Romans – Chapter 10

Verse 1 – Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

The expression seems intended particularly for the Jews. His earnest and sincere desire was for all of Israel to be saved.

Verse 2 – For I hear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Verse 3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

Both Jews and Gentiles that are confident in their own righteousness, Paul says, are ignorant without knowledge. They are as lost as they can be. The greatest obstacle to salvation is a self-righteous sinner.

Verse 4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Verse 5 – For Moses writes about the “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Christ is the end of the Law in being both its fulfillment and its termination. Any system based on performance is excluded. If a person chose to live by the Law to gain righteousness, they had to do so perfectly.

Verse 6 – But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

Verse 7 – or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ”

I always thought these two verse meant not to say, “Well, I think they went to heaven and another went to hell.” That’s not what Paul was talking about at all. He’s simply saying one doesn’t have to go to heaven to have access to Christ. One only needs to believe in their heart to make Christ accessible and that is the righteousness of faith.

Verse 8 – But what does it say? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart,” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Verse 9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Verse 10 – For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

Paul hasn’t changed the subject of understanding salvation, he is telling them its a matter of believing and confessing. With the mouth a person confesses that God raised Jesus from the dead and believes in the heart Jesus is who He says He is and thou shall be saved! By faith we confess!

Verse 11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Verse 12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

Verse 13 – For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

We call on Him with a repentant heart, a humble sense of our sinfulness and our need of a pardon, and with a willingness to receive eternal life as it is offered us in the gospel. And as this passage teaches, all may be saved who will do it. He will cast none away who comes in this manner. This invitation extends to all nations and to all people of all times.

Verse 14 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Verse 15 – And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who brings glad tidings of good things!”

To preach means to proclaim in a public manner, the gospel to people. They are sent, divinely commissioned, and sent forth by God. Being a preacher is a special calling on one’s life. To preach the Good News of the gospel proclaiming reconciliation with God by the gospel.

Verse 16 – But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Israel says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

That is, Isaiah complains that his declarations respecting the Messiah had been rejected by his countrymen.

Verse 17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This does not mean that all that hear will believe, but that faith cannot come without the gospel message. People are converted by the gospel of grace when they hear it and how can they hear it unless a preacher be sent?

Verse 18 – But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Verse 19 – But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:  “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will anger you by a foolish nation.”

Verse 20 – But Isaiah is very bold and says:  “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask Me.’

Verse 21 – But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.

The gospel message was preached throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews listened and simply did not believe. Even knowing the Old Testament prophets, they didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah when He came. The Gentiles heard this too, and many believed Paul’s citations and this shows that the Gentile conversion was predicted in the Old Testament.

There are too many preachers and churches in the world today for a person not to have heard the gospel. It’s available all across the world. It is the individuals responsibility to respond.

 

Romans – Chapter 9

Paul’s Sorrow

Verse 1 – I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,

Verse 2 – that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.

Verse 3 – For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,

Verse 4 – who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving law, the service of God, and the promises;

Paul insisted that he felt intense sorrow and continual anguish over the Jewish unbelief and would willingly forsake his own salvation if it could save his brethren, his own flesh and blood. How many of us are willing to sacrifice time, money, and efforts, to see the lost saved?

Verse 5 – of whom are the fathers and from whom according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God, Amen.

God’s Sovereignty

Verse 6 – But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,

Not all the descendants of Jacob have the true spirit of Israelites. It was a basic misunderstanding of the Old Testament promises to think that all who were in the nation of Israel were guaranteed to receive God’s spiritual blessings. Paul provides examples in the following verses.

Verse 7 – nor are they all children because they are seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”

Verse 8 – That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

This statement was in opposition to one of the most settled and deeply cherished opinions of the Jews. They supposed that the mere fact of being a Jew, entitled a man to the blessing of the covenant, and to be regarded as a child of God. But Paul shows them that just because they were natural descendants, they were not automatically entitled to these blessings.

Verse 9 – For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

Verse 10 – And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac,

verse 11 – (for the children not yet born, nor having done any good or evil, that they purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),

Verse 12 – it was said of her, “The older shall serve the younger.”

