Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P13 (11-18-19)
Bob continues sharing from the book of Romans. Follow along in the 3rd chapter of Romans. Paul explains this righteousness that is by faith after first explaining man’s condition of spiritual death. Both the Jew and the Gentile are reduced to the same level, spiritually dead and in need of life. The Jew under the law has been buried by the law, condemned by the law. The Gentile, not having the law, is condemned by his own conscience, which testifies against him. In both cases, whether under the law or apart from the law, they are both sinners, dead in their trespasses and sins. Indeed, no one, not a man born today, will be declared righteous by observing the law for it is through the law you are conscious of sin.
Paul explains righteousness, contrasting what man thinks is righteousness with God’s righteousness. Am I a righteous person because of what I am doing? Think about that? If you are righteous because of what you are doing, then how much do you have to do that thing to become righteous and how little do you have to do before you become unrighteous? There is not a man on the face of the earth that can answer those questions. It is like salvation. If my salvation is dependent on what I do, then you have to answer the question, how much do I have to do before I am saved and how little you have to do before you are lost? There is not a person on the face of the earth that can answer that question. Not a one.
So the law was given so man may recognize he is a sinner and realize his state of death, dead to God, spiritually dead. So when the ten commandments were removed from the courthouse in Alabama, what happened? The ability of the law to be used to help a man see and recognize his condition, a sinner and someone in a wretched state before God, was removed, in order that he may see his need of a Savior and come to Christ by faith. The tool of the law was not available in public places to help man be conscious of sin, to be alerted that he is a sinner in need of life, in need of a Savior.
Paul further explains this righteousness that is by faith. Man is born in a fallen state, condemned already. God sent Jesus to redeem mankind. God sent Jesus to die on a cross to take away, not atone, but take away, the sins of the world. The sins committed before Jesus came and died on a cross were left unpunished. A temporary system of atonement was in place for the Jew at the time period of the Old Testament, involving a sacrifice of a bull and a goat, to atone for, or temporarily cover sin. This was a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah who would shed his blood once and for all so there is now no more sacrifice for sin. The shed blood of Jesus was all sufficient to take away all the sins of the world, all the way back to Adam and forward to any man yet to be born. Propitiation took place. That is God’s wrath against sin was completely satisfied by the shed blood of Christ Jesus.
Now that sins have been taken away, man, as far as God is concerned, has been reconciled. There is nothing more that God needs to do on behalf of man. Man is left to choose to put his faith alone in what Jesus did. God has redeemed man, or bought him back with a price, with the precious blood of Jesus. Your sins were taken away. That was preparation for the resurrection. God did this in order that eternal life could be given. For as long as sin was in the way, the cause of death, eternal life could not be given. But Jesus died and has now risen from the dead. Now that he is risen, being eternal life, the eternal God, he always lives to intercede for man.
Now, be reconciled to God. Believe what he did for you. This is the righteousness, Christ’s righteousness imputed to man, that Paul is talking about, that is received by faith. Accept His offer of new life, that is received by faith in Christ, in what he alone accomplished for you, that you could never do on your own, having no righteousness of your own, being dead in sin and in need of life.
Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Realize your sins have already been taken away, that Jesus was buried, with your sins buried with him, and then he was raised from the dead, so that you too can be raised. He offers eternal life as a gift to be received by faith. You too can be raised to new life by placing your trust in Him, by allowing Him to be the Lord of your life, to let Him take residence in you. Let Him lead you into a new way of living. The just shall live by faith. Jesus is the just one and the justifier of all those who put their faith in Him.
Now God does not care whether we speak in English, German or Japanese or Indonesian. He is not listening to what you are talking about anyways. He is too smart to listen to what we say. What we say is very seldom a reflection of what is going on underneath the skin. That is why when someone is asking how you are when your guts are hanging out, you are saying “great”. Your words are not expressing truth. You are expressing a lie. God does not listen to our words. He is listening to our heart. God does not need an interpreter to find out what somebody said. So it does not matter whether someone is speaking in English, German or a Babylonian tongue, He is not listening to what you are saying anyway. He is listening at your heart. Biblical prayer is from your heart, from my heart to Him. That is it period. He is not listening to what we are saying. He is listening to our hearts. Do we understand the truth of that?
