Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P53 (03-10-20)
Someone says to you they have never sinned. What would you tell him? Take him to 1 Corinthians 13, and tell him to replace every occurrence of “love” with his name, and ask him how well he is doing in the love department. If he is married, you can also ask him if he would put his wife on the line. You want to ask his wife what she thinks of her husband.
The truth of the matter is that all of us have fallen short, all of us have sinned, and we cannot live perfectly in this flesh of ours. If we were to die, and then we were to stand before God in our own righteousness, then how righteous I am next to Bob is not the issue. How righteous am I next to Jesus is the question. We are made to be dependent on Jesus, letting Him to live His life in and through us. This is called walking by the Spirit so you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
That is why it says to rejoice in your weakness. Until you see you are weak that is how you know you need Jesus. If I am strong, then why would I need Him for? That is why Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” I am not ashamed to say I cannot do it. Because it is the gospel that says “He can”. I am not ashamed to say, “I can’t but He can.” That is where these attitudes of our hearts have to take over, to realize that apart from Jesus we can do nothing.
Many people really do not know what sin is. Anything that does not come from faith is sin. So how many times do you not exercise faith? How many times do you put your faith in what you are doing instead of what God is doing? How many times a day do we do that? So you see, it make no sense to keep short accounts with God. We just cannot even count how many sins we really do. Furthermore, Jesus already took away all your sins, and the sins of the entire world, from the eyes of God when He died on a cross over 2000 years ago. If He is not counting our sins, why should we? Faith is not asking God for something He has already done. Faith is saying, in view of God’s mercy, praising Him for what He has already accomplished for you, and for the new life He has given you, who are born again. You have received mercy and grace in Christ Jesus. If you and I got what we deserved, then we would be in hell right now. Not only did we not get what we deserved, we, who are in Christ Jesus, received everything we need for life and godliness.
So God renews our minds with truth. We meet with one another, the body of Christ, to receive teaching and encouragement. We learn how to put on the clothing of Christ Jesus, to walk in the newness of life. As we are growing in knowledge and grace, realize that people may not have learned what you have learned, or vise versa, or see things differently on disputable matters. One person thinks he can eat meat and another thinks he cannot. God accepts them both. For both are giving thanks to God in their hearts, and God knows that. So let us not boast in what knowledge we have or look down on others who do not have the same knowledge. That is not acting in love. Accept one another, just as in Christ Jesus, God has accepted you. God causes the growth and He is able to make us all grow to reach maturity in the common faith in Christ Jesus.
Some people are accustomed to think that we must go to church on Saturday and others say it is Sunday. But, those who say such things have not understood what God has accomplished. The Sabbath is a foreshadowing of the reality that is in Christ. The Sabbath was made for man so he would not kill himself by working himself to death. Jesus said that he is Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was what God provided in an Old Testament before Jesus completed the work he came to do. The work of dying on a cross is completed, so just as he rested from his work, we too can rest from ours. There is now a Sabbath rest for the people of God. Every day is a Sabbath rest. What do I do with the death of Christ, in what he accomplished for me? I rest in it. What do I do with his resurrection? I continually rest in that. I abide in Christ so that the fruit of the Spirit is produced in and through me. I rest in the fact that God has given me everything I need for life and godliness. I walk in faith. I do not ask for what I already have in Christ. The New Covenant is what we live in today, a continual Sabbath rest in Christ Jesus.
Do I never envy? Do I never envy what somebody else has, especially when they have a Cadillac and I do not. I never boast? I am never proud? You will never hear me bragging about my church or about what I am doing? Love is never proud. Love is never rude. I am never rude? I am never self seeking? I am always looking after you above myself? I am never easily angered? Someone pulls in front of me on the freeway. Do I always say, “Praise Jesus?” I never keep records of Amy’s wrongs? I do not keep records? I have got a filing cabinet so we can pull them up when we need them. I do not delight in evil? I just hate it. I always rejoice with truth, especially when Amy tells me something about me that is wrong? I say, “Thank you, sweetie.”? I always protect you? I always trust you? I always hope the best for you? I always persevere for you?