Rebecca had twins, but God’s choice of the younger twin, before their birth, indicated again that God’s blessing are His to hand out and that they are not an automatic birthright.

Verse 13 – As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

Jacob, the Israelites, and Esau, the Edomites, both nations were punished for their sins, about only one received grace. God has shown affection for Israel and bestowed privileges and blessings, as proof of Him preferring Jacob to Esau. This is explained in Malachi 1:3.

Verse 14 – What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!

Verse 15 – For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

God is sovereign and doesn’t have to give an account on why He has mercy and compassionate to some and not to others. Think about this: Do we not show mercy and compassion on those we choose to do so? Do we help some and not others?

Verse 16 – So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

Verse 17 – For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared in all the earth.”

God raised Pharaoh as ruler of Egypt and used him as a foil to reveal His name, Yahweh, and His power, so the One true God would be known. Pharaoh believed that he was Ra the sun-god.

Verse 18 – Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

Meaning, a sinner will be left to their own course, and to place them in circumstances where their character will be more pronounced.

Verse 19 – You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”

Will the one who contends with Almighty correct Him? Do we question why God does certain things for others and not for us? Some do. Who are we to question or correct God?

Verse 20 – But indeed O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

What right or authority do we have, being the creation, to ask our Creator what or why He does anything?”

Verse 21 – Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lumps to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Paul is not saying that some of us are worth more than others, but that the Creator has control over the created. Some are called to a higher calling. He sees the determination and intents of the heart.

Verse 22 – What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

Verse 23 – and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

Verse 24 – even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

These verses prove that Gentiles might be called as well as Jews. Two things are established here, (1) that the grace of God was not confined to the Jewish people; (2) and that God was not bound to confer grace on all the descendants of Abraham, as He bestowed it on those selected from the mass according to his own will, and not of necessity on the mass itself.

Verse 25 – As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved.”

Verse  26 – “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they will be called sons of the living God.”

About seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth, Hosea told of God’s intention to restore His people. Paul applies Hosea’s message also to God’s intention to bring Gentiles into His family after the Jews rejected His plan.

Verse 27 – Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.

Verse 28 – For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”

Verse 29 – And as Isaiah said before; “Unless the LORD of the Sabbath had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

God has the right to show His mercy on whom He chooses. If not for saving a remnant of the Jews, they would have been destroyed long ago. Wherever Paul preached there was only a small amount of Jews that accepted Christ as the Messiah.

Verse 30 – What shall we say then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness, having attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

Verse 31 – but Israel, pursuing the law, of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

Verse 32 – Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

The Gentiles, who were not seeking righteousness, were granted it by grace through faith. But Israel missed it by seeking righteousness through the Law and by their works.

Verse 33 – As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

People are still like what Paul was talking about today. They think they can gain God’s blessings and favor through good works. Those who think this, “Don’t read their Bible.” Because if they did read God’s word they would know that the only way to God is faith in Jesus Christ. The good works come after salvation, not to earn God’s favor, but because we are His children and it becomes a part of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 8

The spirit Delivers from the Power of he Flesh

Verse 1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

People like to quote this verse because it seems to free them from all guilt of sin. However, I never hear anyone quote the entire verse which is, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

This verse implies that there was condemnation under the Law, and would be still but for the intervention of the gospel. No, condemnation does not mean that sin in believers is not to be condemned, for the contrary is taught everywhere in Scripture.

It means to pardon; set the soul at liberty. The design of Paul is not so much to assert the different functions of the Law and the gospel, as simply to state the fact in regard to a certain class of people, “to those in Christ.” This is deliverance from the curse of the Law.

It is pertaining to those who walk by the spirit: Galatians 5:22, 23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Verse 23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. If a person has these fruits of the Spirit, they are a Christian, if not, they are a stranger to Him.

Verse 2 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Holy spirit living in every Christian, the power to live free from sin.

Verse 3 – For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Verse 4 – that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The believer’s freedom comes from Jesus, a once for all time sacrifice, sin offering, fulfilling the law’s demands in His life and death.

Verse 5 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Those who walk by the flesh have not had their minds renewed. They are devoted to the gratification of their corrupt desires. The outcome for these two walks, flesh and Spirit, are either death or life.

