WHEN TROUBLE COMES
Part One of Five
BY RICHARD JORDAN
The first word of Romans 5 is "therefore." It has often been said
that "therefore" is always "there for a purpose." This occurrence is no
exception, for it opens the door from the past into the wonderful
present and glorious future given to us in Christ.
"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" (Rom. 5:1,2).
Notice the formula: "being ... we have." It is because of who we are
in Christ that we possess wonderful assets. In Christ we have a new
identity, a new standing which has provided us a whole sheaf of
spiritual blessings: justification, peace with God, access into grace,
the hope of the glory of God--to mention just a few. To demonstrate
that these blessings are more than theological rhetoric with no impact
on the daily details of our lives, Paul goes on to declare:
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
tribulation worketh patience;
"And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (vs.3-5).
Because we have been given eternal life we look forward even now to its
glories--we "rejoice in hope of the glory of God." But this is not
simply "pie in the sky by-and-by." No. We have eternal life as a
present possession--we do not have to wait until we die to obtain it.
It is a present reality in our lives and enables us to ''glory in
tribulations also." In other words, the life we have in Christ is also
adequate for the "nasty now-and.now."
In Christ we have been made part of a total victory program. We are
"more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37) and are
made to always "triumph in Christ" (II Cor. 2:14). This is the reality
of our new standing in Christ. Yet too often we look about us and
wonder if this victory program has really penetrated our lives; has it
reached as far as us?
We need to understand that the victory program of which members of
the Body of Christ are a part is not the Pentecostal program of time
past. Our program is not the deliverance program God gave the nation
Israel in the past nor is it the program He will have for Israel when
Christ comes back to restore His authority over this planet through the
kingdom promised to that favored nation.
In that long-awaited kingdom, God will deliver His chosen people from
their enemies and establish them in their land. Jerusalem will be "the
city of the great King" (Matt. 5:35) and the whole "creation itself
also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the
glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21).
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