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2021 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - Without a Doubt - Part 1

Robert Jeffress - Without a Doubt - Part 1


Robert Jeffress - Without a Doubt - Part 1
Robert Jeffress - Without a Doubt - Part 1
TOPICS: Grace-Powered Living, Doubts

Hi, I'm Dr. Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to "Pathway to Victory". When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by eating the forbidden fruit, they brought sin into the world, and their sinful choice put us at odds with our Creator. But when Jesus died on the cross, he provided a way for men and women everywhere to be restored. So how can you and I be certain that we're in a right standing with God? Is it even something we can be absolutely certain of? My message is titled "Without a Doubt" on today's edition of "Pathway to Victory".

The great novelist HG Wells very honestly described his own inability to find any peace in his life. He wrote, "I cannot adjust my life to secure any fruitful peace. Here I am at 64, still seeking peace. It is a hopeless dream". HG Wells is not unique. Many people go through life without any peace. They feel like they are helpless victims of adverse circumstances, hateful people or simply bad luck, and it's that lack of control most people feel over their lives that makes them resentful of their past, discontent with their present, and fearful of their future. HG Wells was right. Peace is an elusive dream for most people. The fact is, you will never find lasting peace in your life until, first of all, you are at peace with God. And that's the theme of the passage we're going to look at this morning.

I want you to take your Bibles and I want you to turn to Romans chapter five as we look at four very practical benefits of being justified, being righteous with God without any doubt. Romans chapter five. We're in the heart of this study of the book of Romans, and remember, Paul's theme in this book is that righteousness, that's simply a word that means a right relationship with God. Righteousness is available only to those who trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. We saw in chapter three, verse 28, that we are justified, made right with God apart from our works. It is by faith and the grace of God. And that's what makes Christianity unique from all other religions. All other religions say that it is works, or works plus grace. No, the Bible says it is grace alone received through faith.

So Paul says in Romans 3:28, "For we maintain that a man is justified by his faith, apart from the works of the law," and to illustrate that, in chapter four, he uses the story of Abraham. Everybody agreed Abraham was a good man, a righteous man, but what was it that made him right before God? We saw last time, Abraham was declared righteous apart from his works, apart from religious ritual, and apart from keeping the law. Now, you may be saying, "So what? What difference does that make to me"? Well, when we come to chapter five, we find the practical application. Paul is going to share four benefits, four very tangible benefits that come from the assurance that you are in a right relationship with God. First of all, he says righteousness, a right relationship with God gives us peace with a holy God. Look at chapter five, verse one. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".

Now, you need to understand, there is a difference between the peace of God and peace with God. The Bible often speaks of the peace of God or the peace of Jesus. For example, in Colossians 3:13, Paul writes, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart". And we've seen before, that word rule is an athletic term in Greek. It means to umpire. You know what an empire does in a baseball game. He sits behind the batter, and when the balls come over the plate, his job is to call those balls. What kind of balls are they? Is it a strike or is it a legitimate pitch? Now, the umpire doesn't control the pitches that come across the plate. His job is simply to render a judgment about them. Well, that's the word that is used here. Paul says, you need to allow the peace of Jesus to have the final say over circumstances in your life. You and I can't control the curve balls that life throws us at some times, but we can choose whether or not to allow Christ to have the final say. Instead of panicking, we say, because God is in control of my life, there is a purpose for that. That's what the peace of Christ means.

How do you experience the peace of Christ? Paul says in Philippians 4, verses six to seven, "Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Let your requests be made known to God, and don't forget to thank him for his answers. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus". The greatest antidote to worry is prayer, and when you pray, you can have the same peace that characterized the life of Jesus Christ. That's what the peace of God is. But that's not what Paul is talking about in Romans chapter five. He's not talking about the peace of God. He is talking about peace with God. We need to know we are at peace with God, and when you're in a right standing with God, you have that assurance you're at peace with God.

You say, "Well, why do I need that"? You may be like Henry David Thoreau, who said, "I'm not at war with God. Why do I need God's peace, to be at peace with God? I'm not at war with God". That may be true. You may not think you're at war with God, but did you know, apart from Jesus Christ, God is at war with you. Now, you don't hear that talked about much today, that God is at war. He is against non-Christians. But that's what the Bible says. In Romans chapter one, verse 18, Paul says, "For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth of God by their wickedness".

