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!

 

 

 

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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!

 

Romans – Chapter 4

Abraham’s Righteousness Apart From Works

Verse 1 – What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?

In other words, Paul was asking the Jews, How does your doctrine of justification by faith agree with what the Scripture’s say of Abraham?

Verse 2 – For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God.

If Abraham was justified on the grounds of his own merits, he would have reason to boast, or to claim praise, but not in the sight of God. Therefore Abraham was not justified by his won works.

Verse 3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Tradition must give way to the clear statements of the Scripture. Genesis 15:6 is the text Paul cited. The reason why it was counted to him for righteousness was that, it was such a strong, direct, and unwavering, act of confidence in the promise of God.

Do we as Christians have such confidence that what God says about us, is true? We should! God cannot lie!

Verse 4 – Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Pay and gifts are as different as works and faith.

Verse 5 – But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

God saves the ungodly, sinners, and His enemies, (because all are enemies until they come to Christ). Though Jews took Abraham to be a paragon of virtue, Paul declared that he was just a sinner saved by grace. He was justified by faith, just as any Christian is.

Verse 6 – just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.

Paul was telling them that David understood the same doctrine of justification without works.

Verse 7 – “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

Verse 8 – Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”

It would be arrogant to think our sins are too great to forgive. David quoted verses 7 and 8 because he knew God had forgiven him of terrible sins, adultery, murder, and lying, and these sins were deliberate, as most of ours are. David understood that, in God’s accounting ledger, his sins were wiped out and righteousness was inscribed in their place.

“To whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” The Lord will not charge us with our sins, or regard as guilty. To pardon sin as if the sin had not been committed. Because God has forgiven all of our sin, should we not then forgive others?

Abraham’s Righteousness Apart from Circumcision

Verse 9 – Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.

Verse 10 – How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.

God’s blessing to Abraham took place before Abraham was circumcised, so Paul tells the Jews that, righteousness is for the Gentiles also. (Remember, back in the Book of Acts where there was always a dispute between Jewish believers, believing that the Gentiles needed to be circumcised?) Paul wrote and proved it was not a matter of ceremony, but of God’s gift to the believer.

Verse 11 – And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,

Circumcision identified a man belonging to the nation of Israel. It was also to be a seal of righteousness a man had received by faith. Abraham was the model of the very doctrine which Paul was defending.

Verse 12 – and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

Verse 13 – For the promise that he would be the father of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The law demanded obedience and perfect performance. Therefore the promise to Abraham could have never been obtained through the law. The promise was given through righteousness by faith from Abraham. If you know your Bible, Abraham was before the law was even given.

Verse 14 – For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

For those who live by the law seek justification by the law, then faith is useless, if they are the true heirs, because they could not obtain it.

verse 15 – because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

The word “wrath” here is punishment. So the meaning here is that, the law of God, demanding perfect purity, and denouncing every sin condemns the sinner, and consigns him to punishment. As the apostle had proved in Romans 1;2, and 3 that all are sinners, so it followed that if any attempted to be justified by the law, they would be involved only in condemnation and wrath.

Abraham’s Righteousness By Faith

Verse 16 – Therefore it is faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

verse 17 – (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

When God told Abraham that “I have made you a father of many nations”, Abraham didn’t have any heirs. God speaks in past tense, because it’s already done!

Verse 18 – who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Verse 19 – And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

Verse 20 – He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Even though Abraham was about 100 years old and Sarah was well past child-bearing age, Abraham believed God’s promise, and God strengthened Abraham’s faith. Did you catch that? This applies to all believers: God gives you a promise of something you are hoping for; you believe in your heart what God says is true; God will strengthen your faith to continue to believe Him, no matter how long it takes,  just as He did with Abraham.

Verse 21 – and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Verse 22 – And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Verse 23 – Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,

Verse 24 – but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,

Verse 25 – who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

When we believe, an exchange takes place. We give Christ our sins, and He gives us His righteousness and forgiveness. Christ did the work, now believe and receive!

 

Romans – Chapter 3

Verse 1 – What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?

Verse 2 – Much in every way! chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

The Hebrews heard God speak the Ten Commandments directly to them through Moses. Then through a long series of prophets, God’s words came to them. No other people on earth had that privilege.

Verse 3 – For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?

Even if some of the Jewish people did not believe, God was still faithful to His covenant and will bring His promises to fulfillment.

Verse 4 – Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”

Let God be true – let God be esteemed true and faithful, whatever consequences may follow. The rest part of this verse is a little confusing because of the way it is written, but here is what David said in Psalm 51:4: Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight – that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. That should explain what Paul said.

Do people question God’s judgement? Yes, all the time. Have you ever told God, “This is not right?” We think what God has allowed to happen is wrong to us at times. But He is a just God and sees the end from the beginning.