Verse 6 – For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Nothing but strife and misery will come when someone is carnally minded. Everything is decided on “What I feel,” emotions. “I want,” “I feel like,” or lustful desires. It is always about what is “for themselves,” guilt and condemnation will follow.

Verse 7 – Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

You cannot be a carnal Christian! That is an oxymoron. When someone is not submitted to God and does not choose to do His will, then they are as lost as a ball in high weeds. This verse is very plain, so don’t act as mean as a snake and try to tell me you are a Christian!

When a person comes to believe in Christ, they begin to “renew” their mind, and then their desires and their wanting’s change to what God wants and desires for them. You cannot stay in rebellion against the laws of God and still call yourself Christ-like.

Verse 8 – So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

They are engaged in hostility against God; and if they do not repent and forsake it, it will result in an eternity without the Lord Almighty.

Verse 9 – But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

The Spirit’s presence is the mark of Christ’s ownership. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “There has to be a transformation, and that’s not a little emotional crying that took place somewhere, sometime.” There will be evidence of a changed life!

Verse 10 – And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

The body and the flesh, will no longer rule in our mortal bodies, dead to sin.

Verse 11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The spirit Gives Sonship

Verse 12 – Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Verse 13 – For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Live by corrupt inclinations and passions, which are called deeds of the flesh, and you will die an eternal death. However, if your sins are put to death through the blood of Christ and the dwelling of the Holy spirit, you will be saved.

Verse 14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Those who are filled and led by the Spirit are given “Adoption!” One who yields and submits to the Holy spirit’s influence, those are the sons of God.

Verse 15 – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Verse 16 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Verse 17 – and if children, then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together.

In many parts of he world today, Christians face just as much persecution as they did in Paul’s day. Nothing, however compares to the suffering that Christ had.

Verse 18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be received in us.

Verse 19 – For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

The afflictions, sickness, persecutions, and hardships are nothing in this life when compared to an eternity with Christ. As Christians, we have a great expectation of our inheritance throughout all eternity with Christ.

Verse 20 – For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

Verse 21 – because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Sin has caused all creation to fall from the perfect state in which God created it. However, it is the purpose of God that deliverance shall be granted. The hope is, that this renewed person shall be delivered from all toils and cares of this life.

Verse 22 – For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Verse 23 – And not only they, but we also who have the firstfuits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body,

Verse 24 – for we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees?

We will be resurrected with glorified bodies. We have the “firstfuits,” the first installment or down payment of the Holy Spirit, as a guarantee of our resurrected life.

Verse 25 – But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

As Christians, we look forward to Christ’s return. In the meantime, we keep believing and doing what we know is right, striving to keep that hope of His return.

Verse 26 – Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

In our weaknesses we have the help of the Spirit. Jesus is our intercessor in heaven and the Spirit is our intercessor on earth within our hearts. The Spirit’s requests are always according the will of God and are always answered.

Verse 27 – Now He who searches the heart knows what the mind of the spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Verse 28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Notice this promise is not for everyone. It can only be claimed by those who are the called, and according to His purpose. Those who are “called” are those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Not everything is good in and of itself, but God uses everything for our good, for those who love Him.

Verse 29 – For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Verse 30 – Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called, whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

You and I were never an afterthought! Predestine means that God planned from eternity that those whom He foreknew would become like Christ through spiritual rebirth. Called is the way in which God opens the heart so we can hear His voice. This is a sovereign summons that draws the sinner from death to life.

Justified is God’s act of declaration that we are right in His sight because Jesus paid the penalty for sin. We then receive Jesus’ righteousness. Glorified is the final stage of our salvation. Notice that our future glorification is so certain that it is spoken of in the past tense.

Verse 31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Sinners may be against us, and so may the great enemy of our souls, but their power to destroy us is taken away. God is more mighty than any foes the Christian might have against them.

Verse 32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God’s first great gift to us was Jesus. It is not by money or merit, but it is by the mere mercy of God that He gives His sons and daughter all things.

Verse 33 – Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Verse 34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Who is he that condemns? Who shall pass sentence of condemnation? The function of passing sentence of condemnation on people shall pertain to Christ, the judge of the quick and the dead, and the apostle proceeds to say that it was certain that He would not condemn the elect of God. They are therefore secure.

