The Benefits of Justification - Part 7 | Romans 5:1–11 | Dr. David Harrell
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Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
In the sweet providence of God we now find ourselves in Romans chapter five. This is the seventh and final in a series of discourses on the benefits of our justification, a marvelous, amazing topic that has spoken to our hearts. So if you will turn there, Romans chapter five. And in a few minutes we are going to focus exclusively on verse 11.
As you all know, when we have a time of sharing gifts at Christmas or even at birthdays, typically the best gift is saved for last and that is precisely what we see here in our study of the benefits of justification. The apostle Paul expresses the very best gift in the last of this section.
It is inconceivable to me and I hope to you that every genuine believer has been declared righteous by God, that God now sees him with the righteousness of Christ. He no longer sees our sin. It is an amazing declaration, an amazing concept that we now enjoy the imputed righteousness of a sinless substitute who has borne our guilt. God no longer looks upon us with condemnation, but with the very love that he has for his beloved Son. And as we have studied in these first 10 verses of chapter five, we have peace with God, we have access to God, we have a permanent standing in grace, we have jubilant hope of glory. We even have joy on account of our tribulations. And as a result of that we have proof of salvation. We even have a hope through a subjective awareness of God’s love that the Holy Spirit pours out within us and he even saves us from the wrath of God. Astounding.
But, dear friends, all of these magnificent promises are like steps that lead us to the very mountain top of what God wants us to experience, a mountaintop of blessing that we can ultimately ascend and then sore even higher like the eagle unto the clouds of mysterious joy and wonder as we worship and praise the Lord our God.
And, therefore, in verse 11, notice what the apostle says.
“And not only this...”1
In other words he is saying, “Beyond all that has just been said, beyond all of that there is yet one more thing that is also true, the pinnacle of it all.”
He says, “...we also exult in God.”2
Literally to exult in God means to glory in him, to find our joy in him, to rejoice in him, to boast on account of him. This, beloved, is a subjective joy in the heart of every redeemed saint whereby God is now enjoyed as the supreme joy of his life, our greatest delight, our deepest, most rich satisfaction is found in him.
So he says, “...we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”3
The psalmist said it so well on the psalm that we read earlier, in Psalm 34.
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.4
Now you might ask. Is this not what Paul said earlier in verse two where he said, “...we exult in hope of the glory of God”?5
Well, the answer is no. In that text he is speaking of the future hope that we enjoy, the hope that one day we will have unrestricted personal fellowship with the triune God, the hope that we have of a personal transformation into the glory of Christ. But here in verse 11 the apostle speaks of exulting in God himself right now and forever.
The idea here is that we can find our greatest joy, our greatest delight, our most complete satisfaction in God himself and that evokes our praise. It evokes our worship and service. And it is my goal this morning to help you by the power of the Spirit to help you understand these great truths.
Now, first, may I remind you that the Christian life includes three states of sanctification. So let’s digress for a moment. I want to make sure you have this foundation of theology because many times people are confused about this.
To be sanctified means literally to be set away from one thing and to be set unto something else. Did you know that if you know Christ that is happening to you right now?
There are three stages of sanctification. First there is what we would call positional sanctification and that occurs at the moment of salvation. Man is set apart from sin. He is set aside unto God. He is delivered at that moment from the penalty of sin. This is positional truth. It has to do with a believer’s judicial standing before God. It has to do with our justification whereby we have been declared righteous.
In fact, the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians six and verse 11, “...you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”6
But there is, secondly, what we would call a progressive sanctification. And this is a process of spiritual growth that occurs in a believer throughout the course of his life whereby we gradually become more fully conformed into the image of Christ, more fully set apart from sin unto God. This is what we would call conditional truth dealing with a believer’s actual spiritual condition and it has to do not with the being delivered from the penalty of sin, but being delivered from the power of it.
John 17:17 Jesus said, “Sanctify them, [set them apart] in the truth. They word is truth.”7
And Peter says in 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”8
Now, unfortunately, often this growth is impeded by our sin, our apathy, our laziness and I will address that more in a moment.
But then, thirdly, there is what we would call perfected sanctification. This pertains to the consummation of the process of sanctification accomplished by God at the moment of the believer's rapture unto God when we die or when he snatches us away to see him face to face when we are finally and forever in his presence.