How many of you have ever said in your heart you are talking to God but never opening your mouth? How many of you have done that? Isn’t that stupid if He is only listening to you when you are talking? We are so contradictory in our belief system. We are talking out of both sides of our mouth. What God is listening to is the attitude of a man’s heart. How does He do that? I do not know. I do not know what is going on in your heart. I cannot tell but God can. That is what we are depending on, that type of situation.
All of that comes down to is righteousness. Am I a righteous person because of what I am doing? Think about that? If you are righteous because of what you are doing, then how much do you have to do that thing to become righteous and how little do you have to do before you become unrighteous? There is not a man on the face of the earth that can answer those questions. It is like salvation. If my salvation is dependent on what I do, then you have to answer the question, how much do I have to do before I am saved and how little you have to do before you are lost? There is not a person on the face of the earth that can answer that question. Not a one.
Man has tried to, desperately, because he does not understand that salvation, righteousness, justification, and all of those things have to come from God. They are initiated from God to man. They come from God to me. No man is righteous. Do we understand that? The Gentile, all of you out there that are Gentiles, none of you were ever righteous. Any of you out there that are a Jew, you were not righteous either. You thought you were because you kept the law. You say, “I am doing good therefore I am righteous. I give to the poor therefore I am righteous.” Nothing wrong about those things. Right to do but just does not make you righteous before God. If it did, then the question has to be answered, “How much do you have to do to be made righteous? I gave $1000 to the poor and you gave only $2 so I am more righteous than you.” So you cannot answer those questions. So he is saying there is no one who is righteous.
11there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
You did not initiate salvation. You did not tell God how to save people. He said no one understands. He even said no one even really seeks God.
12All have turned away,
What if we are not seeking God, what are we seeking? We are seeking mostly the approval of man. You are getting patted on the head by man, saying you are doing really good. But to really find approval in the sight of God, there is nobody really doing that.
they have together become worthless;
This is how man would respond: “Well, that is not being politically correct. He should not be saying that about us. He said we have become worthless.”
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” [Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20]
We think we are doing good. We think we are doing some good, but He says not even one. He goes on with his description of us. Even today, people are so sensitive and touchy. You know if a Jewish person says, “Bob, you are a voya.” That is what they call a Gentile. Would you be insulted? I made a statement on radio the other day. Someone called me about cremation. What would that matter if playing on the radio on 9-11 and you would be cremated. So what difference would it make to your body when you die anyway? You are going to the dust. It does not matter if burned up or ate away by a worm. You return to the dust. Some people get cremated because of the expense of it because funerals are expensive. That is all I said. Funerals are expensive. I also said. We have in our will that we donate parts of our body for research until you get so old they are not so good anyway so nobody wants them. So I am going to give up on that one. Our children, “Oh, man we cannot stand the thought of you being burned”, so we probably will not do that. I got a call from somebody who got insulted. He was insulted. He was in the business. You say funerals are expensive but ours aren’t. So there is no one who is good, not one.
13“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”[Psalm 5:9]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[Psalm 140:3]
That is not a very good description, is it?
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”[Isaiah 59:7,8]
The way of peace they do not know. One of the things that probably, we may not recognize it, we want in our hearts more than anything else is to have a peaceful heart, just to be able to live in peace. If you go over to Israel, you will find people over there. Our guides, when we took tours over there, a man had been in all of the wars, he was willing to compromise anything to just have peace and quiet. That is what we are looking for, and that is peace. When we do not have it, it is destructive to us. You are never going to have the peace of God until you experience the peace with God. You will never experience the peace of God until you have peace with God. So he is saying the peace they do not know anything about is this peace in the heart.
