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Romans 5:1-2,

"Reasons for Assurance"


Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”  (King James Version).




“Let's turn in our Bibles to the book of Romans.  Please open your Bibles to Romans chapter 5, and we'll only get through the first two verses this morning of Romans chapter 5, but, hey we made it to Romans 5.  My message is, for the next two weeks are titled "Reasons for Assurance".  Paul has told us that we're saved by grace through faith.  He uses chapter four to enlarge upon that and show from the example of father Abraham how God saves people.  Now he's telling you, 'Not only are you guys saved, but you are secure.  You can have assurance that you're saved and going to heaven [some believe, "going into the kingdom of heaven", wherever that is,  amounts to the same thing].  And he gives us five reasons, here at the beginning, why we can know and be assured, reasons for assurance. 


First Reason Why We Have Assurance Of Salvation, We Have Peace With God


And the first reason that we have assurance of salvation is that we have peace with God.  Look at Romans 5, verse 1, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.  And we exalt in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, not sure of what translation Pastor Mark is using.)  He says, ‘Because you're saved, you have peace with God.’  And having peace with God ought to give you assurance in your salvation.  It's interesting to note how many times [the words] grace and peace go together in the New Testament.  Some have called them Siamese twins.  Whenever you look at the introduction of Paul's letters, with all but one exception, he begins them with "Grace and peace".  Look at Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse, let's see, 7.  He opens up the letter, Romans 1 verse 7, “To those of you in Rome, called to be saints, Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  And then if you keep your hand in Romans, but go next-door to the right, to 1st Corinthians.  You look at chapter 1, verse 3, just read the first four or five words with me.  It says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father”. OK?  And go to 2nd Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 2, by now you got it memorized, “Grace to you and peace”, you got it right.  And in Galatians you got the exception, like I said.  [I don't know what Pastor Mark means by, "exception", Galatians 1:3 says "Grace to you and peace."]  Go to Ephesians chapter 1, verse 2, ok, ready? “Grace to you and peace, from God our Father”, I mean, it's there, it's all through Paul's Epistles, it's all through Paul's writings.  And so we see "grace" brings peace.  It's never "peace and grace to you", no, you see the only way you can have peace with God is to first to have experienced his grace.  You have to experience the grace of God to then experience the peace with God.  And so he says “Grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Very significant.  So every believer, if you've been justified, “having been justified”, Romans 5:1, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  One of the very first verses my little two-year old memorized was the “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”  And then she memorizes Romans 8:1, “There's therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.”  Real important verses for us to know, get them into our lives early on.  We have been declared not guilty by faith in Christ, that's the grace of God.  Now the result is that we are at peace with God.  You see, we used to be at war with God, we used to be hostile toward God.  And God was repelled by us and our sin.  But because God sees us righteous in Christ when we accept Christ by faith, we have peace with God. 


What Is Peace?