In this aspect of sanctification we are delivered from the very presence of sin. We are finally and forever bodily set apart unto him. This is what we might call eschatological truth. It has to do with the things of the end and it relates to the coming consummation of our salvation.
Philippians three and verse 21 the apostle says he will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of his glory.
Now with that background, as we come here to verse 11, you must understand that Paul is speaking primarily to the issue of progressive sanctification, something that we can enjoy in this process of being more conformed into the image of Christ. Because of our justification, because of that glorious declaration we can exult in God. And a mature saint will find his greatest satisfaction, his greatest joy, his utmost delight in the triune God and this will, therefore, animate his praise, animate his worship and his service.
Now some of you who know Christ will hear these truths today and admit that you know very little of them. Some of you are mere babes in Christ and I don’t say that as an insult. Some of you have just begun in this process of sanctification. In fact, we have had some that have come to Christ as recently as in the last couple of weeks and that is a glorious thing. But you will not be able to experience the same level of joy and satisfaction in God as a mature saint simply because you have not walked with him for as many years and you know very little of him. So these truths might be somewhat foreign to you. But you will grow in them unless you inhibit your growth with laziness, with a lack of prayer, with sin, with apathy with respect to pursuing the Lord. And, sadly, I fear that the vast majority of believers fall into that category and, therefore, many believers are stuck in a stage of spiritual infancy. There is no measurable growth in their life.
I have dealt with people before who have said to me, in essence, “Well, I have been a Christian for 30 years.”
Well, no, in fact, you have been a Christian one year 30 times. You have never really grown in Christ. And perhaps that is you. So you might want to examine your heart.
For many people their growth is stunted by ignorance. Like, for example, most Christians simply do not understand the concept of justification or the implications of it, so they are spiritually malnourished. Many Christians feed on cotton candy sermonettes for Christainettes and so they will never really enjoy the rich meat of the Word that will cause them to grow and be strong like the saints that Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians three that were fleshy he said. They were filled with jealousy and strife and in verse one he says:
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.9
So, indeed, there are those who are filled with pride. They think they pretty well know it all or they are filled with jealousy as some of these early saints. Many people are lazy. They are not serious about finding their greatest satisfaction in the Lord. They find their satisfaction in many other things. And so if that is you, my friend, the Spirit of God is quenched in your life. He is grieved. And your growth will be stunted. ‘
But this does not mean that you cannot humble yourself to these great truths and enjoy this culminating benefit of our justification that exceeds all the others.
So I would ask you this morning to ask yourself. Do I exult in God? Do I glory in him? Is he the source of my greatest delight, the source of my greatest satisfaction? Is my relationship with him more important than anything else?
Now I might add that you might find pleasure in many things in life. Many of them are appropriate. Some of them are not. But please hear me. If your greatest pleasure is in something other than the triune God than you are an idolater.
John Piper said it so well. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him. And this text speaks to that very truth. To put it differently, those who understand the benefits of justification, those who live consistently with these glorious truths will, indeed, exult in God. They will not be able to do anything other. God will be most glorified in them because they are most satisfied in him. And their life will be a perpetual expression of praise and glory to God.
Now to better grasp these realities we must understand what the Spirit is saying in this verse. And I wish to help you understand this by looking at it in context, especially with three words. We are going to look closely at the word “reconciliation,” the word “receive” and the word “exult.” And I would like to, therefore, focus on three things.
Number one, an awakened soul. This will be the soul that sees a need for reconciliation. Secondly, we are going to look at the concept of a thirsty soul. This is how we must receive that reconciliation. And, finally, an exultant soul, a soul that glories in God above all else and finds its greatest satisfaction in him alone.
Now, if I can digress yet one more time briefly, it has been my observation that many times when we endeavor to plunge into the depths of a great text, there tends to be two types of Christians that could be compared to a butterfly versus and eagle. A butterfly Christian is one that flits around from text to text, never really lands on anything, kind of has a sweet tooth, easily distracted, flutters from one verse to another, but never lights on anything long enough to really examine it closely and really devour it completely. It franticly flits here and there looking for a quick treat, some instant gratifying tidbit of information. And it is sad because these Christians, like the butterfly can just barely survive their Christian life on very little nourishment, but they never grow strong. They are easily blown around by the winds of fads. They are easy prey to predators in pulpits and publishing that we see in much of our Christian bookstores.