Verse 5 – But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)

Verse 6 – Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

Verse 7 – For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?

Verse 8 – And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? – as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

If God is shown to be in the right by man’s sin and error, then God is honored by our shortcomings. How then can God punish us when we have helped display His righteousness? But Paul answered that as a matter of principle. God’s judgment of sin is always righteous. People who think otherwise deserve condemnation, for their true focus is not on glorifying God but on giving free rein to their sinful desires.

All Are Guilty Before God

Verse 9 – What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

Are we Jews better that he Gentiles? Paul had previously told the Jews that they had preference or advantages in some respect, but he now affirms that those advantages did not make a difference between them and the Gentile about justification.

Verse 10 – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one;

Verse 11 – There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.

Verse 12 – They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

Paul is referring to Psalm 14:1-3, meaning no one is innocent. No one can earn righteousness because no one can be good enough.

Verse 13 – “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips”;

Verse 14 – “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Verse 15 – “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

Verse 16 – Destruction and misery are in their ways;

Verse 17 – And the way of peace they have not known.”

Verse 18 – “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Paul cited Bible passages that show the extent of corruption. As Jesus taught, “from within, out of people’s hearts come all sorts of evil.”

Verse 19 – Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.

Some may argue that these previous verses are not written to the Jews, but to pagan nations. However, everything in the Hebrew Bible is first addressed to the Jews for their instruction so they can learn about sin’s power. All people from every nation and ethnicity are sinners, and God will judge the whole world in God’s court. Everyone will be speechless.

Verse 20 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

No person can earn justification by being obedient to the law’s requirements. The law was never intended to be a means to Salvation. The primary purpose was to reveal man’s sin.

Verse 21 – But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

Verse 22 – even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

Jesus came and magnified the Law, He did not abandon it. He showed its true meaning and purpose. Justification could not be obtained through personal obedience, so justification had to be obtained some other way.

Verse 23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

There is not one person who walked on this earth void of sin, except One, Jesus. Everyone falls short, and we still do. However, there is a remedy which is being washed in Christ’s blood that was shed for our forgiveness.

Verse 24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Justified means that Christians are declared righteous by God’s grace and mercy through belief in His Son. We didn’t deserve it nor did we pay the price for it, Jesus did on the cross.

Verse 25 – whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Verse 26 – to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Old Testament believers looked forward to the coming Messiah. Paul shows that all sin was forgiven by God at the cross. They believed in God, His written word, and His prophets, so they too are under the blood. Our part in all this is to repent, accept, and receive.

Verse 27 – Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.

Verse 28 – Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Paul states again that no one can brag or boast about their good deeds to earn justification. It can’t be earned. We could never be good enough. Justification comes through the work Jesus did and  believing in Him.

Verse 29 – Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,

Verse 30 – Since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Paul said this because Jews were the circumcised and the Gentiles were the uncircumcised. By faith or through faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ.

Verse 31 – Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary , we establish the law.

Does faith wipe out everything Judaism stands for? Absolutely not! When we understand the way of salvation through faith, we understand the Jewish religion better. We know why Abraham was chosen, why the law was given, and why God worked patiently with Israel for centuries. Faith does not wipe out the Old Testament. In the next chapter Paul will explain all this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

The majority of scholars see the Jews as the subject throughout chapter 2. Judgment and condemnation follow sin. Not all people commit the same sins, but all show by their judging and criticism that they do not live up to the moral law they know. The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are to judge ourselves before looking to someone else’s sin.

Verse 2 – But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

Outwardly people might appear well to others, but God searches the heart and sees the secret as well as the open deeds of people. Those who practice secretly what they openly condemn, can not expect to escape the righteous judgment of God. No amount of protests  or opinions will matter in that day. God’s truth will be the judge.

Verse 3 – And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Death in the life will not prevent anyone from standing before God’s judgment seat. All human beings, great and small, rich or poor, will be raised to stand before God.

Verse 4 – Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

God’s mercy and patience is not approval for our sin. He is patient and longsuffering in waiting for all people to recognize He is a good God. Has God been good to you? Should you have been dead by now because of things in your past that you’ve done? If not for the grace and mercy of God, I would have been dead a long time ago.

Verse 5 – But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

An unrepentant heart becomes hardened and on the day of judgment, God’s wrath will come like flood waters that have suddenly been released.

Verse 6 – who will render to each one according to his deeds:

Our conduct, motives behind what we do, and how we treat others, does matter, not just for the Christian, but all people.

Verse 7 – eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

Our good deeds is a response to what God has done. This is not referring to a person doing one single act of kindness. This is talking about a continual life-style of doing good for others.

Verse 8 – but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath,

Verse 9 – tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;

Verse 10 – but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Greek.

Verse 11 – For there is no partiality with God.

