you will jump out, it's impossible.
V. Saved By His Life
Now in Verse 10, he gives us even stronger assurance. It says, "For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, how much more having been reconciled shall we be saved by his life?"
So here is the how much more: If dead Jesus did this, living Jesus will do this. This is how it works. Now there's two senses of this, either it means that Christ is alive for me, he's doing certain things for me now that he's alive or secondly Christ is alive in me. I believe it's both, I believe it's both. The living resurrected Christ is doing things for you if you're justified. What is he doing? Well, first of all, he's interceding for you, he's praying for you all the time. It says in Romans 8:34, "Christ Jesus, who died more than that, is that how much more, more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God, and is interceding for us."
How do you think the Father hears the prayers of the Son? Very gladly. The Father gives the Son every thing he asks, and he's praying for you. He is saturating your life with prayer right now, and everything he asks he gets. So Christ as Intercessor and also Christ as Protector, remember? Who was it that said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Who said that to Saul of Tarsus? It was Jesus protecting his flock, also protecting Saul of Tarsus from eternal damnation by saving him. He is the Good Shepherd, isn't he? And the Good Shepherd takes care of his flock. The Good Shepherd doesn't lose any of his flock. The Good Shepherd goes out. He's not the hired hand. He goes out and meets the dangers that are coming on the flock. He is a protector of the sheep, you see? He's a living Savior. He's going to preserve, protect, and defend you until you make it the rest of the way.
So a living Jesus is interceding for you and protecting you, but more than that, a living Jesus is inside you changing you forever. Isn't that beautiful? The moment you become a Christian, Jesus comes and lives inside you. Romans 8, it says, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit of the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin yet your spirit alive because of righteousness." Christ in you, the hope of glory. Jesus Christ will come and make his home with you, living within you. Is he active or passive when he lives inside you? What do you think? Does he come in there and just kind of accept you as you are? Well, in manner of speaking I suppose, but he's not going to leave you that way. He loves you too much to leave you that way. Sin is devastating to the life and so he will love you enough to transform you. He's going to be working in you, changing you, and this gives you increased assurance too.
You're not the person you were the day you got saved. You've been changed. Isn't that beautiful? And so this is ever increasing assurance. From greater to less, you were a wrath-filled enemy the day you got justified. God justifies the ungodly, but you're not ungodly anymore because Jesus is living inside you and transforming you from within. That's the logic and that's the work that he's doing. Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing." So we are in Christ and Christ is in us, and out of that union comes a flow of good fruit. That's that worked out in a life assurance, a flow of good fruit. You're being transformed.
VI. We Exult in God
And the final step is in verse 11, We exult in God. "Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God, [or exalt in God, or boast in God] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." The end result of our salvation is praise for God. That's what comes. At the end of all of this is glory for God, worship for God, praise for God. God gets the glory. You get the joy. God gets the glory. You get the salvation. God gets the glory. You get the streets of gold and the mansion and you get all that, but God gets the credit and the glory, and why? Because you are helpless. You are ungodly. You are a sinner. You were a rebel, and there's nothing inside you except all of that and now God has transformed you. He gets the glory. He gets full credit, and you are glad to give it to him.
At the end, you're going to be saying not, "what a good job I've done," salvation by works. "What a ladder I've climbed, a stairway to heaven." "Every step I did it my way," and in the end you can boast in yourself. Absolutely not. No one will be boasting in heaven except about God. We exalt in God. And what do you think…Remember we began this sermon talking about heaven on earth? What are they doing in heaven right now? What do you think? What are they doing in heaven?
They're exalting in God. They're praising God, and so you want heaven on earth? Praise God. Worship God. Give glory and praise to God. Listen to this. Revelation 19, "After this, I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting, 'Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. '" Isn't that wonderful? We're going to exalt in God. And so what's happened is, we are presently exalting in God. We have been transformed from being an enemy to being somebody who wants to see God exalted. We can pray from our heart, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, may God be exalted on earth. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." We can pray this, because we've been transformed by his Spirit. "Hallelujah," it says, and we're going to be saying it too.
Well, how do we apply this? What do we learn. As we looked at Romans 5:1-11, we've seen the links of a chain of assurance, one after the other.
And I want to say to you, Christian, be assured of your salvation. If you've been justified, you will most certainly make it to heaven. There's no doubt about it. You're free from any concern about that. Now, pour out those good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do, and do them for his glory, build his kingdom.
And if you're not a Christian, can I say to you with all the tenderness in my heart, flee the wrath to come. Verse 9 speaks of a coming wrath. There is one place to flee and that is to Jesus Christ. In a few moments, I'm going to be down at the front. If any of you would like to come to Christ, or you want to pray with me, I'll be here. If you want to come after the service and talk to me, come to Christ today. Won't you close with me in prayer.
Heavenly Father, we do thank you for what we've learned today. We thank you for the how much more assurance, oh Lord. Much more heaven on earth I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ who have already been justified that they would understand this assurance and that they would rejoice in it and exalt in God. And for any here who have not yet trusted in Christ, I pray that today would be for them, a day of salvation. We pray this in Jesus' name, amen.