But then there is the eagle Christian. This is a man who flies with great intention and undeterred focus. He is not at all distracted by all of the frivolous drivel that is out there. he wants one thing and one thing only, meat. That is what is for dinner, as the commercial says. He flies above the storms of all the foolish controversies, all of the silly fads that come and go. They don’t phase him. Why? Because he has a laser like concentration and he fixes his eyes upon Scripture and he studies it, because he knows that his very life depends upon the nourishment of the Word of God.
So he will study it intently and then he will dive from great heights to devour every morsel of truth so that he can, once again, ascend into the heights of heaven and soar on the updrafts of divine grace.
So I challenge you this morning. Be an eagle, not a butterfly. So let’s look intently at these great doctrines that we might know more fully of what it means to exult in God.
Beloved, think of exulting in God, this idea of glorying in him as the ultimate goal of our salvation. You will recall, perhaps, those of you who have read the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly the very first question is: What is the chief end of man? And the answer is: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
That is the idea here and there is a process, you might say, that leads us to that. Many times the process happens almost instantaneously, but it is a process that begins with, number one, an awakened soul.
You see, there must be an awakening in a man’s soul in order for him to see the need for reconciliation. The awakened soul suddenly sees the sword of divine justice looming over his head and he becomes fully aware of the wrath of God that abides upon him because of his sin. And he is terrified of the judgment that he deserves. And he sees a need, suddenly to be reconciled to God.
Now notice the word “reconciliation,” verse 11.
“We have now received the reconciliation.”10
katallagh (kat-al-lag-ay') in the original language and it basically means the removal of enmity and the restoration of fellowship between two parties. Here it is the restoration of a sinful man to a holy God. It is a reconciliation between the law giver and the law breaker.
Not only did the sacrifice of Christ satisfy the wrath of God, but it was Christ who brought us back into fellowship with him. You must understand that because of Christ the separation from God is over.
In fact, Paul says in 2 Corinthians five and verse 18 that God reconciled us to himself through Christ. And Paul said something similar in verse two of chapter five that it was through Christ that we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.
Now please observe. Paul has already said in verse six that God loved us while we were still helpless, meaning while we were totally unable to save ourselves, by reason of our depravity, by reason of our condemnation, our alienation, our corrupted will, our darkened mind, we were utterly hopeless and helpless. We were spiritual cadavers.
So before a man is born again there was nothing in him that even saw a need to be reconciled. Paul has said that man suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. Before a man is reconciled, the enmity within his deceitful heart maintains his wicked opposition towards God and he does so joyfully.
Yet notice here in verse 11 we learn that through Christ, quote, “We have now received the reconciliation.”11
So I would submit to you that something grand and glorious has happened here. Something caused us to receive that which we previously rejected.
Notice it was through our Lord Jesus Christ that we have now received the reconciliation. It was Christ that made the reconciliation possible through his righteousness imputed to us by God. That is our justification. And we know from Scripture that it is the Holy Spirit that prompted us to see the need to be reconciled through his regenerating power. It is the Holy Spirit, the Lord says, that convicts the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. Because of Christ, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life to the spiritually dead.
Paul said in Titus 3:5, “He saved us... by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”12
Beloved, the man who exults in God is a man who is deeply humbled by this truth. Nay, it is a man who is overwhelmed by this truth. And this is the man who exults in God because he knows that it was God that awakened his soul to the need to be reconciled to himself. He awakened our soul from the slumber of death and showed us the way to be reconciled through his beloved Son.
Oh, what a glorious dawning of grace that was in my life. Do you remember when it happened in your life? A period of time where there was this great awakening, this great dawning of grace. It reminds me in Genesis one. You will remember the original creation the text says was formless and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. My, what a picture of the unregenerate soul. And yet we read that the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters and then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Beloved, even as the Holy Spirit moved over those great primordial waters and at God’s command separated darkness and light, so, too, does he bring light to our darkened soul. From the light of that new creation new life is formed. Order comes out of chaos. Suddenly we become new creatures in Christ. The old things pass away. The new things come.