Actually, the Greek word for peace is really interesting because it's a word that means “to bring two separate people together, to bind together that which has been separated.”  Sort of like if you had friends that were getting a divorce, and they'd already moved out, but God worked a miracle in their relationship and it came back together-and they're now at home living together, happy, in harmony."  That's peace.  OK?  To have peace, to understand this idea of peace, you have to understand that you used to be "not at peace", but you've been brought together with the party you used to be mad at.  OK?  1st Timothy 2:5 in the Living Bible says this, “God is on the one side and all the other people are on the other side.  But Jesus Christ himself man, is between them to bring them together, giving his life for all mankind.”  Jesus (Yeshua) is the way that God has made peace with us.  We were on one side, God was on the other side.  But Jesus is the link between the two that has brought us together with God.  Now look up Colossians 1, go to the right, you'll find the letter to the Colossians.  Colossians 1, and we'll begin in verses 19-22, “For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness of deity that is to dwell in Jesus, in him.  And through Jesus, to reconcile all things to himself, having made” -- there's our key word – “peace.”  How did he make peace?  Read on.  through the blood of his cross.  Through him I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.  And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind and engaged in evil deeds, yet he, Jesus, has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death” -- he died for you and in your place -- “in order to present you before him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”  Ooh I love this verse!  I have peace with God.  I'm at peace with God, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus did for me-in taking my place, in dying in my place-in taking the sin of the world upon him-being punished for me.  All God's wrath poured out on him, and there's not wrath left over for me, there's love and acceptance and grace and mercy.  And it's open to you.  We're at peace with God, gang.  The great war is over, your biggest battle has been fought and won by Christ.  And if you're at peace with God, you're going to heaven [or you're going to be in the kingdom of heaven].  The question, therefore, has to be the application of this.  Have you made your peace with God?  Are you at peace with God.  A very important question.  Billy Graham asked L.B.J. that, did you know that?  Reading the latest biography of Billy Graham's life, fascinating, over 700 pages of it.  And I'm learning a lot of things I didn't know, but he was palsy walsy with a lot of Presidents, you know, and still is.  God used him to minister to their lives.  And when Lyndon Johnson decided not to run again the second time, rather to retire, he did it because he thought he was going to die.  His father had died about the same age he was at that time, and he thought, 'You know, I just have this feeling I'm going to die pretty soon, and I don't want to die in office and subject the country to another death of a President.'  You know, Kennedy had just been tragically shot.  And so he decided not to run again, and to try to squeeze out a few more years of life.  He and Billy would often get together after his retirement from the Presidency, and Billy would meet with him on his ranch there in the rolling hills of Texas.  And they would go out for a walk, and out for drives in this huge ranch that he owned.  He had this convertible Lincoln that he loved to drive.  Actually, he loved to chase deer with his convertible Lincoln, that's what he'd do.  And one time when Billy was riding with L.B.J., and L.B.J. was chasing a deer with his Lincoln, L.B.J. started talking about death again, and Billy point blank asked him, I mean, right between the eyes, he says, “Look Mr. President (I still call him Mr. President, before he was President, I called him Lyndon)”  I said, “Mr. President, are you ready to die?”  “You better be sure you're right with God and have made your peace with him.”  And he said, he stopped the car, we're at the crest of a hill, and they were looking at this beautiful sunset, and when Billy asked L.B.J. “Do you have peace with God, if you were to die, would you go to heaven?”  L.B.J. looked at Billy, maybe L.B.J. remembered some of his Grandpa's sermons, his Grandpa was a great evangelist -- he looked over at Billy and said “Would you pray for me?”  Billy said “Yes sir,” and he did.  And he said, later on that evening, on the drive back home, they stopped by the family cemetery, and L.B.J. said “Come out of the car.”  And he walked him over to some cemetery plots and he says, “Here's where my Mom is buried, and here's where my Daddy's buried.”  And Johnson looked at Graham and he said “I want you to preach at my service, and I want you to make sure I get buried right here.”  And then he looked at Billy with tears in his eyes and says, “Billy, will I ever see my Mama and my Daddy again?”  And Billy replied, and I quote: “Well, Mr. President, if you're a Christian and they were Christians, then someday you'll have a great home-going.”  Johnson pulled out a handkerchief and began brushing tears from his eyes.  Then he decided that others needed to hear what he had just heard.  And returning to the discussion of the funeral, he said “Obviously, there will be members of the press here.  I don't know how many, but maybe they'll come from all over the world, and Billy I want you to look at those camera's and I want you to just tell them what Christianity is all about.  Tell them about how they can be sure they can go to heaven.  I want you to preach the gospel.”  I didn't know that had happened, did you?  I didn't know that God had used one of his servants to touch a sinners heart and save him, shortly, very shortly before he died.  He made his peace with God, have you made your peace with God?  Are you right with God?  It's not by something you do, as I have already said, it's by what Jesus has done.  And you can make your peace with God by asking Jesus Christ [Yeshua haMeschiach] to come into your life today.  And I'll give you that opportunity in a few minutes. 


There Is A Difference Between Being At Peace With God And Having The Peace Of God


And I want you to note, Christians, that there is a difference between being at peace with God, and having the peace of God.  A lot of you are at peace with God, because you are saved, and that's like a great umbrella over us.  But some of you don't have the "peace of God", do you?  You're worried, you're bothered, you're bugged, you're baffled, and you need to let the peace of God guard your heart and rule your mind.  And you need to accept the fact that you can't control your lives.  You need to rest in Christ's plan for your life.  "I don't know what it is."  Yeah, but that's because it's not yours to know.  You're not in control.  "Oh, but that's what I don't like."  [Me too, count me in on that statement!]  We'll join the club.  We all want to be in control.  But see, that's what this "Lord thing" is all about.  When he's Lord, he's in control, and you're not.  And so we're all in that school together.  The first reason that we have assurance of our salvation, getting back to Romans 5, I'm assured that I've got assurance of salvation because I'm at peace with God because of what Jesus did, not because of what Mark does, what Jesus did for me at the cross.  