This is how God says we are to love one another. So we say, “How are we doing?” We look at that and there is not a characteristic in there about me. I hope you are the same. I am just sorry. That is just not me. I have to realize, now I know what Jesus is saying, “Apart from me you can do how much?” Nothing. I cannot do any of those things. I might be able to pull one off temporarily for a couple of minutes, but that is about it. We have to realize this is what God is saying that your life is.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love
This is the kind of love he is talking about. He did not put that down there just for buzz words. That is what love is. We look at love as feelings. Feelings do not have a thing in the world to do with this. These are actions on behalf of you toward another person just like there are actions of God toward you and me. Just because I do not like to be around somebody that does not mean I cannot be patient with him. It does not mean I do not be kind to him or to not be envious of him. These are actions and not feelings at all. We equate love in how we feel about someone rather than in the actions I can take toward someone.
These are all actions of love God wants us to develop. These can only come from Him. It is only when I abide in His love, and this is the definition of God’s love that I am forever going to pour that out into the lives of people around me, which is the purpose of the fruit of the Spirit. All these things are fruit of the Spirit. It is not fruits. It is fruit (singular). The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit is to serve the body. The purpose of the spiritual gift is not to edify yourself. It is to serve the body. A cow does not drink its own milk. An apple tree does not eat its own apples. It is for us. It is for the body.
That is the purpose of the gifts of the Spirit, t serve the body of Christ Jesus. The greatest way that we serve the body is by allowing Jesus’ love, who lives in us, to flow in and through us to those around us. That is the emphasis there, to love one another. If we do not love one another, we are not fulfilling the law.
And so, we have to realize that because we cannot do that we have had a tendency to ignore that. We pay no attention to that. It makes no difference if I am mean as a hornet but I am tithing and I am going to church and I am taking my children to church and picking them up too. All of that. So we substituted all of these activities for what God is saying. God is saying, “No, those activities do not mean a thing to me. What I am interested in is how are you doing in the love department?”
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Suppose you have somebody you really do not care much for. You know somebody who ripped you off. How many of you have someone who really ripped you off? Let me ask you another question? How many of you have ripped off somebody? So we are all together. So what he is saying here is, “Did Jesus die for that person that ripped you off? Did he die to take away their sins? Did he die to take away your sins?”
So what we realize is this. Are your standards higher than that of Jesus? I hear people say, “I will not forgive that person.” Then your standards are higher than Jesus. And, you are greater than Jesus. You really got offended, and said, “I will never ever ever forgive that person for what he did?” Have you ever heard that? What kind of a heart is that?
On the other hand, you see people, in court cases, where somebody that murdered their children and the parent is saying, “I forgive him because Jesus forgave me.” It melts your heart. It does nothing to your heart when a person says “I will never forgive that person.” It makes you angry. Who do you think you are?
Many times, when there are those things that have happened in life that you are going to have trouble forgiving, and you may take time to forgive. Do we understand that? Sometimes it takes time. Then we start trying to forgive. You cannot try to forgive. You just have to say, “Lord Jesus, it is in your hands.” Sometimes you have to say, “There is no way in the world for me to do this. But, Jesus lives in me, and if Jesus who lives in me, has already forgiven him, so I by faith, forgive him too”, and move on and forget about it.
You have a debt, so to speak, to love one another. The debt is, “if I did it for you, then why do you not think I did it for him.” “If I have forgiven you and forgiven them, then why do you not learn to forgive one another.” Forgiving another person frees you to be you. When you hold onto bitterness it will ultimately eat your lunch. Am I right or wrong? So he says there is a debt to love one another. He who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deuteronomy 5:17-19,21] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[Leviticus 19:18] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
I may not approve of what they did, but I do not have to retaliate with harm. I can be patient. I can be kind. I wish them no wrong. I am not going to go out and cause damage to them. Remember guys, acts of love. I think of the story of Noah, when he got drunk. One of the children exposed his shame. The others covered him up. Which was the act of love. Love covers.
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
So many times we do not think that. We just want to go out and blast people. That is not loving. I have done it and so have you. That is not love. Love your neighbor as yourself. God does no harm to his neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11 And do this, understanding the present time:
There was something he was talking about.