What a glorious supernatural transformation. So you must understand that the awakened soul, before it comes to Christ, is so plagued... or I should say when it comes to Christ, when it sees Christ is so plagued by guilt, a guilty conscience is constantly causing it to see the certainty of divine judgment and it can find no peace. That awakened soul suddenly realizes that all of the opiates in life that Satan brings his way no longer works. They are meaningless. Alcohol, drugs, sex, materialism, all the stuff that people pursue, it no longer brings any satisfaction. There is something missing. And his rebellion against God that his deceitful heart would not let him see suddenly is all that he sees. And he realizes that he must be reconciled to God. His sin is fully exposed by the light, the holiness of God and his Word. And suddenly the preoccupation of his heart becomes one thing and one thing only and that is getting right with God, being reconciled to God.
I might add that a man in such an emotional state of conviction needs no manipulation. There is no need of some creative techniques to coerce him to be saved. We don’t have to play 37 verse of Just As I Am to get that guy to finally come to Christ. No, dear friends, when a soul has been awakened, Satan and his minions could not restrain him because God is at work in that man’s life.
You see, what has happened is the gospel has been unleashed in all of its supernatural power and glory. And that gospel will do one of two things every time. It will either harden a heart or it will soften it. And that occurs every Sunday right here in this place.
The man who exalts in God, dear friend, never loses his awareness of these truths. In fact, the more he understands grace the more heightened his awareness of grace will become. Those who misunderstand sovereign grace, quite frankly, are like the helpless infant child who was pulled from a burning house by his father just before it exploded.
You see, it was not until that child was older and wiser that he was able to fully appreciate not only the flames, but the father that saved him. But as he grew, he understood how precious that rescue truly was and it became all the more precious to him.
But the awakened soul, you must understand, cannot stand that state of condemnation, that state of being under divine wrath. So it quickly recognizes the futility of life apart from God and it longs to be reconciled, a longing that can only be described, secondly, as a thirsty soul.
Notice the term “received.”
lambanw (lam-ban’-o) in the original language it means to take, to lay hold of, to take to one’s self.
In verse 11 he says, “We have now received reconciliation.”13
But I ask you. What man receives that which he does not perceive that he needs? What man drinks when he has no thirst?
Perhaps the most common argument against the gospel that I hear is, “You know what? I am not in need of saving. I am not that bad of a person. I am sure that God will accept me just as I am.”
You see, the man that says that is a man who has not yet had his soul awakened to the wrath of God that abides upon him and only then will he thirst for God.
I might add this is crucial for evangelism. Don’t offer people the living waters of God’s grace and blessings without first showing him the law that he has violated.
You see, he must first have his soul awakened to sin and righteousness and judgment. Make him thirsty with the law. Then give him the water of grace. If you try to force water down the throat of a man who is not thirsty and all he will do is choke. He must first see that he is at war with God and God is at war with him.
I would ask you. Have you been awakened to these truths? Have you been reconciled to God? Have you thirsted for him and drank of that living water?
But friends, again, hear me. When God awakens a man’s soul and activates this thirst, he will absolutely run to the waters of grace. Nothing will be able to constrain him, because it is the Father who is drawing him. John 6:44.
It is God who grants the desire to receive the reconciliation from Christ. And it is only from Christ. None other person will do. It is Christ alone. There is salvation in non one else. Scripture is so clear about this. He will not run to ceremonialism. He will not run to denominationalism. He will not run to self righteous moralism. But he will run to Christ because he knows that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. He realizes that there is nothing that he can contribute to his salvation.
You see, the awakened soul will become desperate with desire to receive the reconciliation through Christ. Isn’t it interesting how it thirsts for that which it once found repulsive. It thirsts for the living God.
Remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 42 and verse one.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God.”14
You must interpret that in light of that desert wilderness. You see, water is not just a luxury there. It is a matter of life and death. And the simile of the deer panting conjures of the image of its tongue hanging out because that is literally what will happen. The tongue will hang out. It will get thick. The breathing will become very heavy because the blood is thickening. And the poor animal will begin to stagger. And at that point there is nothing in life more important than one thing. Water. This is true of a thirsty soul, my friends.
I ask you. Is this how you view the life giving, life sustaining water of your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ?
