Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P14 (11-19-19)
The purpose of the law is explained. The law was put in charge to lead us to Christ so that we could be justified by faith and not through obedience to the law. The law could never make anyone righteous. It was never designed for that. The law was added so that man might recognize he is a sinner, and come to the end of himself, saying: “I cannot do this. I keep falling short. What a wretched man I am! Who can save me from this body of death?” The law is to show you that you are dead and in need of life.
Now, if you do not have a clue as to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will have to hold onto something in your life. You are going to hang onto the law or be like the total heathen world as it is becoming in this country, where you believe you do not need the law. The heathen says: “I do not need Jesus. I do not need anything. I just let my conscience be my guide and then I do not pay any attention to it either. I just do what feels good.” That is the world today.
The Holy Spirit came to speak into the hearts of men. This Holy Spirit of life that is in Jesus spoke truth to men. There is this righteousness that is by faith, from first to last, both for the Jew and the Gentile, for you and for me. All can be saved the same way, by faith in Christ Jesus, in what he alone did for you by means of his death, burial and resurrection. This is not religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a practical message to solve your problem of death by giving you life. Jesus said, “I will come to live in you and to give you life, and from that point on I will be your counselor, your director and your best friend.” There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. The issue is: Do you want life? To those who want life, you ask: “How do you get life?”
For more information from the scriptures, explaining this new birth in Christ Jesus, of being born again from above, having the Holy Spirit to come indwell you, to live in you, check out “bebornfree.com”.
In Romans, we read about this righteousness that is by faith. Bob George walks us through these verses, explaining its meaning. He shares some other scriptures, such as Galatians 3, to further explain the purpose of the law, and then shares scriptures of what Jesus Christ has said concerning this offer of eternal life. He then shares his testimony of new birth, of the day he became a new creation in Christ Jesus.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – 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.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
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,
30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised
Who are the circumcised ones? The Jews, by faith.
by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
Who are the uncircumcised? The Gentiles. There is only one God, who justifies both of them.
31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
What does that mean? It means we establish it. It means that we cause it to stand. So what are we talking about it here? Are we nullifying the law? No. We are causing it to stand. Who did he say the law was for? The lost. Are they causing it to stand? Yes, because if you do not have the law, you will not know that you are a sinner. That is why people today are determined to try to destroy the law. You have the self righteous, who are trying to use the law for their righteousness. Then it was made to get the sinner to see they are a sinner, and we have misused that as well. So Satan has managed to take what God gave us and messed it up on all fronts. Turn back with me to the book of Galatians. Here is the answer to the question: What is the purpose of the law?
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions [sins]
When you see “until”, what does that mean? That means there was a before and an after.
until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
Who is the Seed? Jesus
The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Before this faith came, and before you put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, before that occurred you were a prisoner by the law. That is why it says we are not going to nullify it, but we are going to uphold it. Why? Because you, if you are lost, need to see that you are a prisoner to the law.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
That is the purpose. The law locks you up until you put your faith in Jesus.
24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ so that we could be justified by faith and not through obedience to the law. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what this means. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You cannot get any clearer than that.
Let me ask you this question? If you had a choice, would you rather be under a law that you have to live by and perform a hundred percent in, or let us say there was a possibility that God gave you a way that He will come to live in you so as to guide you into all truth, which would your rather be? Would you rather be guided into all truth or living under the law? See, there is the option. Do you want to be guided by the law or do you want to be guided by the Holy Spirit?
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Now, if you do not know that there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit, who is alive, the third person of the Trinity, who Jesus said that when he goes away, he will send him to you to live inside you, to guide you into all truth. How much truth? All of it.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
When people say, “I follow Jesus”, then I hope you get to where he is going. If you are following him, I hope you are following him to where he went, to the cross and the resurrection. Now once you followed him to where he went, to the cross and the resurrection, you are no longer following him, you are being led by him. If you are a follower of Christ, then keep following him until he gets to where he was going, to the cross and the empty tomb. Then you will be led internally by his Spirit.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
Now, if you do not have a clue as to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will have to hold onto something in your life. You are going to hang onto the law or be like the total heathen world as it is becoming in this country, where you do not need the law. The heathen says: “I do not need Jesus. I do not need anything. I just let my conscience be my guide and then I do not pay any attention to it either. I just do what feels good.” That is the world today.
