Romans 4 is one of the clearest passages about justification by faith in the whole Bible. It plainly says that Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses, and raised for out justification” in the context of faith in the afore-mentioned truth being counted to believers as righteousness. So the pattern is clear, the death and resurrection of Jesus secure justification for believers, and if one believes in this fact then their faith is granted to them as righteousness. This is important because righteousness is what it takes to be accepted with God and have a relationship with Him. This is fantastic news because according to Romans 3:10 “None is righteous, no, not one;”. If righteousness is what we need to be, and it is the exact thing that none of us are, how glorious is it that Jesus died and resurrected in order that we may be righteousness, and how simple is it that faith is the only requirement? Now Scripture clearly teaches that not only is righteousness a gift of God, graciously lavished upon believers, but the ability to believe, faith itself is also given to those who believe as well; righteousness is far too important for God to leave the obtaining of it in the hands of mere clay vessels contaminated with sin, spiritual deadness and total inability to have the faith necessary to believe. Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, John 6:35-44, and John 10:25-30 are just a few passages that make it clear that God gives the ability to come or to believe in Jesus, however that is not the point of this post so I will not argue this point further. I want us to turn our attention to Romans 5, where Paul is following up the presentation of justification by faith.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Wow. There is so much slammed into these few verses. First of all, peace with God in now possible because of our having been justified by faith. So to make it clear, God was burning with a righteous wrath towards us, but in His righteous grace He was incarnated, died and resurrected to make justification secure for those He would cause to believe, all to give us peace with Himself! Hallelujah! Secondly, this verse also shows that our faith is “through him (Jesus)” so He is responsible for our faith which lands us in grace. So it is the work of God from start to finish. Thirdly we see that all of this cause us to rejoice not only in the “glory of God”, but “in the hope of the glory of God.” What could this mean? I believe what follows is Paul’s explanation. He goes on to say that we rejoice in suffering because it produces endurance, and we rejoice in endurance because it produces character, and we rejoice in character because it produces hope. Now this sounds like foolish, religious ,cliché here. One might ask, “You rejoice in suffering because in the end it produces hope? How is that something to rejoice about? The answer is two-fold. First one can rejoice because the hope is in the glory of God; namely the one thing I lacked (Romans 3:23) has now been granted to me and I have peace despite the sufferings Also on this note Paul was a Christian Hedonist, in that he found complete satisfaction in God and His glory, and therefore suffering couldn’t compare to the glory that was coming (Romans 8:18). Secondly, the rejoicing is possible because it is not senseless rejoicing, it is founded on something, namely the love of God as manifested, or channeled through the Holy Spirit. The key to this who passage I believe is found in verse 5, “and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” The reason this hope makes sense is because it is founded on the love of God, which is evidenced by the Holy Spirit, because He is the One who shows us the love of the Father. Therefore, rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God is based on the love of God experienced through the Holy Spirit. I see so many believers who are living oblivious to the love of God experienced through the Holy Spirit, and as a result I also see so little rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. I hear people talk about the Spirit “showing up” in worship services because of an emotional stir, or a trip to the altar, or a few tears shed; for them the Spirit is tied to a “church” experience that usually involves crying or music. The people of God, if I can call them such, are so ignorant of the grace, and truth, and love they are missing by ignoring the Spirit in their daily lives, and yet they wonder why they never experience genuine rejoicing, or why their rejoicing is tied to a corporate musical experience! The glory of God is something to be rejoiced in, and hoped in, and we can do such genuinely only because God’s love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit! When one person loves another, they give themselves to that person. They make a relationship commitment, or pledge their heart to that person as evidence of their love. God shows His love for sinners in the death of Christ, and He continues to show His love for believers through the giving on the Holy Spirit. He does this by giving us Himself in the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; Ephesians 1:13-14). Have you ever just sat in the quiet and meditated on the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in you?
Take a look at a few of the roles of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints:
intercession Romans 8:26
Channeling the love of God – Romans 5:5
Counsels, helps and reminds us of things – John 14-16
Gives ability to comprehend the love of God – Ephesians 3:16-19
Builds us into a dwelling place for God – Ephesians 2:22
Establishes us as sons of God – Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15-16
Conviction – 1 Thessalonians 1:5
Gives life- John 6:63
Produces fruit- Galatians 5:22-23,
Brings freedom- 2 Corinthians 3:17
Transforms- 2 Corinthians 3:18
All of these things just scratch the surface of the role of the Spirit in the life of the believer. In conclusion I hope this truth resounds in your heart; if you truly want to experience the love of God, and rejoice in the glory of God, you must live in the reality and continuous awareness of the Holy Spirit as He pours the love of God into your heart. Stop ignoring the Spirit, for He is the one who pours the foundation for the structure of rejoicing in the glory of God.