The psalmist went on to say in verse two:
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?”15
You see, the idea is that the living God is the source of his life. In fact, later on that psalm he would say in verse eight, “A prayer to the God of my life.”16
You see, even as life cannot exist apart from water, so, too, the awakened soul, the thirsty soul cannot exist apart from a relationship with the living God. And those who really understand their desperate need for the grace of God will thirst for him, will long for him. They will hunger and thirst for righteousness.
I believe that there is a great spiritual draught in our land today because the water of the Word has been so polluted and millions of believers are languishing today in spiritual dehydration.
Ah, but, my friends, when a person thirsts for God he will ultimately be satisfied because God will come and will fill him with the water.
In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”17
I have to think of the thirst of the terrified jailor in Acts. You will remember Acts 16. You will remember his soul was awakened to his need to be reconciled to God and he falls before Paul and Silas and says, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”18
“And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.’”19
I think also in John four and verse 13 you will remember Jesus told the spiritually thirsty woman at the well, quote, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”20
My point is simply this. The man who exults in God, who finds his satisfaction and greatest delight in God, is a man who has been awakened to the need of reconciliation, who has been made thirsty to receive the water of Christ and he has drunk freely of that living water.
This is Paul’s great argument in Romans five. Remember in verse one, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”21
Herein, beloved, is the basis of our reconciliation.
Then he goes on to list the glorious benefits culminating ultimately in this great blessing in verse 11 where we can exult in God.
You see, the man who grasps this is the man that can say at the very core of his being, “Oh, God, thank you that you awakened my soul, that you made me thirsty, that you caused me to run to the water that I might receive this reconciliation,” one that Paul described in 2 Timothy one and verse nine as this “grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”22
That man who has experienced these amazing truths will exult in God.
So in awakening, an awakened soul results in a thirsty soul that receives the reconciliation and results, finally, in this exultant soul.
You see, this man is a man who has reasoned from Scripture and experienced in person these marvelous benefits of justification. May I rehearse them again for you? He will be able to say, “Yes, I enjoy, number one, peace with God,” as we see in chapter five verse one. He will say, “I know that God’s wrath upon me is over forever. It has been completely satisfied in the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ to whom I am now united. Whereas I was once his enemy, now I am his adopted son. And, secondly, I have access to God,” verse two, where we read, “Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith.”23
In other words, the guilt and shame of my sin is permanently removed, past, present and future. No longer am I exposed to the penalty of the law because God now sees me in his beloved Son and I am therefore righteous in his eyes. And, thirdly, I have a permanent standing in grace before God according to verse two.
“We have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.”24
In other words, having been declared righteous by the only sovereign judge, I am forever anchored in the Gibraltar of free grace. But that is not all. As a result of this, number four, I have jubilant hope of glory, the end of verse two.
“We exult in hope of the glory of God.”25
In other words, as I ponder my immovable standing in this grace which is the basis of my confident hope, I am literally consumed with sheer joy knowing that one day I will experience unrestricted personal fellowship with the triune God and I will be gloriously transformed into the glory of Christ.
Ah, but it doesn’t stop there. In light of all of this I have, number five, joy in tribulation.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance.”26
In other words, I rejoice not merely in spite of my trials, but on account of them, because I know that God has ultimately ordained them for my good and for his glory. I know that God is accomplishing some great work in my life. He is up to some glorious good that I may not even begin to understand. But I trust in his sovereign work, because he has promised that he will complete the work that he began in me and he is going to produce in me this patient endurance whereby I can give him glory in the midst of my suffering and my trials.
And, of course, number six, this proves my salvation, verse four.
He says, “Tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character.”27
This is what God is working in me right now. This is that process of sanctification. The man that exults in God will be able to say, therefore, that God is producing in me a Spirit empowered life that will remain steadfast even in the face of great anguish and tribulation.
Why? Why would he do that? So I can manifest a genuine saving faith and personally experience the assurance of my faith.
In order to help that, number seven, in verse five we learn that he gives us this hope through a subjective awareness of the love of God. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces within me a conscious awareness of the love of God. I can actually feel it pulsating through the veins of my spiritual heart. This is a transcendent love, a saving and a permanent love.
And, verse nine, the eighth benefit is that I am saved from the wrath of God. Again, think about it. Christ has borne the wrath of God in my place that I might never experience the wrath I deserve in hell.