The Second Reason Why I Have Assurance With God And Assurance Of My Salvation


2. The second reason why I have assurance with God and assurance of my salvation is that I have access to God “Through whom, we have also” verse 2, “obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.”  The NIV says, “Through whom we have gained access by faith.”  I like that.  Access, we have access to God!  The term "access" was a word used to describe, it was a very, very old word used to describe somebody who would take you into the presence of a king or a queen, and get you there safely, and get you out of there with your head still intact.  OK? -- access.  It's not the government program.  Access to God.  You see, when you appear before a monarch there are things you need to know.  And listen up, you never know when you might bump into one at K-Mart or something.  If you run into a king or queen, you need to know, you don't come in uninvited, they call for you.  You don't just barge in, ‘Yo, king!’  That's just not the way you approach a king.  You don't just decide when things are over you just walk away, either.  It's a supreme insult for you to turn your back on royalty, so, you have to walk backwards away from the king or the queen.  You never turn your back.  Interesting.  You need to know how to address them, and what to call them, you know, all of that.  It's important to know what you're doing when you're in the presence of royalty.  But Jesus (Yeshua) has made us able to enter into the presence of God at any time.  How did he do it?  You need to understand it.  It just couldn't be done just any way.  God presence was [is] holy.  In the Old Testament there were all sorts of restrictions on who could approach God [by entering into the Holy of Holies, the most holy part of the temple sanctuary].  In fact, if you weren't Jewish [he has this a little bit wrong -- If you weren't a Levite, and of the priestly Aaronic family] forget it.  You couldn't approach God.  In fact. I've got something to show you here.  One of the signs that was on the outside of the wall of the Court of Gentiles in the Temple, they've recently excavated this and found this sign, that one was found in 1935.  There's a better one more recently (put that one up [must be showing slides on a slide projector]).  There, read it, (no, it's in Hebrew!), what it says is -- it's so different, because our churches say, you know “Service, 9:30, Everyone Welcome, come one, come all!”  Not so, I tell you, under the Old Covenant, man.  The sign outside the church said [in the Court of the Gentiles] “If you're a Gentile and you go beyond this point, then you are responsible for your quickly ensuing death.”  I mean, that's the welcome to their church!  ‘If you walk through these doors, then you are the one responsible for your death!’  So they [the Temple wasn't] weren't the friendliest places on earth.  But you see, Gentiles were forbidden from coming any closer to God.  Then you had to be Jewish [Israelite], but if you weren't, it was curtains for you.  But if you were a Jew [Israelite], but not a man, you could only go so far, you couldn't go beyond the Court of the Women.  And if you were a Jewish man, but not a priest, you could only go into the Court of Israel and you couldn't go inside the temple.  [The priests were not Jewish, but were of the tribe of Levi.  Jews were of the tribe of Judah.  After the fall of Jerusalem in the wars from 70AD through 135AD, the tribe of Levi got mixed into the tribe of Judah, so Levites and Jews are all called Jews nowadays.  A Jew having the name of Cohen is really a Levite of the Aaronic family line of Kohath, which is the priestly family line from which Aaron and Moses were descended (Numbers 26:58-59).  Most Christians do not fully realize that all Israelites were not necessarily Jewish, only those of the tribe of Judah were actually Jewish.  The ten northern tribes of Israel whom the Assyrians took captive in 721BC were deported out the land of Israel, and became historically lost.  The Levites stayed with the House of Judah, the Kingdom of Judah, to the south of the Ten Tribed nation of the House of Israel which was captured and deported by the Assyrian Empire.  So even the Jews themselves couldn't enter the Temple.]  If you were a Jewish priest, but not the high priest [again, should be “a Levitical priest, but not the high priest”], you could never go into the Holy of Holies.  So there were all these restrictions and barriers keeping you away from God.  [Most don't realize why.  If man in his sinful nature got close to God, in real life (and don't forget, God's actual presence was supposed to be in the Holy of Holies of the Temple), he got fried.  Remember Nadab and Abihu, who disrespected God by bringing into the Tabernacle “unauthorized fire” in their censors.  Lightning came from the presence of God and killed them on the spot.  Disrespect for God is sin, and sin cannot dwell in the presence of God.  Our sins have to be covered over by something (the blood of the Lamb) in order for us to have direct access to God.  So in Old Testament times--you had no access to God whatsoever [accept through the priesthood].  There's a very interesting Old Testament illustration of how we got access to God.  