The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
That is an interesting passage. Your salvation is nearer now than when you first believed. You thought your salvation was when you first believed. And that is true. Three things are taught in the bible. The spirit is saved. The soul is being saved. Your body will be saved. That is your body, soul, and spirit, when he is talking about final salvation. What is the final salvation we will have? It is when the soul and body are saved. This is closer than what you think. The reason I know the soul and body, the soul being saved ultimately will be, and the reason I know my body will be is because my Spirit is and I have the promise that I have been made complete. As far as God is concerned, you and I are already seated with Christ in the heavenly places. So the totality of salvation is already secure. But he says it is nearer than you think.
12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
All of these things are sin, aren’t they? What do we have the tendency to camp on? Anyone doing this? You hear someone say, “Anyone who does this, they are goners.” Which ones of those do we use for that? Orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery. What about dissensions and jealousy? What about those two? It seems they are in the line up. We miss those. Those are easy for us to do. The others you have to work at. You see, sin is sin, is it not? Have you ever functioned in jealousy? God calls it a sin. You may not be a big sinner, but God says that is sin. Worry is sin. What about having a critical spirit? All of these attitudes of the heart God calls sin.
14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Knowing that, that which is not of faith is sin, how many times a day do you not exercise faith?
everything that does not come from faith is sin
Or you put your faith in what you are doing instead of what God is doing? How many times a day do we do that? This thing about keeping short accounts with God, do you know we are too dumb to keep short accounts with God? How do you keep up with it all, if you knew what sin was, that which is not of faith is sin? We get so caught up in that we do not do those big things like sexual immorality, debauchery or drunkenness, and thinking “I am real good”, but we forget about the jealousy, the worry, and the anger and those things that are all a part of our lives. There is not a one of us, and it does not matter how you think of how good you are, who is good.
12 “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
I have been in this world, and there is not a one of us that can stand before God in his own righteousness. How would you like if on judgment day you were to come and you had to stand in your own righteousness next to Jesus? Well, you might say you look pretty good next to Paul over here. But how are you doing next to Jesus? That is the gauge, Him, and not each other. All of us would fall flat on our face, would we not? The only conclusion we can come to is to worship Him, in view of God’s mercy. We should all be in a state, every day of our lives, thanking God for His mercy toward us. If we got what we deserved we would be in hell, would we not? There could be somebody who is arguing with that, saying, “You do not know how good I am, Bob?” He is saying to God, “ God would love me as good as I am. I love me too.” We forget that no we are not. Jesus said there is no one good. Only God is good.
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.”
Jesus is saying, “If you call me good, you better call me ‘God’ becasue only God is good.”
It is not that we do not want to be good. The thing is that we cannot. We can do some good things. But how are you doing in that love department? When I run into people on the air, I get guys who call in sometimes that say they have never sinned. So I tell them, “Let me interview your wife.” I do. “Let me talk to your wife.” One guy gave her to me. I am not kidding. I said, “your husband says he never sinned.” She hum-haws on that one. The best to counteract that guy, is just take him to 1 Corinthians 13 and read those characteristics. It buries us all doesn’t it? That is what God wants. He does not want us to walk in self sufficiency. We were not made to be independent people. We were made to be dependent people. The fact I could not do it is what keeps me dependent on the one who can. If I could, I would not need Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
That is why it says to rejoice in your weakness. Until you see you are weak that is how you know you need Jesus. If I am strong, then why would I need Him for? That is why Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” I am not ashamed to say I cannot do it. Because it is the gospel that says He can. I am not ashamed to say, “I can’t but He can.” That is where these attitudes of our hearts have to take over, to realize that apart from Jesus we can do nothing.
13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
So let us behave decently. Rather clothe yourself. It does not say, “go out on your own”. It says to clothe yourself with Jesus Christ, and quit thinking about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Why? As a man thinks so is he. When you are thinking about how to gratify the flesh, you will be one to gratify the flesh.
Amy tells a funny story. We were looking at the aerobics center one day by the pool. Amy was beside me and I was beside the pool. I jokingly said, “I think you would like to push me in, wouldn’t you?” She said, “I never thought about it before, but now you mention it, ‘yes, I would’”.
All you have to do to gratify your flesh is just think about it. That is all. Just start thinking about it, and before long, you are doing it. What does he say about this. Renew your mind. All of this is a mind thing, folks. It is talking out of the mind and focusing it on Christ Jesus. What a wonderful week, all week long, thinking about Jesus. Amy and I mentioned that last night. How wonderful it is to spend time with Jesus. The way these conferences just enable you, even if just four days a year, to pull aside and to think about Jesus. It is the renewing of the mind that is so valuable to us. So he says do not think about how to gratify the desires of your flesh.