Verse 35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Verse 36 – As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Paul simply states that anything we might go through in this life as a Christian, is not strong enough to separate us form the love of God!

Verse 37 – Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

That is one of the most profound statements in this chapter. Paul writes, “In all things.” To many times I hear Christians complaining about what everyone else is stopping them from accomplishing. They are weak in knowing what God has already written about them. We are not failures in this Christian life. The only reason a Christian will be defeated is when they don’t know who they are in Christ!

Verse 38 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Verse 39 – nor height, nor depth, nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Before we became born-again what separated us from the Father was sin. Paul makes it very clear, once a born-again believer belongs to God through Jesus Christ, “Nothing can separate us from His love!”

This is another reason it is imperative that you read Scripture for yourself! We are not joined one day with Christ and then separated the next. If we sin, we repent, and move forward, but God still loves you!!!!!

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 7

The main design of this chapter is to show the insufficiency of the Law to produce peace of mind to troubled sinner. Paul showed in the previous chapters that the Law was incapable of producing justification.

Verse 1 – Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

Verse 2 – For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

Paul uses marriage to illustrate our relationship to the law. When a spouse dies, the law of marriage no longer applies. Because we have died with Christ, the law can no longer condemn us. We now serve and are obedient because a changed heart and mind that overflows with love, will love what God loves.

Verse 3 – So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Verse 4 – Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

When a person dies to that old life and belongs to Christ, a new life begins. Believers find that their whole way of looking at the world changes when they have their eyes opened. Far too many Christians try to hang onto that old way of life and soon find themselves slipping backwards. Before long their lives become a yo-yo, up and down, with all kinds of turmoil. Maybe they were never fully committed.

Verse 5 – For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

This verse and the following verse, is designed to show the effect of the Law, whenever and wherever applied. It’s always agitation and conflict in the mind. Trying to keep the whole Law is frustrating, because it can’t be done perfectly. The only hope of release in deliverance is the sanctifying power of the gospel.

Verse 6 – But now we have been delivered from the law having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

There are some who think by going to church and keeping the Ten Commandments and doing good deeds, they earn God’s approval. But in reality, all their efforts cause frustration and discouragement, because we all fail and can’t be perfect in all areas. However, when we come to Christ, the Holy Spirit will turn your focus off of your performance and turn it toward Jesus. He will free us to serve Him out of gratitude and love.

Law Cannot Deliver From Sin

Verse 7 – What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

The Law in itself was not evil or sinful. It’s function was to reveal sin. We wouldn’t have known not to want what another has, unless a law had been written.

Verse 8 – But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Verse 9 – I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Paul no doubt is referring to his past experience. Yet in this he speaks of all who are unconverted, and who are depending on their own righteousness.

Verse 10 – And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

Verse 11 – For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Verse 12 – Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Sin deceives people by misusing the law. The serpent deceived Eve by taking away her focus from the freedom she had to the restriction God had made about the Tree of Life. If we look at things the way God looks at them, we will understand that God only restricts us from actions and attitudes that ultimately will harm us.

Verse 13 – Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what was good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Verse 14 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

When we struggle with sin on our own, making decisions according to the flesh and emotions, we will become a slave to sin. We can’t combat sin without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 15 – For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Coming to faith in Jesus Christ takes but a moment. But learning to be Christ-like, is a life-long process. Most of our struggles will come from within. We must never underestimate the power of sin.

James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The problem most Christians have with resisting the temptations from the devil, is that they won’t submit to God! They continue to make excuses for their actions by believing they can resist all on their own.We can’t overcome anything without God’s Holy Spirit and by submitting to Him!

Verse 16 – If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

Verse 17 – But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Verse 18 – For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

In our flesh there dwelleth no good thing. Even after conversion, the only part of us that is holy is our new Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit living in each believer. We still have fleshly desires, attitudes, and behaviors that are sinful. The difference now though, is the Holy Spirit helps us by correction, to clean our mess up.

Verse 19 – For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Verse 20 – Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Even though sin dwells in all of us, we are still responsible for our actions!