Folks, today our culture has created a God in its own image. We have created this idea of God who approves of everything and judges nothing. That is not the God of the Bible. God is at war against those who commit wickedness. I saw just a great illustration this week. After my address at the Washington man of prayer, this week in Washington, the liberal blogs lit up like a Christmas tree, saying, "I dare this pastor say that we are deserving of the wrath of God if we disobey the commands of God". What was interesting to me was the number of Christians who objected to that idea as well. They said God is not a God of judgment. He is a God of love. He loves everybody. He judges nobody. And that's the idea we've created of God, a God who sits in heaven, and if we happen mess to up, well, that's okay. If we keep on Messing up, that's okay. It doesn't matter who you are, what faith you are. God doesn't judge you. His job is simply to forgive you, no matter what you do and how long you keep doing it. That is not the God of the Bible.

Romans 1:18 says, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all Godlessness and the wickedness of people who suppress the truth of God by their wickedness". When you are born into this world, when I'm born into this world, we are not born as children of God. We're not even born spiritually neutral. The Bible says when we come into this world, we come as children of Satan. We come as enemies of God, and we'll discover why that is next week. The Bible says all mankind is by nature ungodly against God. But the good news of the cross that the choir sang about is when you trust in Christ to remove your sins, your status changes from enemy of God to friend of God. You change from being a child of Satan to being a child of the Creator, and it's that change in status that Paul wrote about in Colossians 1, verses 21 and 22. "And although you were formally alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet Christ has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death, in order to present you before himself holy and blameless and beyond reproach".

When you're in a right relationship with God that comes by grace through faith, you know that you are at peace with a holy God. Your status is changed from enemy to friend. What's the result of that change in status? Notice Paul lists two very practical results for us of our change in status. First of all, because we have changed from an enemy to a friend, it means we have access to God. Look at chapter five, verse two. In talking about Christ, it says, "Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith". That Greek word introduction, prosagoge, means access. Because we're in a right standing with God, we have access to God the Father. It's the same word used in Ephesians 2:18, that says, "For through Christ we have access to the father by one spirit".

Again, to the world, this is nonsensical. What do you mean we have access? Well, everybody has access to God. Anybody can come to God who wants to. Doesn't matter whether you're a Jew, a gentile, a Baptist, a Catholic. Doesn't matter whether you're a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Mormon. Everybody is free just to talk to God anytime they want to, and know God's there listening to meet their every need. That idea is foreign to the Bible. There is only one way any of us has access to God, and it is through Jesus Christ the son. He is the only way we have access to God. He is the one who provides an introduction to the father. He's the one who escorts us into the presence of the Father.

I experienced a great illustration of that a couple of weeks ago. A couple of weeks ago, when I was in New York at Fox News, I walked into the lobby of Fox, and it's a huge lobby there on the Avenue of America. It's a huge building, and there is this massive wooden desk, a security desk, and over to the left is a little gate you go through to get into the rest of the building, and you have to stop at the security desk, and you show your id and they look at your id, and they look at the computer to see if your name is in the computer and you have a legitimate business there, and if it's there, then they call somebody to come down and escort you through those gates into the rest of the building.

Now, what was interesting was I was standing there in line with my ID, and in front of me was the publisher, the multimillionaire Steve Forbes, and he had out his wallet to show his ID, and then over to the side was Donald Trump, and he had his wallet out showing his ID, and the fact is, you know, here we all three stood there. It didn't matter whether you are a multimillionaire or whether you're a billionaire celebrity, or if you're a holy man of righteousness like myself. It didn't matter. They didn't care who you were. Unless you had access, somebody to escort you in, you weren't getting into that building. Ladies and gentlemen, it's the same way with the presence of God. It doesn't matter how much money you have. It doesn't matter what religion you are. It doesn't matter how moral you are. There is only one way to God the Father and it is through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have access.