This is referring to the verses before. Jew or Gentile will all be judged by the same justice principles.

Verse 12 – For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law

Verse 13 – (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

The Jews saw the Mosaic law as key in the difference between Jews and Gentiles. Paul teaches that the law can’t save people, but only reveals their sin, because no one can keep the law perfectly. However, those (Jews) who live by the law only, will be judged by the law and condemned by it.

Verse 14 – for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

Verse 15 – who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

The Gentiles do not have the Mosaic law in which we live by, but have an inner law, the conscience, that informs us. Our conscience will either accuse us of wrong doing or excuse it.

Verse 16 – in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

God has appointed His Son to administer judgment. He shall bring every work done openly or in secret, to judgment by His truth and righteousness. And then Paul states, according to the gospel he preaches, “my gospel.”

Verse 17 – Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God,

Verse 18 – and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,

Verse 19 – and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

Verse 20 – an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.

Jew was the name given to people who returned to Judea from exile, but later it was extended to cover all Hebrew people wherever they lived. Paul listed eight grounds on which Jews rested their senses of moral superiority over the Gentiles. True enough, and yet Jesus taught, “Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.”

Verse 21 – You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?

Verse 22 – You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

The Jews had learned the law so well, that they had learned to excuse their own actions while criticizing others. Jesus pointed out that even withholding what rightfully belongs to someone else is stealing. (Think about that one for a moment. And not telling the whole truth is the same as lying.) Too many are not willing to take an honest look at themselves, before criticizing another.

Verse 23 – You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?

Do our actions line up with what others hear us speak?

Verse 24 – For “The name of God is blasphemed among Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

Jewish sin resulted in God’s name being dishonored among the pagan nations when the Jews were defeated and exiled. To the pagans, Yahweh seemed powerless since He didn’t protect His people. What do people think if God, by watching you?

Verse 25 – For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. (Circumcision of the heart is useless without true faith. Abraham was faithful long before he was ever circumcised.)

Verse 26 – Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?

In other words: A man shall be treated as if it were so; that the lack of circumcision shall be no bar to acceptance. God judges things as they are; and as the man, though uncircumcised, who keeps the law, ought to be treated as if he had been circumcised, so he who believes in Christ agreeably to the divine promise, and trusts to His merits alone for salvation, ought to be treated as if he were himself righteous. Through God’s Son, they are accepted.

Verse 27 – And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?

Shall not a pagan man who has none of your external privileges, if he keeps the law, condemn you who are Jews, although you have the letter and circumcision, are nevertheless transgressors of the law?

Verse 28 – For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;

Verse 29 – but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not from men but God.

The design of circumcision was to be a sign of separation from the pagan world, and of consecration to the holy God. This implied the renunciation and forsaking of all sins; or the cutting off of everything that was offensive to God. This was a work especially of the heart. The work is to take place in the soul, and not in the body only, an internal spiritual work done by the Holy Spirit.

 

The Book of Romans Chapter 1

Introduction: Paul’s greatest work, is placed first among his thirteen epistles in the New Testament.

The good new’s of Jesus Christ is more than facts to be believed; it is also a life to be lived – a life of righteousness befitting the person “justified” freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (3:24). According to this epistle, Gentiles were predominant in the church at Rome.

Paul wrote Romans in A.D. 57, near the end of his third missionary journey. It was evidently written during his three-month stay in  Greece, more specifically in Corinth.

Now contrary to what the Roman Catholic Church has maintained that this church was founded by Peter, in this entire epistle, there is no mention of Peter at all! Isn’t it incredible that if Peter had been there at Rome, and had founded the church there, and was invested as authority over it, that Paul would have mentioned Peter’s name? Peter was still in Jerusalem in the 9th or 10th year of the reign of Claudius (Acts 15:6). Nor is there any mention of him ever being in Rome, or with Paul. However, he could have come to Rome after Paul, but the church was already established.

The Book of Romans is not an easy book to understand: One reason being because we are unwilling to admit the plain doctrine which it teaches. The heart is by nature opposed to it, and only comes to belief with great reluctance. Our feelings and opinions do not change what is written. Society and how the world lives and what they accept, does not change God’s word.

The best way to understand this book is to read it with a humble, repentant heart, knowing that it was inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, and it is TRUTH!

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

Verse 2 – which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,

Verse 3 – concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,

Verse 4 – and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead,

Paul is writing to Jews and Gentiles. Keep in mind, they did not have the four Gospel’s in print, but did have the first five books of Moses. Paul states that Jesus Christ is the direct descendant of King David and therefore fulfills the prediction that the Messiah would come from David’s line.

Verse 5 – through whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,

Verse 6 – among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Christians belong to Jesus by calling. This calling is not an empty invitation. It is a sovereign summons that results in salvation as people respond in faith to God’s calling. Paul reminds the Roman believer that God took the initiative in saving them.