I'd like you to go to the book of Esther if you would (I'll give you 15 minutes to find it).  I'll tell you a secret, if you find the Book of Psalms, going to the left, then just to the left of Psalms is Esther.  See if that doesn't work.  You'll find Esther.  If you find Job, it's right next to Job to the left.  Page 595.  [laughter]  Somebody ought to paginate all these Bibles then it would be really simple to say “it says on page 495.”  This is an interesting incident recorded here in the book of Esther, it's the beautiful story of a Jewish young maiden named Esther who is selected to become the new queen of Persia.  The king got tired of his mouthy queen, she defied him and he didn't like it, so he says “I want a new queen” and he decided to have a beauty contest, and as a result of the beauty contest he chose Esther.  And I guess beauty contests are biblical, right?  I'm not going to comment on that, I don't know, I have no idea, don't understand that at all.  After she became queen, a very wicked man by the name of Haman devised a diabolical plot to destroy all the Jews [living in the whole Persian Empire -- don't forget, the entire Jewish race had been taken captive and deported to Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.  So here, Satan is trying to destroy the whole Jewish race through this wicked man name Hamen.  That's the background and significance of this story.]  And the king accidentally played into Haman's hands by signing a decree that would actually be used to become the death warrant for the Jews.  [Quite similar legislation was actually penned into the laws of two major European churches, and was used by one of those churches during its Inquisitions, and later was tuned up and used by the Nazi's to try to destroy the Jews, so this is nothing new to the Jews, it's been going on for millennia, dating back to this time of Esther.]  Well when Esther's godly uncle, a guy by the name of Mordecai, when he found out about this plot, he knew that it would be absolutely necessary for Esther, since she was Jewish (nobody knew it, she was a closet Jew), since nobody knew she was Jewish it was necessary for her, since she was the queen, to go into the king's presence and plead with him to spare the people's lives, telling him about the situation.  But-this would make a great movie!-the real thrill here and the scare, and the tremendous danger, was that it was against the law to approach the king unless you'd been invited.  In fact, at the time Mordecai comes to Esther and says ‘Esther, you got to go into the king for us.’  Esther says, ‘Man, I can't, you know the law, it says if you walk in uninvited, off with your head, you're dead!  And he hasn't asked for me for thirty days!  So I don't dare go in there now.  He's probably forgotten who I am (so many other wives around here).’  But even though she understood that she could be executed unless the king extended to her, gave her access-unless he extended his golden sceptre to her, she would be destroyed.  She knew that, and in spite of all that she decided to take the risk and come into the kings presence even though she wasn't invited.  She took three days to prepare herself (not unusual for a woman) [laughter].  (Someone thought I was being very anti-woman today in my first service, and all I said was something like that -- I mean, let's be honest ladies [more laughter]).  At the end of three days, finally her hair was done [laughter].  And she dressed in her finest robes, put on her finest jewels and approached the king, she was all perfumed, her fingers were done, whatever they do to fingers, and her toes too, and everything was where it belonged, right in place and she looked gorgeous and stunning.  And we read about it here in Esther chapter four, verse 11, you read about the danger, “all the kings servants and the people of the kings provinces” Esther says, “know that for any man or woman who comes to the king, to the inner court, who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden sceptre so that he may live.”   “And I've not been summoned or come to the king for these thirty days.”  ‘Mordecai said, ‘Look, there's so much at stake, Esther, you're going to be dead if Haman's plan gets launched, you're going to be dead anyway because you're Jewish.  And so, really, whether you die in Haman's hands or you die interceding for your people, you may die anyway.  This is your one chance lady, and maybe this is the reason why God helped you win the beauty contest, so that you'd be in place to intercede for God's people.’  And she says, ‘You know, maybe you've got a point there.  I'm just going to trust God.’  And so in verse 16, she says “Go assemble all the Jews who are found in Suza and fast for me, and don't eat or drink for three days, night or day, and I and my maidens will also fast the same way, and thus I will go to the king, which is not according to the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  Well at the end of those three days, dressed stunningly, perfumed to the max -- you know, some women they walk into a room and you don't even have to look up, your nose gets hit with the perfume, cough, they're here -- and I'm sure, she came to the door of the throne room, and they opened the door.  It must have been one of the most tense, highly charged moments of all time.  