“The Blessings of Justification” Pt. 4
August 27, 2017
One pastor decided to take his family, including his four children on vacation — “We’re going to Junction City, Kansas,” he said. “It’s where my dad used to pastor a church, and we can have lots of fun there — they have playgrounds, and a swimming pool, and an ice cream stand, and maybe even a bowling alley.” Trusting as they were, the kids bought into the plan and told their friends, “We’re going to Kansas on vacation!”
So the day of their departure came and they got in their car in Denver and drove to Kansas. They toured Grandpa’s old church and were set to go to the motel and swimming pool when dad announced: “You know something, it’s kind of boring in Kansas. Why don’t we just drive to DISNEY WORLD instead!” And then his wife pulled out four Mickey Mouse hats from a bag in the front seat and they expected jubilation and rejoicing. Instead, mom and dad heard complaints: “Ah, who wants to get back into the van?” “What about the swimming pool? You promised!” “I thought we were going to go bowling!”
The pastor’s family surprise backfired. For hours as they left Junction City he heard all the advantages of Junction City over Disney World coming from the skeptics in the back seats.
As he reflected on the experience, he likened it to C. S. Lewis’s observation: “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” Our joys are too small and our anticipation is too short-sited.
It’s that way with holidays, and heaven, and our salvation. Our tradition at GBC is to recognize communion monthly, to remind ourselves of the work of Christ on the cross for us. And it is easy to become bored and apathetic with the practice, seeing the eternal and infinite provision as something mundane and dreary. But the Scriptures never view the cross and our salvation in that way. And as we come back to Romans 5 and the blessings of our justification again this week, we will see in verses 9-11 that Paul emphasizes:
You will never be disappointed by the hope you have in Christ.
How does hope never disappoint? Because…
- We Have Been Saved From God’s Wrath (v. 9)
- We have Been Reconciled to God (v. 10a)
- We Will Be Saved By Christ (v. 10b)
- We Now Exult in God (v. 11)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 5:9-11.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website tomorrow morning.