1 Accept the one whose faith is weak
What does he mean there saying his faith is weak? It is not saying you have strong faith and weak faith. It is saying your faith is based on things that have no meaning to it. It is saying your faith is in tradition, for example. Your faith is based on what is told you by your church and you have not checked it out to see if that is true in the word of God. Check and see if that person is in that boat, and do not pass judgment on disputable type of matters.
without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
That does not say that all vegetarians have weak faith. If your faith is based on what your denomination has told you, that you cannot eat something, and I am doing it because that is God’s law, then that is weak faith. If you are doing it because you want to be healthy, then that is good faith. So probably the healthiest people in the world are vegetarians when they are doing it for the purpose of a healthy matter, and not because you are doing it to please God. God is not sitting up there saying, “Oh boy, what are you eating?”
3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
God has accepted both. So if you don’t, don’t be prideful, saying “Oh, I do not eat meat.” That is fine, but do not be prideful over it. And I do eat meat. Don’t look down as saying my faith is stronger than yours because you don’t. Let each man do what he feels he should be doing. Quit judging each other. The Lord has accepted all of us.
4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?
You do not belong to me. You belong to Jesus.
To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.
You have sacred days people believe in.
Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
Turn to Colossians 2:16.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
Because we probably do not have too many New Moon celebrations, and for religious festivals, we can have all over the place, but we do have a Sabbath day. He says do not let anyone judge you by observing a Sabbath day. It, the Sabbath day, is a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
In the Old Testament, the Sabbath day, and to this day, the Sabbath is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It is on Saturday. Now, as Christians, we celebrate the Sabbath day. We call it the Sabbath day as it relates to the resurrection day. Both of those are wrong. Neither one is the Sabbath day. Both of those are shadows. The reality is found in who? Christ. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.
7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[Hosea 6:6] you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
In the Old Testament, before Christ came, that day of the week was called the Sabbath day.
3 “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.’”
After Christ completed his work, it says to enter into his Sabbath rest, resting from your works just as he did from his.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
Whereby the day of the week was a foreshadowing, just like many things in scripture were foreshadowing of the reality that is found in Christ. That was the case of the Sabbath day. It was a foreshadowing of you entering into a continual state of rest. The reason He gave us Sabbath rest is so we would not work seven days a week, so we would not kill ourselves by doing it. He did it for our benefit not for His. Now He wants us to rest every day. He wants us now to enter into His Sabbath rest where we are resting from our works just as He did from His.
What does that mean? It means it is finished. Part of His work was working at the cross, providing forgiveness at the cross. What does He want us to do with that? Rest in it. Do not try to add to that. Do not try to paint pictures on Mona Lisa. You cannot improve upon painting the Mona Lisa. Rest in it. He has given you His righteousness. What does He want us to do with that? Rest in it. You have been given everything you need for life and godliness. What does He want you to do with that? Rest in it. You do not go rest on Saturday or rest on Sunday. You rest every day from your works just as He did from His. So it does not make a bit of difference of whether you go on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or Tuesday or any other day of the week.
So people wrestle as if the most important thing is what day they go to church. You do not live your life in this service. You live your life when you leave here. You come here to get boosted up. You come her to get some teaching, to get the apostles teaching, fellowship and prayer. That is why you come here. Do you come here so you can sit here all week? No. To go out in the market place to put these things into practice. We put all this emphasis on where you go and what day you go on to sit for an hour to hear someone talking and sing some songs. That is nonsense. That was a foreshadowing. The reality is to rest in this Sabbath rest, in what I called you too.
So what day is the Sabbath as far as God is concerned now? Every day. Every day you ought to be resting from your works just as He did from His. What does that mean? You spend the rest of your life praising Him for what He already accomplished instead of begging Him for what you already have. That is resting. I am not resting when I am begging Him and asking Him to give me what He has already given me. That is presumption. It is entering into this state of continual rest He has called me to. It is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? The reality is in Christ.
18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility
A lot of times that is what that produces.
and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen;
You run into that today. People say they have seen visions and seen this. What does God say about this?
they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.