Verse 21 – I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Verse 22 – For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Verse 23 – But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Verse 24 – O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Verse 25 – I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

The believer recognizes that in his mind he wants to serve God’s law since it is holy, just, good, and spiritual, but at the same time his fallen nature is in service of this alien power – sin.

 

Law And Grace

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the major spiritual conflict portrayed in the New Testament is the choice between the law and grace as the basic avenue of approach to God. The Mosaic covenant and the work of Christ were at odds with one another.

The Purpose of the Law

God’s covenant with Moses was not meant to compete with the grace of God shown through Christ. It was meant to prepare the people of the Mosaic covenant for the grace of God revealed in Christ. The Mosaic covenant could be compared to a tutor readying a young pupil for more advanced spiritual realities (Galatians 3:24). Christ lived and died to bring people of God their adult liberty.

The Mosaic covenant foreshadowed and prophesied the atoning death of Christ and the free access to God. His forgiveness provides for those who receive it by faith (Hebrews 9-10). The prescribed offerings for sin reminded the worshipers under the Mosaic law that sin requires a blood sacrifice. The repetition was meant to teach that no final solution for sin had yet arrived.

The Purpose of Grace

When the Son of God entered human flesh through the virgin birth and died in the place of all people, He opened the way to heaven, not just to an earthly tabernacle or temple (Hebrew 9:24). His sacrifice of Himself need never be repeated; all sin has been atoned for, and that atonement operates for all who receive it by faith. Previously, only the high priest one time a year could enter the holy of holies, which symbolized the presence of God, but now all who trust Christ can enter God’s presence with confidence at any time.

“The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). The Mosaic law reveals the holy and righteous standards of God. It functions as a straight edge alongside which the crookedness of human hearts and actions become painfully evident (Romans 7:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-10).

The unattainable standards of righteousness in the Mosaic law remind believers in Christ that they must live by faith as well as we are redeemed by faith. They will never attain the righteousness of the law by their own efforts (Romans 8:2-4). The Mosaic law also convicts unbelievers of their sins and points beyond itself to Christ as the only final solution to moral failure (1 Timothy 1:8-10). We cant’ do it without belief in Jesus Christ!

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 6

Verse 1 – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Verse 2 – Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Can a justified person live the same way as they did before justification? Deciding ahead of time to sin, because of God’s grace, is taking advantage of God’s gift. When people claim Christianity, and there is no evidence of a changed attitude and life style, I have my doubts they ever truly were saved. No true believer is going to take advantage of God’s grace.

Verse 3 – Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Christ’s death on the cross becomes a believer’s death to sin in baptism.

Verse 4 – Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Believers are symbolically buried with Christ through baptism and raised with Him from the dead to a new life. To walk in the newness of life is about conduct and our life style.

Verse 5 – For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Verse 6 – knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.

Everything we were before we became a Christian is dead. This new self is by no means perfect, we still sin, but we are in the process now of renewal. Little by little things start to change and what we say and what we do will become more like Christ. Some things will be very plain as what not to do, but some won’t. Those things will need the guidance of the Holy Spirit because He will lead us into all truths.

Verse 7 – For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Verse 8 – Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

Verse 9 – knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

Verse 10 – For the death that He died He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

We, as Christians died to sin and raised to a life in Christ, not to self. Christ lives unto God, we live unto Christ.

Verse 11 – Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Verse 12 – Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, that you should obey it in its lust.

Verse 13 – And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Members are the hands, feet, tongue, etc. Don’t allow your hands, feet, and tongue to do the work of the devil. Don’t go where you know you shouldn’t go; don’t use your hands to steal or do harm; and certainly watch what comes out of your mouth. Don’t let the devil use your body in any way to sin against God.

Verse 14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Verse 15 – What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but grace? Certainly not!

Do you know that some Christians believe that now that hey are under grace, they can live anyway they chose? I’ve even heard some preachers lean towards this theology. It’s wrong to the first degree. Yes, we are under grace as born-again Christians, however, the Holy Spirit is our guide now, and will not lead us into sin! We live our lives according to God’s word and prompting of the Holy Spirit, and principles.

Verse 17 – But God be thanked that though you were slaves to sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

This can be said about every born-again believer. While in the midst of our disobedience and sin, God worked on our hearts because of the gospel we heard.

