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Theology in Romans

I.  Introduction:

 As we have noted over the last few weeks Paul gives several points of assurance for the believer in Romans 8.  In our passage this morning, we considered the assurance we have for our future salvation.  Paul tells us that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Our security rests in Christ and what He has done, is doing, and will do for us.  Paul gives us such assurance so that we can live faithfully and obediently as we await the coming Day.  Tonight I want to consider some of the Bibleís teaching on the assurance we can have for our future salvation and how that assurance should greatly encourage our pursuit of Christ.  In keeping with our format, we will begin with biblical theology and move to systematic.

II.  Biblical Theology:

 The Bible is a story of God redeeming a people for Himself.  Since the Garden, God has been preparing a people for their salvation through Christ.  And the promise that He has consistently made is that His people will be saved.  All of history is moving toward that goal.  The culmination of the history of redemption is the glorification of Godís people.  The curse will finally be overcome.  The creation will be refined.  And Godís people will live forever to enjoy the One who called them and saved them.  Thus, the whole story of our redemption found in the pages of Scripture gives us assurance for the future salvation of those who have turned from their sins and placed their faith in Christ.  As we will celebrate in a few months, Christ came the first time to redeem a people who would long for His return.

III.  Systematic Theology:

 We do not have time to look at these passages in detail, but I want to point out just a few of the passages that describe our future salvation.

 A.  John 14:1-7 In the Fatherís house are many rooms and Christ has gone to prepare a place for us.  If this is so, then we can be assured that He will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  Christ is preparing a place for His people and He is not preparing it in vain.  He is not preparing it to leave it vacant.  No, He is preparing it to be our home.  How do we make certain that we get there?  How do we know the way?  Jesus tells us: I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  We often use this reference to speak of the exclusivity of the gospel, namely that no one can be saved apart from faith in Christ.  And rightly so.  Yet, we should also note the inclusive nature of the gospel.  We will be with Christ.  We will be with the Father through faith in Christ.  He is our hope for future salvation and it is a sure hope through Him!

 B.  1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 50-58 Because we believe that Christ was raised from the dead, we know that all of those who have been united to Him through faith will be raised with Him on the last Day.  Our perishable, mortal bodies will be replaced with imperishable, immortal ones.  We will be done with sickness and disease and decay.  Even death itself will be swallowed up in victory.  Where could such victory come from?  Paul answers: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  The victory comes from God the Father through Christ the Son.  Again, note the glory of our future salvation and the sure foundation upon which it rests.

 C.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 Paul is writing to encourage the believers in Thessalonica about their brothers and sisters in Christ who have already died.  He wants them to know that they too will be raised with Christ when He returns.  None of His will be lost on that Day.  Verses 9-10 in chapter 5 are some of my favorites.  Listen to them again: For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.  Wow.  God has not destined His people for wrath.  Granted, they deserve it.  They have earned it.  Yet, God has destined them for salvation through Christ, who died and bore the Fatherís wrath in their place.  No wrath remains for those in Christ, only fellowship and life with Him!!

 D.  1 Peter 5:10 Peter spends a good portion of his letter discussing the suffering that believers will face.  They are to suffer like Christ (2:21-25).  They are to suffer for righteousnessí sake (3:8ff).  They are not be surprised by suffering (4:12-19).  They are to be encouraged by their elders when they suffer (5:1-4).  In all of this suffering, they are to keep their eyes fixed on the glory to come (2:23, 3:9, 4:13, 5:4).  This is the point of 5:10.  Yes, we will suffer for a while on this earth, but glory is coming for those in Christ.  God has called us in Christ to his eternal glory.

 E.  1 John 3:1-3 John tells us that when Christ appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  Upon Christís return, Godís plan of conforming us to the image of His Son (see Romans 8:29) will be realized.  On that Day, we shall be like Him.  This is what it means to be children of God.  This is what it means to have Godís love lavished upon us.  One Day we will be like Christ for we shall see Him as He is.

 F.  Revelation 21:1-4 O Church, there is coming a Day when the dwelling place of God will be with man.  On that Day, the redeemed will be His people and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away tears and death will be no more.  He will put an end to mourning, crying, and pain.  Did you hear that?  No more mourning!  No more crying!  No more pain!  This is the promise that we have for our future salvation.  It will be glorious beyond description (just read the rest of Revelation). 

IV.  Conclusion:

 All of these passages point us to the glory of our future salvation and the assurance that we can have through Christ.  Likewise, they all encourage us to present faithfulness.  Jesus calls us to look only to Him for our salvation (John 14:6).  Paul tells us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).  Likewise, we are to keep awake and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6).  We are to suffer well (1 Peter) and pursue purity (1 John 3:3ff).  The promise of future salvation is meant to lead us to present obedience.  May it do just that as we long for His return.  Amen.  Come Lord Jesus!

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 October 2010 )

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