Yesterday I preached from Romans 1:1-7, the fourth sermon from these verses, in our series titled, “The Gospel According to Paul” which is an expository study through the book of Romans. The focus of the last two weeks has been four key doctrines that make up the bedrock foundation of Paul’s theology. This Pauline theology also builds the foundation of Romans as a whole.
As I spoke on the doctrine of Jesus’ resurrection and the doctrine of election, I pointed out that doctrine has a practical side too. Below you will find two practical observations that serve as the fruit of such powerful doctrines.
We Can Be Saved
The resurrection of Jesus, with all of the theological layers, points to this practical and helpful reality—it’s possible for man to be saved. What is completely impossible with man is possible with the resurrected Jesus. As the Bible points to the fact that we are dead in our trespasses and sin and completely unable to work our way or will our way to God—salvation must be the work of a sovereign God. We have the absolute confidence that Jesus is capable of saving and possesses the authority to save—something the religious leaders of his day challenged him on—because of the resurrection. Not only does it prove his deity, but the resurrection serves as the validation of his authority to forgive sins.
Likewise, the doctrine of election with all of its layers serves as a reminder that the God who has created the entire universe is capable of organizing a plan and choosing specific people unto himself before the foundations of the world were laid (Eph. 1:1-10).With man, salvation is unattainable and beyond our reach. With God, it’s not only possible—it’s a certainty. God mapped out our salvation long before time and is bringing it about chapter by chapter until the final day when Christ returns (Phil 1:6). Therefore, the doctrine of election should serve as an encouragement rather than a divisive subject.
We Can’t Be Lost
If Jesus rose from the dead, not only is our faith valid—it’s completely secure. In John 10:28-29, Jesus made the powerful point that every person that the Father gives to him will be completely secure and never lost. The resurrection of Jesus Christ serves as the concrete assurance of our resurrection in the future (1 Cor. 15). Everything in Christianity hinges on the proof of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus himself pointed out that he is the resurrection and the life in John 11.
The doctrine of election drives home the organized plan of God that spans back before time to the beginning of the triune salvation plan that’s rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ—the second person of the Trinity. However, it likewise looks into the future to promise that because we have been foreknown (foreloved), called, and justified—we will likewise be glorified in eternity (Rom. 8:28-39). There are no dropouts along the journey of faith and we know this based on the doctrine of election.
Be encouraged Christian—your faith in Jesus Christ is valid and your hope is secure.