Verse 7 – To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 8 – First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ, for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Verse 9 – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,

Verse 10 – making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.

God did make a way, as we saw in the last chapter in Acts, even though Paul was a prisoner. To do God’s will doesn’t mean it will always be a comfort. We simply have to be obedient, as Paul was.

Verse 11 – For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established –

Verse 12 – that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Our mutual faith gives us a common language and a common purpose for encouraging other Christians.

Verse 13 – Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Verse 14 – I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.

Verse 15 – So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

Verse 16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Even after Paul had been despised, persecuted, and driven from place to place, he wasn’t ashamed or afraid to preach the good News of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever be ashamed to be associated with Christ, even though it might mean persecution.

Verse 17 – For in it the righteousness of God is revealed form faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

The phrase “righteousness of God” is equivalent to God’s plan of justifying people through His Son Jesus, acquitting them from punishment of sin. Man cannot be justified by his own works, it is by faith man is justified.

Reason for Gentile Guilt

Verse 18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

All those who are unrighteous, lost, unsaved, suppresses the truth by telling themselves, God’s truth about sin is not any concern of theirs. They ignore their sin. There is one standard God expects from everyone, and that standard comes from Him. A person’s sin is only covered by Christ’s blood.

Verse 19 – because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

God as Creator has disclosed Himself in creation. The heavens declare His glory and proclaims the works of hands. This verse shows that so much might be known of God as to prove that man has no excuse for not believing in His existence and His justice, or His determination to punish sin.

Verse 20 – For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Mankind’s problem is not that he doesn’t know the truth. It is simply to oppose God’s will. The very universe contains an exhibition of God’s power and wisdom – omnipotence.

There are Bibles, preachers, and teachers of the gospel all over the world, but even if one person alive today didn’t have access to any of these, they can look at creation and know there is an all-powerful Creator.

Verse 21 – because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

People have the means to know God and to acknowledge Him for His goodness and be thankful. They also have the ability to know what is right. But do they glorify Him, honor Him, reverence Him? Sinners are not willing to give honor to God as God. They feel that they don’t need a perfect God, so they become absorbed with “self.” They give indulgence to their own sinful desires. Unwillingness to thank God for His mercies is one of the causes of a hard heart.

Verse 22 – Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Sinners are often referred to as fools in Scriptures. Applied to them as void of understanding, or as idolaters, and as wicked – corrupt conduct.

Verse 23 – and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.

Paul warns that loss of knowledge of the true God resulted in the worship of images resembling mortal man. Even today we see dictators worshiped as a god, and the Bible says this sin will be repeated climatically in the end times.

Verse 24 – Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lust of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,

Verse 25 – who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever Amen.

These people chose to reject God, and God allowed them to do it. We all have a free will to choose whether or not to follow God or the lusts of our own hearts. Scripture says, “God gave them up;” He abandoned them to do as they pleased. That’s a sad state to be in.

Verse 26 – For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. for even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

Verse 27 – Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

Homosexuality is to change or abandon natural relations of sex, and was as widespread in Paul’s day as it is in ours today. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Scripture (Leviticus 18:22). Society does not set the standard for God or His people! People have convinced themselves that they were born with these desires, not so. Desires are developed and one who gives in to these desires will reap corruption.

I make no apology for what God’s word says or what is written. People have deceived themselves into believing God accepts any life-style and that is simply not true.

Verse 28 – And even as they did not like to retain God in knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do things which are not fitting;

As you read these verses, do you see how many times Paul writes that “God gave them up?” The result of rejecting God is for God to give them up to a reprobate mind. A reprobate mind is a mind destitute of judgment, the consequences of their headstrong passions, their determination to forget God. So He leaves them to a state of mind which is evil, and which He could not approve.

Verse 29 – being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness, they are whisperers,

Verse 30 – backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Verse 31 – undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

If you ever wonder what we need to repent of, here’s the list. God doesn’t take sin lightly. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian “does not have these characteristics.” No, we are not perfect but if you have been truly born-again, you know to do any of these things it is sin. Call it what it is. It is not a little mistake!

Verse 32 – who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

If there is any confusion, re-read these verses. They are all offences worthy of death. And not only that, but those who approve of them that do these things.

I’m only going to mention a few, which are the most prominent in our society today, where people will set up marches in the streets to promote. The first one that comes to mind is “Abortion!” This falls under “Murder!” Women take to the streets and shout that it is a woman’s right to kill her unborn child. Whether they have actually done it or not, if they stand in agreement with those who have and have not repented, Scripture says you are guilty.

The next one that comes to mind is the parades of homosexuals. Those who pass legislative for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman will not be held guiltless! We either believe the Bible entirely or we don’t. We do not pick and choose which parts we agree with!