10 John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
God said that if you want to have an abundant life, you are going to have to realize that the law will do its work if you let it. It will show you your sinfulness. It will show you that there is a consquence to sin called death (Romans 6:23). That is when you are going to look to Jesus and his resurrected life and you will say: “I want life. I want to come to Jesus for life. I am dead and I do not want to stay dead. I have been trying to follow the law and I cannot do it. No, I want to be led internally by the Spirit of God.”
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You come to him by faith and you receive everything that you ever wanted in your life. You have been given everything that you need for life and Godliness in this person of Christ Jesus. I do not care whether you are a Jew or a Gentile.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
A young man who was here with us last week, one of them was a Muslim. The other a Christian. I told them: “I do not care whether you are a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Catholic or a Protestant, you are dead until you come to Christ for life. You can follow a man or you can follow the man, Christ Jesus.” Either way, you are dead. If you want to follow Mohammad, then you will go to hell. If you want to come to Jesus, you will go to heaven. It is that simple.
Jesus did not say that he came to appeal to certain parts of the world. He came to die for the sins of the entire world. It is not being dogmatic any more than 2 + 2 = 4 is dogmatic. It is very practical. If you are dead, you need life. If you do not receive life, you remain dead.
24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.
You are born into this world as dead as a hammer spiritually. You are not plugged into God. You are dead to God. Every man is born dead to God. No one came out of his mother’s womb saying “praise Jesus”. You are born lost. Dead. If you are dead, then you either want to stay dead or you come to Him for life.
I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
To those who believe this message, are born from above. You do not create it down here, up there, you get it from up there into your heart. The issue is: Do you want to accept Him by faith? Or, do you want to remain dead? This is not religion, folks. This has nothing to do with religion. It is totally practical. You cannot get any more practical than this. You are dead. Jesus said: “I came to give you life.” I do not know how it could be any more practical. It is not a religion. It is a relationship with the living God. He is saying, “if you are dead, that is not a desirable condition to be in. But I came to give you life.” Do not come to practice religion. Come to Him for what you need, life. Jesus said, “And I will come to live in you and to give you life, and from that point on I will be your counselor, your director and your best friend.” There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. The issue is: Do you want life? To those who want life, you ask: “How do you get life?”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – along with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
I waited 36 years. On the day I accepted Christ Jesus, my life flip flopped. There is no explanation for that. None at all. There is no explanation for going in one direction one day and a 180 degree turn the next. There is no explanation. I do not mean that you became wonderful and never sinned. I am talking about the fact you became a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I am talking about the fact about a man who had no interest in the things of God, just superficial, and the next day I could not get enough of Him. You explain how that happens? It is the greatest miracle! New birth is a miracle from God. You are going one direction. The next day all I am thinking about is God. I never thought about Him before. Now I want to think about Him. You tell me how that comes about, except through miracle of God?
So I waited 36 years in my life. I can remember the day Amy and I went to Arrowhead Springs and I accepted Jesus. I did not accept Him through a big presentation at all. Bill Bright handed me the Four Spiritual Laws booklet and said, “read it”. So it wasn’t his presentation, for he did not say anything. He just said, “read it”. So I started reading the word of God. Tears started welling up in my soul. For some reason, I came to understand the truth of the word of God. My life changed. When I went back home, I told Amy I knew nothing about theology. I knew nothing about anything. I never opened the bible. I never studied the bible. When I opened it, it cracked. I told Amy: “I feel like I have been scrubbed all over”. Before then, I did not know God cleansed me of all unrighteousness. I was scrubbed. A miracle of grace.