For a few eternally long seconds she stood there, as everything hung in the balance, the atmosphere in the room must have been electric with dread and fear.  Would Esther be accepted or rejected, would she gain access or would she be axed.  She stands there, in all her beauty, like I say, the perfume making its way to the king's nose.  He remembers, ‘Esther!  Haven't seen you in a month.’  I kid you not,  read the Bible, verse 1, chapter 5, “Now it came about on the third day, that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court (I know, there's nothing about the perfume, but believe me, it was there) of the kings palace, and in front of the king's rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace” verse 2, “and it happened when the king saw Esther, the queen standing in the court, (the Bible says it very nicely) she obtained favor in his sight.”  Aah, we would call it grace, maybe.  “And the king extended to Esther the golden sceptre which was in his hand.”  And it's so cool, she kept walking up to him, and she touches the top of his sceptre and he brings her on up to his throne, and he says, ‘What do you want?’  It's so neat, I love it!  Because this is such an awesome picture, gang, of how you get access to God!  ‘Say, what?’  Now come on, put your gospel glasses on for a minute.  We're the bride of Christ.  We've been dressed in Christ's rich robes of righteousness, haven't we?  We look stunning in the sight of God.  We're adorned with his jewels, with his goodness, with all the good deeds of the Lord, they look like so many diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires adorning us.  And the perfume of Christ's righteousness is on us.  And when we enter into the presence of God, although no one has a right to enter, God looks at us, and we find grace, favor in the eyes of God-and he extends to us his acceptance, his Sceptre, and he says ‘Come on in.  Come on in, you're accepted in the Beloved, come on in, I accept you in my Son, I see my Son in you.  I'm well pleased with you, what do you want?  Come on in.’  Isn't it a beautiful picture of the access we have with God.  No, we're not supposed to come in as sinners-yes you must be saved in order to have this access.  But the glorious thing is, if you have been justified by faith, you have this access.  Any time you can come into the presence of God.  Any time he'll take your call.  Any time you have an audience with him.  You know how it is in business, it's so hard to get through to people, you know?  Here, I get so many phone-calls, I'm often times with people, any you know, you can't interrupt somebody who's pouring out their heart, you're ministering to somebody, and so they [his secretary or assistants] take messages.  But I've given one message, I've said “If my wife or my daughter, either of my daughters ever call -- and sometimes Emmy gets on the phone -- I said “you send them right through.  I don't care what I'm doing, you send them right through.”  They have access.  Just say you're my wife if you want to talk to me, I'll talk to you right away. [laughter]  You have access with God!  Because you come in Who's name!?  Jesus' name, right?  When the Father hears that name, “Yes!  Yes, Come!”  “Come on in.  I hear you.  You're my child, my son.”  We are accepted, as Paul says, in the Beloved.  Never forget Esther.  Never forget how you have access with God.  And so we have wonderful assurance, gang.  How does all this apply?  Well Hebrews 10:19 says, “Since therefore brethren we have confidence to enter the Holy place by the blood of Jesus,” verse 22, "let us draw near with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith.”  Since we have the access, let's use it.  That's what Paul is saying.  Let's use it.  We have boldness, we have access to God, now let's draw near.  Why are some of you hanging back?  Tell me?  Why are some of you Christians who have access to God, you're not using the access you have with God?  You're hanging back.  You're not drawing near.  You're saying, 'Oh you knew what I did this week, I think you don't know.'  Well, God knows.  'Well, he wouldn't want to see my face.'  No, you see, you've been covered with Christ's righteousness, and you can come, you can come, God will accept you in Christ.  Let us draw near.  You can get rid of your guilt trips.  And you can draw near to God in Christ.  Christians, draw near, get your strength from him.  Get your daily agenda from him.  I've given up trying to keep a schedule, I've just given up on it.  Man, my days, you know.  I've given up on planning things.  Oh, I plan them, but everything gets changed.  Is it that way with you?  [It stinks, doesn't it?]  And you know what I'm doing now?  I'm just trusting God.  I'll make my plans, but God is the one who is going to make it come to pass, or not, or he'll do what he wants to do in his time, and I'm just going get my surfboard out spiritually and ride God's wave.  [There is a proverb that says, “Man makes his plans, but God guides his steps.”]  I've stopped fighting him, you got to ride 'em.  And if he wants this to be, he'll make this to be, or it won't be.  And we're not going to sweat it, we're not going to hassle it.  We're going to rest in God, because we have access.  We can get our life from him.