18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[Psalm 36:1]
In other words, there is no respect. When you talk about fear in the bible, Paul says he did not come to you with brilliant ideas and lofty ideas but I came with fear and trembling because I wanted your faith to stand not on some man’s great ideas, but upon God and His word. It is a way of saying respect and fear. It is like the ocean. I love the ocean but I have great respect for it. I do not want to go out too deep but I love it. I love God but I also have great respect for Him and awe of Him. So he says there is no fear before their eyes.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law,
Now, who is he talking to here, folks? Is he talking to the lost or the saved? Who is under the law? The Jews were under the law. Were they lost or saved? He is talking to people that were under the law as lost. What was the purpose of the law? The purpose of the law was to show us our sinfulness so we may turn to God for salvation. Once we have turned to Him we are no longer under the supervision of the law. Who is the law for? The lost. So he is saying that to whoever the law says, it says to those under the law, how come? So that every mouth is silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
What is he saying here? The law is speaking to the lost, who are bragging that they are keeping the law. They are under the law and keeping the law. This is what it is speaking to in order for you to shut your mouth. I am going to show you that you have nothing to talk about. That is precisely what Jesus did. He came and showed us you do not have anything to talk about. The law says do not commit adultery. I say “I look on your heart” and if a man looks with lust at a girl with his heart and then a man says “uh oh”. The law says “do not commit murder” but I say unto you that if you are angry at somebody then you are already committed murder in your heart. Then I say “I had it” and he says “you got it”. When you had it, you got it.
The purpose of the law is to show you what God’s righteousness is and to show what your righteousness is not. Are we together? You do not have any righteousness. You are using the law to make people think you are righteous. But I look at the heart and I tell you that there is no one righteous, no not one. The purpose of the law is for those under the law in order to shut your mouth, to realize that the whole world has now been made accountable to God, silenced, and the whole word accountable to God, the Gentile world, the Jewish world, the religious world, the non-religious world, are all held accountable to God. In this day and age, Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, you name it, you are all accountable to God. You have all been reduced to one level, dead.
I do not care where you park your car on Sunday, or on Saturday, you are dead until you come alive. God says, “I have reduced the whole world to the position of death, whether you have the law or whether you don’t is irrelevant. You are dead.” Now you read “Therefore”. When you see a “therefore”, you should ask what it is there for.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law;
Do you know whose sight He is talking about? His sight. We may think we are righteous in our own sight. We may think, “Oh, I am a righteous dude.” But he says, “nobody will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law”. Do you understand that? No man. Not by the works of the law.
How many of you have tried to be righteous in God’s sight by observing the law? Did it work? And you knew it would not work, didn’t you? You knew it wasn’t working but you kept trying.
rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
When the ten commandments were taken down recently in that courthouse, what is the world trying to do by destroying? What is Satan trying to do by destroying the said ten commandments? What is he trying to accomplish in that, by taking them away? What is he trying to accomplish? Satan is saying: “Well, if I can make people not conscious of their sin, well, they will never come to Jesus.” The only way someone will come to Jesus is if they are conscious that they need Jesus. If I do not know I am dead, I certainly will not seek life. If I do not know I am a sinner or I am just not conscious of the fact I am a sinner, I would not turn to him for forgiveness. So the alleviation of what God says, the alleviation of the ten commandments, you have annihilated man’s ability to make them conscious of their sin. Do we understand that? So what he is saying is that through the law we become conscious of our sin. When I am conscious of my sin, I also need to be conscious of the consequence of sin, which is death.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
He is saying that there is a righteousness. A righteousness from where? From God. Not from you but from God. A righteousness from God that is apart from the law has been made known that the law and the prophets testify. The law of Moses and the prophets know a righteousness from God apart from the law. That has been made known, to which the Old Testament testifies. So it talks about that. This righteousness comes from God, not from us. And it comes through what?
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
This righteousness from God is given through what? Faith. In whom? God. To how many that believe? All. To both Jew and Gentile alike. He reduced us all to one level, lost, and there is only one way to be saved. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. For both the Jew and the Gentile, that way to be saved is by faith in the Messiah, for the Jew, who knew about Him, and for the Gentile, who just comes to Jesus. So God reduced all people to one level, lost. He offers salvation to both. Through who? Christ Jesus.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
It makes no difference, whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free, you are dead. The biggest problem Jews have is they think the opposite of a Jew is a Christian. That is the furthest from the truth. The opposite of a Jew is a Gentile. You have dead Gentiles and you have dead Jews. You have saved Gentiles and you have saved Jews. Until they understand the truth of that, they are always thinking that the opposite of a Jew is a Christian.
So A Jew thinks you are trying to convert him from being a Jew to becoming a Gentile. That is in essence what they think. The reality of that is you do not lose your Jewish heritage when you come to Christ. You are still a Jew if you are Jewish born and still a Gentile if Gentile born, but you have been born again from above, given also a new designation, a child of the living God.