This is so wonderfully described by the hymnist who said, quote:
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God, the just, is satisfied,
To look on him and pardon me.
What a glorious truth. And then what Paul saying, “If that isn’t enough, the greatest blessing of all, based upon these astounding truths is that now I can exult in God. I can find my greatest joy, my greatest satisfaction in life in my personal relationship with God himself. And as a result, the consuming passion of my heart is to glorify him and to enjoy him forever.”
As I close this morning may I give you two marks, just two. There are many others, but I want to give you just two marks of a man who exults in God.
Number one, he will be a man who intentionally pursues God. He intentionally pursues God. Think of what the psalmist said in Psalm 16 and verse eight.
“I have set the LORD continually before me.”28
There is a man who intentionally pursues God.
In verse nine he goes on to say, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory [literally my whole being] rejoices.”29
And in verse 11 he says, “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”30
Beloved, this is the mark of a man who exults in God. He believes, as the Psalmist said in Psalm 37 verse four, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”31
You see, this man will find unsurpassed delight when he contemplates the soul satisfying perfections of his God. He will look at the attributes of God and he will be astounded, for example, by his creative power. He will tremble at the holiness of God. He will be humbled by his sovereignty. He will marvel as at his omnipotence. He will rejoice over his faithfulness. He will weep over his love and on and on it goes.
You see, every attribute of God will display to him more and more of the infinite, inexpressible greatness and glory of God, all of which he has revealed to us for our eternal enjoyment.
This will be the man who will say two things. “Show me your glory. Use me for your glory. Show me your glory. Use me for your glory.” This will be the passion of his heart. This will be a man who is starving for the greatness of God. This man’s life will be characterized by worship. He will be a living sacrifice.
But, secondly, this man will feed on the Word of God.
In Psalm 19 and verse seven we read, “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul.”32
“The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart.”33
You see, this is a man who will devour Scripture, not to just learn how to live a better life, but rather he wants to know more of the greatness of his God. He wants to fall more deeply in love with his glorious person. He wants to enjoy more fully every aspect of that relationship with him, because he knows that nothing else in life really matters. Everything else is secondary, tertiary. He feeds upon the strong meat of God centered doctrine, because he knows that the deeper his knowledge the richer his joy.
He believes what Jesus said in John 15:11, quote, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”34
To say it very simply, he will be an eagle, not a butterfly, because God has awakened his soul from the slumber of sin, exposing his need to be reconciled to the God he has offended, because God has caused his soul to thirst for the life giving waters that he could only receive from the well of grace though the Lord Jesus Christ. This man will exult in God. The passion of his soul, the clear direction of his life will be to glorify God because that is where he finds his greatest satisfaction, his greatest joy come what may.
My friend, there is no greater joy in all the earth than being in communion and living in the presence of the triune God, the lover of your soul. I pray that these great truths characterize your life for your joy and for God’s glory.
Let’s pray together.
Father, we thank you for every expression of your grace that emerges from your Word. We praise you for the awakening of our souls, for the thirst of our souls, the satisfaction of our souls and therefore the joy of our soul which is found ultimately and completely in you. How we long for that day when we can experience that eternally. Lord, be pleased by your grace to save those who nothing of what I say. Awaken their soul today that they might be saved. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus and for his sake. Amen.
1 Romans 5:11.
4 Psalm 34:1-3.
5 Romans 5:2.
6 1 Corinthians 6:11.
7 John 17:17.
8 2 Peter 3:18.
9 1 Corinthians 3:1-3.
10 Romans 5:11.
11 Romans 5:11.
12 Titus 3:5.
13 Romans 5:11.
14 Psalm 42:1.
15 Psalm 42:2.
16 Psalm 42:8.
17 Matthew 5:6.
18 Acts 16:30.
19 Acts 16:31.
20 John 4:13-14.
21 Romans 5:1.
22 2 Timothy 1:9.
23 Romans 5:2.
26 Romans 5:3.
27 Romans 5:3-4.
28 Psalm 16:8.
29 Psalm 16:9.
30 Romans 5:11.
31 Psalm 37:4.
32 Psalm 19:7.
33 Psalm 19:8.
34 John 15:11.
Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.