Third Reason We Have Assurance, God’s Already Begun To Glorify Us


3. Finally, the third reason that we have assurance in our salvation is that, gang, God's begun the work already of glorifying you.  There are three modes to salvation.  The first is 1), justification -- that's  when you're saved, declared righteous, made perfect in Christ in God's sight [through the blood of Christ, covering your sins and clothing you in Christ's righteousness, see]  2), the second is called sanctification -- that's the work of a lifetime, that's God making you more and more like Christ.  [And we have an important part to play in this, and that is: By and through the working of the Holy Spirit in us, we put out sin whenever and wherever we spot it in our lives-i.e. overcoming, log onto]  But the end thing, 3), is glorification-and that's when the Lord returns, and we're caught up to be with the Lord, or if you die before the Lord returns, you'll [be resurrected at his 2nd coming] and come back with the Lord and meet us in the air.  [The dead in Christ rise first, and then we which remain alive are changed in a twinkling of an eye, made immortal and rise up to meet the Lord with those just resurrected saints-is the classic or historic pre-millennial interpretation of 1 Cor. 15:49-56 and 1 Thess. 4:13-17.]  And at that moment-zap!-wham, bang!-in a twinkling of an eye, we're going made to be like Jesus [cf. Revelation 1:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:49-54]-glorified, shining [like the stars of heaven, cf. Daniel 12:1-3], awesome-whoa it's going to be neat!  The awesome thing here is, is that the process has already begun.  That's not just something that, 'Oh yes, I can hardly wait till glorification.'     Glorification has begun right now.  Already Jesus is beginning to make his likeness reflected in you.  Already he's working to make you more and more like himself, the process of glorification has begun.  That's what he says back in Romans 5 now.  Verse 2, he says “because we've been justified by faith”, the 3rd reason we have assurance is, ‘Hey we're rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God!’  What's that?  We're rejoicing in the fact that we're going to see God [as he is, glorified.  In 1 John 3:1-2, John states that we don't know what we're going to look like, but we will be like the Lord when he returns, for we will be like him.  John hadn't seen Jesus in vision yet on the Isle of Patmos when he wrote 1st John.  In Revelation 1:13-18, John saw Jesus in vision, and he said Jesus radiated in brilliance like the sun.  In Daniel 12:1-3, Daniel prophecied in the Lord that we would be like the stars in the heavens.  Now I'm an astronomy enthusiast.  Stars are brilliant, glowing nuclear fusion furnaces that have unspeakable, unimaginable brilliance.  Think about that one.  Expand your spiritual horizons a bit, and realize we're a work in progress.]  We're going to see God's face [and not be melted, vaporized when we do].  Now how could he say something like that if he wasn't sure whether of not he was saved?  How could he say "I'm sure I'm going to see God" -- "but I'm not sure I'm saved"?  I mean, can you say those two things?  No, you can't say that.  You can say “I'm not sure I'm saved, therefore I'm not sure I'm going to see God.”  But if you can say “I'm going to see God,” then you can say “I must be saved.”  And he's saying “Look, Christians, who've been declared 'not guilty' by grace through faith, you're going to see God -- and you're going to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, glorified.”  He says, “It's begun.”  The process has already begun.  You say, “Prove it.”  Well, OK, I'll try.  Look at Romans 8, verse 30, (if you guys would stop breathing, it would stop getting warm in here).  Romans 8, verse 30, “And whom he predestined, these he also called.  And whom he called, these he also justified.  And whom he justified, these he also glorified.”  Hey, he's talking about you.  He's talking about me, he saying, ‘you were justified.’  Right?  ‘You've been justified?’  Then he said, ‘OK, if you've been justified, then you're going to be glorified.’  He even skipped a step, didn't he? -- sanctified.  He even skipped that step.  He's saying, ‘Hey, look, as far as God's concerned, if he's saved you, he's finished the work.’  It's a done deal in God's view.  You will be justified.  You say ‘Is there any other verses that say that?’  Yeah, there are other verses that say that.  Look at 2nd Corinthians, chapter 3.  Just keep going to the right, we're just working our way.  2nd Corinthians chapter 3, and verse 12,  [I'm going to quote it though.  “Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But there minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.  Nevertheless when it [I think "it" would be better rendered "they"] turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."]  Remember when Moses was on Mount Sinai getting the Ten Commandments from God?  He came down from Mount Sinai, and it was like he had this glory on his face [his face was glowing!].  His face was so brightly shining from being in the presence of God's glory that he had a decision to make, to either vail his face or hand out sunglasses to three million people.  He decided to vail his face.  He says, ‘Remember though, Moses left that on for quite awhile?’  And the glory began to fade, just like a suntan fades.  You go to Hawaii, three weeks later, no one could ever tell you were in Hawaii, right?  The tan's gone.  Well the same thing happened to Moses.  He had this thing over his face for awhile, and nobody knew that the glory had faded.  You know, it's the same way.  That glory was big and faded out to nothing.  He says, 'It's just the opposite with you Christians.'  Paul says it begins really tiny when you're saved.  And the glory is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger-and it will be just the opposite like it was with Moses.  It started out BIG and faded out to nothing.  With you it's starting out with little, but it's going to get more and more, and more and MORE.  And the more you grow in Christ, the more Jesus (Yeshua) is reflecting off of you [or shining inside of you]-the more we see Christ's glory in you, and ultimately someday there will be physical glory shining out of you [cf. Daniel 12:1-3], you know, we'll be glorified beings [cf. 1 Cor. 15:49-54].  It'll be sort of neat, but glorious.  The thing about the glory is that it is Christ shining through us, the love of Christ, the joy of Christ [Messiah], the patience of Christ.  Jesus had prayed in the garden, "Father, I pray that they would share in my glory."  You had better believe that God's going to answer that prayer.  Got two more verses then we quit.  Colossians 3 verse 4, Colossians 3:4 says, that you can be assured that if you're a Christian [or Messianic believer], you're going to see the glory of God.  Colossians 3, verse 4 says, “When Christ who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”  It doesn't say “hope to”, it doesn't say “might be” revealed, it says “You will be revealed with him in glory.”  If you're saved right now, you're going to be glorified.  Look at Philippians 1, verse 6, “How could you boast or glory in this, if you didn't have the assurance that salvation's process would be completed in your life?  For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus [Yeshua haMeschiach].”  [Or the NIV has, “I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ]  The Bible says, that if God started something in your life, he's going finish it.  And the finish isn't until you're glorified.  It began with salvation [justification], goes through the process of making you more and more and more like Christ [sanctification], and then, at the return of the Lord, glorification.  It's coming.  And it's a sure thing.  And John summarizes it all in his little epistle, and I'll read it for you hear, it says in 1st John 3, verses 1 and 2, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God, and such we are.”  And then in verse 2 he says, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it hasn't yet appeared what it shall be [King James Version: “what we shall be”] -- in other words, ‘we are God's children, but looking at us, we look sort of ordinary,’ but he says, ‘I know, it doesn't appear right now, you don't see the glory with the earthly eye right now,’ but he says -- “we know, that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him just as he is.”  You're going to see the King, you're going to be like him.  And the process that's begun in your life is going to finish.  [And to see what we shall actually look like, turn to Revelation 1 and read verses 13-18.]  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Romans 5:1-2, given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, P.O. Box 39607, Phoenix, Arizona  85069]


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What is Sanctification?  Log onto these two links: and scroll to paragraph title What is Sanctification.


To read the awesome history and story of Esther, log onto this link and scroll to “Part IV: Esther Chapters 2 Through 10, Esther Saves the Jews.”









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