Now, this idea of access to God, that was a foreign concept to the Jews. You know, their temple and earlier the tabernacle were really a picture of how inaccessible God was. Remember how the temple was laid out? I mean, you had all of these walls, these barriers in the temple. First of all, there is a wall that separated the Jews from the gentiles. Only Jews could be beyond the first wall, and once you were a Jew and got into that first wall, then there's another dividing wall between the men and the women. And if you were a man, then you got to go further, but there was another wall that separated you from the priest, and beyond that wall, only the priest could go, but even being a priest wasn't enough, because there was another wall that separated the priests from the holy of holies, and through that veil, only the high priest could go once a year. But when Jesus Christ came and offered his blood as a sacrifice for our sins, the Bible says that dividing wall was torn from top to bottom, and because that veil has been torn in two, you and I have confident access to God the Father through his son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The writer of Hebrews said it this way in Hebrews 4:16. "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need". When you approach God with your needs, with the difficulties you're facing, you can have the confidence that you're not facing somebody who is at war with you, but somebody who loves you, somebody who has forgiven you, somebody who wants the very best for you. That is the access we have that comes from being in a right relationship with God. The fact that we're at peace with a holy God gives us access to God. Secondly, it gives us confidence with God. Look at verse two. "For into this grace in which we stand". When you are in a right relationship with God, you can stand firm in your relationship with him, no matter what's happening in your life.

Do you remember the Roman soldiers, one of the pieces of clothing he had on were the boots. Those boots had spikes in the bottom of them. The reason they had spikes was it helped ground him, so that no matter what was coming at him, he never wavered. He was able to stand in the heat of battle. When adversity starts assaulting your life, nothing will cause you to waiver or to fall any more than wondering about your relationship with God. You see, if you're not sure that you're in a right standing with God, you don't know what those problems that come into your life are a result of God's love or his revenge against you. But when you know your status is no longer an enemy but friend of God, you can know that what covenant comes into your life, whatever comes into your life is a result of God's love for you. Paul says righteousness, a right standing with God provides us first of all peace with a holy God. Secondly, it gives us hope in a future glory. Hope in a future glory. Look again at verse two. "Into this grace in which we stand, we exult in the hope of the glory of God". The hope of the glory of God. Paul uses that same phrase in Colossians 1, verse 27, which he says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory".

Now, let's unpack that for a moment. What does that mean, the hope of glory? What benefit is the hope of glory to us? Let's look at that first word, hope. You've heard me say before that, in our language, the English language, we use the word hope to mean something we hope will come true, something that may or may not come true. A hope is a desire that may or may not be realized. For example, we say, you know, I hope it doesn't rain during our mother's day lunch today, or I hope I don't get sick next week. A hope is a desire that may or may not be realized, but in the Bible, hope is an assurance of something that has not yet been experienced.

That's what Hebrews 11 says. It is a confidence. It is assurance. That's what hope is. It is the assurance of something that has not yet been realized. So when Paul says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory, the hope of the glory of God," he's talking about when you know you're in a right relationship with God, you have the assurance of the glory of God. Now, what does that mean, the glory of God? You know, glory is one of those Christian words we toss around all the time without really knowing what it means. Glory this, glory that, glory, glory, glory hallelujah, glory, hallelujah. But I think most of us, if we took a little pop quiz, we're not going to, I ask you what does glory mean, you probably don't have a real clear understanding.

Can I admit to you, before this week and I started studying the word, I didn't have a clear understanding of it, either. The word glory in Hebrew is the word kabod, and it literally means something that is heavy, something that is weighty, as opposed to light and immeasurable, something heavy, substantive. And so when we talk about the glory of God, we're talking about the heaviness of God, the weightiness of God, the substantiveness of God. The New Testament Greek word is doxa, and we talk about the doxology in which we praise the glory of God. The word doxa originally meant to have a high opinion of, and it was a word that was actually reserved for kings. You only spoke of doxa in terms of kings, to have a high opinion of a king. And so when we say Christ the king of glory, we're saying Christ is the one of whom we should have the highest opinion.

So what do we mean when we say the glory of God? The glory of God is the full manifestation of who God really is. You know, right now, none of us has seen gory of God. We have our hope in God. We pray to God, but God is invisible to us. But one day, the Bible says we will actually see the weightiness, the heaviness, the substantiveness of God himself, and that is the assurance every believer has. By the way, it's the assurance that every believer should long for. Do you remember the story of Moses? Remember when Moses were getting all depressed about the fact that he didn't feel like he could lead the people of Israel. And finally, when he was totally dejected, he said, "Lord, just show me your glory. I just want to see your glory. I want to know that everything I'm believing in is real".

You remember the story of what happened. It's recorded in Exodus 33, beginning with verse 19. God said, "I myself will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you: and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious". Verse 20, "But God said, you cannot see my face, for nobody can see my face and live". Verse 21. "Then the Lord said to Moses, behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand there on the rock, and it will come about while my glory is passing by that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. And then I will take my hand away and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen".
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