So he is saying that there is a righteousness now that you cannot earn on your own, a righteousness that has been made known, that the law and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ. To how many does it come that believe? All. There is no difference he says. There is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile. When reading the scripture, recognize this is what he is talking about, the Jew and the Gentile coming to Christ the same way. There is no difference between the two, both are dead.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
What is he saying? The Jew has sinned. The Gentile has sinned. They both fall short of God.
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Redemption. Christ came to redeem us from our sins. What is redemption? How many of you have ever been to a Redemption Center? How many of you remember green stamps? We used to save them. Where did we go? We went to Redemption Center. What did we do? We turned in a bunch of stamps totally worthless and got a toaster. That is redemption.
I gave Him everything that I am, nothing, and he gave me everything that He is. Everything! I exchanged my life for His. I took upon His life so that if any be in Christ, he is a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
It is a total change of life. I give Him me and He gives me Him. That is what redemption is all about. It is through His grace that I was redeemed by Jesus Christ.
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith.
God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement. Now, folks, what I want you to do, is look up this passage in a different translation, such as the King James Version. You will see the word “propitiation” instead of the word “atonement”. Is Jesus a sacrifice of atonement? Who atoned for sins? Bulls and goats. The day of atonement was a Jewish custom where they had to go to the day of atonement and slay a bull or a goat, and spread the blood on the altar, and that to atone for sin.
21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. When 70 A.D. came along, and Titus came and destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, there has never been sacrifices since then. How do you get your sins forgiven, if without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness, and that is in the Old Testament? How do you get sins forgiven if there is no more shedding of blood? You got me.
11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
The issue is we have translation. What you will find is, in some commentaries, that people will say that the word “atonement”, through continual theological usage, has become acceptable. The only thing that makes something acceptable is continual theological usage, which is meaningless. It is what men think in regard to the traditions of men.
The word “atonement” is not used in the original language or in the Greek translation. The word used in the Greek language is “propitiation”. It says what it says in the footnote, and this is what should have been translated. For some reason, the translators do not do it. God presented him as a sacrifice, as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away our sins. Now that is a footnote and that is the accurate translation of this verse, not “atonement”.
You do not get the meaning of “taking away of sins” using “atonement”. Atonement covered sins until the next time. It is like covering sin and then putting more sin on top of the covering. Then coming back next year with more sin. So sin is piled on top of the covering. He did not come to cover sin. Jesus came to take away the sins of the world. This is what the prophet John testified.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
So why do translators translate it this way? I do not know because you miss what Jesus came to do. Maybe it is because they really did not recognize or realize what Jesus came to do contrary to the sacrifice of bulls and goats, although Hebrews makes that very clear what Jesus did. He came to do something far greater than what a bull and a goat can do. It is only the blood of God himself that was of such value that could take away the sins of the whole world. So he is saying here, and the real translation of that, is that God presented him as a sacrifice, as the one who would turn aside the wrath of God, taking away our sins through faith in his blood, not the blood of a bull and a goat. Are we together?
Why did he do this, present Jesus as a sacrifice of propitiation?
He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished –
What is he talking about there? Who took the punishment of sins before the cross? Jesus took it at the cross. The work of the cross that took away the sins of the world went back to Adam and forward into eternity. It was eternal in scope, back to Adam and forward to eternity. It was not punished beforehand because the ultimate punishment for sin was placed on who? On Christ.
26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
The just became the justifier. The just one is Jesus. He became the justifier for you and me.
27 Where, then, is boasting?
Where is all this boasting going on? Why would he say that unless people were boasting? That is what people do this very day. People say: “I keep the law. I am generous. I am justified in the sight of God because of what I do and because I observe the holidays so everybody thinks I am okay.” So where is this boasting? No one will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God by obedience to the law. So where is this boasting? It is excluded.
It is excluded.
Such boasting does not exist. On what principle?
Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.
On that of observing the law? No. On that of faith? Yes. So this boasting is excluded. Get rid of it. It is not important. You cannot find justification through the law but only through faith in Jesus who took away the sins of the world.
28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Then he asks questions.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,