Verse 18 – And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Verse 19 – I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

So many times, I’ve met Christians living their lives in the “grey” areas. Nowhere in Scripture is there a “grey” area of living. We are either slaves to sin, or we are obedient to righteousness. People have to make a choice, either now, while living, or there will be no option after death.

Verse 20 – For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Verse 21 – What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

What reward or advantage did we have before we were saved? Most of what we produced was for ourselves and some things we are now ashamed of. Please don’t ever forget, we reap what we sow, whether good or bad.

Verse 22 – But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life!

Verse 23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Did God create us to have freedom of choice? Yes, but we don’t have the choice of the consequences of that choice. The currency of sin is death. That is all anyone can hope for in a life without Christ. The currency of Christ is eternal life. Our new life with Christ begins while living and continues forever with Him!

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 5

Peace With God

Verse 1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 2 – through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Peace with God means that we have been reconciled with Him. There is no more hostility between us, no sin blocking our relationship with Him! Peace with God is possible only because Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death on the cross.

Paul states that, as believers, we now stand in a place of privilege (“this grace in which we stand”). Not only has God declared us not guilty, He has drawn us close to Him. No longer are we God’s enemies subject to His wrath. When the Bible says Jesus paid it all, He took the punishment meant for us!

Verse 3 – And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

We not only rejoice in hope, not only in the direct results of justification, but we carry our joy into the midst of trials. What we know about our loving heavenly Father, is sufficient enough to carry us through life’s tribulations. Knowing with confidence that we are triumphant in Jesus Christ. We persevere because of that confidence, going through trials with patience.

Verse 4 – and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

The result of a long trial is to produce hope.

Verse 5 – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Hope grows as we learn God has a future for us. Hope does not deceive. Christian hope will be fulfilled, it will not disappoint, what we hope for we shall surely obtain.

Verse 6 – For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

While we were still sinners, we were weak, because we could do nothing to save ourselves. God loved us before we ever turned to Him. Love for mankind kept Jesus on that cross.

Verse 7 – For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

Verse 8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Salvation From God’s Wrath

Verse 9 – Much more than, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Too many Christians believe that every time they fall short, that God is angry with them. Not so! Don’t throw what Paul is saying out the window because you feel guilty about your sin. Repent and go forward.

Sin was in the way of our salvation; Christ took the punishment we deserved and shed His blood. Being now justified – pardoned, we are purchased by His blood, and sanctified by it. This renders us sacred in the eye of God, and will keep us from punishment – from hell, which we deserved for our transgressions.

Verse 10 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

The love that caused Christ to die is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us. That same power lives in each Christian to have an abundant life.

Verse 11 – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (no longer outcasts)

Contrast of Righteousness and Condemnation

Verse 12 – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned –

Verse 13 – (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)

Verse 14 – Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Paul has shown in previous verses that, keeping the law does not bring salvation. Here he adds that breaking the law is not what brings death. Death is the result of Adam’s sin and of the sins we all commit. For thousands of years the law had not been explicitly given, and yet people died. The law was added to help people see their sinfulness, to show the seriousness of the offenses, and to drive them to God for mercy and pardon.

The law points out sin and places the responsibility squarely on our shoulders. But the law offered no remedy. Just as Adam was a representative of a created humanity, so is Christ the representative of a new spiritual humanity – if you receive.

Verse 15 – But the fee gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Verse 16 – And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

What was gained through Jesus Christ, was far greater than that which was lost through Adam.

Verse 17 – For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

The evils which they suffer in consequences of the sin of Adam bear no comparison with the mercies of eternal life that shall flow to them from the work of the Savior. As the effect of Adam’s sin was to produce condemnation, so here the gift of righteousness refers to the opposite, to pardon, to justification, to acceptance with God.

Verse 18 – Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Verse 19 – For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Verse 20 – Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded grace abounded much more,

Verse 21 – so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There is no one sin that is greater than God’s grace, meaning grace covers all sin. People might go their entire lives thinking they have sinned too much for God to forgive them, not so.

Paul’s teaching needs to be taught more in the church. This is the true gospel of Christ. Until believers and the lost understand that there is only “ONE WAY” to God, they will never believe that they are completely forgiven and have an eternity with Christ!